Magnolia Bakery Just Shared the Secret Recipe for Their Most Famous Dessert

Just as Sarah Jessica Parker and Cynthia Nixon were spotted last week onset of the upcoming Sex and the City revival, the bakery that the show made famous was celebrating its 25th birthday. If you're one of the thousands who has ever waited in an around-the-corner line for Magnolia Bakery's sweets, here's fun news: In a rare move, the bakery has shared their most talked-about recipe of all time. We've got the scoop on how to make it (including a gluten-free modification!), along with the key to serving it just right.

Magnolia Bakery's storied banana pudding arguably eclipses the brand's one-of-a-kind cupcakes. Whether you're Team BP or Team Cupcake, you've gotta love the fact that Magnolia's banana pudding recipe has been making the rounds online. Since 1999, when The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook was published (one year after Sex and the City came on the air), baking fans have voiced their disappointment that, while some bought the cookbook for that very recipe, the authors didn't publish it at that time.


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Now, while the miniseries followup to Sex and the City (entitled And Just Like That…) is shooting in New York, Magnolia has spent the summer celebrating its 25th birthday after re-opening in May following COVID-19 closures. During the pandemic, Magnolia promoted a Banana Pudding Kit for fans to make it at home… but if that feels like cheating, Magnolia has also shared their banana pudding recipe in a recent publication.

In October 2020, The Magnolia Bakery Handbook came out and revealed the Magnolia Bakery banana pudding recipe (good timing for pandemic baking!). Truth be told, the recipe was also included in 2009's The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook, but there's something about the recent reawakening of New York—such as the upcoming fall Fashion Week, the reopening of Broadway, and, yes, the Sex and the City reboot—that makes Magnolia's banana pudding recipe timely for circulation right now.

The recipe for Magnolia Bakery's banana pudding, via Today:

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1½ cups ice cold water
1 (3.4-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix (Jell-O brand is recommended)
3 cups heavy cream
1 (11-ounce) box vanilla wafers (Nabisco Nilla Wafers are recommended) [Editor's note: For gluten-free Magnolia Bakery banana pudding, sources have suggested the bakery itself recommends Kinnikinnick Vanilla Wafers]
4-5 ripe bananas, sliced

Whisk together the cold water and sweetened condensed milk in a medium-sized bowl. In a separate bowl, pour in the pudding mix and begin to slowly whisk in the liquid mixture, until it is smooth with no lumps, about one minute. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour until it's firm.

Whip the heavy cream until it starts to thicken, then increase the speed until stiff peaks form.

Add your pudding mixture to the whipped cream and whisk until there are no streaks of pudding in the mixture.

In a trifle or wide glass bowl, spread one-quarter of the pudding over the bottom and place a layer with one-third of the cookies as well as about 1 to 1 1⁄2 of the sliced bananas to cover the full layer. Continue the process until complete, ending with one final layer of pudding and a garnish of some of the remaining wafers.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for four to six hours.

It's said the recipe yields 12 servings. One key? Versions of the recipe suggest you serve it within 12 hours after preparing so the wafers don't turn too mushy.

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