Southern-style banana pudding

A fun project to make with kids


In cold, rainy winter months it is sometimes difficult to get outside for family activities. One of my favorite January projects with my children, when they were young, was to prepare food together, especially things that they liked. A favorite was, and still is, banana pudding. With southern roots, this simple and comforting dessert was a frequent treat in my own childhood home.  I encourage you to try this recipe with your children or grandchildren (or maybe just to treat yourself). This timeless classic rarely disappoints.

No baking

This is an easy, no-bake recipe that can serve a few or many, basically depending on the size of your serving bowl and ingredients.


3 - 6 ripe and firm (not overripe), bananas
1 - 2 packages of instant banana crème pudding mix, OR vanilla pudding mix if you cannot find banana crème flavor (the instant pudding doesn't require cooking)
1-3 cups of COLD whole milk, as specified in the pudding package directions
20 - 30 vanilla wafer cookies (like Nilla Wafers)
1 container of prepared whipped topping (like Cool Whip) 
Dash of nutmeg

Layering the bowl with the cookies, and preparing the rest of the ingredients
Layering the bowl with the cookies, and preparing the rest of the ingredients


Find a suitable bowl to build the pudding in. I prefer a large glass bowl.

Line the bottom and sides of the bowl with vanilla wafer cookies, typically about three levels up if possible.

Prepare the instant pudding according to the package directions. If you want a denser pudding, omit one-half of a cup of milk. Let the instant pudding rest for at least five minutes to thicken.

Meanwhile, slice the bananas horizontally into 1/4-inch-thick disks.

Thaw out the whipped topping if necessary.

Build your pudding:

Add a layer of pudding mixture on top of the vanilla wafers Add a layer of sliced bananas on top of the pudding mixture.  Add a layer of vanilla wafers on top of the bananas Add another layer of pudding mixture Then add another layer of sliced bananas. Finish with a thick layer of whipped topping.

Garnish with a dash of nutmeg. Refrigerate immediately for two hours before serving.



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