Mason Jar Banana Pudding Cups are adorable desserts in individual jars filled with layers of creamy vanilla pudding, vanilla wafers, and fresh bananas.
For extra decadence, they're topped with Cool Whip, cookie crumbles, Heath bits, and a drizzle of caramel sauce.
Banana pudding cups in individual mason jars are a fun twist on everyone's favorite classic dessert -- banana pudding!
I'm a big a fan of this Easy Banana Pudding recipe in a pretty trifle bowl and No Bake Banana Pudding Pie in a graham cracker crust, but there's just something about these darling banana pudding jars!
First off, it's just more fun to have your VERY OWN individual dessert.
Then, there's all those layers of decadent pudding, fresh banana slices, vanilla cookies, Cool Whip, and toppings!
But this jar recipe is super practical too.
After you assemble these easy no bake banana puddings in the jars, just screw the lids on, throw them in the fridge, and take them wherever you're going!
Picnics, parties, holidays -- they're the perfect grab-and-go dessert.
And they make great gifts!
More Easy Dessert Recipes
- Coconut Dream Bars
- Easy Million Dollar Bars
- Lemon Bars with Graham Cracker Crust
- Chocolate Caramel Poke Cake
Why You're Going to Love This Recipe
Easy no bake dessert you can make ahead of time for parties and holidays
Everyone loves getting their very own individual dessert in a cute jar!
Banana pudding mason jars make great gifts
Cream cheese. Use room temperature cream cheese. It needs to be very soft so it mixes into a smooth consistency without lumps.
Instant vanilla pudding mix. You can also use French vanilla instant pudding. Be sure to use instant pudding, not cook-and-serve pudding in this recipe. You can also use instant banana pudding if you like it (I find the flavor too artificial), but you'll get plenty of banana flavor without it.
Cool Whip. Cool Whip works well in this recipe because it won't weep after sitting overnight. If you're not a fan of Cool Whip, I suggest trying Truwhip. Stabilized whipped cream should also work well.
Sliced bananas. Use fresh ripe bananas that are perfect for eating -- which usually means the peels have brown spots. You'll need 48 slices, 2-3 bananas.
Toppings, optional. Add crumbled vanilla wafers, Heath bits, and a drizzle of caramel sauce on top, right before serving.
Small mason jars. You'll need 8 oz. mason jars with lids. You can also use disposable cups with lids.
How to Make Banana Pudding Cups in Mason Jars
1. Make the creamy pudding filling.
In a large bowl, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth and creamy.
In a separate medium bowl, mix the milk and pudding mix together until smooth.
Add the pudding mixture to the cream cheese a little at a time, beating well after each addition. I add it in 4 installments.
Fold ½ of the Cool Whip into the pudding mixture.
2. Assemble the banana pudding cups in mason jars.
Spoon or pipe about 3 tablespoons of pudding into the bottom of an 8 oz. mason jar or cup.
The easiest way I've found to neatly spoon it in --especially the bottom layer, which is the trickiest to do without schmutzing up the sides of the jar-- is to fill a small spoon with pudding and carefully lower the spoon down to the bottom of the cup. Then use a second spoon to scrape the pudding off.
Place two vanilla wafer cookies on top of the pudding.
Add three banana slices on top of the cookies.
Repeat with another layer of 3 tablespoons of pudding, 2 vanilla wafers, and 3 slices of banana.
Top with 3 more tablespoons of pudding. Be careful not to fill beyond the top of the jar so you can add the lids.
3. Cover and chill.
Screw the lids onto the mason jars and store them in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but overnight is best. The cookies soften (in the best way) into a cakelike texture.
4. Add toppings and serve.
Before serving, spoon or pipe the rest of the Cool Whip on top of the puddings.
Add your favorite toppings like crumbled cookies, Heath bits, caramel sauce, toasted coconut, or chocolate shavings.
Store mason jar banana pudding cups in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Be sure to use instant pudding. Cook-and-serve pudding won't thicken in this recipe.
Keep the bananas from turning brown by completely covering them with pudding.
You can spoon or pipe the pudding mixture and Cool Whip into the mason jars.
No, banana pudding is usually made with vanilla pudding. The layers of sliced ripe bananas give the pudding cups plenty of banana flavor. If you really love instant banana pudding, you can definitely use it!
You can, but it might affect the flavor. Instead, if you make sure to cover the bananas completely with pudding, it will keep the air from getting to them and keep them from turning brown.
Graham crackers, shortbread cookies, butter cookies, gingersnaps, Golden Oreos, and Nutter Butters would all be delicious in banana pudding jars.
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These 8 oz. mason jars with lids are the perfect size for these adorable little banana pudding cups.
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Banana Pudding Jars
- 8 8 oz. mason jars with lids
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 3.4 oz. boxes instant vanilla pudding
- 2 cups cold milk
- 8 ounces Cool Whip, divided
- 2-3 sliced bananas you'll need 48 slices
- 32 vanilla wafers plus more for serving
- Heath bits and caramel sauce for serving, optional
- In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, mix the pudding mix and milk until smooth.
- Add the pudding to the cream cheese a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. I add it in 4 installments. Fold in ½ of the Cool Whip.
- Spoon or pipe about 3 tablespoons of pudding into the bottom of an 8 oz. mason jar or cup. Place 2 vanilla wafers on top of the pudding. Add 3 banana slices on top of the cookies. Repeat with another layer of 3 tablespoons of pudding, 2 vanilla wafers, and 3 banana slices. Top with 3 more tablespoons of pudding.
- Add the lids to the jars and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Before serving, pipe or spoon the rest of the Cool Whip on top. Add vanilla wafer crumbles, Heath bits, and a drizzle of caramel sauce, if desired.
- Store mason jar banana pudding cups in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.