Updated: Apr 28, 2022
Few desserts are as well-loved and popular as banana pudding, but this recipe outshines any other by a landslide with its unparalleled flavors and textures. This classic comfort food has layers of sweet, smooth vanilla pudding, fresh bananas, and Nilla wafers creating a heavenly and irresistible dessert. It’s rich and creamy, yet light and fluffy, and satisfies the sweet tooth without being heavy. With the perfect banana flavor without being overpowering, and crunchy Nilla wafers that become cake-like once set, this easy-to-make, no-bake, made from scratch southern dessert is a must try recipe and will be loved by all.
2oz cream cheese, softened
7oz sweetened condensed milk
½ cup very cold milk
¼ cup very cold water
1.7oz instant vanilla pudding mix (Half of a 3.4 oz box)
11oz box of Nilla wafers (you will not use the full box)
1½ cups heavy whipping cream
¼ tsp clear vanilla flavor
4 small bananas, sliced
In a large bowl, use an electric handheld mixer to beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
Add the sweetened condensed milk, cold milk, and cold water, and beat on medium-low speed for 1-2 minutes until combined and smooth.
Add the vanilla pudding mix and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, or until the pudding just starts to thicken.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight to ensure the pudding completely sets.
In a large bowl, use an electric handheld mixer to beat the heavy whipping cream and vanilla flavor until stiff peaks form.
Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the whipped cream into the fully set pudding mixture until combined and uniform in color with no visible streaks.
Line the bottom of a medium sized serving bowl or several mini trifle dishes with one layer of the Nilla wafers. (I used a 1.5-quart clear glass bowl with a flat bottom.) (Note: A standard trifle dish will be too large unless you double the recipe.)
Place one layer of sliced bananas on top of the wafers. Top the banana slices with ⅓ of the pudding mixture.
Repeat this process until there are 3 layers of wafers, bananas, and pudding.
Crush 5-6 wafers and any crumbs or broken wafers from the box and sprinkle on top of the pudding. Cover and keep refrigerated until serving.