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This is the ULTIMATE Easy Banana Pudding Recipe, made with butter cookies and fresh whipped cream. The pudding might be semi-homemade but no one will know – it’s creamy and thick from a secret ingredient. This is the perfect potluck no bake dessert.

bananas and pudding stacked with crumbles and banana slices on top.


Why We Love This Banana Pudding

It’s like heaven in a pan, a classic southern dessert. My mouth waters at the thought of this pudding, from the cookies to the pudding to the whipped cream topping. This recipe is:

  • EASY to assemble – anyone can make this
  • Semi-Homemade – I skip making my own pudding – no one will know!
  • Uses simple butter cookies for the filling
  • Never weeps and sets up perfectly! It really is the best banana pudding recipe.
ingredients in pudding on marble background.

Ingredients Needed

  • Pudding Mix: the base of the pudding is from instant vanilla pudding.I just think it’s delicious and so much easier than making your own – plus it doesn’t weep.
  • Milk: It’s important to use cows milk when making instant pudding. You can use nonfat, low-fat or regular.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: This adds a richness and sweetness to the pudding, making it taste homemade.
  • Bananas: While recipes with bananas often call for overripe, we actually want just-ripe bananas for pudding so they don’t get too brown or mushy. Think just yellow, or yellow with a hint of green.
  • Cookies: I love using butter cookies, or shortbread cookies, like the Pepperidge Farm Chessman Cookies, but you can also use Nilla Wafers. I have one of those recipes too: Nilla Wafer Banana Pudding.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: I love making FRESH whipped cream for this recipe. It tastes so good and dresses up the boxed pudding. You can also use cool whip.
  • Banana Extract: I also added a bit of banana extract to the pudding to amp up the banana flavor of the recipe.

Making Easy Banana Pudding Steps

  1. Whisk pudding mix, milk, sweetened condensed milk, and both extracts in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Set aside to set for 5 minutes.
  2. Make whipped cream by beating heavy whipping cream with powdered sugar with a hand or stand mixer until stiff peaks form.
  3. Place one layer of cookies in the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish (about 24 cookies, depending on what kind you’re using), breaking some to fit if needed.
  4. Fold half the whipped cream into the pudding mixture. Pour half on top of the cookies. Cover with banana slices, then the final layer of pudding mixture. Spread the remaining whipped cream on top of the pudding and top with crumbled cookies.
  5. Cover and chill in the fridge at least one hour before serving.
bananas and pudding stacked with crumbles on top.

Can you make banana pudding with cool whip?

You definitely can! I used fresh whipped cream for this recipe because I love the taste of that more, but you can substitute cool whip for an even easier recipe.

Tip From Dorothy

Expert Tips

  • Use any kind of cookie you like, but I love the Chessman butter cookies.
  • Instant vanilla pudding makes this come together quick with sweetened condensed milk.
  • Feel free to swap cool whip for the whipped cream.
  • Use just ripe bananas for best results.
bananas and pudding stacked with crumbles and banana slices on top.

FAQ

How long does banana pudding last?

I mean, if you’re anything like me, about a day? Ha, but – I’d make this only a day ahead max, and eat it within 48 hours so the bananas don’t get funky. That makes this the perfect potluck dessert!

How do you keep banana pudding from getting watery?

The best way is to use it within a few days. After a few days the whipped topping will weep and the bananas will get gooey.

How do you keep bananas from turning brown in banana pudding?

You can brush them with a bit of lemon juice if you’re worried about it, but use fresh just ripe bananas and they should stay okay – as long as they’re covered with pudding – for a day or so.

Can banana pudding be frozen?

I don’t recommend freezing banana pudding. The bananas will get slimy.

bananas and pudding stacked with crumbles on top.

Easy Banana Pudding Recipe

4.63 from 8 votes
An Easy Banana Pudding Recipe is the perfect potluck or summer dessert made with butter cookies, pudding mix, fresh bananas and whipped cream.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Chil Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Yield 12 servings
Serving Size 1 serving

Ingredients
 

  • 1 (3.4 ounce) box Instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 ¼ cups (296ml) milk
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (not fat-free)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon banana extract optional
  • 2 cups (474ml) heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup (28g) powdered sugar
  • 2 packages Chessman butter cookies or other similar sized butter cookie or shortbread cookie
  • 5-6 medium bananas sliced
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Instructions

  • Whisk pudding mix, milk, sweetened condensed milk, and both extracts in a large bowl until smooth. Set aside to set for 5 minutes.
  • Make whipping cream by beating heavy whipping cream with powdered sugar with a hand or stand mixer until stiff peaks form.
  • Place one layer of cookies in the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish (about 24 cookies, depending on what kind you’re using), breaking some to fit if needed.
  • Fold half the whipped cream into the pudding mixture. Pour half on top of the cookies. Cover with banana slices, then the rest of the pudding mixture.
  • Spread the remaining whipped cream on top of the pudding and top with crumbled cookies. Cover and chill at least one hour before serving.
  • Best eaten within 24 hours or up to 2 days (the bananas may discolor after a day or so).

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • You can swap vanilla wafers for the butter cookies, but the Chessman cookies are traditional.
  • Feel free to make Paula Deen’s version with Cool Whip instead of fresh whipped cream.
  • You can use French vanilla pudding mix as well.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 583kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 420mg | Potassium: 314mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 720IU | Vitamin C: 4.5mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 2.2mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Favorite Banana Recipes



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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10 Comments

  1. I am so excited about finding this recipe and I’m so anxious to make/eat it. I may just hook one up this evening and another for Thanksgiving. Thank you so much. I will let you know how it goes. Jeanette Marie, North Carolina

  2. Followed the recipe exactly, let it sit over night in the fridge and my pudding is still liquid consistency. Very disappointed.

  3. a great cake, I made your recipe so delicious that my family thought of buying it at the shop, thank you very much

  4. Why don’t you use the banana flavor of instant pudding? It already has the banana flavoring in it.

    This looks great. I will have to try the Chessman cookies in it. I have a weird thing about not liking soggy brown bananas or soggy cookies in puddings, so I make the pudding and put the cookies and freshly sliced bananas on top just before serving! I know, we all have our little issues, LOL! Thanks for posting this wonderful dessert that seems perfect for a potluck! 🙂

    1. I made this recipe but substituted 3 1oz boxes of instant pudding instead of one 3.4 oz. boxes because that’s what I had. I added milk and sweetened condensed milk as directed. After folding in Kool whip mixture was very thick. Could not pour, had to scrape off spoon and spread on. What happened?

      1. You may have needed to adjust the recipe for being short that .4 oz difference? The sweetened condensed milk is very thick. If you reduced it then you probably would have had a wonderful consistency.

    2. Because you can control the flavor by using extract. Plus, it just tastes better than the box! Lol I highly suggest you give it a try sometime.