Sex And The City may have put Magnolia Bakery’s cupcakes on the map, but for anyone who’s stopped by the shop, its banana pudding is legendary. It’s got the kind of following that makes people dream (and also, tweet) about bathing in the stuff. That moves them to buy 1 million tubs of it a year. That makes pregnant women come in and order a party-size tub just to satiate their cravings.
No, really. Magnolia Bakery’s Chief Baking Officer, Bobbie Lloyd, witnessed that last one personally. “I said, ‘oh, are you having a baby shower or a big party?'” Lloyd asked, when she saw the woman carrying the massive tub. “She said, ‘no, it’s just me and a spoon.'”
The obsession’s so real that the company’s recently launched specialty flavors for each month this summer, based on other popular treats in the store. There’s rainbow banana pudding in June (it’s topped with colorful confetti sprinkles)and a coconut, chocolate chip, and graham cracker-studded version, inspired by Magic Bars, in July. August features a s’mores pudding — complete with chocolate pudding and a Marshmallow Fluff swirl — and September brings us Salted Caramel, a dulce de leche pudding mixed with thick caramel sauce and flaky Maldon salt.
As if that weren’t enough, the brand recently launched nationwide shipping. You can place an order on Magnolia Bakery’s website, and tubs are shipped out in packs of 6 containers — enough to feed 10-12 people, or one very hungry mom-to-be, perhaps — every Thursday.
To celebrate this news, the bakery let us behind the glass counter, showing how the banana pudding is made.
1. This Is The Secret Ingredient For That Perfectly Fluffy Texture.
Magnolia Bakery’s pudding isn’t dense and gloopy; it’s almost like a mousse. That light texture earns it rave reviews, and there’s a secret to getting it that way. Bakers fold homemade whipped cream into the vanilla pudding. It fluffs up the treat without sacrificing its flavor — or making it cloyingly sweet.
2. Go All Goldilocks On Those Layers.
The thing that trips people up the most, Lloyd said, is getting the layers of pudding, Nilla wafers, and bananas just right. “Some people like to make theirs cakier, meaning more cookies in the layers. I like mine creamier,” Lloyd explained. “You always want to use a pan that’s at least 4 inches deep. That’ll give you the right ratio of pudding to other ingredients. Too many cookies and it’ll be dry. Too much pudding and it’ll just taste like whipped cream.”
With a 4-inch deep pan, aim for creating three layers of pudding, wafers, and bananas to get that ratio in line with Magnolia’s.
3. Chill, Baby, Chill.
As tempting as it is to dig in as soon as you make the pudding, Lloyd urges you to wait. And not just an hour or two, when the wafer cookies have softened a little. The peak level of freshness, the Bakery found, is six hours after it’s been assembled.
From there, Lloyd suggests eating the pudding within 48 hours. If it lasts that long, of course.
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