‘Nana Pudding Tiramisu Cake
“My Big Daddy loves ‘Nana Pudding. My mom says that she cooked so much of it when she was growing up, she thought she would turn into ‘nana pudding herself. When Big Daddy came home from work at Mississippi Power and Light every weekday for lunch, he was greeted with a fresh helping (at his request). The creamy, sweet custard layered with ripe banana slices and softened wafter cookies is as delightfully Southern as a dessert can get.” – Jocelyn Delk Adams
Since founding her popular recipe blog Grandbaby Cakes in 2012, Jocelyn Delk Adams has been putting fresh twists on classic favorites. Her debut cookbook Grandbaby Cakes: Modern Recipes, Vintage Charm, Soulful Memories collects 50 cake recipes accentuated with family snapshots and memories of her family’s generations-old love of baking.
Banana Pudding Filling:
1 cup heavy cream, cold
1 Tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature
2 1/3 cups whole milk, cold
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 5-oz. package instant banana pudding mix
1 5-oz. package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup light rum
1/3 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 17.5-oz. package *ladyfingers
4 large *bananas, cut into 1/2-inch slices, plus 1 for garnish
12 vanilla wafers, crumbled for garnish
To make the banana pudding filling, in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream on high speed until soft peaks begin to form. Add the confectioners’ sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Transfer the whipped cream to a separate bowl and place it in the refrigerator.
Clean your stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment. Add the cream cheese and beat on high speed until nice and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Slowly add the whole milk, sweetened condensed milk, banana pudding mix, vanilla pudding mix, vanilla extract and salt. Beat until well incorporated.
Turn off your mixer. Remove the whipped cream from the refrigerator and carefully fold half of it back into the pudding with a spatula. Place the filling and the remaining whipped cream back into refrigerator until ready to use.
To make the rum sauce, in a medium saucepan, bring all ingredients to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool for 20 minutes.
To assemble the cake, arrange a full layer of ladyfingers in a 9×13-inch baking pan. Drizzle one-fourth of the warm sauce over the ladyfingers. Arrange the slices from two bananas on top of the ladyfingers and drizzle with another one-fourth of warm sauce. Smooth half of the filling on top of the bananas. Repeat with another layer of the remaining ladyfingers and sauce, the slices from two bananas and the remaining filling. Top the cake with the remaining whipped cream. Smooth the cream out over the cake. Garnish with the crumbled vanilla wafers and slices from one banana.
Chill the finished cake in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours before serving (overnight is preferable) to allow time for the ladyfingers to soften. Serve cold, and store in the refrigerator.
*Grandbaby notes: A ladyfinger is a traditional Italian sponge cake shaped like a lanky cookie — or a long finger. You can usually find these in the cookie, baking or Italian aisle of your local grocery store.
This recipe includes sliced bananas, which tend to brown quickly. That can look odd when you present and serve this dish. If you wish, you can submerge your banana slices in an acid, like fresh citrus juice (lemon, orange or lime works) for a few minutes. It should not affect the flavor of the overall recipe. While this will help the slices stay brighter longer, they will still brown at some point, so it’s best to serve this cake within 48 hours of assembly.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Jocelyn Delk Adams.