Easy Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding recipe

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Chill: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
1026 Calories
47g Fat
143g Carbs
15g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 1026
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 47g 60%
Saturated Fat 23g 116%
Cholesterol 29mg 10%
Sodium 552mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 143g 52%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 95g
Protein 15g
Vitamin C 8mg 42%
Calcium 318mg 24%
Iron 7mg 37%
Potassium 789mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Banana pudding has long been a favorite Southern dessert, and this shortcut version is an excellent choice for a busy day. This recipe is made with instant pudding, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla wafers, prepared whipped cream, and sliced bananas, making for an easy and convenient layered dessert that is sure to impress.

To keep the sliced bananas from turning brown, they are gently tossed or brushed with a small amount of lemon juice. Assemble the pudding in a glass bowl or individual glass dessert dishes to show the attractive layers and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving for the very best flavor.

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe medium bananas, plus 1 firm banana for topping, if desired

  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 2 1/2 cups cold milk

  • 1 (5-ounce) package vanilla pudding

  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

  • 1 (12-ounce) container whipped topping, divided

  • 30 cookies vanilla wafer cookies

  • Vanilla or cinnamon sugar, optional garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for easy banana pudding
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. Peel and slice the bananas and toss them in a bowl with the lemon juice. Set aside.

    Bananas peeled and sliced, and placed in a clear bowl
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  3. Combine the cold milk and instant vanilla pudding mix and whisk or beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Add the sweetened condensed milk and mix until thoroughly blended. Let stand for 2 minutes.

    Beating cold milk and instant vanilla pudding with an electric mixer
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  4. With a spatula or spoon, fold half of the whipped topping into the pudding mixture.

    Whipped topping is folded into the pudding mixture
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  5. In an 8-inch trifle dish, alternate layers of pudding, banana slices, and vanilla wafers. Spoon or pipe the remaining whipped topping over the pudding. Chill the pudding for at least 30 minutes before serving.

    Trifle bowl with alternating layers of pudding, banana slices, and vanilla wafers
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  6. Garnish the dessert with banana slices, if desired. For an extra special look, sprinkle the dessert with vanilla sugar or a cinnamon-sugar blend.

    Banana pudding garnished with slices of banana and cinnamon sugar
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Tips

  • If your bananas aren't ripe enough, put them in a paper bag along with an apple (this helps speed up the process) a day or so before you plan to make the pudding.
  • If you don't have a lemon, you can use lime juice, orange juice, or pineapple juice to toss with the bananas.
  • While making the layers, make sure to quickly cover the bananas with the pudding to keep them from turning brown.
  • Don't slice the banana for the garnish until just before serving time.
  • To store leftover pudding, cover and refrigerate for up to three days.

Recipe Variations

  • Swap out the 8-inch trifle dish for 6 to 8 individual dessert dishes.
  • Add a few mint leaves or crumbled vanilla wafers on top for additional garnish.
  • Swirl some caramel sauce or ice cream topping over each layer of bananas for banoffee flavor.
  • Make your own homemade vanilla pudding if you'd like.
  • Make toasted coconut banana pudding: Put 3/4 cup of flaked sweetened coconut in a dry skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring until the coconut is browned and aromatic. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the toasted coconut over the banana layer and save the remaining 1/4 cup for topping just before serving.
  • Sprinkle each layer of bananas and vanilla wafers with miniature marshmallows.
  • Replace the vanilla pudding with all or part banana cream pudding or cheesecake pudding.
  • Instead of vanilla wafers, use small butter cookies or broken shortbread.
  • For an adult version, replace a few tablespoons of the milk with banana liqueur or rum.