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Learn how to make the best Banana Pudding recipe! This is my FAVORITE recipe of all time.
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!
Why this is the BEST Banana Pudding Recipe
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. I may have a few banana pudding recipes on this site, but I especially love THIS recipe!
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.
- Uses instant pudding mix but you’d never know it
- Sweetened condensed milk makes it nice and rich
- Nilla Wafers get soft so it’s like you’re eating cake
- It’s so EASY to make – and it makes a big batch perfect for a crowd
Table of Contents
Ingredients in my favorite banana pudding
- Pudding Mix: the recipe uses instant vanilla pudding mix
- Sweetened condensed milk adds sweetness and thickness to the pudding mix.
- Nilla Wafers are the base of my banana pudding recipe. The cookies soften and taste like little bites of cake in the pudding.
- Fresh Whipped Cream: you could use whipped topping but nothing beats freshly whipped cream.
- Water: because of the sweetened condensed milk you don’t need to use milk, but instead we use water.
- Bananas: use bananas that are yellow so they’re ripe but not overly so or they’ll turn too brown.
How to make Banana Pudding
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.
Tips to make Magnolia Banana Pudding
Now, there are a couple things that I’m pretty sure Magnolia Bakery does to their pudding that they left out of the book:
- 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.
- 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!
FAQ about this recipe
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.
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.
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!
I don’t recommend freezing this recipe. It won’t thaw well – the bananas will get brown and slimy. This is best made and eaten within 48 hrs.
I suggest making it the same day you’re serving it, but giving it a good 3 hours+ in the refrigerator so that the Nilla Wafers can soak up all the good pudding flavor.
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!
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:
- Banana Pudding Pie
- Banana Dream Dessert
- Easy Banana Pudding
- Banana Pudding Fluff
- No bake Tiramisu
- Strawberry Shortcake dessert
Get your Magnolia Bakery Cookbook here!
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Favorite Banana Pudding Recipe
- 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.
Click here for easy ways to use overripe BANANAS
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Learn how to make Banana Pudding! This famous Magnolia Bakery banana pudding recipe is easy with vanilla pudding, Nilla wafers and it’s SO good!
Last Updated on February 2, 2023
I made this for my youngest sons 20th birthday; I couldn’t locate the Nilla wafers in Calgary AB 🇨🇦. We tried 5 stores; I googled what to use instead, Shortcakes (similar to short bread) was the suggestion. I doubled the batch; I crushed the cookies like you suggested and chopped the bananas in small piece’s. I made the pudding mixture the night before then I finished it the next day. A double batch almost fills a large That’s A Bowl. It was a great hit. Thank you for sharing it.
I have made this recipe for years! The one thing I can share is to keep my bananas from browning I dip the slices in lemon juice. It really helps and there is a hint of lemon in the pudding. Also, no lemon juice, dip bananas in some Sprite or Ginger Ale.
Winner for sure. Our family turns up their noses to brown bananas.
This was such a good recipe! Yum!!
So happy to see this recipe NOT using the nasty, chemical laden Cool Whip that a lot of recipes call for. I always make fresh whipped cream…it is so easy and fast and so much better for you. This recipe is awesome.