Banana Pudding

Let me first clarify that I don’t like banana pudding. I know, I know that a good Southern girl should like it, but I just don’t. For the record, I don’t like sweet tea or watermelon, either.

So, how is it that I’m sharing this recipe with you? I probably wouldn’t be if not for a friend and former co-worker who introduced me to it. She just swore that I would like it, despite my dislike of banana pudding in general.

And, oh, was she right! This tastes unlike any banana pudding you’ve ever eaten. I figure that has a lot to do with the cream cheese. How can you go wrong with cream cheese? Of course, the recipe comes from Paula Deen, too, and she seems to know her desserts.

My sister requested that I make this banana pudding for our Easter dinner, and that was enthusiastically seconded by my daddy. We returned from Quinn’s business trip to New York on Friday night. After I worked on Saturday, I was very glad that my contribution was going to be this simple dessert. I did also make another batch of Black & White Cupcakes, because I felt the need for some chocolate at the table. I got those into the oven and had the banana pudding made before the cupcakes were done.

This Banana Pudding strays from the ordinary with a creamy filling made with cream cheese, whipped cream, and pudding.

I have made this dessert many times, but I’ve somehow never shared it with you. It’s beyond simple. In fact, I feel a little guilty making it because the hardest thing I have to do is clean up the three or four bowls I manage to use in making it.

I sometimes feel a bit guilty about making it because it’s really just assembly. The cookies are store-bought. The pudding comes from a mix. The whipped cream is frozen. However, there is certainly something to be said for a delicious dessert that’s quick and easy.

Banana Pudding

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Banana Pudding


  • 2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen Cookies
  • 6 to 8 bananas sliced*
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 5-ounce box instant French vanilla pudding**
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 12 ounces frozen whipped topping, thawed


Line the bottom of a 13″x 9″x 2″dish with 1 bag of cookies. Place bananas on top.

Blend milk with pudding mix. Beat cream cheese and condensed milk together until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Add this mixture to the pudding and stir until blended. Pour over bananas.

Cover the top with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until serving.


*I usually use 2-3 bananas sliced very thinly. If you’re a big banana fan, though, you may want to use more.

**I’ve never found this size box at my grocery store. I only find the 3+ ounce size and use 1 & 1/2 boxes for the recipe.

Recipe adapted from The Lady & Sons Just Desserts.

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  1. Olivia March 25, 2008 Reply

    I too have experienced the wonder that is Paula’s “Not yo mama’s banana pudding.” And I am really enjoying your blog (this is my first comment.) If you like lemony desserts, try her lemon blossoms……delish!

  2. a. grace March 26, 2008 Reply

    amen–there should always be a chocolate option for dessert! however, the southern girl in me finds this banana pudding mighty tempting. i guess i’d be forced to eat some of both. :)

  3. I love everything about bananas and this pudding looks so good even if it comes from a box. the cookies make it so pretty too. This is the kind of dessert my husband likes, probably much more than my gianduja macaroons! LOL>

  4. julia ward March 26, 2008 Reply

    I’ve never made this because there are only two of us. Any suggestions for making a smaller batch? I’d love to have a banana pudding for say four (that’s three for me and one for DH – hehe). I can’t imagine that you could freeze this yummy dessert.

    julia ward
    a BLINDING heart – a writer’s blog –

  5. Sarah March 26, 2008 Reply

    I love banana pudding…the simpler the better!

  6. Kimberly Yates March 26, 2008 Reply

    This made me a banana pudding convert as well. My husband always requests banana pudding for his birthday (which sort of disappointed me at first because I do NOT like the classic Southern rendition and would rather bake a cake!). I like to make a different one each year…except the year I made this one I was definitely tempted to quit looking for recipes.

  7. Cindy March 26, 2008 Reply

    While I have not made this particular recipe, I have made a no bake banana pudding. It’s really good, too! Your Dad might like it as well, Jennifer. And I agree, dessert should ALWAYS include chocolate!

  8. Susan March 26, 2008 Reply

    i made this for my fil’s birthday last year and it was a hit. i ended up using less sweetened condensed milk and whipped topping to try and cut the sweetness. and as i’m sure you know, they don’t make that size pudding in sugar-free either! 😛

  9. jennifer March 26, 2008 Reply

    Thanks, Olivia! I’ll have to check out those lemon blossoms.

    a.grace, we all had some of both. How could we not?

