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Old Fashioned Banana Pudding

Old Fashioned Banana Pudding is a sweet, layered dessert of pudding enhanced with condensed milk, whipped cream, banana slices, and cookies. Smooth, creamy, and luscious, this no-bake banana pudding recipe will have you scooping for seconds in no time!

For more dessert recipes, try my Caramel Apple Empanadas with Dipping Sauce.

close up view of old fashioned banana pudding

Old Fashioned Banana Pudding

So what makes this snack “old fashioned”? This is adapted from my grandmother’s classic banana pudding. This recipe pulls from my southern roots but has a few shortcuts and modern twists. (No oven or saucepan required.)

But when you down your first spoonful, there’s questioning it; this is the best old fashioned banana pudding recipe!

Why You’ll Love This Old Fashioned Banana Pudding Recipe

  • Perfect for Every Occasion! Old fashioned banana pudding stays on the menu year round so serve it during the holidays or a summer cookout.
  • Absolutely Delicious! Craving something sweet? This is a pleasant departure from basic desserts like cake and cookies. It’s sweet, smooth, full of banana flavor, and loaded with layers of nilla wafers, Golden Oreos and Chessmen Cookies.
  • A Great Indulgence! Throw that summer body stuff in the trash because winter is here and this is the ultimate comfort dessert!
  • Quick and Easy! This old fashioned banana pudding recipe with instant pudding tastes like it’s made from scratch except it takes a fraction of the prep time!
Dave holding a recipe book in front of banana pudding batter

Old Fashioned Banana Pudding Ingredients

  • Instant Pudding: I use vanilla instant pudding and banana cream instant pudding.
  • Whole Milk: This is initially mixed with the instant pudding packets to make a rich pudding, which is the base of this recipe. Now is not the time to think about calories. You need full fat milk for this recipe.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: This adds a sweet depth of flavor while also thickening the pudding so it’s not a loose, soupy mess.
  • Cream Cheese: Let it sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes so it can soften before you combine it with the other ingredients. Doing so will make the mixing process easier.
  • Vanilla Extract: Add this so that the vanilla flavor really pops. It will taste like homemade vanilla pudding and no one will be able to tell the difference.
  • Cool Whip: I use this in place of a traditional meringue topping. I prefer it because it takes less time, doesn’t require baking, and it’s delicious. You can do homemade whipped cream, but it may liquify if not eaten immediately.
  • Cookies: I use Chessmen Cookies, Nilla Wafers, and Golden Oreos. Don’t worry, the pudding softens them over time so they aren’t too crunchy.
  • Bananas: Use ripe bananas and avoid the yellow-green ones.

How to Make Old Fashioned Banana Pudding

Make Vanilla and Banana Cream Puddings

Stir together pudding and milk for two minutes until thickened.

old fashioned banana pudding in a bowl

Blend Other Ingredients

In a separate bowl, whisk together cream cheese, condensed milk, and vanilla extract. (You can use a hand mixer, stand mixer or just a whisk.) Once combined, pour in the pudding mix then fold in whipped cream.

blending instant pudding and milk

Layer Banana Pudding

In a medium dish, layer cookies, bananas, and pudding mixture, then more cookies, bananas, and pudding mix. Top off with remaining pudding mix, Oreos, chessmen cookies, and more crumbled wafers. ENJOY!

Variations

  • “No Banana” Banana Pudding: It may seem odd to some but I know people who enjoy the flavor of banana pudding even though they don’t actually like the fruit. If you have picky eaters, leave the sliced bananas out of the pudding. The pudding itself still has the banana taste so you won’t miss out.
  • Toppings: Make this dessert even more decadent by drizzling it with some caramel or chocolate sauce.

Tips for the Best Banana Pudding

  • If the bananas turn a little brown during preparation, don’t worry. It is natural for bananas to begin to brown once they are sliced. They are still safe to eat, they just aren’t as pretty.
  • This can be served at room temperature or chilled. It really just depends on your preference.

Storing Leftovers

Leftover pudding can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The cookies will soften but the bananas won’t oxidize because they’re not directly exposed to air.

Can I make this ahead?

Absolutely! Banana pudding needs some time for the flavors to meld so I advise making it several hours before you plan to serve it. Then just chill it in the fridge.

Don’t make it too soon though. If you make it more than 24 hours beforehand, the cookies may become mushy.

caramel sauce being poured over banana pudding

FAQ

Why do some banana pudding recipes include a meringue topping?

Old fashioned banana pudding made from scratch requires egg yolks. Resourceful bakers didn’t want to let the egg whites go to waste so they would top the pudding with meringue (a mixture of egg whites and sugar formed into stiff peaks).

How do you keep bananas from turning brown and banana pudding?

You want to use ripe bananas but they shouldn’t be too ripe. In order to prevent them from browning, you can coat the sliced banana in a teaspoon of lemon juice.

What can I use in banana pudding if I don’t have vanilla wafers?

This recipe includes two cookies other than vanilla wafers. You can use Chessmen Cookies and Golden Oreos as replacements.

How do you thicken homemade banana pudding?

Condensed milk helps to thicken the banana pudding. You can also thicken it by refrigerating it.

I hope you enjoy making this Old Fashioned Banana Pudding recipe! Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more Internet Chef content!

More Easy Dessert Recipes To Try!

close up of banana pudding

Old Fashioned Banana Pudding

Old Fashioned Banana Pudding is a sweet, layered dessert of pudding enhanced with condensed milk, whipped cream, banana slices, and cookies. Smooth, creamy, and luscious, this no-bake banana pudding recipe will have you scooping for seconds in no time!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cooling Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 297 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 box Instant Vanilla Pudding
  • 1 box Instant Banana Cream Pudding
  • 3 cups Whole Milk
  • ½ can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 block Softened Cream Cheese
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 container Cool Whip
  • 1 pack Chessmen Cookies
  • 1 box Nilla Wafers
  • 1 pack Golden Oreos
  • 4 Bananas sliced

Instructions
 

  • Mix together pudding and milk for two minutes until thickened.
  • In a seperate bowl, mix together cream cheese, condensed milk, and vanilla extract. Once combined, add pudding mix then fold in whipped cream.
  • In a medium dish, layer cookies, bananas, and pudding mixture, then more cookies, bananas, and pudding mix.
  • Top off with remaining pudding mix, Oreos, chessmen cookies, and more crumbled wafers. ENJOY!
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