Homemade Banana Pudding

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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!

Pan full of homemade banana pudding cut into squares

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!

Single slice of Homemade Banana Cream pudding on plate

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:

  1. 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).
  2. Next layer loads of fresh bananas over the wafers.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).

slice of easy banana pudding with bite taken out

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 add a packet or two of stabilizer to my whipped cream which is a powder that keeps your whipped cream from ‘wilting’. I personally use Dr. Oetker Whip it and have always had great results.

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.

Finished Banana pudding recipe in baking dish

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?

  1. 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.
  2. Make Banana Bread of course! THIS recipe is my go to!
  3.  Enjoy them in one of these yummy recipes:
Banana Pudding In a Baking Dish
4.78 from 9 votes
Review Recipe

Homemade Banana Pudding

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 15 servings
Author Holly N.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Homemade Banana Pudding is an old fashioned no bake recipe with layers of fresh bananas, a rich and creamy vanilla pudding layer and freshly whipped cream!


  • 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

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  1. Beat cream cheese & sweetened condensed milk. Add in pudding mix, milk & vanilla and beat until completely mixed.

  2. 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.

  3. Fold remaining whipped cream into pudding mixture.
  4. Line the bottom of a 9x13 pan with vanilla wafers, top with sliced bananas. Spread pudding mixture over top.
  5. Top with remaining whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Recipe Notes

Nutritional information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 477, Fat: 29g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Cholesterol: 92mg, Sodium: 238mg, Potassium: 359mg, Carbohydrates: 50g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 34g, Protein: 6g, Vitamin A: 21.2%, Vitamin C: 5.3%, Calcium: 16.2%, Iron: 1.2%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword banana pudding, banana pudding recipe, old fashioned
Homemade Banana Pudding is an old fashioned 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!
Homemade Banana Pudding is an old fashioned 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!

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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  1. I love how simple your recipes are….more convenient for me now that I am 76 yrs old and don’t get around as well as I use to Thanks so much Joan Asbury

  2. Hi Holly, I love all the recipes I’ve tried from your site.

    In the Banana Pudding recipe notes, you mentioned a “stabalizer for the whipped cream, but didn’t say how to incorporate it into the whipped cream?.

  3. Hi Holly,
    I live in New Zealand so am checking on one of your ingredients. Are the vanilla wafers, in the banana pudding, like the wafer you can buy to put a slice of ice cream into? We also have wafer biscuits in New Zealand and they are pink wafers put together with a vanilla cream icing. Are these the same wafers you are referring to?
    I really enjoy your posts, but do have the odd problem with ingredients when I don’t know what they are Lindy
    PS I also don’t think we have “stabiliser” for the cream, in New Zealand?

    1. Hello, Lindy,
      I’m a dual national USA and New Zealand, so I’ll provide some suggestions. Banana pudding is essentially a trifle, but instead of a sponge cake, the recipe calls for ‘Nilla Wafers, which as Holly mentioned, are hard, small cookies about the size of a 50 cent piece. They are considered biscuits (cookies in the USA, not USA “biscuits”, which are similar to scones) for young children, if that gives you any ideas for substitutions. I would not use any vanilla creme wafers, as that is not what ‘Nilla Wafers are.

      ‘Nilla Wafers have the following description in Wikipedia, which I hope helps you find an appropriate substitution: “The original Nilla product is the Nilla wafer, a round, thin, light wafer cookie made with flour, sugar, shortening, and eggs.[2] Originally flavored with real vanilla, Nilla wafers have been primarily flavored with synthetic vanillin since at least 1994, a change which prompted some criticism.”

      I would suggest trying the following: a thin layer of sponge cake, no more than a centimeter high to get the same “feel” as the ‘Nilla Wafers which soften in recipes like this. Plain shortbread or digestive biscuits. I think plain shortbread would be the closest to ‘Nilla Wafers, but if I were to make it in NZ, I would use a plain sponge cake.

      Basically, if it is a cake or biscuit that you could or would use in a trifle, you most likely can substitute it for ‘Nilla Wafers.

      I hope that helps.

      — Jewel

  4. This recipe is so simple, but so so amazing.
    , I made it with my Delicake cake pan for no bake cakes, and it came out so professionally that my guests thought I actually bought it haha

  5. This is divine! My husband and I love the not so sweet whipped cream with the rest of the sweetness of the rest of the ingredients. Another keeper recipe! Love! 

  6. First, it would be nice to be able to comment without scrolling through all of the previous comments. Did I miss an easier way?
    Secondly, although this recipe is good and a lot like Paula Deen’s banana pudding recipe, when someone says “homemade” I don’t think it should contain an instant pudding mix.
    Thirdly, only a quarter cup of sugar in three cups of whipped cream??

    1. Thanks for the suggestion on the comments. Yes, we find the sugar in the whipped cream is enough, the remaining ingredients have enough sweetness. Enjoy!

    2. I can never get enough of people being rude about the FREE work and recipes of others. If you don’t like the way a website is or the title or ingredients in a recipe spend 30 hours a week on your own d*** website so that people can be rude about the way you do things.

  7. Great banana pudding!! Easy tasty make it for Christmas dinner a big hit!! Just made another, my husband asked for it!! 