    Aran, it’s very good – even from all those boxes!

    Julia, I think this would certainly half or quarter well. I’m sure you could scale it down easily for the two of you.

    Sarah, as much as you like banana pudding, you should give this one a try!

    Kimberly, it’s the only recipe I use!

    Cindy, Daddy actually jokingly requested that I make two of these so he could take one home. I did send him some leftovers!

    Susan, this is a great recipe for making lighter. All of the components come in a lighter or fat free version, and the cookies aren’t bad to begin with.

  10. Patricia Scarpin March 26, 2008 Reply

    It looks really beautiful, Jen.

  11. Phil Peterman March 26, 2008 Reply

    Jennifer, so glad you liked the recipe. Great write up and I’ll make sure Paula gets a look at it. We’ve just put a new recipe search function on the site to make things easier to find, and we’ve added quite a few recipes. A.Grace, for a chocolate fix, try the double chocolate gooey butter cake. Should be enough there to satiate your cravings for quite some time.

  12. jennifer March 26, 2008 Reply

    Thanks, Patricia!

    Phil, thanks so much for dropping by! The new recipe search is great. I’ll definitely be putting that to use.

  13. Katie March 26, 2008 Reply

    It looks really great! I also do not understand the appeal of sweet tea or watermelon.

  14. courtney March 26, 2008 Reply

    Oh some friends from church were just telling me I needed to look up this recipe the other day. I like banana pudding as long as it is VANILLA pudding WITH bananas. None of that yucky banana flavored junk for me.

  15. Deborah March 26, 2008 Reply

    It sounds delicious, and those cookies actually look really delicious!

  16. Nan (and Jim) March 26, 2008 Reply

    Oh, yes. My beloved Banana Pudding. So Southern and so classy!

    Thank you for making this for Easter! This is the BEST Banana Pudding I have ever had, and you know we all love it! The left-overs are great, too!

    …and I’ll be asking for this again!!

  17. Tarah March 26, 2008 Reply

    Oh, I love the recipes that Paula Deen comes up with. But I usually have to lighten them up ;d

    I love Banana Pudding. Great time of year for it to ;]

  18. jennifer March 26, 2008 Reply

    Katie, it’s good to know I’m not alone. 😉

    Courtney, you should definitely try it. Let me know what you think!

    Thanks, Debrah!

    Nan, I know this is one recipe I will be repeating for a while.

    Tarah, this is a very easy recipe to lighten up. Most everything is available as light or fat-free.

  19. RecipeGirl March 26, 2008 Reply

    There is something to be said for making an easy recipe sometimes. I don’t care for Paula recipes in general, but I do like her Pumpkin Trifle. I made that quickie back in the fall and it was well received too.

  20. Nuwanda March 26, 2008 Reply

    You totally got me hooked on this recipe. It appeals to both banana pudding lovers and non-lovers. Now, when are you going to make the Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding recipe? Feel free to try it out the next time we visit:)

  21. Ashley March 26, 2008 Reply

    This looks really good! I will have to save the recipe for when I want an easy and delicious dessert! I really love the look of those cookies.

  22. Cousin Tim March 26, 2008 Reply

    Well, I feel really old. Before the world had fallen in love with Paula Deen Linda Stevens of Tupelo High School Band fame made this for me. She used the traditional Nilla Wafers but everything else was the same. For years she got me back to do free rehearsals just at the mention of this simple but oh so sumptuous delight.

    Now Paula adds the store bought cookies and it’s a national wonder of the confectionery world.

    I’m stunned that no one has mentioned the fact that anything with “Eagle Brand” in it stands in the fabulous category…uncontested.

  23. Midge March 26, 2008 Reply

    Could you suggest a substitute for cream cheese?
    I’d love to try this, but my husband doesn’t like the taste.

  24. jennifer March 27, 2008 Reply

    RecipeGirl, I am not a pumpkin fan so I’ll skip the trifle. Paula does have some great, easy desserts.

    Nuwanda, I’m not sure about the Krispy Kreme bread pudding. Maybe you and I can make that next time we visit. Maybe a small batch. I’m afraid of having leftovers.

