Easy Southern Style Banana Pudding

Easy Southern Style Banana PuddingMy mother made delicious banana cream pies when I was growing up.  We’ll talk about Mom’s pies later.  My friend, Tammy, had a mother who made delicious banana pudding.  Both of them made these dishes from scratch.  I will be sharing their recipes in the future.  Anyone who comes here often knows that sometimes, I just want to be lazy, I want to take a simple approach to making dessert.

This recipe fits the bill, though banana pudding is still labor-intensive if you want it to look pretty.  My mom asked me once why we bothered to take all the time to make the banana pudding look so pretty when the family devoured it so fast.  She once suggested that we just pile everything into the bowl haphazardly and give it a stir and top it with some crumbs.  We both agreed that the family might not notice, but we never gave it a try just in case they liked the way it looked.

Here’s how you make this version of the pudding.

A bowl of milk

Put 3 cups of milk in to a bowl.

mix vanilla extract and pudding mix into milk

Add  1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and two  4 serving size packages of vanilla instant pudding.

pudding thickens after stirring

Stir until pudding begins to thicken.

Cool whip in top of pudding

Fold in an 8 ounce package of frozen whipped topping, thawed.   Then set aside.

Gently fold cool whip into jello pudding

Arrange a layer of vanilla wafers in the bottom of a 9 x 12 inch baking dish.

vanilla wafers layered in pan

Arrange sliced bananas on top of this (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of this step.)

pudding spread evenly over cookies

Then spoon half of the pudding mixture on top of the bananas and cookies and spread evenly across the entire pan.

Layer cookies on top pudding mixture and top with sliced bananas.

Then, layer cookies on top of the pudding mixture.  Top these cookies with more sliced bananas. (Yes, I realize that I forgot to take a picture of the bananas, AGAIN!) 

pudding spread evenly over cookies

Spoon the rest of the pudding on top of this layer of cookies and bananas and smooth it over the pan, spreading it evenly to the edges.

Whole vanilla wafers and crushed vanilla wafers top of the pudding.

Finish pudding by putting a row of cookies around the edge of the pan and sprinkle some crushed cookies over the middle.  Cover the pan and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.  (You can eat it right away, but the cookies get soft if you let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours.)

To make this recipe more friendly for dieters or diabetics, make it with non-fat milk and sugar-free instant pudding.  You can choose either fat-free or sugar-free frozen whipped topping, too.  No one in my house has complained when I make it this way, and my diabetic guests are appreciative.

Easy Southern Style Banana Pudding
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
This is a simple and tasty banana pudding recipe. You can trim calories by using non-fat milk and sugar free pudding mix. You can also use either fat free or sugar free frozen whipped topping. No one in my family has noticed when I make these changes for visitors with diabetes or other health concerns. It's still not a health food, but it's better.
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 (4 serving size) packages of Instant Vanilla Pudding mix
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (8 oz) package frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 4-6 bananas sliced
  • 12 oz box vanilla wafers
  1. Mix together milk and instant pudding until pudding begins to thicken.
  2. Stir in vanilla extract and mix well.
  3. Fold in frozen whipped topping.
  4. Set aside.
  5. Place vanilla wafers in a single layer on the bottom of a 9x12 inch pan
  6. Slice bananas and layer them in a single layer on top of the vanilla wafers.
  7. Top bananas and vanilla wafers with half of the pudding mixture.
  8. Spread pudding evenly over vanilla wafers and all the way to the edge of the pan.
  9. Layer with another layer of vanilla wafers then another layer of bananas.
  10. Top with the pudding and spread it to the edge of the pan.
  11. Place a row of cookies around the edge of the pan and sprinkle crushed cookies into the middle.
  12. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.


9 thoughts on “Easy Southern Style Banana Pudding

  1. This is my dad’s favorite dessert. I like it, too, and remember a couple of versions of the recipes as well as an unforgettable experience. Have you ever had it with meringue on top? Yummy-licious!!

    I’ll always remember the banana pudding experience. I was with my oldest brother, and we were visiting our maternal grandmother, often referred to as “Sister Beat”. A friend of the family, Martha, was with us. Big bro, Martha, and Sister Beat and I went to an old-fashioned lively church service. The place was packed out. I don’t know what triggered the sick feeling. Maybe I got hot in the stuffy building filled with all the people. Maybe it was a combination from feeling stuffy from the crowd and stuffed from eating too much banana pudding that day. I told my grandmother I had to leave. Big bro took us back to her house. Barely making it to her house in time, I lost all the banana pudding I had eaten that day.

    The amazing fact is that I still love banana pudding!

  2. I have had the one with the meringue. That was how it was made at my friend Tammy’s house. It’s delicious, but the meringue requires firing up an oven. This is the summer/warm weather version. If you like that style of banana pudding, you would love my mom’s banana cream pie

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