Pudding is a type of food that can be either a dessert or a savoury (salty or spicy) dish that is part of the main meal.[note 1]
In North America, pudding characteristically denotes a sweet, milk-based dessert similar in consistency to egg-based custards, instant custards or a mousse, often commercially set using cornstarch, gelatin or similar coagulating agent such as Jell-O. The modern American usage to denote a specific kind of dessert has evolved from the originally almost exclusive use of the term to describe savory dishes, specifically those created using a process similar to that used for sausages, in which meat and other ingredients in mostly liquid form are encased and then steamed or boiled to set the contents. Black (blood) pudding and haggis survive from this tradition.
In the United Kingdom and some of the Commonwealth countries, the word pudding is still used to describe both sweet and savory dishes. Unless qualified, however, the term in everyday usage typically denotes a dessert; in the United Kingdom, pudding is used as a synonym for a dessert course. Dessert puddings are rich, fairly homogeneous starch- or dairy-based desserts such as rice pudding, steamed cake mixtures such as treacle sponge pudding with or without the addition of ingredients such as dried fruits as in a Christmas pudding. Savory dishes include Yorkshire pudding, black pudding, suet pudding and steak and kidney pudding.
In some Commonwealth countries these puddings are known as custards (or curds) if they are egg-thickened, as blancmange if starch-thickened, and as jelly if gelatin-based. Pudding may also refer to other dishes such as bread pudding and rice pudding, although typically these names derive from their origin as British dishes.
This is just a quick overview of the simple ingredients that you’ll need to prepare the easy homemade banana pudding. As always, specific measurements and complete instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.
- Vanilla wafer cookies: I always use Nabisco Nilla Wafer brand, but any similar version will work. Try graham crackers as an alternative!
- Vanilla instant pudding mix: the small 4-serving box of Jell-O instant pudding is perfect, but you can use a larger box if you like thicker layers of pudding.
- Milk: to prepare the instant pudding.
- Bananas: you want them ripe and sweet, but not too ripe and mushy.
- Frozen whipped topping: such as Cool Whip, thawed in the refrigerator overnight. You can certainly use your own homemade sweetened whipped cream if you prefer!
I’m not kidding when I say that this no-bake recipe is quick and easy! There’s no need to use an electric mixer to beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form; no need to stress over made-from-scratch meringue; and no need to stir custard in a saucepan on the stovetop. Once your ingredients are ready, it’s just a matter of assembling the dessert and sticking it in the refrigerator!
- Whisk together the vanilla pudding mix and the milk in a large bowl, according to the instructions on the box. Set aside in the fridge.
- Arrange vanilla wafers in a single layer in the bottom of an 11 x 7-inch (medium) dish.
- Spread half of the prepared pudding mixture over the cookies.
- Top the pudding with a single layer of banana slices.
- Repeat the layers once more, starting with the cookies.
- Top the final layer of banana slices with the Cool Whip.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight).
- Garnish with additional banana slices or Nilla wafers just before serving.
Store the banana pudding covered in the refrigerator. It will last for up to 3 days. I do not recommend freezing the dessert, since the texture and quality of the whipped topping, bananas, and cookies will be “off” when thawed.
EASY NO BAKE BANANA PUDDING!
I use a 13×9 casserole dish for this. First step is to put a layer of cookies on the bottom of the dish. Next, slice your bananas in rounds and lay on top of the cookies. Use 1 1/2 to 2 bananas for each layer.
TIPS FOR MAKE EASY NO BAKE BANANA PUDDING
#1: I have used store brand vanilla wafers and as far as taste goes, they’re great! The only downside to using off brand is that there doesn’t seem to be as many in the box as the Nabisco Nilla Wafers. With the name brand, you’ll have plenty for topping.
#2: I recommend making this dessert either the night before or a few to several hours before you’ll be serving it as you’ll want the cookies to have soften a bit.
#3: To reduce calories, I used skim milk, fat free Cool Whip, as this does not affect the taste at all but if you prefer the full calorie flavor, that’s certainly ok, too!
- 3-4 Bananas
- 1 Large box of instant vanilla or banana pudding
- 3 cups milk
- 1 8 oz tub of Cool Whip non dairy topping
- 1 box Vanilla Wafers