This easy Banana Pudding recipe is a classic no-bake recipe with a layer 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

Banana Pudding is An Easy Favorite

Homemade Banana Pudding is one of those recipes that’s been around forever.  The funny thing about this dessert is that it’s not “technically” banana pudding… it’s more like bananas with pudding. Regardless, it’s a classic recipe, just like Grandma made for Sunday supper.

There are many versions of this recipe including the famous Magnolia Bakery banana pudding (honestly SO good) but this recipe is easy, quick, and delicious!

ingredients to make Favorite Banana Pudding with labels

Ingredients for Banana Pudding

Crust Layer: Start with a layer of ‘Nilla Wafers cookies as the base. These soften up and become almost cake-like. Other options for cookies are graham crackers, digestive biscuits, or chessmen cookies.

Bananas: Next is a layer of bananas. Choose ripe bananas that are still yellow and slightly firm. Slice them right before layering so they don’t brown. Save overripe bananas for banana bread or banana cake.

Pudding Layer: The creamy layer is a combination of cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk with instant vanilla pudding. Be sure that the box you are using is instant pudding mix (and not a cooked pudding).

Whipped Cream: You can use whipped topping (like cool whip) but the real deal fresh whipped cream is so much better in this recipe.

Vanilla Pudding for the Best Flavor

Don’t use banana pudding mix in this recipe, I strongly recommend using vanilla. Banana pudding mix will change the flavor of this dessert, adding a fake banana flavor instead of the fresh banana vanilla flavor this dessert should have.

How to Make Banana Pudding

This recipe is an easy no-fuss dessert. Make it ahead of time and let it sit overnight. This softens the cookies into a cake-like texture.

To make banana pudding, layer cookies, sliced bananas, and a creamy pudding mixture.

  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 This Recipe

  • Dish Use a 9×13 pan or two 9×9 pans. This can also be made in a trifle bowl or other large bowl and served with a spoon.
  • Bananas Completely cover the bananas with the other layers. This keeps them from turning brown.
  • Time Allow the dessert to sit at least 4 hours but overnight is better if possible. This softens the cookies.
  • 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’. I personally use Dr. Oetker Whip it.
slice of Easy Banana Pudding Recipe

Make-Ahead

Keep in mind that this recipe needs to sit 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.

Storing Leftovers

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
4.95 from 77 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Easy 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
Chill Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 15 servings

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, beat sweetened condensed milk & cream cheese with a hand mixer until fluffy. Add in pudding mix, milk & vanilla, and continue beating beat until well mixed.
  • In a separate bowl, beat heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Set 2 ½ cups aside for topping.
  • 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, top with sliced bananas. Spread the pudding mixture over top ensuring the bananas are completely covered.
  • Top with 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 or two 9×9 pans. This can be made in a trifle dish and served with a spoon.
  • Bananas Completely cover the bananas with the other layers. This keeps them from going brown.
  • Time Allow the dessert to sit at least 4 hours but overnight is better if possible. This softens the cookies.
  • 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’. Whipped topping can be used in this recipe.
4.95 from 77 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

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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 made this recipe twice, and it is absolutely the best banana pudding I have ever tasted! I made it this past weekend for my daughter-in-law’s birthday and she was thrilled. She said she’d rather have that than cake any day! As far as a stabilizer for the whipped cream, I used powdered milk, which made it creamy and helped it to hold up perfectly. Thanks for the great recipe!5 stars

  2. I hate to burst anyone’s balloon, but 15 servings out of a 9 x 13″ pan = a very tiny serving with a LOT of calories (I’m looking at the Nutr. Info. on this page). Oh, those delicious southern recipes…..

    1. It’s the perfect taste Angelina! But seriously, why must the most delicious things also have the most calories :(

      1. Hi Holly: PLEASE don’t get me wrong. I LOVE your blog, and this is definitely an awesome recipe. I’m going to try making it with ‘lighter’ (lower fat) ingredients, so I hope it works out ok. My ‘old school’ Italian father-in-law (from Sicily) often says, “Everything I like is either illegal, immoral, or fattening”. He’s SO cute, but truer words were never spoken, right?5 stars

      2. I love that! “Everything I like is either illegal, immoral, or fattening”. Let us know how it turns out!

  3. Your reply/post below (2014) states “I used 2 cups of heavy cream” However, the recipe ingredient lists “3 cups heavy cream” Knowing 1 cup of heavy cream (when whipped) doubles to 2 cups cream…
    Is the recipe correct as listed? 3 cups heavy cream yielding 6 cups of whipped cream? OR is it 2 cups heavy cream yielding 4 cups of whipped cream?

    Thank you very much for clarifying.

    Holly
    July 8, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    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!

    1. The recipe has been updated since 2014 for improved consistency. 3 cups of heavy cream is correct. Enjoy!

  4. I have made most all of these wonderful dishes and I must say that they are a hit. Everyone loves them. Thanks for posting.5 stars

  5. This was great! Used cook n serve vanilla, the big box, and cooked it with 2 cups of whole milk. Let it cool slightly then used electric mixer to beat the cream cheese (got the whipped version) and condensed milk. Everyone really loved this version at a potluck I went to today!

  6. With fresh whipped cream, I am wondering how long this will hold up, how long will it keep in the frig. and still look good? With just 2 of us, it won’t get eaten up in just a couple of days.

    1. You might want to add the whipped cream as you eat it Charlaine, I don’t think that part would hold up well in the fridge.

  7. Hi there;) making this recipe just curious how you would recommend assembling in for the trifle? Thank you so much!!

    1. Hi Candace! I would suggest layering everything so you have a single layer of cookies, bananas and a layer of the pudding mixture. The pudding mixture softens the and keeps air away from the bananas so they don’t oxidize (brown) as quickly. To top with whipped cream! Enjoy the pudding!

    2. Received this recipe from Candace Lopez and absolutely loved it!! Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe

      1. What if I don’t use a stabilizer? I just bought everything and do not have that! I’m making it tonight and cannot go back to the store! Will it be ok without it??

      2. Hi Jennifer, it should turn out fine it just won’t remain as stiff in the fridge. This won’t affect the flavor though. Enjoy!

  8. You mention (I add a packet or two) of stabilizer? Is it 0.35 oz packets? And do you add just 1 or 2. I’m making this in a few days.

  9. 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 Asbury5 stars

  10. Made this once…turned out perfect! Have TRIED to make another three times and the wafers and bananas float to the top and pudding doesn’t set up. It’s just stays runny! I decreased the milk to 1 cup thinking that may help but still a flop! Any suggestions?

  11. 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?.

  12. 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

      1. I ADD MINATURE MARSHALLOWS TO MY BANANA PUDDING TOO. THEY SOFTEN UP AFTER THEY SET FOR AWHILE.

  13. 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 haha5 stars

  14. 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! 5 stars