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Easy Banana Pudding

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This Easy Banana Pudding is a no-bake recipe with layers of Nilla Wafers, fresh bananas, a rich, creamy pudding mix of sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, cream cheese and whipped topping!

Easy Banana PuddingEasy Banana Pudding

Growing up, my grandparents and parents owned a small, family restaurant that served Southern Food. While the main dishes, vegetables, and desserts rotated on a schedule, one of the staples that was available every day was Banana Pudding. My granny could whip up a banana pudding that couldn’t be passed up!

I was very close to my Granny, and we spoke on the phone at least once per day, for many years, when we lived hundreds to thousands of miles apart. As she got older, and less able to cook certain things she used to do with ease, she still loved to eat her Banana Pudding. This recipe is her adapted Easy Banana Pudding Recipe that doesn’t require baking or too much mixing by hand. It’s simple, classic, and delicious!

Easy Banana Pudding

Tips for the BEST Banana Pudding:

  • Make sure you use RIPE Bananas for Banana Pudding, with no spots. Save the overripe bananas for Banana Bread!  
  • Make sure banana slices get completely covered with pudding in each layer, so they don’t turn brown. Slice fresh bananas right before you use them for topping.
  • Use VANILLA or CHEESECAKE INSTANT PUDDING. For this recipe. If you’ve never made Banana Pudding before, it might sound weird that you aren’t using Banana Flavored Pudding. Technically, you can, but it changes the flavor of the recipe and doesn’t taste as authentic, which again, sounds weird, but it is!
  • Technically, you can use whatever flavor pudding you want, it’ll just change the flavor and color.
  • Don’t use the COOK & EAT pudding, it changes the consistency.
  • Make sure the cream cheese is room temperature, to avoid extra mixing or lumps.
  • You CAN substitute Whipped Cream for Cool Whip, if desired.
  • If you have time, make this dessert the day before serving. It gets better as it sets in the refrigerator (but no longer than 48 hours total)!
  • The cookies can be substituted. You can use Shortbread Cookies, Butter Cookies, Vanilla Cookies, etc.

Easy Banana Pudding

Yield: 12

Easy Banana Pudding

Easy Banana Pudding
Prep Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes


  • 1 8 oz block cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 5.3 oz package instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 1/2 cups cold milk (2% or Whole)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 8 oz container Cool Whip
  • 5-6 ripe bananas, sliced
  • 1 11 oz box Nilla Wafers


In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the cream cheese on medium speed until it's smooth and fluffy.

Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk into the bowl, then your box of pudding mix, the milk, and vanilla extract.
Continue mixing with the hand mixer on medium speed until well combined.

Stir in one half of the whipped topping from the container using a rubber spatula.
When it's well mixed, begin to assemble the final dessert.
Depending on the occasion and how many people I'm serving, I'll determine what container to assemble the dessert in. For just my immediate family, I use a 9x13 pan. For company, I'll use a trifle dish or small ramekin sized containers for pre-made individual servings. These instructions are for a 9x13 pan, but it's easily adaptable!
Layer about 1/3 of the box of Nilla Wafers in the bottom of a 9x13 pan.
Add a layer of banana slices.
Pour in 1/3 of the pudding mixture (be sure to cover all the bananas!)
Repeat layers, twice.
For the top layer, spread the second half of the cool whip.

Wrap the top of the pan with Saran Wrap to cover completely, then refrigerate for about 3 hours before serving. This allows the pudding to thicken up, the layers to set, and the cookies to soften just a bit.

Garnish the top with any reserved Nilla Wafers. RIGHT when you serve, you can also add fresh banana slices, if desired.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 490Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 273mgCarbohydrates: 68gFiber: 2gSugar: 47gProtein: 9g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment below & if you recreate this recipe, be sure to share a photo on Instagram. Tag me and hashtag #whenisdinner!

How to Store Leftover Banana Pudding:

Keeping in mind that this recipe needs to sit in the refrigerator at least 3 hours before serving, but overnight is best, you also don’t want to let it go past the 48 hour mark or it starts to break down.

Cover the container tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

Be sure to add any bananas you want to use on top just before serving so they don’t brown.  

Can You Freeze Banana Pudding:

This recipe does not freeze well, so I would not do that. It only takes a few minutes to whip it up, so it’s better to make it fresh each time.

These are a few things I find helpful in my own kitchen when preparing this Easy Banana Pudding Recipe:

Don’t miss these additional delicious Banana and Pudding Recipes here at When Is Dinner:

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Karley Moore

Thursday 12th of March 2020

This is fabulous!!!! I'm making it for Easter!

Gina Rampy

Thursday 12th of March 2020

This looks amazing! I have never seen this recipe and your presentation is beautiful. Can't wait to try it!

Karen Puleski

Thursday 12th of March 2020

Thank you, I hope you love it too. It'd be fantastic for 5th Sunday Potluck (do they still do that?)

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