Marigold Banana Pudding

The House of Marigold shares its own Derby-day delight

Photo: courtesy House of Marigold

Banana pudding is a beloved staple of Southern outdoor gatherings, so you won’t be surprised to know it makes for a perfect Kentucky Derby party treat. This light and fluffy version comes from Kristopher Cole, the executive chef and co-owner of the House of Marigold in Louisville. Note that the pudding requires several hours in the fridge to set, but hands-on prep clocks in around half an hour.

Stay in Touch with G&G
Get The Skillet, our weekly food and drink newsletter.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


  • Marigold Banana Pudding (Yield: 8–10 servings)

    • 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

    • 1 cup ice-cold water

    • ½ cup milk

    • 1 (3.4-oz.) package instant vanilla pudding mix

    • 3 cups cold heavy cream

    • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

    • 1 (11-oz.) box vanilla wafer cookies

    • 4 to 5 ripe bananas, sliced


  1. Using either a hand-held mixer or a stand mixer, combine the sweetened condensed milk, cold water, and cold milk. Mix on low-medium for 1 to 2 minutes.

  2. Add the vanilla pudding mix and beat on medium for 2 minutes. The pudding mixture should just begin to thicken.

  3. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight to ensure the pudding is completely set.

  4. Using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer, combine the heavy cream and vanilla extract and beat until the cream is stiff.

  5. Gently fold the whipped cream into the fully set pudding. Fold until the cream and pudding are completely combined and uniform in color, with no visible streaks.

  6. For presentation, use a large serving bowl, trifle dish, or compote dish. You can also use mini trifle dishes or bowls for individual servings. 

  7. Set aside 5 to 6 wafers for garnish. Line the bottom of the dish with ⅓ of the vanilla wafers (about 30 wafers). 

  8. Evenly layer 1½ cups sliced bananas on top of the wafers.

  9. Top banana slices with ⅓ of the pudding mixture.

  10. Repeat until there are 3 layers of wafers, bananas, and pudding.

  11. Crush the reserved wafers and sprinkle on top of the pudding. You can also use any crumbs from the box for garnish. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.