Banana Pudding with Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

INGREDIENTS:

For the salted caramel:

1 cup sugar
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature and cubed
1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

For the banana pudding:

4 cups whole milk
1 (3.4-ounce) box instant vanilla pudding
1 (3.4-ounce) box instant banana pudding
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup cold heavy cream
6 large bananas, sliced
Nilla Wafers or shortbread cookies (See Kelly’s Notes)

DIRECTIONS:

Make the salted caramel:

Sprinkle the sugar in an even layer in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium-high heat. Using a heatproof rubber spatula, stir the sugar until it begins to melt and darken in color, about 10 minutes. (If chunks form, continue stirring until they dissolve.) Stop stirring and let the sugar cook, undisturbed, until it turns amber in color, about 5 minutes.

Remove the melted sugar from the heat and whisk in the butter until combined, then slowly and carefully whisk in the heavy cream. (It will bubble vigorously.) Stir in the sea salt then transfer the caramel to a glass container to cool while you prepare the pudding.

Make the banana pudding:

In a large bowl, whisk together the milk with the instant vanilla and banana pudding mixes.

In a separate medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese and condensed milk.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the cold heavy cream on high speed until stiff peaks form.

Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.

Stir the cream cheese mixture into the pudding until well combined. Refrigerate the pudding until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, place a layer of Nilla Wafers on the bottom of your serving dish, and then top the wafers with a layer of the pudding, followed by a layer of sliced bananas and a drizzle of the salted caramel sauce. Repeat the layers as needed.

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