    Ashley, the cookies make this a very cute dessert. Pepperidge Farm makes miniature versions, too.

    Tim, I had no idea. Paula even admits that this isn’t her original recipe, so no telling how long it’s been around. As for Eagle Brand, it’s definitely a staple in my pantry.

    Midge, I’m not sure what I’d be willing to substitute for the cream cheese. Maybe plain yogurt that has been strained. There really isn’t an overwhelming cream cheese flavor, though. My brother-in-law doesn’t much like cream cheese, but he eats this.

  25. Patty March 27, 2008 Reply

    When we don’t drink sweet tea, that means you can have extra desserts!! YUM!

  26. jennifer March 27, 2008 Reply

    Patty, that is pure genius! I’ll be sticking to water and diet drinks for sure.

  27. Gigi March 27, 2008 Reply

    I have seen Paula make this before. I have never made it nor tried but secretly I am dying to make it. It just looks so sinfully delicious!

  28. Sara March 29, 2008 Reply

    I too have my hesitations about desserts that appear to easy but, embrace it! If it’s delicious (and it does look so!), enjoy it.

  29. jennifer March 29, 2008 Reply

    Gigi, it is wonderful! Definitely worth a try.

    Sara, I agree. I try not to let myself be overly suspicious of easy recipes. Sometimes those are some of the best.

  30. maggie March 29, 2008 Reply

    This looks delicious. I will have to add it to my list of things to try :) Bananas are great and easy banana recipes are the best.

  31. Katrina March 30, 2008 Reply

    I have made both the Not Yo Mamma’s Banana Pudding and the Pecan Dreams from Paula Deen (both on the same episode) and both are so YUMMY! Makes me want some now! Hmmm, I have bananas that need to get used up, I have pudding, cream cheese, but none of those yummy cookies. Hmmm.

    Oh, and the Lemon Blossoms ARE killer. They are made mini muffin size and so easy to just pop one after another in your mouth. They are kind of crispy glazed on the outside and so yummy. Again, kind of a cupcake though, so look out for another one! ; )
    I enjoy your blogs.

  32. Tiffany March 30, 2008 Reply

    Oh yum! I make this every year for Easter…..except this year because my MIL supplied dessert..and OH how I missed it! I may make it soon now that you had to show it to me and make me miss it that much more!!!!!

  33. jennifer March 30, 2008 Reply

    Maggie, I hope you like it!

    Katrina, I think I’m going to have to try those Lemon Blossoms. They sound delicious!

    Tiffany, it’s a great Easter dessert. Glad to hear it has another fan!

  34. Marq April 1, 2008 Reply

    Oh, wow. This looks great ESPECIALLY with the Chessmen cookies on top!

  35. jennifer April 1, 2008 Reply

    Thanks, Marq!

  36. Nick April 2, 2008 Reply

    This sounds incredible, I love the Chessmen on top. I’ve never had banana pudding but have been meaning to make it for a while now. I love bananas. I love pudding. I just need to incorporate peanut butter into it somehow. Only problem is that I have a feeling Paula Deen’s version is unhealthy times 10.

    The Peanut Butter Boy

  37. jennifer April 3, 2008 Reply

    Nick, while Paula doesn’t usually have much regard for calories, you can easily lighten this one up with lighter versions of the ingredients.

  38. I love this recipe! I used this same pudding as the basis for my “Seductive Strawberry-Banana Trifle” a few weeks ago. It’s even better mixed with cake and fresh berries!

  39. jennifer April 16, 2008 Reply

    Susan, that does sound good!

  40. This is the prettiest banana pudding I have ever seen! Wow. Thanks for posting. I will have to try it out!

  41. jennifer May 2, 2008 Reply

    Thanks, Janna! It’s the only banana pudding I’ve ever liked. It is so, so good.

  42. jim October 19, 2008 Reply

    Where is the recipe???? Everyone says how wonderful it is, but nobody puts the recipe here for me to make the banana pudding??

  43. jennifer October 19, 2008 Reply

    jim, there’s a link to the recipe under the title of the post. Here’s another link: Banana Pudding Recipe.