  8. Believe me when I tell you this; I taste tested this recipe with my family who are stern food critics on my recipes and they loved it. Not only that, I even took approximately 20 samples to work and everyone loved it. Do not change the recipe and you will have an excellent banana pudding. I love this recipe because the way my granny and her siblings made it required eggs and stove top cooking…..

  9. I made this today, and I had to make it two times because of a mistake on my part. When buying the vanilla pudding mix make sure it’s the “instant pudding” and not the cook and serve pudding. With the cook and serve pudding it came out super soup like and nasty so back to the store I went and bought the instant mix and it was perfect I cannot wait to taste it! 

    1. I can’t say for sure what went wrong as I haven’t had that problem. Did you use any light or diet products? Was your pudding instant pudding?

    1. Arlene, a few things that may help. Make sure that you use dry pudding mix in step 1. Beat the cream with the sugar until STIFF peaks form. Also, make sure to put 2 1/2 cups of the whipped cream aside for the final step.

  10. I am semi dairy free. I would love to make this but i have yet to find a milk that congeals like dairy. Any suggestions?

    1. Using the dairy free milk of your choice, blended with an extra banana or two, may give you that extra bit of viscosity that you desire.

  11. I made this yesterday for the 4th!! It was amazing only one piece left which my son ate last night! He texted me from his room “that banana stuff was good! Good job! Loll I’ll be making this again very soon

  12. wow! this is quite nice. Without eating it yet, I can bet it will be yummy. Holly, I want to ask how ripe should the banana be?


    1. In step 2, you will save 2 1/2 cups of the whipped cream for topping the dessert at the end.
      In step 3, the remaining whipped cream is folded into the pudding mixture.

  14. My initial reaction was to substitute the vanilla pudding mix with banana mix. But you pointed out the fake flavor. So I wonder this: In the bowl with the cream cheese, pudding mix, milk, etc, can an actual banana be added for flavor, yet still keep the pudding consistency?

    I almost never follow recipes…..except when it comes to desserts, as they are not my forte. Your opinion/expertise on this is truly welcome.

    1. I have only made this recipe as written, but if you decide to make your modification please let me know how it turns out!

    2. Last time I made this, I mashed a banana (they were fairly ripe) and incorporated it into the pudding while I was folding in the cream. Had I thought of it earlier in the process I’d have probably creamed it in while I was softening the cream cheese. I didn’t really notice a significant textural difference adding the banana puree, but it did seem to turn up the banana flavor a bit.

      Honestly, when the original recipe rests you do get a very nice banana flavor, but I grew up doing it with cooked pudding which has the extra heat to extract the banana flavor while it sets — so I like it a little bit more pronounced.

  15. Love old fashioned banana pudding! This was a favorite at our house growing up. I need to make it again!

    1. Yes, the cookies do get soft, almost cake like. The bananas don’t turn brown as they’re completely covered by the pudding mixture so they don’t oxidize.

  16. Instant pudding mix we have to cook n mix or use as it is in powder form?or u mean to take ready to eat pudding where cooking not required?i m confuse. Plz help me

  17. Hi Holly! I’m planning on making this dessert tonight for an event that is tomorrow afternoon. I’m afraid that the bananas may brown. Do you think it’s okay for me to prepare the pudding and whipped cream tonight and layer everything in the morning?

    Thanks for the recipe!

  18. Thank you so much for the great, simple & frugal recipes you post. I really like the fact that you have links to ingredient/utensils used in recipes. What an awesome touch! You’re the first person I’ve seen do that. I wish other bloggers would do the same because half the time I don’t have a clue what they’re talking about. I’ve cooked for over 50+ years but due to health issues I’ve forgotten what/how to cook. I rely heavily on people like you to feed my family. You are such a blessing to me & many others like me. Most of all, THANK YOU for the hours of time you’ve spent publishing this site. It’s a beautiful act of kindness you’re doing for so many of us.

    1. <3 Thank you for stopping by and your comment Venus!

      I am so glad you are enjoying my recipes and find the links helpful. If you ever have any questions or need a hand with something, please feel free to send me a message directly!

  19. Thank you so much for sharing your post with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great week and come back to see us real soon!
    Miz Helen

  20. looks great, thanks for the recipe. Thanks for linking up at Tell Me About It Tuesday. We hope you hop over and share with us again next week.

  21. This looks amazing, Holly! To be a favorite for sure! Thank you bunches for linking up and partying with us this week!

      1. Hey KC in Austraila, A shortening bread cookie or Lorna Doone if you have that brand there,would work. You can Google Lorna Doone Cookie to get ideal of what you may have there thats similar.

  22. It doesn’t say anything about or how much vanilla to use. And if using cool whip how much would I need?

    Thank you, Bonnie

    1. Hi Bonnie!

      Thank you for stopping by! I used 2 cups of heavy cream. I did find this information online: If recipe calls for one cup liquid heavy cream to be whipped (will double in volume), use 2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping. I haven’t tried it this way but I would love to hear how it works for you!

  23. Oh man, I am such a sucker for a good banana pudding, but so picky about them. Cream cheese?! Sign me up!! Looks gorgeous AND scrumptious! Stopping by from the Hearth and Soul hop :)

  24. oh, how this reminds me of a fantastic dessert I ate at in the West Village of NYC! My hub still brings it home for me every bday! Not anymore…I will be making this nibble and cannot wait!!! Thanks!!! -Nic