Recipe Report Card: Magnolia Table Banana Pudding

For Mother’s Day, Michael gave me Joanna Gaines’ new cookbook, Magnolia Table.  I was excited to try one of the recipes in her book, but I knew time would be an important factor.  And I wanted it to be a dessert, an indulgence, not a dinner that I would be obligated to make, or we don’t eat one night.  I really want to try the lemon bars, but I thought, perhaps, that the 20-minute banana pudding would be a better first recipe.

In the past, I’ve always struggled with sharing recipes online.  Because I don’t change up a whole lot of the ingredients or instructions (or I don’t change it at all), I felt like I was always just regurgitating a recipe that could be found on someone else’s post.  And I would much rather that you go to that original post and support that blogger.  So, I’m not going to share the recipe here.  I’ll share the link (or in this case the book) for you to go check out.  Instead, I’m going to give the recipe a report card.

When I’m looking for a recipe, I have some key desires that I want from the recipe.

  • I want easy to find ingredients that will be used up and not take up space on my shelf (like that one spice I used one time and then it just sat there, all lonely).
  • I want the prep and cook times to be accurate (this happens a lot on recipe sharing sites, but I hate a 10-minute prep time that requires me to cut and chop a lot of vegetables that takes a lot more than 10 minutes).
  • I want the recipe to require basic tools. I now have a zester, but I didn’t have one for a long time, and to assume that every kitchen has one may be a stretch.
  • And of course, I want the recipe to be easy to follow and the outcome to be delicious!

So, on to the banana pudding…

First, the ingredients.  All of the ingredients were easy to find in the grocery store.  In fact, I think I was able to use store brand products for everything but the Cool Whip (which I probably could have gotten store brand as well, but it’s Cool Whip…).  She does give an option to use her own whip cream recipe.  I liked the fact that it was flexible either way.  Maybe someday when I’m not tending to a newborn, I will make the homemade whip cream as well.

Also, I was able to use up all of the ingredients I purchased, except for the cool whip, one banana, and some vanilla wafers.  However, each of these ingredients could be eaten with other things or even by themselves, so I’m not counting that against the recipe.

Second, the prep and cook times.  The recipe didn’t have a cook time, but there is a refrigeration time of at least 2 hours.  The prep time was pretty accurate, although I admit, I missed the part of room temperature cream cheese, and it was the first ingredient used, so that added to my prep time.

Third, the tools.  The only things I used were a mixer and a round dish, although I didn’t have a three-quart dish, only a two and a half, so it changed the layering for the pudding, but I don’t think that was significant.  If you don’t have a standing mixer, she suggests a handheld mixer, and I’m sure if you were in a real spot, you could mix it by hand.

The recipe was very easy to follow since it was just mix and layer.  And the outcome was delicious and rich, like a banana pudding cheesecake.  My husband said it was really smooth and creamy.  It is a perfect summer dessert.  It’s a lot for two people, but it’s held up well in the fridge.  The bananas did brown a bit, but it didn’t affect the taste.

Overall, I give the recipe an A.  It was a basic recipe, but a yummy one.  I’m looking forward to trying more of her recipes in the future!

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