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.


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


  • 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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  • 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.


  • 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.



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. I have had friends make this and they used sliced strawberries and even pineapple tidbits! It’s very good with both versions. I will make it with strawberries myself.

  1. I haven’t made the dessert yet. My daughter did though. I liked it a lot. What I would like is a thinner layer of filling. Maybe about half as thick. Any thoughts on how to achieve this?

  2. 5 stars
    This is a great dessert! If you combine the pudding mix and milk and mix for two minutes, it will set after a few minutes and be thick. Then mix the cream cheese and condensed milk together and add to the pudding mixture . Then fold in the Cool Whip. I think some were just adding the dry pudding mix with everything and thats why it was runny. The pudding has to conjeal. I made this for my grandson’s birthday and it was a huge hit! I will make it again.

  3. Hi wanted to make Banana Pudding recipe–your recipe calls for 5 oz Instant Banana cream pudding, my stores only offer .09 oz (have 1 on shelf), that means I would have to buy 6 boxes-if I buy in quantity from Walmart comes to $27 + change! Maybe that is why few comments said their pudding was runny! They didn’t check ounces of instant pudding. Nowhere else offers larger sizes. So sorry I will pass up this great recipe!
    Cindy R

    1. Couldn’t you mix the bananas in the mix. The bottom of the desert isn’t sturdy. Crumbles when you dish it out

  4. The first time I made it, I thought I had instant pudding, but it wasn’t, I bought the one that had to be cooked on the stove, it turned out watery too. I hope you try it again, just be sure to buy instant pudding.

  5. 2 stars
    I followed the exact recipe as written with correct measurements and the pudding never got thick. Watery and thin. Stirred in the cool whip and still too thin to use. I’m disappointed

    1. Give the packaged pudding time to congeal before adding the condensed milk. (Not immediately) Sorry it did not go well for you, but this is the only thing I could imagine would not make the pudding thicken.. I have made this for years and the pudding always gets thick. Best of luck!

      1. 5 stars
        This dessert is so delicious. Followed the recipe. I just made sure i beat the pudding mix ,cream cheese & sweetened condensed milk mixture really well. It does take a bit to get thick but it will. Delicious

  6. 5 stars
    I loved this recipe. It was my first time making banana pudding and I think I will continue to use this one forever lol

  7. I actually mash my bananas and mix them I to the pudding mix. This bypassed the browning. Especially if I have to make it ahead.

  8. I made this, and used French vanilla pudding mix (1 ½ 3.4 oz boxes) and it wasn’t too sweet at all, just perfect. I would reccomend doing it Paula Deans way and substitute the banana pudding for French Vanilla because I figured how strong and sweet instant banana cream pudding can be it would be too much. And from reading some of the comments that seems to be the case. A tip: press the cookies down on the top layer so they absorb moisture you want them to soften enough to cut well or it doesn’t hold its shape.

  9. I haven’t made the recipe yet, just reading the comments and questions. My question is, can I use almond milk instead the 2% whole milk? Has anyone tried to use almond milk? If so, what was the result?

  10. I love this pudding. I make my own whipped cream, adding sugar. I leave out the condensed milk, too rich. I was worried about the cookies getting soggy, so I made the pudding ahead and will add the bananas and cookies tomorrow. First time I have tried to do this. Hope it’s ok.

  11. 5 stars
    I followed the directions exactly. Made it with instant pudding mix, folded in the cool whip, but it still came out super runny 😭 Not sure what I did wrong. When I folded in the cool whip it instantly separated and didn’t want to combine with the pudding so I kept mixing, so maybe I over mixed? Or maybe I should’ve added more than 5 oz of pudding powder? Idk but it was really good! Just disappointing it didn’t come out nice and thick.

  12. Best recipe ever! Everyone loved it! I think the sweetness level is perfect! It’s a rich sweet, it balances out with the Chessman cookies. Everyone has different opinions about it. Is it sweet, yes, but it is a phenomenal pudding recipe.
    Just try it!

  13. 5 stars
    This is a Great dessert! I added a little something to the recipe. A 3 of Strawberry jello to the whip cream. OMG…. I’m in heaven!

4.82 from 344 votes (303 ratings without comment)

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