How To Make Banana Pudding With Cool Whip

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 I did a little research on how to make banana pudding with cool whip. I will first give you a little history of the dessert and then tell you how to make it with some personal advice.

Cool Whip is a great go-to for those who are making banana pudding for the first time. It is something that has been around for decades and it is something that most everyone knows how to use.

How To Make Banana Pudding With Cool Whip

Easy Dreamy Banana Pudding – This No Bake Banana Pudding is incredibly creamy and delicious. It’s every bit as good as the old-fashioned southern banana pudding your grandmother made.

a small white bowl filled with this easy banana pudding recipe topped with whipped cream and a vanilla wafer

Many of the desserts I make are really easy to put together and I think that is often a plus. Some people add all kinds of things in their pudding and those are certainly delicious, but this simple recipe is one has stood the test of time. Sometimes simple is truly better y’all, and this is one of those times!

A large glass serving bowl filled with this easy banana pudding recipe topped with whipped cream and a vanilla wafers

What you Need to Make a No Bake Banana Pudding

  • Vanilla Pudding
  • Whipped Topping (Cool Whip)
  • Bananas
  • Nilla Wafers or Chessman Cookies as an option
  • Milk
A large glass serving bowl filled with this easy banana pudding recipe topped with whipped cream and a vanilla wafers

How to Make Easy Southern Banana Pudding

Step 1.   Whip up two boxes of 5.1 oz Instant Vanilla Pudding with 6 cups of milk (I use whole milk – it’s creamier). In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer mix the pudding and milk for 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 2. Add in 16 ounces of whipped topping -(I love getting BOGO at my local Publix grocery store) Mix this in until creamy and well blended. 

Step 3.  Use a trifle dish or a 9 X 13 baking dish. Layer the bottom with pudding, add cookies and bananas. Then repeat layers as your container permits, ending with a pudding layer on top. (I usually have 5 or 6 layers in my trifle dish)

Step 4. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to overnight to set.

TIPS : (I like to make this early in the morning if used for an evening dessert, or I make it the day before if having for lunch. I find if it sits overnight it is delicious. However, I would dip bananas in lemon juice if you plan to allow them to show. Also, I don’t recommend garnishing the top with sliced bananas, as they will brown.

Step 5. Garnish as desired and serve.

Easy Layered Banana Pudding

Today I am sharing with you a family favorite–Banana Pudding. Yes, this recipe is a favorite in my house. As a matter of fact, I made this twice last week.

A simple no-bake recipe made with pudding, sweetened condensed milk,
cool whip, cream cheese, bananas, milk, and vanilla wafers. This is a favorite southern dessert and usually shows up for holidays and gatherings.

There are times when you can’t seem to get enough of something. Well, this was one of those times. I made banana pudding on Saturday, and by Wednesday, my family was asking for more!

Why Should I Make This Recipe?

Fresh bananas, creamy pudding, and vanilla wafers come together to make a no-bake dessert guaranteed to please a crowd. This comes together fast–20 minutes. The hardest part is letting it chill before eating. Sure, you could eat it as soon as it is prepared, but it is so much better when it is cold. This recipe really does make the best banana pudding I have ever tasted.

Where Should I Serve this Homemade Banana Pudding?

Make this for a church social, family reunion, weekend treat, barbeque, potluck, or just because you want banana pudding. You will be so glad you did!

This recipe will make a FULL 13 x 9-inch casserole dish– and a smaller round casserole dish as well. Unless you just want to put the leftover pudding mixture in a bowl to eat as a midnight snack. Hmmm–I really wouldn’t know anything about that. 

Make an Extra Bowl to Give Away

I did have enough pudding mixture left over to make a smaller round casserole dish full of banana pudding for my son to have at his house. This will allow you one to keep and one to give away. 

Ingredients Needed for Banana Pudding

vanilla wafers
bananas, sliced
milk
vanilla instant pudding
cream cheese
sweetened condensed milk
Cool Whip, thawed

Vanilla Wafers-– I like to use Nabisco Nilla Wafers but use your favorite wafers.
Instant Pudding– Instant pudding sets up fast in this recipe. I like to use the Jell-O brand. Again, use your favorite brand. Vanilla Pudding is so good.
Cream Cheese- One block of softened cream cheese is all you will need for this recipe. Make sure the cream cheese is very soft before trying to mix.
Sweetened Condensed Milk- This is just pure sweetened goodness in a small can. I like to use a can in my Banana Pudding. The taste is amazing.
Cool Whip- Cool Whip just seems to make everything a little better. I like to keep a container in my refrigerator for those times I need just a little extra for my desserts.
Milk- This is needed to make the Pudding.
Bananas- You want to use ripe bananas but not mushy bananas. Try to find ripe and firm bananas for this recipe. Save the mushy bananas for Banana Nut Bread. YUM!

