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Magnolias Banana Chocolate Pudding
Credit: Courtesy of Magnolia Bakery

My first time was on a warm August afternoon on N.Y.C.’s Upper East Side. It was quick, and I fell in love immediately. One never forgets her encounter with Magnolia Bakery’s Famous Banana Pudding.

That heavenly concoction of creamy vanilla pudding, vanilla wafers, and fresh bananas has made a name for itself as one of the most delicious desserts in the nation. Those you haven’t been able to visit one of Magnolia Bakery’s locations still have the opportunity to recreate the pillowy pudding in your own kitchen, thanks to the shop’s cookbook ($19; amazon.com). It’s a crowd-pleasing classic.

So when I heard that Magnolia Bakery was releasing a chocolate version of its banana pudding, I was equal parts excited and skeptical. I’m a firm believer in the philosophy, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” and am also #TeamVanilla when it comes to treats like ice cream and cake.

My suspicions were put to rest as soon as I lifted the first spoonful out of Magnolia’s signature container. The classic Nilla wafers have been replaced with something akin to a finely crumbled Oreo biscuit, yielding a cookies 'n' cream-like quality to the dessert; the pudding, still incredibly fluffy, has a pleasingly light cocoa flavor that tempers the sweetness of the original vanilla version. I finished the medium-sized container in record time.

The verdict: While the vanilla pudding will always hold a special place in my heart, it’s safe to say that Magnolia’s chocolate banana pudding is as good as the original. Head over to the bakery today if you know what’s good for you.