The very same Banana Pudding you find in New York but made simple in your very own kitchen. Creamy, light banana pudding with vanilla cookie crumbles and fresh bananas is a southern classic you can enjoy all year long.

Banana Pudding in a small trifle dish with a Nilla wafer on top.

The Best Banana Pudding

I’ve always been a fan of homemade Banana Pudding, it’s a staple at a lot of gatherings and family parties simply because it’s easy to make and feeds a crowd. The cool creaminess makes it perfect for warmer weather and the fact that it’s no bake….well, that’s just icing on the cake.

Some Banana Pudding recipes can be overly sweet but when I tried the Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding in New York City I was absolutely hooked. It’s not overly sweet at all and the cookie crumbles don’t vanish or get too soft. 

I created this recipe inspired by the very same one in New York and I haven’t looked back It’s the perfect blend of creamy, sweet, crunchy and cool. And it takes no time to make at all.

Banana Pudding with whipped cream, a banana slice and cookie on top on a blue background.

How To Make Banana Pudding

A lot of recipes, including Magnolia Bakery’s, start with instant pudding and frozen whipped topping but I like to use my homemade whipped cream. It’s simple enough to whip up in seconds and adds a light creaminess you don’t get with whipped topping from the store. 

But, if you’re in a hurry….feel free to use the ready made whipped topping, it’s still insanely tasty.

  1. Whisk the pudding, water and sweetened condensed milk until smooth.
  2. Refrigerate until set.
  3. Beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. 
  4. Fold the whipped cream into the pudding.
  5. Layer the cookies, banana and custard in a trifle dish.
  6. Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
  7. Top with whipped cream and crumbled cookie crumbs.
Banana Pudding in a glass dessert dish with a gold spoon

What is Banana Pudding?

Banana Pudding is a heavenly dessert made by layering banana flavored custard, vanilla wafer cookies and freshly sliced bananas.

Typically topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with cookie crumbs, it’s commonly thought as southern comfort food but has become popular all over the country.

And while you can absolutely make Banana Pudding from scratch, I prefer to start with instant pudding and store bought vanilla wafer cookies to keep things simple.

If you don’t want to use banana pudding….you can substitute with this easy Vanilla Pudding, too.

How To Keep Bananas From Browning

Since this is a great recipe for making in advance, you’ll want to make sure you pick bananas that are barely ripe. Bananas perfect for banana bread are not perfect for Banana Pudding.

Toss your banana sliced with a bit of diluted lemon juice, don’t soak them in it as the bananas will take on the acidic flavor from the lemons if left to sit too long.

Slice your bananas right before assembling the trifle so they’re not exposed to air as long. I like to slice and toss with the lemon right before I layer them in the bowl.

You can also make a solution of honey and water (1:1 ratio) to brush on the bananas. This will lend a sweeter flavor and add a bit of sugar so if you’re worried about it being too sweet, stick with the lemons.

Four dessert glasses filled with banana pudding on a blue background.

Storage Suggestions

Homemade Banana Pudding is great to enjoy within 24 hours of assembling but we’ve enjoyed it up to 5 days and it’s just as good, in my opinion.

Simply cover your pudding with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

Unfortunately, I don’t recommend freezing banana pudding as it becomes watery and unstable upon thawing.

But it’s so easy to make, you don’t really need to freeze it.

More Banana Pudding Recipes

If you love this recipe, you may also like this AHHHMAZING Chocolate Banana Pudding I made a few years back. Or definitely try this Pina Colada Banana Pudding and this crazy amazing Caramel Banana Pudding. So, sooooooo good!

We also love these easy Banana Pudding Cookies!!!


Banana Pudding in a small trifle dish with a Nilla wafer on top.

Get the Recipe: The Best Banana Pudding Recipe

Smooth, creamy homemade Banana Pudding is just like the Magnolia Bakery recipe in New York City. Easy to make with sliced bananas, creamy custard and vanilla wafer cookies. Perfect for potlucks.
5 from 1 vote


  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup instant Banana Pudding mix
  • 1 14- ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 12- ounce package vanilla wafer cookies
  • 3 bananas sliced


  • 1 trifle dish
  • 1 large mixing bowl


  • In a large bowl, whisk together the water, pudding mix and sweetened condensed milk until smooth and thick.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours until set.
  • In a medium bowl, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Working in thirds, fold the whipped cream into the pudding mixture until combined.
  • Place one layer of wafer cookies in the bottom of a trifle bowl and then top with a layer of bananas.
  • Spread a layer of pudding on top of the banana. Repeat until all the ingredients have been used (or your bowl is filled to the top.) finishing with a layer of pudding.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
  • Top with more whipped cream and garnish with banana before serving, if desired.


YouTube video


Banana Pudding can be made up to 2 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Calories: 591kcal, Carbohydrates: 62g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 37g, Saturated Fat: 21g, Cholesterol: 113mg, Sodium: 242mg, Potassium: 369mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 40g, Vitamin A: 1186IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 170mg, Iron: 1mg