How to Make Delicious Easy Banana Pudding (with Cream Cheese and Cool Whip)

Line the bottom of a 13″ x9″ inch casserole dish with vanilla wafers.
They don’t have to be perfect, just pour them in and arrange in a single layer.
Slice bananas and arrange on top of the vanilla wafers.

In a mixing bowl, combine the pudding mix and milk and beat on low until the pudding has thickened.
In another bowl, mix the cream cheese and condensed milk together. Mix until smooth. Pour into the pudding mixture and beat on low for several minutes.

Fold in the Cool Whip and stir until evenly combined.
Spoon Cool Whip mixture over the top of the bananas.
Place remaining cookies on top of the pudding.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Store extra pudding mixture in the refrigerator to eat as a snack or make a smaller banana pudding with the leftover filling.

Easy Classic Banana Pudding

Homemade banana pudding is a southern classic! This easy dessert recipe is perfect for potlucks, picnics, barbecues, during the holidays and so much more. Made with a vanilla-scented pudding, fresh banana slices, and vanilla wafers!

banana pudding in glass dish topped with whipped cream, wafer cookies, and banana slices

Would you look at all those flavors!

Creamy swoops of vanilla pudding mixture, freshly sliced bananas, and crunchy vanilla cookies tucked between layers of pudding. 

Do you remember the Magnolia Bakery’s Famous Banana Pudding recipe taking the internet by storm circa 2012? I couldn’t believe how simple the recipe was. And to be honest, it just never tasted the same after that. Maybe it had to do with the fact that it was too easy?

My homemade version of the quick banana pudding uses a lot of the same ingredients but I’ve also tweaked it some to give it a little more southern charm. A no-fuss, completely straightforward recipe that’s loaded with all the classic southern flavors, and the best part is anyone can make this! One simple addition to the vanilla pudding keeps the guests on their toes! Is it made from scratch? What is that flavor? Why can I not stop eating it?’ 

showing inside texture of banana pudding

Ingredients in a Classic Homemade Banana Pudding:

  • Cream Cheese: I add just a bit of cream cheese to the vanilla pudding to help give it a bit more depth. The cream cheese also helps cut down on the sweetness just a tiny bit.
  • Condensed Milk: You’ll need sweetened condensed milk for this recipe. The condensed milk is combined with the cream cheese and other ingredients to make the vanilla pudding.
  • Flavorings: I like to amp up the vanilla flavor by adding my favorite vanilla extract to the recipe. I also like to add a small pinch of salt to cut some of the sweetness in the pudding.
  • Milk: I use 2% milk to make the pudding. Since we’re folding in heavy cream later anyway, I use lower fat milk here to make sure the pudding doesn’t become too rich by the end.
  • Instant Vanilla Pudding: you’ll need a larger size of the vanilla pudding mix. You could swap this for banana pudding if you like a lot of banana flavor!
  • Heavy Cream: We’ll whip the heavy cream and use most of it to mix into the pudding. The remaining bit of heavy cream will be used as a topping right before we serve this classic banana pudding. Some people like to use cool whip in place of the heavy cream, but I find that it makes the banana pudding overly sweet for my taste.
  • Fresh Bananas: Using bananas that are too ripe causes them to just fall apart in the pudding during serving. The perfect banana for this recipe is one that is completely yellow with just a few brown spots.
  • Nilla Wafers: these need no description at all! It’s as if the classic banana pudding keeps these relevant. Not traditional, but you could also use chessmen cookies instead if you’d like.
vanilla pudding and vanilla pudding being mixed with freshly whipped cream
swirled whipped cream mixed with vanilla pudding

Tips for making perfect banana pudding:

  1. Use an electric mixer to make the pudding mix. Make sure the cream cheese is softened to room temperature and really whip it well it well in your stand mixer or with hand beaters before adding the other ingredients. The first time I made this, I didn’t whip the cream cheese enough before adding the other ingredients and the pudding was slightly lumpy. Luckily, once I fold in the whipped cream, it was impossible to tell. But still, I learned my lesson!
  2. Chill the banana pudding for a few hours before serving. But not longer than 8-10 hours. I find after that point the banana pudding starts losing its luster because the wafers start to soften too much.
  3. Other cookies will work if you don’t have Nilla Wafers. I’ve had a tough time finding the classic wafer cookies you use in a banana pudding here a few times. If that happens to you too, you can swap them for butter cookies or even vanilla sandwich cookies.  

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