This Banana Pudding recipe is a no-bake dessert with layers of fresh banana slices, 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.

plated Easy Banana Pudding Recipe with a bite taken out

An Easy Make-Ahead Dessert

Homemade Banana Pudding is one of those desserts that everyone seems to love. There are many versions of this recipe including the famous Magnolia Bakery banana pudding (honestly SO good) but this recipe is a easy, quick, and delicious favorite!

  • easy to make – no baking required
  • prep ahead
  • family favorite
ingredients to make Favorite Banana Pudding with labels

Ingredients for Banana Pudding

Crust Layer – ‘Nilla Wafers cookies as the base. These soften up and take on a cake-like texture. Other options for cookies are graham crackers, digestive biscuits, or chessmen cookies.

Bananas – Ripe bananas that are yellow and slightly firm will hold up the best. Slice them right before layering so they don’t brown. Overripe bananas aren’t ideal for this pudding, they’re better suited for banana bread or banana cake.

Pudding Layer – This is where the magic happens. Cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, and instant vanilla pudding mix create a decadent creamy base. Ensure that you choose instant pudding mix (and not cooked pudding).

Whipped Cream – Fresh whipped cream is best in this recipe however, whipped topping (like Cool Whip) can be substituted.

Vanilla for the Best Flavor

Skip the banana pudding mix in this recipe, the fake banana flavor overtakes the recipe. Opt for vanilla pudding (with a little fresh vanilla extract if you’d like) so the dessert has a fresh banana flavor.

How to Make Banana Pudding

This recipe is an easy no-fuss dessert. Prep it ahead of time and let it sit overnight so the cookies soften.

  1. Mix Creamy Layer – Make the cream cheese/pudding mixture (per the recipe below).
  2. Make Whipped Cream – Make homemade whipped cream. Fold some of it into the cream cheese mixture.
  3. Layer the Banana Pudding – Layer cookies and then bananas in a 9×13 pan or two 9×9 pans. Top with the cream cheese mixture and finally the whipped cream.
  4. Refrigerate – Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Tips for Perfect Banana Pudding

  • Dish: Use a 9×13 pan, two 9×9 pans, or a trifle bowl and serve with a spoon.
  • Bananas: Completely cover the layer of bananas with the pudding mixture to keep them from browning.
  • Chill: Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, but overnight is better if possible.
  • Whipped Cream: I add a packet or two of stabilizer to my whipped cream which is a powder that keeps your whipped cream from ‘wilting’ (try Dr. Oetker Whip it).
slice of Easy Banana Pudding Recipe

Make-Ahead and Storage

Keep in mind that this banana pudding recipe needs to sit for at least 4 hours but overnight is definitely best!

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.

This recipe is best served the day after making it but will last a few days in the fridge. The bananas may get a bit weepy but they’ll still taste great!

The Best Banana Desserts

Did your family love this Banana Pudding Recipe? Leave a rating and a comment below!

slice of Easy Banana Pudding Recipe
4.97 from 107 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Banana Pudding Recipe

Easy 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!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chill Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 35 minutes
Servings 15 servings

Equipment

Ingredients  

  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 package instant vanilla pudding mix 6 servings size
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 5 ripe bananas
  • 1 package vanilla wafer cookies*

Instructions 

  • In a large bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk and cream cheese. Use a hand mixer to beat until fluffy.
  • Add in pudding mix, milk, and vanilla. Continue beating until well combined.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
  • Reserve 2 ½ cups of whipped cream for topping. Gently fold the remaining whipped cream into the pudding mixture.
  • Line the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan or two 9×9-inch pans with vanilla wafers, and top with sliced bananas. Spread the pudding mixture over top ensuring the bananas are completely covered.
  • Top with the remaining whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
  • Garnish with additional banana slices for serving if desired.

Video

Notes

  • Cookies Other options for cookies are graham crackers, digestive biscuits, or chessmen cookies.
  • Dish Use a 9×13 pan, two 9×9 pans, or a trifle dish. Serve with a spoon.
  • Bananas Completely cover the bananas with the other layers to keep them from browning.
  • Chill Allow the dessert to sit at least 4 hours but overnight is better if possible. This softens the cookies.
4.97 from 107 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 477 | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 238mg | Potassium: 359mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 1060IU | Vitamin C: 4.4mg | Calcium: 162mg | Iron: 0.2mg

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

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Banana pudding prepared in a cake pan with text
a slice of banana pudding on a plate with text
a slice of banana pudding topped with a wafer and slice of banana with text
top image - a slice of creamy banana pudding. Bottom image - whipped topping being spread on banana pudding with text

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About the author

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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Comments

  1. I have been baking for over 50 years and don’t really consider anything without chocolate worth making. However, I had a craving for pound cake. I didn’t want to dig through my Mom’s recipes so I took a chance on this one. Oh my goodness!!! So glad I did. I’m so obsessed with this cake that I’m baking them to give to friends and family this Christmas. Fabulous recipe. It’s definitely a keeper.5 stars

  2. Made this for company this weekend. It is rich and delicious and everyone loved it! Followed recipe, but substituted homemade graham cracker crust.5 stars