Favorite Banana Pudding Recipe

5 from 4 votes

This is my Favorite Banana Pudding Recipe! It’s easy to make and even easier to eat! It’s also a famous banana pudding with sweetened condensed milk: it’s a Magnolia Bakery copycat recipe!

I love banana pudding but this is my favorite one yet.


banana pudding in trifle dish

Growing up I didn’t like banana pudding but now? Now I simply crave it. Banana pudding is easy, creamy, and is the perfect summer or anytime dessert recipe.

Remember a few weeks ago when I told you about my trip to NYC and how I ate my way through, starting with Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies? On that trip my #1 required place to visit was Levain Bakery. My #2 required stop was Magnolia Bakery.

Magnolia Bakery is a big thing in the instagram world and their banana pudding is downright famous. They make it in single serve cups and in pints you can buy and it’s so freaking delicious. I couldn’t stop eating it! It was a good thing I only bought one small one or I would have plowed my way through a full pint.

That’s the thing about banana pudding – it goes down so easy! It’s creamy and sweet but not overly so, and it’s just the perfect dessert.

This really is my favorite banana pudding recipe made with condensed milk and pudding mix and Nilla Wafers!

favorite banana pudding in trifle dish close up

After my first bite of Magnolia Banana Pudding I knew I was going to make a copycat so I went on the hunt to see if the recipe was online. I found something even better: there is a Magnolia Bakery cookbook! It has all their favorite recipes in it and I plan to work my way through every single one.

I cannot wait to make the other banana pudding recipe they serve: chocolate banana pudding with OREOS!

This recipe is 99% close to the one they serve at the bakery. It’s a bit different due to serving size and I’m pretty sure they don’t give away all the little secrets (but I will). However, the taste is spot on: this is the famous banana pudding I couldn’t wait to try in NYC. And you don’t even have to travel there to get it!

There are so many ways to make banana pudding: with condensed milk, with cool whip, with chessman cookies. I’ve even made banana pudding fluff and banana pudding pie!

Ingredients in my favorite banana pudding recipe

I used sweetened condensed milk and while my other recipe uses Chessman Cookies, this is a Nilla Wafer banana pudding recipe. I’m not a huge fan of vanilla wafers but in puddings and no bake desserts they’re fantastic because they soften and then taste like little bites of cake in the pudding.

When I first tasted Magnolia’s pudding I thought it had chunks of cake but no – it was just full of soaked Nilla Wafers.

These no bake desserts are great with Cool Whip but this one uses homemade whipped cream. There’s nothing that compares to fresh whipped cream in banana pudding!

banana pudding recipe on plate

Making Magnolia Banana Pudding

I was a bit surprised by the recipe – there is a lot of chill time happening for this dessert but you can’t skip it. It’s important for the flavors to be able to settle and meld and for the cookies to soften properly.

  • First, you mix the pudding with cold water and the sweetened condensed milk and let it sit overnight (or for about 3-4 hours). The result is a thickened pudding that is easily folded into the fresh whipped cream.
  • There is a lot of fresh whipped cream in this pudding so it makes a large amount. The cream makes it light and fluffy!
  • Once you make the pudding you need to let it sit at least 4 hours so the cookies soften properly.

Now, there are a couple things that I’m pretty sure Magnolia Bakery does to their pudding that they left out of the book:

  1. They chop their bananas. There were no slices of banana in the one I ate in NYC. This recipe calls for sliced bananas but you can do whatever you prefer. Just make sure to use ripe bananas that aren’t too ripe.
  2. They also chop their Nilla Wafers, I suspect. The scoop of pudding I got was much like a chunky ice cream so it stands to reason they chop their cookies and mix it all together.

I wrote the recipe as was directed in the book and, really, you can’t go wrong either way!

How long does banana pudding last?

It’ll last about a day, at most 2 days. I recommend making this in the morning for an evening dessert and making sure to finish it up on day 2. The bananas don’t last forever and the whipped cream can start to weep if left longer.

Easy Famous Banana Pudding Recipe!

Can banana pudding be made in advance?