  44. Laci March 9, 2009 Reply

    I LOVE Paula Deen!! I also LOVE this banana pudding! It is by far the best!! It is super rich and extra yummy!!!

  45. penny March 19, 2009 Reply

    This is wonderful if you cut up a little strawberry it make it more yummy.Thought I would share.

  46. minnie April 2, 2009 Reply

    how how how did you serve it so beautifully? i see you made it in a regular dish… does this recipe result in a thicker, sturdier pudding? it looks perfect – no pudding on the top cookies, perfect sides… i am jealous.

  47. jennifer April 2, 2009 Reply

    Thanks, minnie! I don’t do anything special. Just refrigerate overnight and it sets beautifully!

  48. A July 23, 2009 Reply

    HI there! I realize this is a late question for this entry, but I am making this pudding for a cookout tomorrow. Yours is a STUNNING rendition. How long did you let it set up before serving? Thank you much!

  49. jennifer July 23, 2009 Reply

    A, I usually leave it in the refrigerator overnight.

  50. Ginger April 30, 2010 Reply

    Like you, traditional bananna pudding is not my favorite. This recipe,however,is absolutely wonderful and I love that it is quick and easy!

  51. Suzie September 18, 2010 Reply

    Recipe sounds good – Paula is usually on her game. I am a Good Ole Southern Girl though and I would put my recipe up against it any day and even though it doesn’t have little chessmen on the top it has a beautiful meringue that looks pretty darn good! I would like to try this one though because I agree can’t go wrong with cream cheese and condensed milk!!! Love any of the ooey gooey recipes – I DON’T like pumpkin and the ooey gooey pumpkin made me a convert!!!!!

  52. Heide M. May 6, 2013 Reply

    I’ll have to try this.

  53. Sara Jean March 22, 2014 Reply

    I know this ain’t “my mama’s banana pudding,” But I don’t care how you make it…It ain’t REAL banana pudding without meringue on top… If I try this, it’ll have to stand up to a few minutes in the oven.

  54. I made this last Friday and have enjoyed it all week! For breakfast, especially…Yep, breakfast banana pudding with coffee: heaven! I did add 1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut (Bob’s Red Mill) and it was wonderful and probably could have added double that amount. Super easy. The cookies stay crunchy for a few days and even when they get soft, still smooth. We grew up on coconut banana cream pie. This dessert is a great, great change up and cuts/travels much better than a pie. I’ll be making this for my next potluck. Thank you!!!!

  55. Linda November 2, 2014 Reply

    I don’t really care for bananas either so I made it with raspberries and with mixed berries. Super delicious!!!

  56. Diane G June 20, 2015 Reply

    I am a southerner as well and do not like sweet tea, watermelon, or banana pudding, but something tells me I would love this! Gonna try soon!

  57. Jane July 1, 2015 Reply

    I came across this recipe from the Paula Deen website and I made it for Easter this year (I know, that was months ago) and it was a super sized hit! I did use regular ‘nilla wafers so next time I’ll use the Chessman Cookies – my hubby really loved it – he likes all things Banana (I’m kinda like you – bananas – eeh!) I want to say I really like your website because although I’m a cook, I’m not much of a baker and I’m trying. Guess it’s because I don’t really like sweet stuff – gasp! Anyway, in order to please hubby, I’m trying more baking. Thanks for the great recipes!

  58. Roma July 2, 2015 Reply

    I am southern and I love sweet tea, watermelon, and banana pudding. I always make the pudding from scratch. I never used box because I really do feel there is such a taste difference. That’s just my taste preference, I know a few folks using the box pudding. I just feel like it has such a phony flavor to it that I just prefer the pudding from scratch. The only problem is, it takes a lot longer to make than to eat it. lol My hubby loves my banana pudding and his favorite which I learned how to make, Bread Pudding. He has always raved about his grandmas bread pudding so I found a recipe with the ingredients that she used in hers and I made the caramel sauce that he loves to drizzle over it. I love to bake tho.

  59. lea November 20, 2015 Reply

    Thank you for sharing this recipe, I’m planning to make it this weekend. However, I am only serving for 4-5 people, so I wanted to halved the recipe. I’m going to make it in an 8×8 pan, then save the other half of custard filling for later. I hope it works.

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