This Easy Banana Pudding recipe is a delicious no-bake dessert with layers of vanilla wafers, ripe bananas, and creamy vanilla pudding in a trifle bowl or 9 x 13 pan. It's the perfect make ahead dessert for Thanksgiving, Easter, and family gatherings.
This is the best banana pudding recipe ever. It's luxuriously creamy, filled with delicious banana flavor, and super easy to make.
The no bake banana pudding filling is ridiculously decadent and velvety, made with instant pudding mix, condensed milk, cream cheese, and Cool Whip.
Layered with vanilla wafers and fresh banana slices in a pretty trifle dish, clear glass bowl, or casserole dish, it's quite possibly the world's most delicious dessert.
This classic banana pudding recipe is the perfect dessert to make ahead because it needs to chill for AT LEAST 4 hours, but overnight is even better.
If you love this no bake banana pudding recipe, you have to try this delicious No Bake Banana Pudding Pie and these adorable Banana Pudding Cups in mason jars.
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 recipe for a classic dessert
Perfect make-ahead dessert for Easter, Thanksgiving, or any get together
Easy creamy banana pudding comes together with simple ingredients
No bake banana pudding with cream cheese is super creamy and decadent
Please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the full list of ingredients.
Cream cheese. It's important to use very soft cream cheese so it mixes up smoothly. No one wants lumps!
Sweetened condensed milk. Banana pudding with condensed milk is extra velvety and decadent.
Instant vanilla pudding mix. Vanilla or French vanilla pudding are both great. You can also use instant banana pudding, but know that the layers of fresh bananas add plenty of banana flavor.
Please be sure to get INSTANT pudding. Cook-and-serve pudding won't set up with this recipe. The boxes all look the same, but you can quickly tell the difference because cook & serve pudding has a spoon on the box.
Cool Whip. If you're not a fan of Cool Whip, I encourage you to try Truwhip. Click this link to find out more about it. It behaves just like Cool Whip.
Regular whipped cream will deflate and get runny overnight. If you choose to use whipped cream instead, use a stabilized whipped cream. My Caramel Whipped Cream would be really delicious!
Vanilla wafers. Banana pudding with Nilla Wafers is a classic, but you can also use butter cookies or Pepperidge Farm Chessmen Cookies, which are yummy shortbread cookies.
Fresh sliced bananas. Use fresh bananas that are ripe enough to eat, that is the peels are speckled with brown spots, but not black. We're not making banana bread :).
How to Make Easy Banana Pudding
1. Make the creamy pudding mixture.
In a large bowl, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth and creamy. NO lumps!
Add the sweetened condensed milk and beat until smooth.
In a separate mixing bowl, mix the vanilla pudding mix and cold milk together until smooth.
Add the pudding to the cream cheese mixture and mix until completely combined and creamy.
Fold in ½ of the Cool Whip.
2. Assemble the banana pudding.
Place a layer of vanilla wafers on the bottom of the dish.
Add a layer of banana slices on top of the cookies, followed by a layer of pudding.
Completely cover the bananas with pudding to keep them from turning brown.
Repeat 1-3 times, depending on the size of your dish.
Four layers worked perfectly in my trifle bowl with anywhere from 12-16 cookies in each layer of vanilla wafer cookies. One to two layers will work well in a 9 x 13 pan.
Spread the remaining Cool Whip on top of the pudding.
3. Chill, serve, enjoy!
Cover the banana pudding with plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but overnight is best.
This gives the cookies time to cookies to soften and become cakelike.
Before serving, crush 1-2 more vanilla wafers on top of the Cool Whip. If desired, add banana slices on top.
Store leftover banana pudding wrapped in plastic wrap or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Use very soft cream cheese so it mixes smoothly without lumps.
Chill the banana pudding for at least 4 hours before serving, but overnight is best for soft, cakelike cookies.
Completely cover the bananas with pudding to keep them from turning brown.
Add the crushed vanilla wafers right before serving or they'll get soggy.
The secret to preventing bananas from turning brown in southern banana pudding with condensed milk is keeping them from being exposed to air.
When you add the layer of pudding, completely cover the bananas to seal them in. Add fresh bananas to the top of the banana dessert right before serving.
There may be a couple of reasons why your banana pudding doesn't set up. One very common culprit is accidentally grabbing cook-and-serve pudding instead of instant pudding. It's easy to do because the boxes look nearly identical. Just remember that the cook and serve pudding boxes have a spoon on the cover.
Another reason may be using fresh whipped cream, which can deflate during the overnight chill time. Banana pudding with Cool Whip is stabilized and won't turn watery overnight in the fridge. If you decide to us whipped cream instead of whipped topping, make stabilized whipped cream to keep it from weeping.
Nilla wafers and Pepperidge Farm Chessmen Cookies are the most popular cookies to use in a homemade banana pudding recipe.
Other options to try include graham crackers, Nutter Butters, Golden Oreos, Biscoff, gingersnaps, lady fingers, and butter cookies.
Get the Stuff I Use
My Anchor Hocking trifle dish pattern has been discontinued, but this one is a similar size.
My 7-speed Kitchen Aid electric mixer is a workhorse. It comes with a handy whisk attachment, perfect for whipping egg whites for macaroons and cream for whipped cream or no-churn ice cream.
More Delicious Desserts
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Easy Banana Pudding
- 8 ounces softened cream cheese
- 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 3.4 oz. boxes instant vanilla pudding
- 2 ¾ cups cold milk
- 8 ounces Cool Whip, divided
- 60 vanilla wafers you may need more if using a 9 x 13 pan
- 5-7 ripe bananas, sliced
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth. Add the condensed milk and mix until there are no lumps.
- In a second bowl, mix the pudding mix and milk together until smooth.
- Pour the pudding into the cream cheese mixture and mix until completely combined.
- Fold in ½ of the Cool Whip.
- Line the bottom of the dish with a layer of vanilla wafers. Add a layer of banana slices on top of the cookies. Spread a layer of the pudding mixture evenly over the bananas. Repeat 1-3 times, depending on the size of your dish. Four layers worked perfectly in my trifle dish with 12-16 Nilla Wafers in each layer. One to two layers will work well in a 9 x 13 pan.
- Spread the remaining Cool Whip on top of the pudding.
- Cover and chill for at least 4 hours, but overnight is best.
- Crush a few Nilla Wafers on top of the Cool Whip immediately before serving. If desired, serve with fresh banana slices.
- Store leftover banana pudding wrapped in plastic wrap or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Use very soft cream cheese so it mixes smoothly without lumps.
- Chill the banana pudding for at least 4 hours before serving, but overnight is best for soft, cakelike cookies.
- Completely cover the bananas with pudding to keep them from turning brown.
- Add the crushed vanilla wafers right before serving or they'll get soggy.
Recipe inspired by Allrecipes.
This Is the exact recipe of Paula Deen, " Not Your Mama 's Banana Pudding". In which she do state, you can use vanilla wafers, instead of Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies. Always give the credit, to the original person, who developed the recipe.
Cara Lanz says
Hi, Lachelle, I love Paula Deen recipes! And have shared her recipes for Corn Casserole, Sweet Potato Casserole, and Green Bean Casserole. This recipe is slightly different than hers.