Banana Pudding

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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! A delicious Paula Deen recipe featuring banana pudding and chessmen cookies!

If you love easy pudding desserts, have you tried these amazing Pudding Cookies? They stay soft for days! Or give this delightful chocolate Pudding Cake recipe a try soon.

Slice of banana pudding on a stack of white plates.
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Why this Banana Pudding is BEST

My family has been enjoying this easy 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.

If you love banana pudding as much as we do, try our banana pudding cupcakes next. Or go easy and whip up this banana pudding cake!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make paula deen banana pudding.
  • Bananas. Start with fresh, ripened bananas. Preferably ones that are still firm, as the bananas will soften even more as this sits in the refrigerator.
  • Cookies. Pepperidge Farm Chessmen Cookies are delicious shortbread cookies and make a great layering cookie. If you can’t find them, butter cookies or vanilla wafer cookies (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.
  • Pudding. 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 not cook and serve 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! You could also make our stabilized whipped cream (made with heavy cream) which is similar to cool whip, but homemade!

How to Make Banana Pudding

Step by step photos showing how to make banana pudding.

Learning how to make banana pudding is so easy. Mix and layer as directed below:

Bottom Layer. 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 cover the bottom so you don’t see any cookies (about 2 layers worth of banana slices).

Pudding Filling. 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.

Final Layer. Pour pudding mixture over the top of the bananas and top with a layer of cookies.

Chill. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Slice of banana pudding with a bite taken out.

Storage

Banana Pudding should be stored in a covered container (or with plastic wrap on top) in the refrigerator. Leftovers of my homemade banana pudding should be eaten within 2-3 days of making it.

I feel banana pudding doesn’t freeze well. The layer of bananas turns brown and quite mushy, and the cookie layers will get too soft. You’re better of eating this one quickly, or sharing with others!

Make-Ahead Instructions

While you can’t freeze banana pudding, you can make it ahead of time. And I recommend doing it about 24 hours in advance, which allows the cookies to soften slightly so they can be sliced!

You can also make the pudding filling ahead of time (and refrigerate it) and assemble before serving for a crunchy cookie layer.

Either way, you’re going to agree this is the best banana pudding recipe you’ve ever made!

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Banana Pudding Recipe

4.82 from 344 votes
By: Aimee
This creamy, rich Banana Pudding Recipe is a delicious, no-bake dessert! Perfect for weeknights or potlucks, everyone will LOVE this classic recipe!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 20 servings

Ingredients 

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

  • Line the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish with one package of chessmen cookies. Top with sliced bananas.
  • 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.
  • Fold in cool whip and spread over banana layer.
  • Top with remaining package of chessmen cookies. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Notes

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

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice, Calories: 219kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 7mg, Sodium: 87mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 21g
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

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

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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 July 30, 2023

Comments & Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    I made this for a weekend family get-together. There are always leftovers at these gatherings. The minute I brought this out of the refrigerator, people started asking for a piece, then came back for more. It was gone within about 20 minutes. It was a very big hit!

  2. 5 stars
    I made this recipe without cream cheese to limit the dairy and used whipped topping Instead of cool whip. I also substituted coconut sweet and condensed milk and coconut milk for regular. It added a nice coconut flavor. I would maker this recipe again!

  3. Would it work to use homemade whipped cream? I just happen to already have heavy cream in the fridge. Thanks!

    1. Yes, that is what Paula uses but she put the whip in there as a option. She also uses French vanilla pudding.

  4. I am lactose Intollerent, what could I substitute for the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk? I will use lactose free milk.

      1. There is lactose free cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk. You can also make your own sweetened condensed milk as well. I’m doing this tomorrow for my boyfriend that is lactose intolerant.

  5. I have made this twice and my family loved it. The second time I used vanilla wafers. It tasted better. However, the chess cookies were good as well and it’s beautiful.

    1. Was it the texture or flavor that was better? I want to try this recipe in a couple days and was debating which cookie to use.

  6. 5 stars
    I used half banana cream pudding and half French vanilla. Taste wonderful!! Btw I watched PD’s YouTube of her making this during quarantine. She stated that she got this recipe from someone else. So, just like every good recipe it gets passed along.

  7. 5 stars
    Banana Pudding is my all time favorite dessert. Two years ago I had a stroke and it forever changed my tastes for sweets. I remember my love of chocolate but a spoonful is enough. This receipe is so tasty I just loved it. That says alot these days. The cream cheese with condensed milk added to the pudding makes it almost like a cheesecake. I made this yesterday morning and it was firm in four hours to cut and serve with our Sunday Super. This receipe is a keeper.

  8. Your idea of adding cream cheese to the mix ~ brilliant! I have always wondered. I have in my pantry, not sure if it’s still available, a can of Chocolate sweetened Condensed milk. I’m thinking of using it and a box of chocolate instant pudding! 😉

  9. I haven’t made this yet, but I will for sure! I have cooked/baked so many of your wonderful recipes. We love every one of them. I’m so happy I found your page. Thank you Aimee!

  10. I have made this several times however, I can never get my pudding mix to hold firm (like pictured)….suggestions?

      1. I made this yesterday! It is to die for wonderful! I used sugar-free pudding and 1% milk. Will probably go with lower-fat cream cheese and lite cool whip next. My three-year- old granddaughter helped me with the cookies and bananas so it looks like a Pinterest fail, but it tasted great. I will definitely make this again!

    1. try taking away a cup of milk, and see if that helps. That’s what I do for my eclair dessert, and it works.

        1. OK, that’s enough! I am sick (and tired) of this “Karen” thing. All in favor of dropping it, raise your hands and say “LISA”. 😆

          (By the way, the ‘nana pudding recipe is FABULOUS!)

        2. Not-That-Karen, two of my favorite people are Karens and one is a Lisa, so I vote no to that suggestion. How about …Alyx?

    1. Yep, that’s what I said above 🙂 It’s so GOOD! The only thing I changed was using banana pudding mix…and making it ONE bowl (no need to mix pudding separately)

      1. I followed your *tweaks* and made it yesterday for Father’s Day. It was a hit! Thank you for sharing.

    2. “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.”

      You really need to practice reading comprehension Anonymous.

  11. Oh my gosh, this was delicious! So easy to make and my kids already requested I make more this weekend. Definitely a hit! It’s so cute with the chessmen cookies on top too. 

  12. 5 stars
    This is seriously one of the best desserts of all time. The hardest part is waiting for it to chill, but it is worth it!

  13. 5 stars
    Homemade banana pudding with meringue has always been my comfort food since I was a child. This version is so much easier and just as comforting. Don’t hesitate to try it. If you can’t find a large box of French vanilla pudding two small boxes work just as well, as does vanilla pudding if you don’t have French vanilla. The Cheeseman cookies are a nice change from vanilla wafers. You won’t be disappointed.

4.82 from 344 votes (303 ratings without comment)

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