Homemade Banana Pudding is a classic no-bake recipe with layers of fresh bananas, a rich and creamy vanilla pudding layer and freshly whipped cream!
This is the perfect make-ahead dessert and a hit any time of year and is quite possibly the best banana pudding recipe I’ve ever made!
Banana Pudding: A Homemade Classic
Homemade Banana Pudding is one of those recipes that’s been around for about a bajillion years (long time right?). The funny thing about Banana Pudding is that it’s not “technically” banana pudding… it’s more like bananas with pudding.
Whatever you call it, it’s definitely a classic recipe and a favorite around here. This version is very easy to make and tastes just like Grandma’s banana pudding served after Sunday supper!
How to Make Banana Pudding
Here’s the great thing about these old fashioned type recipes, they’re always delicious with no fuss… that means not a ton of dishes or weird ingredients, just simple and yummy. Here are my favorite tips make the perfect homemade banana pudding:
- Start with a layer of ‘Nilla Wafers cookies as the base. You can use graham crackers, digestive biscuits or pretty much any vanilla/white cookie on the bottom (once they sit in the fridge they soften to a cake-like texture).
- Next layer loads of fresh bananas over the wafers.
- The best part of this dessert is the creamy layer in the middle. This layer has soft fluffy cream cheese & vanilla pudding with condensed milk which makes this dessert both rich and light at the same time.
- Top with freshly whipped cream and chill before serving. Easy peasy!
I use vanilla pudding and while you may be tempted to use banana pudding mix, I strongly urge sticking with vanilla. The banana pudding mix will change the flavor of this recipe and adds a fake banana flavor (which I actually love in candy but not in a dessert).
Add-ins & Substitutions
While some banana pudding recipes call for Cool Whip (or whipped topping), I prefer the flavor of freshly whipped cream. It makes this dessert a little bit less sweet and makes everything taste fresh.
I’ve made this recipe in both a trifle dish and a 9×13 pan. Of course, both taste exactly the same but the 9×13 pan is easier to serve.
Keep in mind that this recipe needs to sit at least 4 hours but overnight is definitely best! I add the bananas on top for garnish just before serving so they don’t brown. If you’re going to leave them out for a little bit, toss them with a bit of lemon juice after slicing to keep them from browning. Oh and speaking of ripe bananas… do you have a bunch sitting on the counter? I have some ideas for you!
What can you do with ripe bananas?
- Freeze them! Peel them and place them in a freezer bag. They’re perfect for smoothies, blended on their own for dessert or defrosting to use in baking.
- Make Banana Bread of course! THIS recipe is my go to!
- Enjoy them in one of these yummy recipes:
- Banana Muffins
- Chocolate Banana Cake
- Easy Banana Bread Recipe
- Strawberry Banana Salad
- Banana Breakfast Cookies
- Easy Banana Bread Recipe
Homemade Banana Pudding
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 5 bananas
- 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 package instant vanilla pudding mix 6 servings size
- 1 package Vanilla Wafer cookies
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
Beat cream cheese & sweetened condensed milk. Add in pudding mix, milk & vanilla and beat until completely mixed.
In a separate bowl, beat heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Set 2 1/2 cups aside.
- Fold remaining whipped cream into pudding mixture.
- Line the bottom of a 9x13 pan with vanilla wafers, top with sliced bananas. Spread pudding mixture over top.
Top with remaining whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)