Yes – it’s perfect to make in the morning for an afternoon potluck. It’s great fresh out of the refrigerator or room temperature. If it’s hot, I recommend leaving it chilled until ready to serve so it doesn’t melt.

Will bananas turn brown in pudding?

Eventually, yes. As soon as bananas hit air they start to brown. I recommend making sure all the banana pieces are coated in the pudding mixture; this will slow down the process.

Honestly, I don’t think you have to worry. This southern banana pudding recipe will disappear fast!

banana pudding recipe in trifle dish

If you’re looking for the perfect summer potluck dessert, this easy banana pudding recipe is the one for you!

Other no-bake desserts you’ll enjoy:

Get your Magnolia Bakery Cookbook here!

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Favorite Banana Pudding Recipe

This is our favorite easy banana pudding recipe. It's a famous banana pudding made with condensed milk and pudding mix and lots of Nilla Wafers! This is the only banana pudding recipe you need and it's so good! #recipe #easy
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Chill Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 20 minutes
Yield 12 servings
Serving Size 1 serving


  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups ice cold water
  • 1 3.4 ounce box instant vanilla pudding
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 12 ounce box Nilla Wafers
  • 4 cups sliced bananas about 5-6 bananas


  • Add sweetened condensed milk, water, and pudding mix to a medium sized bowl. Whisk or mix with a hand mixer until combined, about 2 minutes. Cover and chill 3-4 hours or overnight. You want the pudding to set properly.
  • In a large bowl, beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form. You can use a hand or a stand mixer. Gently fold the whipped cream into the pudding mixture.
  • Assemble your pudding by placing 1/3 of the wafers in the bottom of a large wide bottomed bowl. Top with 1/3 of the bananas and 1/3 of the pudding. Repeat the layers twice and garnish with wafer crumbs.
  • Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and chill at least 4 hours before serving. You can chill up to 8 hours but it’s not recommended to chill it longer than that.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

From The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook by Allysa Torey and Jennifer Appel.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 251kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 24mg | Potassium: 224mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 905IU | Vitamin C: 4.7mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword banana, pudding

Click here for easy ways to use overripe BANANAS

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collage of banana pudding recipe photos


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11 CommentsLeave a comment or review

  1. This is AMAZING! I have never made a banana pudding before but this is the best I’ve ever had. Thanks for sharing!

  2. AMAZING!! Used recipe for Thanksgiving dessert and everyone loved the banana pudding, even better than other recipes previously used, thank you!! 🙂

  3. Magnolia Bakery makes their own shortbread/cookie that goes into their banana pudding. It’s not bills wafers. I spoke with an employee about it.

  4. This is absolutely the “BEST” Banana pudding I’ve ever had. I followed the suggestions from magnolia cookbook….
    Chopped bananas
    Semi crushed wafers ( left some crumbs for topping)
    I mixed in wafers… it is like a custard/ ice cream with cake in it! AMAZING!

  5. I LOVE your Blog just FYI… I do however have a question, I have been looking for an amazing banana pudding recipe because the ones I’ve tried always have that “Fake” Banana taste that I hate. Anyhow I was so excited when I saw your version of this delish desert. I went and looked up magnolia bakery’s banana pudding and it in fact looks to die for, however you mentioned you thought there was cake pieces in it but you were mistaking Nilla wafers as cake right? Well I’m confused because almost All of the pictures on Yelp it there pudding looks like there’s chunks of a white or yellow cake in it. I too thought it was just Nilla wafers but the chunks in some of the pics are pretty large and it looks exactly like cake. While there did you confirm with Magnolia Bakery if I’m fact they use cake and wafers or just cake or just wafers? It’s peaked my interest so much to where I considered calling the bakery to ask, but I thought I would reach out to you first. Thanks for all the amazing recipes you share with us. I value them and have made many of them new traditional dishes that are and will continue to be made year after year at all holidays and celebrations with family and friends. You and @ #CrazyForCrust are priceless! 

  6. I have made a version of this but used cool whip instead (for a short cut). It is truly THE best recipe. I also make my own nilla wafers! TOO DIE FOR RECIPE!!!!!!