Every year especially at Easter Bunny time my grandmother otherwise called just “grand” would have her cook (don’t judge) make the family Banana fo fana fee fi fo mana banana nana pudding. I called it Nana Pudding and still do.
This is the BEST Banana Pudding you will ever have! It’s creamy, rich and almost like mousse. It’s a classic recipe that my Grandma’s cook used to make, and I know you’re going to love it!
Grandma’s cook Ms. Alice used to make Banana Pudding Pie when I was little and I really loved it. She also made Bananas Foster with the original Brennen’s family recipe. Yum!
So many of Ms. Alice’s recipes are from 1950’s 1960’s, the 70’s and 80’s magazines or other cooks she picked up a trick or two. But I have tried other Banana Pudding recipes and nothing comes close to this one. That is a promise. Whether you think you will like this recipe or not, I URGE you to try it. She made it in a pie crust sometimes and served it like pie, but for sure you could make it in a trifle dish as well.
It’s unassuming, innocent, old-fashioned and completely perfect.
The ingredients are indulgent and simple…
All you do is mix some cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk together to start. Told you it’s good…
Make sure the cream cheese is room temperature. If it’s cold it won’t mix up smooth, and you’ll probably have little cream cheese lumps.
To that, you will add vanilla pudding mix, milk, and vanilla. Make sure you buy INSTANT pudding. You can make your own custard. I have done it both ways and really no one can tell the difference.
Beat that on high speed for about 5 minutes. You want the mixture to thicken up nicely.
To that, you need to fold in some freshly made whipping cream. I refuse to use Cool Whip. You can use the process topping, but if you do, I am not responsible for the flavor change.
When mixed smooth and creamy it will be basically perfection.
To assemble the dish, just line the bottom of a baking dish with shortbread cookies. And yes, you can ABSOLUTELY use Nilla Wafers. I just prefer shortbread and on festive occasions, I use both Nilla Wafers and Shortbread cookies. The Lorna Doon brand holds well. I have baked my own shortbread cookies.
Also, don’t get too hung up on how many cookies you add. I just cover the bottom of the dish. You could really add as many, or as few cookies as you want. When making a trifle I use Nilla Wafers along the side.
Then slice up some bananas. It is banana pudding after all. You can go shall we say banana’s and saute the banana’s in brandy and brown sugar similar to Bananas foster.
Side note – if you are a real banana lover, you can absolutely use banana pudding mix in place of the vanilla…or use a combo of vanilla and banana.
Ok, back to the recipe…layer the banana slices on top of the cookies. You can increase or decrease the amount of bananas. r dish. It will be fine.
Then spread that glorious pudding on top.
I like to spread a little more Whipping Cream on top, but that’s optional! Then if you have some extra cookies lying around, crumble some up and sprinkle the cookie dust on top. Or press some cookies into the pudding as decoration. Or do both like I did. Or not at all. This part is totally loosey goosey.
But then you have to let it chill for a few hours. Totally obnoxious.
It’s worth the wait, though. I swear.
I mean COME ON.
You should definitely dig in. And then go back for seconds.
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!
- 1 (8 ounce) block cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened, condensed milk
- 1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla or Banana pudding
- 2½ cups cold milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 (8 ounces) of fresh heavy whipped cream, or 8 ounces of Cool Whip (God help you)
- 4-6 bananas, sliced
- 10 ounces shortbread cookies
- Creame de Banana (sometimes I use a bit in the whipped cream just to take it over the top).
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment mix the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk together until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary, about 2-3 minutes on medium speed.
- Add in the dry pudding mix, milk and vanilla. Begin mixing on low for 30 seconds, slowly turning up the speed until you’re on high speed. Mix this for 4-5 minutes until thickened and smooth, again scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Fold 4 ounces (half) of the (whipped cream or Cool Whip) into the pudding until combined.
- Line the bottom of a 9×13 dish with as many shortbread cookies as you can fit. Evenly place the banana slices on top of the cookies. Spread the pudding on top of the bananas. Spread the remaining (whipped cream or Cool Whip) on top of the pudding. Now as I do from time to time, I add Creame de Banana on festive occastions just to take the dish over the top.
- Crumble any remaining cookies on top of the whipped cream and/or place more cookies around the edge of the pan for decoration.
- Cover with Cling Wrap and chill at least 3-4 hours.
You could use a small package of instant vanilla pudding and a small package of banana pudding in place of just the vanilla for a more banana flavored pudding.
You can serve this in any dish you prefer, like a trifle dish, individual dishes etc.
Store airtight for up to 3 days