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.
Why THIS is your GO TO Banana Pudding Recipe
It’s like heaven in a pan, really. My mouth waters at the thought of this pudding, from the cookies to the pudding to the 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!
Easy Banana Pudding Recipe Video
Table of Contents
Ingredients in Easy Banana Pudding
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: You’ll need milk to make your 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.
How do you make easy banana pudding from scratch?
1. Pudding: Whisk pudding mix, milk, sweetened condensed milk, and both extracts in a large bowl until smooth. Set aside to set for 5 minutes.
2. Whipped Cream: Make whipping cream by beating heavy whipping cream with powdered sugar with a hand or stand mixer until stiff peaks form.
3. Assemble: 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.
3. Chill: Cover and chill at least one hour before serving.
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.
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!
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.
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.
This is similar to her recipe except she uses Cool Whip, so you can substitute 2 containers whipped topping for the fresh whipped cream.
I don’t recommend freezing banana pudding. The bananas will get slimy.
Tips for Easy Banana Pudding
- 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.
Other Banana Recipes
- Banana Pudding Pie has a shortbread crust.
- Banana Pudding Lasagna Lush Dessert
- Banana Pudding Fluff Salad
- Click here for easy ways to use overripe BANANAS
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Easy Banana Pudding Recipe
- 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
- 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).
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
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Last Updated on June 10, 2021
All text and images © DOROTHY KERN for Crazy for Crust. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Disclaimer: Nutrition information shown is not guaranteed to be accurate.
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Published on: June 10, 2021