Butterscotch Pudding with Coffee-Caramel Bananas, and a Trifle!

Butterscotch Pudding Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Butterscotch is one of those flavors that can make you travel through time. I remember eating it, still warm off the stove, when I was just a kid. It was straight from the box of Jell-o instant pudding and it was fabulous to my 7-year-old taste buds. Today I’d probably have a very different reaction to that product and my poor kids have never even tried it. I’d be horrified by its overly sweet and gelatinous taste and they would probably love it! Instead I made them some from scratch, so they would have the same romantic memory, but this one they can take into adulthood.

I got David Lebovitz’s Ripe for Dessert book this year from my aunt Kris, the same one I sent the cake to FL for. It is a lovely book about all kinds of tasty desserts made with fresh fruit. As I was flipping through it fell to the page with butterscotch pudding. He paired it with bananas, which at first seemed like a match that would be far too sweet. But the banana’s are caramelized in coffee, which perfectly balances the sugar with the bite of coffee. Sweet enough to satisfy my sons and yet not at all cloying like the Jell-o of my childhood.

The recipe is wonderful just as is, or made into a trifle with sponge cake soaked in the coffee caramel syrup, then layered with fresh whipped cream, the bananas and the butterscotch pudding.

The Butterscotch Pudding from Ripe for Dessert:

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 cup heavy cream

2 cups whole milk

1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped

3/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon whiskey (optional, sort of!)

1 cup lightly whipped heavy cream for garnish

Coffee-Caramelized Bananas (recipe below)

Brown sugar and melted butter in a pot | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and cook until it is all melted and bubbling vigorously.

Adding cream to butterscotch pudding mixture | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Remove from the heat and add the heavy cream in a couple of tablespoons at a time so that it won’t splatter. Whisk well between additions. Whisk in the milk, vanilla bean and salt.

Whisking cornstarch and egg | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and eggs until the cornstarch dissolves. Whisk the cornstarch into the butterscotch pudding mixture.

Cooking butterscotch pudding | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the pudding comes to a boil. Continue cooking and whisking for 2 more minutes (add the whiskey now, if using!). The pudding will become nice and thick and should be boiling while you whisk. Don’t skimp on the 2 minutes or your pudding will not set up properly.

Straining butterscotch pudding | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Strain the pudding through a fine mesh Strainer.

Butterscotch Pudding Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Divide into small cups or bowls, cover and chill. You can eat it warm as well! Top with whipped cream and the caramelized bananas:

Coffee-Caramelized Bananas Ripe for Dessert:

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped

6 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon corn syrup

2 not overly ripe bananas, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices

6 tablespoons strong coffee or espresso

In a large skillet melt the butter with the vanilla bean. Stir in the brown sugar and corn syrup, allow to melt, add the bananas in a single layer. Cook over medium-high heat, without stirring! When the bananas start to sizzle add 3 tablespoons of the coffee.

Do not disturb the bananas as you spoon the caramel over the tops of them. Tilt the pan to collect the juices and spoon it over the bananas several times until they are deeply caramelized on the underside. This will take between 8-12 minutes depending on how ripe your bananas are. (I suspect that David used Plantains in his photo shoot, they are much larger and hold there shape very well. If you go this route you will need to cook them considerably longer.)

Once the bananas are fully caramelized remove them from the pan so they don’t get mushy.

Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of coffee to the juices left in the pan and stir together until everything is nicely melted and the consistency of maple syrup.

Spoon the bananas over the pudding and whipped cream. Drizzle a spoon of the caramel sauce over the top and serve.

To make a Trifle:

Butterscotch Pudding Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

I never throw away my cake scraps, which makes for a very crowded freezer. I wrap them really well so they won’t take on the personality of my freezer and then wrap them again! This way I have them on the ready for emergency desserts like trifle. I cubed up the cake scraps left from Kris’s birthday, soaked them with the coffee caramel sauce, layered it with the butterscotch pudding, whipped cream and bananas and repeated this until I got to the top of my trifle bowl, just beyond the top!!

This trifle would be fantastic made with Devil’s Food Cake as well!

Butterscotch Pudding Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

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44 thoughts to “Butterscotch Pudding with Coffee-Caramel Bananas, and a Trifle!”

  1. Those banana’s look to die for! I’m not a huge pudding fan but I would eat that whole cup just because of the fantastic toppings. I will definitely have to try that and pour them over ice cream or something! YUM

  2. All three look so fantastic! You had me at “butterscotch pudding” though 🙂 Takes you right back to childhood. But you’re right – the instant stuff that tasted so good back then could never compare to fresh!

  3. Zoe, this one qualifies as actual food porn. Your pictures are so incredible. Two of my favorite cooks together, Zoe and David! Dessert, it’s not just for breakfast anymore. Check my facebook page to see why I am currently so irrational.

  4. those bananas have my mouth watering. I just love your step-by-step photos. I know first hand it takes a lot of work to do that! it’s much appreciated!

  5. My gawd, this sounds like the most incredible pairing of flavors. I love butterscotch, but to add coffee-carmelized bananas, too? I am swooning, big-time! 😉

    So unless my eyes deceive me, does the pudding end up a more off-white color than the usual caramel color?

  6. Hi Carolyn,

    You are right! It is not as dark as some that I have made. You could possibly “burn” the sugar a touch more, but not too much!


  7. This is so tempting – mainly because of the presentation. Butterscotch pudding was not a big part of my childhood (I don’t think we had it much, if at all), but I think maybe I’ll make it part of my adulthood. Nice work, as usual, Zoe.

  8. I’ve tried David L’s butterscotch pudding recipe too, and it’s so great that you showed me how I can pair it with caramelized coffee bananas. It sounds so much more decadent!

  9. Help fast!!! How many eggs go into the pudding? The other night I was happily making this wonderful dessert then I got to the part about adding the eggs. Yicks!!! Eggs aren’t listed with the other ingredients!!! I did a little research and compared this recipe with others, made a guess and continued on. So how many should I have added? By the way this dessert is amazing as a trifle and made a big hit with my hostess. Thanks for your help.

  10. Hi Lynette,

    So sorry about that! I did fix the recipe a few days ago so now the post has the eggs included! 😉 There are 2 large eggs in the pudding!

    So glad you enjoyed it!!!


  11. this looks amazing. i LOVE butterscotch anything, but this looks amazing! i saw a recipe in gourmet that looked great too, and then i found this — fate wants me to make it obviously!

  12. This recipe also reminds me of my childhood! My favorite treat for breakfast was fried bananas sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar and fresh blueberries from our yard. I REALLY want to try this dessert…breakfast… 🙂

  13. When do I add the vanilla bean and the whiskey to the pudding?

    When do I add the corn syrup to the bananas?

  14. I just discovered this on your site. Very well timed! For Valentine’s day I promised my sweetheart some butterscotch pudding (to be made sometime in the future.) He generally doesn’t like sweets so I was surprised when he said he liked it. Maybe he has those jello pudding memories. Anyway, I will give this recipe a try! (I have David L’s books and love them!)

  15. I will be making this recipe very soon! Love the flavor combinations in this dessert and looks very easy as well!

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