Banana Pudding Recipe

This creamy, rich Banana Pudding Recipe is a delicious, no-bake dessert! Perfect for weeknights or potlucks, everyone will LOVE this classic recipe! A delicious Paula Deen recipe featuring banana pudding and chessmen cookies!

Slice of thick, creamy banana pudding with chessmen cookies on top.

Why this Recipe is BEST

My family has been enjoying banana pudding for years, as I’m sure many of you have as well. I figured it was about time to share the recipe and photos with all of you!

When trying out different versions and variations through the years, the recipe that stuck is Paula Deen’s Not Yo’ Mama’s Banana Pudding. She knows her banana pudding, for sure.

  • No Bake– sets up in 4 hours, firm enough to slice and serve
  • Looks beautiful in a trifle bowl, layered!
  • I changed the recipe so it’s ONE BOWL. Easy to make, easy to clean.
Baking dish with banana pudding and chessmen cookies

Ingredient Notes


Start with fresh, ripened bananas. Preferably ones that are still firm, as the bananas will soften even more as this sits in the refrigerator.


Pepperidge Farm Chessmen Cookies are delicious shortbread cookies and make a great layering cookie. If you can’t find them, butter cookies or Nilla Wafers will work too!

The cookies soften as this sits, much like in a Chocolate Eclair Cake or Icebox Cake. They become “cake-like” and amazing.


I opt for banana cream instant pudding mix. I think it intensifies the banana flavor to a delicious level. However, Paula Deen uses French Vanilla, and I think even plain vanilla would work too.

Be sure to use instant pudding for best results.

Whipped Cream vs Cool Whip

I chose to use Cool Whip for my banana pudding, but if you want to use a homemade whipped cream that would work too. It just might not be as stable. If serving in a trifle bowl, totally go for the whipped cream!

Banana pudding topped with chessmen cookies in 13x9 dish.

Step by Step Instructions

STEP 1. Line the bottom of a 13×9-inch baking dish with a single layer of cookies (it’s okay if they overlap slightly). Use the deepest 13×9 you own.

Layer sliced bananas over the top. I used 6 medium size bananas, and they covered the bottom so you couldn’t see any cookies (about 2 layers worth of banana slices).

STEP 2. In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese with sweetened condensed milk. Beat until creamy, with no clumps! Add in pudding mixture, and milk, and beat again for several minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Fold in the cool whip or whipped cream.

STEP 3. Pour pudding mixture over the top of the bananas and top with a layer of cookies.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

STEP 4. To serve, slice and serve with an offset spatula. ENJOY.

Tips and Tricks

  • Use an electric mixer to get smooth pudding results. Make sure the cream cheese is softened to room temperature!
  • For best results, allow the banana pudding to chill for at least 4 hours, overnight is best!
  • Store banana pudding covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator.


How long does banana pudding last?

The bananas in banana pudding will begin to brown after two days.

Can banana pudding be frozen?

I don’t recommend freezing banana pudding. The texture of the cookies will change, and the bananas will turn very dark and unappetizing.

Can banana pudding be made in advance?

Yes! This can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time, however for best results should be eaten within two days. Make sure to cover the bananas completely with pudding mixture so they are not exposed to air.

Slice of banana pudding with chessmen cookies on plate.

More Dessert Recipes

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Yield: 12 servings

Banana Pudding

Prep Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes

This creamy, rich Banana Pudding Recipe is a delicious, no-bake dessert! Perfect for weeknights or potlucks, everyone will LOVE this classic recipe!


  • 2 pkg Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
  • 6 medium bananas, sliced
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 box (5 oz) Instant Banana cream pudding mix ***
  • 2 cups milk ***
  • 12 oz Cool Whip, thawed


  1. Line the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish with one package of chessmen cookies. Top with sliced bananas.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add in pudding mix and milk. Beat for several minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Fold in cool whip and spread over banana layer.
  4. Top with remaining package of chessmen cookies. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.


  • French Vanilla or Vanilla Pudding Mix can be substituted for the Banana Cream flavor
  • I used 2% milk, but any variety would work.
  • Nilla Wafers and Butter Cookie can be substituted for the Chessmen Shortbread Cookies.
  • Recipe slightly adapted from Paula Deen's Not Yo Mamas Banana Pudding Recipe

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 219Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 89mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 2gSugar: 19gProtein: 4g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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This creamy, rich Banana Pudding Recipe is a delicious, no-bake dessert! Perfect for weeknights or potlucks, everyone will LOVE this classic recipe!

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on January 12, 2020

Comments & Reviews

  1. Oh no! I used regular pudding mix instead of instant! It’s liquid-y instead of creamy! What do you suggest I do?! I was looking forward to this! Hope I don’t have to start over. Ughhhh. Lol.

  2. How much of each item should be used? I don’t see an ingredient list. How much milk should be added? — or do you just follow the pudding recipe? How many boxes of pudding? . . .etc.

  3. Quick question…if using a Trifle bowl, could you do a middle layer of cookies as well? Would they hold up?
    looking forward to trying this! thanks!

    1. Depending on how far ahead it’s been made, they hold up just fine 🙂 And regardless, even when softened slightly, they taste amazing!

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