Magnolia Bakery's Iconic Banana Pudding Uses An Instant Mix

When baking desserts, there is nothing more fun than watching someone take a bite and turn to you, excited to ask, "What's in that?" Creating twists on old favorites can create a sense of comfort as well as a bit of intrigue. While sneaking unexpected flavors into desserts isn't an entirely novel idea, it can still be a lot of fun for both the baker and the recipient.

Adding a little bit of sea salt to a chocolate caramel tarte can really make the flavor pop, just like adding a bit of chili pepper and cinnamon to hot chocolate can give it a zip that leaves you wanting more. And there's another way to add something unexpected to your baked goods that makes them come alive — and this particular ingredient may also come equipped with a heavy dose of childhood nostalgia. 

New York City's famous Magnolia Bakery utilizes this technique with their famous banana pudding (per the New York Times).

Instant pudding mix does the trick

According to the New York Times, adding instant pudding mix to desserts can really up the ante for those who love a sweet treat. It's a technique that many professional bakers use and one of the most famous examples is in Magnolia Bakery's famous banana pudding. Their philosophy is that the flavor of vanilla instant pudding mix is one that is iconic and deeply rooted in childhood nostalgia. It creates an emotional response when someone eats it and it's one that can't be replicated — even with the most delicious homemade pastry cream. This idea is definitely not a fluke. Magnolia's banana pudding accounts for 30% of their sales, per New York Times, which is a pretty high statistic for a bakery that is most widely known for making cupcakes. 

According to Southern Living, instant pudding mix is the secret ingredient in many of their favorite decadent treats including, chocolate trifle, lemon tiramisu and death by chocolate cake. So, next time you want to kick it up a notch with a dessert, try adding some of your favorite pudding mix into the recipe. Your inner child may thank you.