The Best Creamy Banana Pudding Recipe is made with sweetened condensed milk and Cool Whip for a creamy, dreamy texture. Fresh bananas and vanilla wafers make this recipe an outstanding make-ahead dessert.
The other day, Mike requested banana pudding for dessert. I replied, “We just had banana pudding the other weekend!”
He didn’t care and the kids were all enthusiastically on board with the idea too. This is one of our favorite desserts and I thought I’d share the recipe with you today.
Disclosure – I may get a small commission for purchases made through links in this post.
I normally just put the banana pudding into one serving bowl and put vanilla wafers around the top but Emily helped me serve these in our fancy parfait cups with some extra Cool Whip on top.
The leftover banana pudding was dished into a smaller serving bowl for another day.
Key to Success #1 – Use Sweetened Condensed Milk
The pudding part of this banana pudding is made with sweetened condensed milk, water, and banana cream instant pudding mix.
It does not contain any regular milk. The water and condensed milk are in place of regular milk.
I always make my banana pudding the lighter way with Lite Cool Whip and fat-free sweetened condensed milk. But you can use the full-fat varieties if that’s what you have on hand.
To me, it doesn’t make a big difference in the taste or texture of the dessert.
What I think does make a difference is using a generic pudding mix. When I have used a generic pudding mix, the pudding is not as thick and creamy, so I always use Jell-O brand pudding.
This is my personal preferences and other brands of pudding will work in this recipe if that’s what you have.
Key to Success #2 – Shake Shake the Pudding
I mix up my pudding in a plastic food storage container with a tight-fitting lid. I add in the sweetened condensed milk, water, and pudding mix all at once.
Then I tightly close the lid and shake the container until the pudding starts to thicken up. I do this over the sink “just in case” but I never have any leaks.
Next, I put the bowl of pudding in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes until the pudding gets nice and thick.
Finally, I add in the Cool Whip and stir well.
Key to Success #3 – Layer Me Up
The key to a good banana pudding without banana that are turning brown is to make sure the bananas are completely covered with the pudding mixture.
I do not suggest putting lemon on the bananas because you can totally taste that and I don’t think it’s pleasant.
Start with a layer of vanilla wafers. You can use the broken cookies in this layer and save the perfect cookies for the top layer.
Next, add in half the banana slices. I recommend slicing the bananas but you can cut them into chunks if you prefer.
On top of the bananas, pour in half the pudding. Make sure the bananas are completely covered with the pudding.
Repeat the layers of vanilla wafers, banana slices, and pudding.
Finally, carefully place the vanilla wafers on the top of the pudding layer. I place the vanilla wafers with the top facing up but you can get creative!
We made a video tutorial of this recipe to show two ways this dessert can be served. It can be found here.
If you have any questions about this recipe, please ask in the comments and I’d be happy to help.
Save this Creamy Banana Pudding recipe to your favorite Banana Recipes board or your Puddings and Pies board.
- 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 container (8 oz) Cool Whip
- 1 1/2 cups cold water
- 1 pkg (3.5 oz) Jell-O banana cream pudding mix
- 3-4 bananas
- 1 box (11 oz) Vanilla Wafers
- In large bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, water, and pudding mix. Mix well. (I put in a bowl with a tight lid and shake to combine.) Refrigerate 5 minutes until thickened. Stir in Cool Whip.
- In serving bowl, layer vanilla wafers, 1/2 bananas, and 1/2 pudding. Repeat layers. Top with vanilla wafers.
- Chill a few hours to overnight to let the vanilla wafers soften.
Use Lite Cool Whip if desired. Garnish with additional Cool Whip and vanilla wafers.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g