Banana pudding is one of those desserts that everyone loves. It’s perfect for a Sunday brunch, acts as a good housewarming present at a party, and also is appropriate for younger kids to eat. Of course, the best banana pudding recipes are the ones that have that creamy, thick consistency that people adore. 

Unfortunately, not all pudding recipes have this trait. Whether it’s due to a mix-up with the original recipe or a recipe that just didn’t pass muster doesn’t matter. What matters is that you now have unusually thin banana pudding that you want to thicken up.

Did you ever wonder how you could thicken up banana pudding fast?

The best way to thicken banana pudding’s consistency is to create a slurry using starch and water, then add it to the pudding. After you’ve added a small amount, heat the pudding until it’s simmering, and stir. 

Knowing how to thicken pudding isn’t as bad as you think it is. Here’s what you need to know about thickening it up and making your dessert perfect.

How to Thicken Banana Pudding

Why Is My Banana Pudding Not Thick Enough?

Most of the time, this is actually a mistake that involves not mixing up the pudding enough. At one point of the pudding making process, it’s normal for dust to clump up together from instant pudding mixes. Usually, if you whisk it for a couple more minutes, you’ll see a change in consistency.

If you’ve stirred it up a bit without much improvement, then it could be that the recipe is just too watery. This means that you will need to add a thickening agent to the mix or increase the other ingredients until the consistency is a little better.

How To Add Thickness To Banana Pudding

There are two main ways to increase the thickness of your banana pudding. We’re going to go over the two of them, then give you more information about alternatives. 

Adding Cornstarch: The Step By Step Process

Almost any type of edible starch can be used to thicken up banana pudding, provided you didn’t add banana slices in it quite yet. Corn starch is the most popular option. However, most people don’t understand how to do it properly. 

It’s important to understand something about starch: you can’t just add it in and expect your pudding to thicken up as it’s supposed to. Cornstarch (or modified cornstarch) will require you to heat it up in order for it to thicken. Here’s how you can add cornstarch properly:

  1. Mix equal parts cornstarch and water.
  2. Add in a small amount of the cornstarch-water mix at a time. Stir gently, making sure the starch is moved evenly throughout the pudding.
  3. Get your banana pudding to heat up to a simmer. Keep it there for 20 to 30 seconds, stirring gently.
  4. Drop the temperature of the pudding, and finish stirring things up. It should be done by now. 

Adding More Instant Pudding Mix: The Shortcut

If the idea of adding cornstarch and triggering its gelatinizing properties scares you, that’s okay. Sometimes people prefer to work with stuff they know will be tried and true. If you have an extra box of instant pudding, you can add it to the pudding mixture you already have to increase the thickness.

Add a little bit of the extra pudding pouch at a time, since instant pudding takes time to fully absorb moisture. Once it’s at the desired consistency, you will be able to enjoy a nice, thick bowl of banana pudding. 

Adding Cornstarch Alternatives To Your Pudding: The Scoop

Though the vast majority of people choose to use cornstarch or more pudding mixt to fix a runny banana pudding, those aren’t the only options on the menu. If you’re low on cornstarch, you can also use other starch-based thickening agents that are currently on the market.

If you are making banana pudding from scratch, then you should stick to starch-based thickening agents. Other alternatives you can consider include:

  • Modified cornstarch
  • Tapioca
  • Flour

Figuring out how to use each agent can be tricky, which is why it’s good to read up on it. Each thickening agent has its own traits, so it’s smart to be aware of the differing thickening times. For example, if you decide to thicken your pudding up with flour, it can take as much as 20 minutes before the flour stops tasting chalky. 

How To Make Banana Pudding Stiffen Up

Sometimes, it’s not actually a matter of getting the banana pudding to be thicker. Rather, sometimes you want the pudding to be able to gelatinize into a mold. This is actually fairly easy to do. 

After you’ve mixed your pudding, add flavor-free gelatin to the pudding you’ve made. (The best ratio we’ve heard so far is to use ¾ of a teaspoon per cup of pudding made.) Then, stir it up, pour it into the mold that you want to use, and chill it for several hours.

Which Ingredients Don’t Work Well With Banana Pudding?

There are certain ingredients that people sometimes use that can harm the consistency of banana pudding. Some of them might be surprising, while others are just less-than-ideal for thickening up pudding recipes…

  • Skim Milks. Skim milk, 2 percent, and other low-fat milks do not work well with pudding. Puddings usually need a higher fat concentration to get the buttery consistency that people adore. 
  • Plant Milks. Much like how skim milks don’t really work well when it comes to thickening, plant milks are often a gamble in terms of consistency. Most of them simply don’t work and require extra thickening agents. This, in turn, puts pudding at a higher risk of clumping. Gross!
  • Flour. Yes, flour is a viable thickening agent, but it’s far from the best one. Flour has to be sifted and folded in carefully otherwise it can clump up. Worse still, it can take 20 minute or more for it to heat up and actually lose the chalky, bland taste it’s known for. 
  • Arrowroot Flour. Arrowroot flour is a little bit different than most other flours and starches. Along with being gluten-free, it has a tendency of getting a slimy texture hen used to thicken pudding. Due to the fact that most people don’t want to deal with sliminess, it’s a bad take.
  • Artificial Eggs. While it’s great to see that there are now vegan egg alternatives and similar, the truth is that they are a gamble when it comes to being used in pudding. Pudding can be a fairly fickle thing to cook, even if it’s of the banana category. If your recipe asks for eggs, it’s best to stick to the real eggs.
  • Nilla Wafers. Some people have tried to thicken pudding by crumbling up these cookies and adding them to the pudding. Don’t do this! If you want to add the wafers after the pudding is made, do it. Just don’t add crumbles, as this turns your pudding into a very sloppy mess.


Banana pudding can be a challenge to make, even if you are using a packet of the “instant stuff.” The biggest problem, wateriness or thin pudding, can seem insurmountable. Thankfully, you now have the knowledge you need to make that decadently rich banana pudding that everyone adores.