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If you’re looking for an easy banana pudding, then look no further: You are going to love this banana pudding fluff recipe. It’s basically your classic southern recipe but made easy with instant vanilla mix and Nila wafers all mixed up like dessert fluff salad!

banana fluff in a white bowl with banana slices on top.

Easy Banana Pudding Fluff

I can’t get over how soft this fluff is! It’s an easy banana pudding that’s cold and so fluffy to the bite. 

I’ve always loved the traditional recipebut trust me when I say this banana pudding dessert is better. I’m not sure if it’s because of how easy it is to throw together or the fact that it’s a no-bake dessert.

Why you’ll love this recipe

Southern banana pudding is typically layered with Nilla Wafers and chunks of fruit and whipped cream or cool whip. But this recipe is a relaxed version of that because it’s a fluff salad.

The beauty of fluff salads is that they can easily be made with oranges, berries, cherries, or any kind of fruit you can think of. You can use any pudding mix flavor! Really, the sky is the limit and the options are endless. No need to use anything specific, just grab what’s available and start mixing! 

ingredients in banana fluff

Ingredients Needed

  • Instant vanilla pudding mix: or banana flavor – you may substitute sugar-free
  • Milk: use any cold milk you have available but I find cows milk works best.
  • Cool Whip: Since traditional fluff recipes are made with Cool Whip, that’s what I used. It stands up better too; Cool whip is more stabilized. You may substitute sugar-free cool whip if you prefer. 
  • Marshmallows: mini marshmallows are a must and give the salad the FLUFF it needs!
  • Vanilla Wafers: we’ll break these vanilla wafer cookies into pieces
  • Bananas: your bananas should be spotty or ripe enough to taste sweet but not be bruised. You don’t want the banana slices to turn to mush when you stir them in the mixture. 

How to make banana pudding fluff

  1. Whisk the instant pudding mixture over cups of cold milk in a large mixing bowl. 
  2. Let the cold pudding mixture sit for about 3 minutes to set.
  3. Stir in Cool Whip until smooth.
  4. Then stir in the rest of the ingredients. Mini marshmallows, Nila wafer cookies, and sliced bananas.
banana fluff in a white bowl with banana slices on top.

Expert Tips & Variations

  • You can use sugar-free equivalent ingredients (pudding mix, cool whip, cookies) to make this a more diabetic friendly dessert.
  • The cookies will soften, but if you have leftovers, place in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I only recommend making this ahead by a few hours, it’s best within a day.
  • You can use vanilla or banana flavored instant pudding mix.


Does homemade banana pudding need to be refrigerated?

Store this in the refrigerator but eat it within one day, otherwise, the bananas will brown and the cookies will get soggy.

How long does banana pudding fluff last?

This will last for about a day in the fridge.

Can banana pudding be frozen?

This banana pudding can be frozen except the bananas will brown.  

banana fluff in a white bowl with banana slices on top.

Banana Pudding Fluff Salad Recipe

5 from 44 votes
This isn’t any old Banana Pudding recipe – it’s a Banana Pudding Fluff Salad! This easy no-bake dessert salad is full of bananas and Nilla Wafers and is the perfect alternative to traditional banana pudding.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Yield 8 servings
Serving Size 1 serving


  • 1 box 3.4 ounce INSTANT vanilla or banana pudding mix may substitute sugar-free
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 container 8 ounces Cool Whip may substitute sugar-free
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 3 cups Vanilla Wafers broken into pieces
  • 3 medium bananas sliced


  • Whisk pudding mix and milk in a large bowl. Let sit 3 minutes to set.
  • Stir in Cool Whip. Then stir in marshmallows, cookies, and sliced bananas.
  • Serve the same day it’s made (bananas will turn brown with age and cookies will soften).

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Don’t have Nilla Wafers? Use any shortbread or butter cookie instead.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 300kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 195mg | Potassium: 240mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 90IU | Vitamin C: 3.9mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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Last Updated on June 25, 2023

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Appreciate this concept rather than constructed version I have always used and disliked doing. So much easier! Why I never thought of deconstructing is a mystery. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

  2. I’m from south Mississippi and can tell you that, here, they are desserts and not served as a side dish. I know that there are people in certain sections of the US that do use this kind of thing as a side but not down here.

  3. I was somewhat shocked to read in your article Jello was invented in the 1970’s. I was a child in the ’40’s and we sure had Jello then and I imagine it’s been around much longer than that. Being diabetic I can’t indulge in your “fluff” desserts, but they certainly look and sound delicious.

  4. Awesome light dessert with attractive presentation of whole Graham Crackers and Maraschino cherries . Quick and easy to prepare. Will absolutely serve again !!

    1. I am from the Puget Sound and am 62..I think these are an age thing recipe. We all grew up on these in the 50’s and 60’s and its not a Holiday without all the fluff and stuff. Thank you for the memories

      Banana Fluff can be made into a Banana Split which I found out the modern day kids seem to have never seen..sigh Here goes, leave out the cookies and banana from the salad. Slice a banana lengthwise (thus “banana Split”) pile up some fluff on the slices, sprinkle with crushed cookes and a ribbon of hershey syrup, top with nuts if you like and a maraschino cherry

  5. Only had one banana, so added strawberries and blueberries.  Broken graham crackers instead of vanilla wafers. This is what I had on hand?

  6. Great salad. Made it for Memorial Day picnic.
    One thing , though, I believe Jello brand started around 1895, not in the 70s as your article says. Gelatin has been around since the 1600s.