Looking for a quick and easy dessert recipe? This no-bake banana pudding is just what you need! This southern banana pudding recipe is made with cream cheese, instant vanilla pudding, whipped cream, ripe bananas, and vanilla wafers.
It’s quick to make and easy enough to make a big batch so everyone can enjoy a piece for dessert. Perfect for potlucks or family dinners!
Banana pudding is one of those desserts that just about everyone loves (right up there with fudgy brownies). There’s something about the combination of bananas, vanilla wafers, and whipped cream that makes it irresistible.
So what’s the secret to making the perfect banana pudding? It’s all in the ingredients!
The key to a great banana pudding is using ripe bananas. You want them to be sweet and soft, so they add flavor and sweetness to the pudding.
Another important ingredient is cream cheese. It helps to create a rich and creamy texture that pairs perfectly with bananas and vanilla wafers.
And finally, don’t forget the whipped cream! It adds a light and fluffy texture that takes this dessert over the top.
So if you’re looking for a quick and easy dessert that everyone will love, try this no-bake layered banana pudding!
You will need the following ingredients to make this creamy banana pudding:
- Bananas: You will need 4-5 ripe bananas for this recipe. The riper, the better!
- Cream cheese: This will help give the pudding a rich and creamy texture.
- Instant vanilla pudding mix: You can use any brand of instant pudding mix. Just make sure it’s vanilla flavor.
- Milk: I used whole milk for this recipe, but you can use non-dairy milk. You’ll want to ensure the milk is cold before mixing it in with the pudding mix. It helps the pudding to set up quicker.
- Vanilla wafers: You will need about 30-40 vanilla wafers for this recipe. Pretty much the whole box! Instead of wafers, you can swap them out for chessman butter cookies or shortbread cookies.
- Whipped cream: I love to make my own homemade whipped cream! You can also use storebought cool whip if not.
Kitchen equipment needed
Here are a few things you’ll need to make this homemade banana pudding:
- Medium mixing bowl
- Electric mixer (hand or stand with whisk attachment)
- 9×13 baking pan (or large glass bowl)
What to serve with no-bake banana pudding
This no-bake banana pudding is delicious on its own! But, if you want to jazz it up, consider whipping up some extra whipped cream and adding an extra dollop over the top to add even more creaminess.
If you are like my granny and have a huge sweet tooth (okay, so do I), make (or buy) some caramel sauce to drizzle over the top. It is heavenly!
You can also never go wrong with a cup of coffee to enjoy a slice of banana pudding.
Whenever I share this southern banana pudding recipe, I get some of the same questions. Here are the most popular ones that people ask!
If you have a question that isn’t listed here, please leave them in the comments, and I’ll answer them as soon as possible.
What keeps bananas from turning brown in the banana pudding?
There are a few things that you can do to keep the bananas from turning brown in banana pudding.
The first is to use very ripe bananas. The riper the banana, the less likely it is to turn brown. If you can’t find ripe bananas, you can also try dipping them in lemon juice before adding them to the pudding. This hack will help to prevent them from browning as well.
Why does my banana pudding get watery?
There are a few reasons why your banana pudding might be watery.
If you are using fresh bananas, they can release water as they sit in the pudding. It’s especially true if they are not ripe enough. Be sure to use very ripe bananas to help prevent this from happening.
Another reason your pudding might be watery is that you didn’t allow the instant pudding mix to fully set before adding the whipped cream. Be sure to let the pudding sit for at least five minutes before adding the whipped cream. It helps it to thicken up and prevent it from being watery.
Do I have to use instant pudding mix?
No, you don’t have to use instant pudding mix. You can use a cooked pudding recipe if you prefer. However, I find that the instant pudding mix is much easier and quicker to make. Plus, it yields a smoother consistency.
What can I use instead of cream cheese?
If you don’t have cream cheese or are looking for a lighter option, you can use Greek yogurt in its place. I like to use vanilla Greek yogurt, but feel free to experiment with other flavors.
Just keep in mind that the pudding’s taste (and possibly the texture) will be slightly different.
Can I make this banana pudding gluten-free?
Yes! This dessert is naturally gluten-free (with a few tweaks). Substitute the vanilla wafers for your favorite gluten-free cookies or wafers.
How long will this no-bake banana pudding keep?
This banana pudding recipe can be stored in the fridge for up to four days. However, I find that it’s best within the first two days. After that, the bananas start to brown, and the pudding can get a little runny.
Can I make this banana pudding ahead of time?
Yes! This no-bake banana pudding is the perfect recipe to make ahead of time. Simply prepare it as directed and store it in the fridge until you are ready to serve it.
I like to make it the night before so that all the flavors have time to meld together.
More Grandma-Approved Recipes
If you loved this vanilla wafers banana pudding recipe, here are a few other recipes you should try! They are all delicious and grandma-approved.
- Classic Homemade Cheesecake Recipe
- No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie
- Homemade Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting
- No-Bake Frozen Lemonade Pie
- Apple Pizza Recipe
Southern No-Bake Banana Pudding Recipe
- Medium mixing bowl
- Electric mixer – hand or stand with whisk attachment
- 9 x 13 baking pan or large glass bowl
- 11 oz. Box of vanilla wafers
- 5.1 oz. Box of instant vanilla pudding mix
- 4-5 ripe bananas, sliced
- 8 oz. whipped cream (store-bought or homemade)
- 3 cups cold milk
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup crushed vanilla wafers optional
- caramel sauce optional
- Make your homemade whipped cream, if not using store-bought, and set aside.
- Whisk cream cheese with the mixer until fluffy, approximately 30-45 seconds.
- Add the vanilla pudding mix to the cream cheese and mix until combined.
- Slowly add the cold milk to the cream cheese pudding mixture and mix until fully combined. Let it set for 5 minutes.
- Fold in ⅔ of the whipped cream into the cream cheese/pudding mixture and stir until well combined.
- In the bottom of the baking pan, place a single layer of vanilla wafers. Then add a layer of sliced bananas over the wafers.
- Spread ½ of the pudding mixture over the bananas and repeat the layers.
- Top the last layer of pudding with the remaining whipped cream.
- Optional: add a layer of banana slices, crushed up vanilla wafers or drizzle of caramel sauce to the top of the dessert.
- Let the banana pudding chill in the fridge for up to an hour to make it nice and cold. Serve chilled.
- Be sure to use very ripe bananas. Bananas with some brown spots work well!
- If the bananas aren’t ripe enough, it could create a watery banana pudding.
- Make sure you let the pudding mixture set up for 5 minutes before adding the whipped cream.
- You can use homemade vanilla pudding instead of instant pudding. However, I find that the instant pudding mix is much easier and quicker to make. Plus, it yields a smoother consistency.
- If you don’t have cream cheese or are looking for a lighter option, you can use vanilla Greek yogurt in its place.
- Make this gluten free by using your favorite gluten-free cookies or wafers.
- This banana pudding recipe can be stored in the fridge for up to four days. However, I find that it’s best within the first two days.
- This no-bake banana pudding is the perfect recipe to make ahead of time. Simply prepare it as directed and store it in the fridge until you are ready to serve it.