The Best Banana Pudding is a no-cook recipe made with sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese, pudding, fresh bananas and Nilla wafers!

I think Banana Pudding (Nanner Puddin’ as we call it) is just one of those things that has to be homemade. And by homemade, I mean, not store-bought.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A NO-COOK AND A COOKED BANANA PUDDING?

The only issue with cooked banana pudding is the bananas tend to brown pretty quickly. If you are taking banana pudding to a potluck or a picnic, you kinda want to show up with pretty, non-brown bananas. This no-cook version is often called Picnic Banana Pudding because it’s great for picnics or potlucks, bananas stay fresher, longer and because it travels great and serves up easily.

WHAT IS A NILLA WAFER?

I prefer the traditional Nilla Wafer made by Nabisco (see ingredient image below.)  I’ve tried lots of different versions and that one is the best! I’ve even tried making my own but there is nothing like that Nilla Wafer flavor. I know you will love it and folks will be begging for the recipe!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
cream cheese
sweetened condensed milk
Instant vanilla pudding mix
milk
vanilla extract
whipped topping (COOL WHIP)
Nilla wafers
ripe bananas

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 oz) block cream cheese, softened to room temp.
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (5 oz) package Instant vanilla pudding mix, larger box
  • 3 cups milk, 2 % or higher
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 (8 oz) tub whipped topping (COOL WHIP), thawed
  • 1 (11 oz) box Nilla wafers
  • 5-7 bananas, peeled and sliced

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS TO MAKE THE BEST BANANA PUDDING:

  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and fluffy.
  • Add in sweetened condensed milk, pudding mix, milk and vanilla extract.
  • Mix until combined well.
  • Finally, stir in half of the whipped topping.
  • To layer: place one-third of the vanilla wafers in a layer on the bottom of a trifle dish, large bowl or a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Add a layer of bananas.
  • Then pour one-third of the pudding mixture on top (enough to cover all the bananas).
  • Continue with two more layers.
  • Top with remaining whipped topping.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one to two hours before serving so it can thicken up and the wafers can soften.

Notes

Cook’s Notes: Keep your mixer on low speed at first so the milk doesn’t fly everywhere. Also, if you are using a stand mixer, make sure you get in there with a rubber spatula and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is getting incorporated. That cream cheese likes to stay on the bottom of the bowl. I find that it can sometimes become a bit lumpy (especially if my cream cheese isn’t soft enough). If this happens to you, just keep mixing until most of the lumps are gone. After a few minutes of constant mixing, it will smooth out.