Sharing my Mama’s Best Banana Pudding recipe that has layers of creamy pudding, fresh bananas, vanilla wafers and whipped cream in this easy classic recipe!

Banana Pudding in a trifle bowl and small jar.

There are a few things that are only good when made the way my Mom makes them. This Banana Pudding is absolutely one of them.

I have tried many, many other banana puddings at restaurants and bakeries and I always regret it.

It’s just never, ever as good as my Mama’s Best Banana Pudding! Family recipes are the best for a reason.

They don’t even come close and you will be shocked when I show you how easy this Banana Pudding recipe is to make.

Mason jar filled with banana pudding.

Creamy Banana Pudding:

As with a lot of my Mom’s recipes, the secret to this extra creamy banana pudding is sweetened condensed milk!

It’s one of those things that just can’t be replaced. It brings a sweetness and creamy texture that no other ingredient can give.

It’s also the secret to her famous sweet potato casserole! If you have never tried it, you need to, it is SO GOOD!

For this recipe, you mix the sweetened condensed milk in with the pudding and it creates the perfect base for this pudding recipe.

Creamy banana pudding recipe layered with whip cream and nilla wafers in a trifle bowl.

Banana Pudding Ingredients

Wondering what goes into this banana pudding recipe? Just 8 easy ingredients!

  • fresh bananas
  • vanilla wafers
  • instant vanilla pudding
  • whole milk
  • sweetened condensed milk
  • heavy cream (or cool whip)
  • vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar

Yes, this recipe uses instant vanilla pudding. Some of you may want to make your own homemade pudding.

I prefer the instant for this recipe. I have tried homemade and the final dish just isn’t what I want it to be.

Secondly, you do not want to use banana instant pudding. There are a TON of real banana slices added to this banana pudding.

They give it a great REAL BANANA flavor! If you use instant banana pudding, it will take on an artificial flavor. 

Small jar filled with banana pudding, vanilla wafers, bananas and whip cream.

Can I make this Banana Pudding recipe ahead of time?

This is a super common question I get a lot and the answer is YES! You can make this recipe ahead!

This recipe is best if you let it rest for at least a few hours before serving it to allow the wafers to soak up some of the pudding.

One that happens, this recipe turns into this perfect soft creamy texture that you want in a good Banana Pudding!

How to keep bananas from turning brown?

Yes, your bananas are going to turn a little brown…especially the ones towards the top that are exposed to air.

Once you peel and cut a banana, they will start turning brown almost immediately.

One way to prevent your bananas chasing colors is to coat the banana slices in an acidic fruit juice like lemon, lime juice or pineapple juice.

However, this is completely unnecessary. A slightly browned banana tastes no different!

Plus, once the pudding rests, the brown vanilla wafers and bananas become hard to decipher from each other. 

Three jars of banana pudding with a spoon.

Cool Whip vs Whipped Cream

This is 100% a personal choice and I know many people feel strongly.

I have given you directions on how to use both, so it is absolutely up to you!

If you want the 90’s version of Banana Pudding that your mom probably made, then use cool whip. 

If you would like a richer version, use real whipped cream. The choice is yours! 

Banana Pudding in a trifle bowl with a banana and vanilla wafer on top.

I am so happy to be sharing my Mama’s Banana Pudding recipe, it’s been a staple in our family for over 20 years.

This Banana Pudding recipe can be served in a trifle bowl, individual jars or can also be doubled to fill a 9×13 dish to feed a crowd!

I hope you enjoy this family recipe as much as we have over all these years! Please leave a comment with how it works out for you below!


Best Banana Pudding Recipe

Best Banana Pudding Recipe

Yield: serves 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Resting Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Sharing my Mama's Best Banana Pudding recipe that has layers of creamy pudding, fresh bananas, vanilla wafers and whipped cream in this easy classic recipe!


  • 16 ounce heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (5.1 oz) box instant vanilla pudding (dry mix only)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 5 large bananas, sliced
  • 1 (11 oz) box vanilla wafers


  1. With a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, whisk heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together powdered pudding mix, milk and condensed milk until smooth. Let sit for 3 minutes. Fold in whipped cream until smooth (reserve a little whip cream for decoration on top if desired).
  3. In a large trifle bowl (or individual parfait glasses) assemble the pudding. First, lay one third of vanilla wafers across the bottom of the bowl. Top with one third of the banana slices. Cover with one third of the pudding mixture. Continue with two more layers, reserving a few vanilla wafers to lay across the top as garnish.
  4. Cover pudding and let it rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving. Can also be made up to a day ahead and stored in the fridge until ready to serve!


COOL WHIP: If you would prefer to use cool whip, swap the first 3 ingredients (whipping cream, powdered sugar, vanilla extract) with a 12 oz container of Cool Whip.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 servings Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 318 Total Fat: 22g Saturated Fat: 13g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 65mg Sodium: 57mg Carbohydrates: 29g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 20g Protein: 4g

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