This no-bake banana pudding recipe is not your typical banana pudding! Vanilla wafers and fresh banana coins are layered between sweet, creamy pudding. This crowd-pleasing dessert makes a big batch, perfect for large family gatherings with many mouths to feed.

serving banana pudding

When hosting a crowd, you need a simple yet delicious dessert like this banana pudding recipe in your back pocket. You can whip up this family favorite with just a few ingredients in no time!

Why I Love This Recipe

My aunt makes this no-bake banana pudding recipe every year for our family lake trip, and I’m not kidding when I say it makes a BIG batch!

The creamy blend of French vanilla pudding, paired with the natural sweetness of bananas and the crunch of vanilla wafers, can only be described as heavenly. Plus, all the ingredients are budget-friendly, making it perfect for large family or potluck-style parties.

a spoonful of banana pudding

This classic recipe is great for anyone looking for a quick, delicious dessert — it’s especially kid-friendly and easily customizable. Best of all, no oven is needed, making it a go-to for warm days when you want an indulgent treat without the heat.

banana pudding layered in a glass

Ingredient Notes

This banana pudding recipe only calls for 7 ingredients, to be exact. Here’s everything you’ll need:

  • Vanilla Wafers: Provide a sweet, vanilla flavor and a crisp texture that contrasts the creamy layers. The most popular brand is Nilla, but you can use any type you prefer.
  • Bananas: Bananas add a natural sweetness and soft texture. Make sure to use ripe bananas that are still firm for the best results.
  • Milk: I use regular milk, but you can use whole milk for a creamier consistency.
  • French Vanilla Pudding: Since this is a no-bake recipe, it’s important to use an instant French vanilla pudding mix that doesn’t require any cooking to activate.
  • Cream Cheese: Gives the pudding a rich, tangy flavor and a smooth, thick texture.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: Provides sweetness and a dense, creamy texture.
  • Frozen Whipped Topping: Adds lightness and fluffiness to the dish, balancing the richness of the cream cheese and condensed milk.


  • Graham crackers or shortbread can be used instead of vanilla wafers for a different texture and a slightly more buttery flavor.
  • You can also try regular vanilla, banana, or even butterscotch pudding mix.
  • Mascarpone cheese can be used instead of cream cheese for a sweeter, richer flavor.
  • If you don’t have condensed milk, a mixture of evaporated milk and sugar (¾ cup sugar to 1 cup evaporated milk) will work in a pinch.
  • Freshly whipped cream can be used for a richer taste and slightly heavier texture.
ingredients for banana pudding - bananas, cool whip, Nilla wafers, cream cheese, and sweetened condensed milk

How to Make

Follow my step-by-step instructions below for the easiest way to make a banana pudding recipe.


Slice the bananas into even, medium-thick rounds for a consistent texture throughout the pudding. To prevent the bananas from browning, you can lightly toss them in lemon juice. This won’t affect the taste but will keep them looking fresh.


Step 1
Layer the bottom of your dish with one bag of vanilla wafers, followed by a layer of sliced bananas. For a firmer base, you can briefly dip the wafers in milk before layering.

Step 2
Combine the milk and French vanilla pudding mix in a bowl. Whisk or use an electric mixer until the mixture is well-blended and smooth.

Step 3
In a separate bowl, blend the softened cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until the mixture is smooth. Gently fold the thawed whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Folding in the topping, rather than stirring, keeps the mixture light and airy.

Step 4
Combine the cream cheese mixture with the pudding mixture, stirring until well integrated. Don’t forget to fold it together gently to prevent the mixture from losing its light and airy texture.

Combining the cream cheese mixture with the pudding mixture

Step 5
Pour the combined mixture over the layered cookies and bananas, spreading it evenly to cover everything. A spatula works best for this part. Then, top the pudding with the remaining vanilla wafers before chilling and serving.

Expert Tip

Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature, and your whipped topping is properly thawed for a smooth, lump-free banana pudding consistency. When you’re combining the cream cheese mixture with the pudding mixture, the key is to fold gently to prevent the dessert from turning out too dense.

Layering the wafers and bananas evenly is equally important for the perfect balance of flavors and textures in each spoonful. If you follow these simple tips, you’ll always have consistent and successful results!

banana pudding in casserole dish

Recipe Tips

  • Banana Ripeness: Use ripe but firm bananas to prevent them from becoming mushy.
  • Layering: Evenly layer the wafers and bananas for a consistent texture and flavor in every bite.
  • Chill Time: While I recommend a minimum of 4 hours for chilling, overnight often yields the best results.


  • Nuts: Sprinkle chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts over each layer for added crunch.
  • Berries: Mix in fresh berries like strawberries or blueberries with the bananas.
  • Spiced: Add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg to the pudding for a warm, spiced flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I chill the pudding before serving?

Chill the pudding for at least 4 hours to allow the flavors to meld and the texture to set properly.

What’s the best way to fold in the whipped topping?

Use a spatula and gently fold it in to maintain a light and airy texture, avoiding overmixing.

How can I tell if the cream cheese is at the right temperature for blending?

The cream cheese should be soft to the touch but not melting. It should blend smoothly without lumps. If it’s too cold, it’ll be lumpy; too warm, and it may make the mixture runny.


Follow these simple storage tips to make the most out of your banana pudding recipe:

Place the pudding in an airtight container or cover the serving dish with plastic wrap. It will last up to 3 days, but the texture is best within the first 24-48 hours.

I don’t recommend freezing this banana pudding recipe, as it will alter the texture of the cream and bananas too much.

More Desserts

Creamy Banana Pudding (7 Ingredients)

This no-bake banana pudding recipe is not your typical banana pudding! Vanilla wafers and fresh banana coins are layered between sweet, creamy pudding. This crowd-pleasing dessert makes a big batch, perfect for large family gatherings with many mouths to feed.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 1 hour
Resting Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours
Servings 16



  • 2 boxes Nilla Wafers
  • 6-8 bananas peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups milk
  • 5 ounces French vanilla pudding
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 12 ounces Cool Whip thawed


  • Layer 1 bag of cookies and all the bananas in the bottom of a deep-dish 9×13 inch casserole.
  • In a large bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using whisk or mixer.
  • Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth.
  • Next, fold the cool whip into the bowl of cream cheese mixture.
  • Then, add the cream cheese mixture to the large bowl of pudding mixture. Stir until well blended.
  • Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas. Gently spread until evenly distributed. Then, cover with the remaining cookies.
  • Cover the pudding and allow to set in the refrigerator for 4 hours before serving.


Nutrition Facts
Creamy Banana Pudding (7 Ingredients)
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutritional values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.
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