Easy Banana Pudding with Cream Cheese Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Banana Pudding with Cream Cheese

Total Time
Prep: 15 min. + chilling
The pretty, trifle-style presentation makes this creamy banana pudding with cream cheese extra fabulous. Pudding, sliced bananas and vanilla wafers create each scrumptious layer!

Updated: Jan. 05, 2024

I always keep my eyes peeled for desserts with bananas to send to (or make for) my best friend. She loves anything from banana pancakes to banana Laffy Taffys, so when I saw this recipe for banana pudding with cream cheese, I knew that it would be next on my list of banana desserts to make for her future birthdays. This trifle-style treat will definitely impress the banana lovers in your life with every spoonful they sink into the layers of vanilla pudding, sliced bananas and Nilla wafers.

Ingredients

  • Cream cheese: It’s important to make sure that the cream cheese has softened before beating it. If you beat cream cheese that’s too cold, you’ll end up with lumpy cream cheese.
  • Sweetened condensed milk: Read the labels carefully at the store, because it’s easy to grab a can of evaporated milk instead of sweetened condensed milk (a swap that won’t work in this banana pudding recipe). Learn about the difference between evaporated milk and condensed milk.
  • Instant pudding mix: We whisk a box of instant vanilla pudding mix with some cold 2% milk, skipping the time it usually needs to set up in the fridge.
  • Whipped topping: Pick up some store-bought frozen whipped topping and thaw it in the fridge before beginning the recipe. This will give the pudding mixture more fluff and body.
  • Vanilla wafers: Crunchy vanilla wafers add some texture to the otherwise soft sliced ‘nanas and pudding.
  • Sliced bananas: The star of the show! Make sure the bananas are perfectly ripe—a few brown spots are perfectly fine, but too many spots and the slices will turn brown more quickly than you’d like.

Directions

Step 1: Beat the cream cheese

In a large bowl, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth. Then, beat in the can of sweetened condensed milk, and set aside.

Step 2: Prepare the pudding

In another bowl, whisk the cold milk and the vanilla pudding mix until the mix is fully incorporated into the milk.

Step 3: Combine the pudding, cream cheese and whipped topping

Add the pudding to the cream cheese mixture. Finally, fold in the thawed whipped topping.

Step 4: Begin layering in the trifle bowl

Place a third of the vanilla wafers in a 2-1/2-qt. glass bowl. Top with a third of the sliced bananas, and then top with a third of the cream cheese pudding mixture.

Step 5: Repeat the layers

After you’ve finished with the first layer, repeat the layers twice (vanilla wafers, bananas, pudding, vanilla wafers, bananas, pudding).

Step 6: Refrigerate

Cover and refrigerate the banana pudding trifle for at least four hours, or up to overnight.

Step 7: Serve

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Pull the banana pudding with cream cheese out of the fridge before serving. If desired, garnish with additional whipped topping, sliced bananas and wafers.

Banana Pudding Variations

  • Change the pudding flavor: Use banana pudding instead of vanilla pudding for extra banana flavor, or chocolate for a chocolate-banana dessert. Just make sure you are picking up an instant pudding—this recipe won’t work with a cook-and-serve pudding mix.
  • Switch up the cookies: Most banana pudding recipes call for Nilla wafers, but you could experiment and try Nutter Butters, Golden Oreos, graham crackers or ladyfingers in their place.
  • Layer in more flavors: You could drizzle some melted peanut butter or cookie butter, some smooth salted caramel sauce or add mini chocolate chips for some texture and some chocolate.

How to Store Banana Pudding

Try to avoid leftovers, since the dessert is best served within the first four to 24 hours after preparation. However, if you do end up having them, they’ll last for a maximum of three days in the fridge when wrapped tightly in the trifle dish or transferred to airtight containers. After that, the vanilla wafers will become too mushy.

Can you make banana pudding with cream cheese ahead of time?

Yes! This delicious dessert needs to rest in the fridge for at least four hours, but it can last up to 24. We don’t recommend making the pudding any further than that in advance.

Banana Pudding with Cream Cheese Tips

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Can you use homemade whipped cream instead of frozen whipped topping?

While homemade whipped cream is delicious, we don’t recommend it for this recipe. Fresh whipped cream tends to deflate, and it can cause your pudding to become too watery, especially if you leave it in the fridge overnight.

How can you prevent the bananas from turning brown in your banana pudding with cream cheese?

For best results, start with firm, unblemished bananas. If they’re too ripe, they’re more likely to bruise and turn brown. (Save overripe fruit for your favorite banana bread recipe instead.) Once sliced, you can coat the bananas in a teaspoon of citrus juice (like lemon juice) to prevent oxidizing.

Banana Pudding with Cream Cheese

Prep Time 15 min
Yield 12 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup cold 2% milk
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 52 vanilla wafers
  • 4 medium firm bananas, sliced

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in condensed milk. In another bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix; add to cream cheese mixture. Fold in whipped topping.
  2. Place a third of the vanilla wafers in a 2-1/2-qt. glass bowl. Top with a third of the bananas and pudding mixture. Repeat layers twice.
  3. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. If desired, garnish with additional whipped topping, sliced bananas and wafers.

Nutrition Facts

3/4 cup: 376 calories, 16g fat (10g saturated fat), 35mg cholesterol, 225mg sodium, 52g carbohydrate (41g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.

I blend cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk and whipped topping into instant pudding then layer it with vanilla wafers and sliced bananas. Served in a pretty glass bowl, this banana pudding with cream cheese makes for a fancy yet fuss-free dessert. —Edna Perry, Rice, Texas