No Bake Easy Banana Pudding Recipe

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How to make an easy banana pudding with cream cheese, Cool Whip, and Nilla Wafers. Best no bake dessert, perfect for a crowd, quick and simple recipe!

easy banana pudding layered with vanilla wafers in blue baking dish

My mom always made this amazing no bake banana pudding when we were growing up. We always looked forward to dessert when we knew she had this waiting in the fridge.

Mom's banana pudding recipe is a lot like Paula Deen's Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding, only we don't add sweetened condensed milk. We also use vanilla wafers (or sometimes graham crackers) instead of butter cookies.

Personally, I just don't see the need for the added sweetness of condensed milk, especially when it's sweet enough and yummy enough without it.

There really is nothing like a good banana pudding with cream cheese.

It's an easy no bake dessert you can make and enjoy any time of year, especially in the summertime when you don't necessarily want to turn on the oven and heat up the house.

And it's the best banana pudding for a crowd because it makes a whole 13″x9″ dish of creamy dreamy pudding. I love this recipe!

blue baking dish filled with vanilla wafer banana pudding

WHERE CAN I FIND THE ACTUAL RECIPE CARD?

If you’d rather skip all of my tips, important info for this recipe, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to the recipe – just scroll down to the bottom, where you’ll find a printable recipe card.

WHAT IS BANANA PUDDING?

Banana pudding is a layered dessert with vanilla pudding or custard, sliced or smashed bananas, vanilla wafers (or butter cookies or graham crackers), and whipped cream or meringue.

Some recipes require baking, and some even have meringue on top, almost like a pie, but without the crust.

You can put it in a large trifle dish, or you can make individual layered desserts with mini trifle dishes. If you're making a baked pudding, you'd generally use a baking dish.

serving of banana pudding with vanilla wafers and whipped cream on white plate with fork

TIPS FOR HOW TO MAKE BANANA PUDDING

I'll walk you through the steps of how to mix up this no bake pudding. This recipe is so easy, you can make it in no time.

First let's mix it up…

  1. Smash the bananas and blend them with the already whipped cream cheese.
  2. Mix in a whole container of Cool Whip.
  3. Then add the powdered sugar and instant pudding mix.
  4. Finally, add the milk to the pudding mixture, mixing well.
steps for making no bake banana pudding in large mixing bowl

LET'S TALK ABOUT CHOOSING WHICH BANANAS TO USE

In the case of homemade banana pudding, you really want your bananas to be perfectly fresh.

That means they're not green, but they're not overripe either, meaning no brown spots.

The fresher your bananas, the better flavor your pudding will have.

HOW TO LAYER BANANA PUDDING

Now it's time to layer your vanilla wafer banana pudding.

  1. Add a bottom layer of vanilla wafers in the bottom of a large baking dish.
  2. Then add a layer of pudding on top of the cookies.
  3. Put another layer of vanilla wafers on top of the pudding.
  4. Then add a final layer of pudding.
layering vanilla wafer banana pudding in baking dish

Now this is where you can choose to add a layer of whipped topping or top with a layer of cookies.

I usually opt for more cookies on top; then just add a dollop of whipped cream on top of each serving.

easy banana pudding with cream cheese and vanilla wafers in blue baking dish

DOES BANANA PUDDING NEED TO BE REFRIGERATED?

Yes, it does. In fact, I like to chill it for a good 3 or 4 hours, or even overnight, before serving it.

If you end up having leftovers, be sure to store it in an airtight container so it stays fresher.

HOW LONG DOES BANANA PUDDING LAST?

While this pudding can possibly last up to a week if stored properly in the fridge, it's best the first 3 or 4 days after making it.

But good luck getting it to last that long. It's usually gobbled up pretty quick around here.

best banana pudding with vanilla wafers and whipped topping on white plate with fork

CAN YOU FREEZE BANANA PUDDING?

While you could technically freeze this pudding, I don't really recommend it.

The texture or consistency of your pudding may be altered if you do freeze it. And bananas are known for turning brown, yet another reason I recommend eating the pudding up within the first 3 or 4 days after making it.

Can You Freeze This has a great explanation with tips for freezing banana pudding.

easy banana pudding layered in blue baking dish

MORE BANANA RECIPES:

SHOP KITCHEN TOOLS FOR THIS RECIPE:

Mixer – My stand mixer is my most used small kitchen appliance.

Baking Dish or Large Trifle Dish or Mini Trifle Dishes or Dessert Cups – You can serve pudding in a multitude of ways.

GET THE PRINTABLE RECIPE

If you love this recipe as much as we do, please write a 5 star review, and help me share the recipe on Facebook and Pinterest!

no bake easy banana pudding recipe

Find my original recipe for Mama's banana pudding over at Adventures of Mel!

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Yield: 16 servings

No Bake Easy Banana Pudding Recipe

No Bake Easy Banana Pudding Recipe

How to make an easy banana pudding with cream cheese, Cool Whip, and Nilla Wafers. Best no bake dessert, perfect for a crowd, quick and simple recipe!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Chill Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Whip the cream cheese first in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Smash the bananas* and blend them with the cream cheese.
  3. Add a container of Cool Whip to the cream cheese mixture.
  4. Then add the powdered sugar and vanilla pudding mix.
  5. Finally, add the milk to the mixture, mixing well.
  6. In a large baking dish or trifle dish, add a bottom layer of vanilla wafers.
  7. Then add a layer of the pudding on top of the cookies.
  8. Put another layer of vanilla wafers on top of the pudding.
  9. Then add a final layer of pudding.
  10. Now you can choose to layer with more cookies or add a layer of whipped cream.**

Notes

*You can easily smash the bananas with a mixer, either handheld or stand.

**I usually opt for a final layer of cookies on top; then just add a dollop of whipped cream on top of each serving.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 332 Total Fat: 17g Saturated Fat: 10g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 16mg Sodium: 180mg Carbohydrates: 44g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 28g Protein: 3g

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