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Mawmaws Banana Pudding

READY in LESS THAN 30 MINUTES, this southern banana pudding recipe will be gobbled up in minutes! This is Mawmaw’s Banana Pudding!

PLUS….Nothing is better on a hot day than a cold smooth bite of easy banana pudding recipe, made with love and amazing layers of pudding, cookies and banana. Am I right? 

Trifle bowl showing the layers of banana, vanilla wafer and whipped cream with a cookie on top

Southern Banana pudding recipe


  • Ready in less than 30 minutes
  • Easy to make!
  • Crunchy cookies, tasty bananas, creamy pudding and cool whip…… YUM
  • No fussy ingredients. 

Here’s How It’s Done!

STEP 1. Collect Ingredients

First collect all of your ingredients. 

Check the amount on the recipe carefully.

STEP 2. Mix Ingredients

Mix the pudding, milk, whipped topping together. It takes a little muscle! 

a glass bowl with cool whip, sour cream and milk and whisk

Banana Pudding

STEP 2. Slice Bananas

Cut your 5 bananas up into disks. About 1/4 inch each.

Bananas being cut into disks on cutting board

Southern Banana Pudding

STEP 4. Build Layers

Layer the pudding, bananas and vanilla wafers into your pudding bowl

Vanilla Wafters layered on the top of a bowl of banana pudding

Southern Banana Pudding Recipe

STEP 5. Top Pudding

Top with the retained cool whip and vanilla wafer crumbs.

Cool whip being spread on the top of mawmaws banana pudding

Banana pudding recipe




  • This southern banana pudding recipe will take you 10 minutes to make. Then put it in the fridge to sit.
  • You won’t be sorry if you allow a few hours for the magic to happen, but 20 minutes is enough
  • However, if you need to get a big ol bowl right now, that is fine too, the banana flavor just won’t be as strong.



  • A “no bake” pudding is one like this southern Banana Pudding recipe uses instant pudding mix. Mawmaws Banana Pudding is simply made by mixing the ingredients, assembling and then chilling the final product
  • A baked pudding is one where the pudding is made from scratch and must be baked (cooked) for it to gel and become a pudding. It often involves egg whites instead of whipped topping. The flavors of the baked and “no bake” puddings are similar but the texture is very different.

People often call a baked pudding a “hard pudding”


This recipe for Banana Pudding will separate if you freeze it. That said, I doubt that you will have any left over to freeze anyway. If you have more than you can eat, share it with a friend. That is how we change the world afterall!

Can Banana Pudding Be Made Ahead?

Absolutely! Yes, you can make this pudding up to 24 hours before you plan to use it. In fact, making it ahead helps the bananas to flavor the pudding and gives the cookies time to soften.  YUM!


This banana pudding has sour cream in it, so I wouldn’t allow it to sit out for more than 2 hours. Besides, this pudding is BEST when it is COLD! Nothing is better on a hot day!


  • Bananas, once cut, are going to turn brown. That’s just a fact. However, you CAN slow this down as follows: 
  • Once all of your bananas are sliced and ready for the pudding, put them in a bowl, sprinkle with a mixture of 1 Tbs lemon juice mixed with 3 Tbs water. Sprinkle over the top and use a spoon to gently toss the bananas around. 
  • This will slow the browning down. 


    • This Southern Banana Pudding recipe is good for 5 days if kept refrigerated.
    • Don’t let the banana pudding sit out for more than 2 hours.


There are so many ways you can add to this banana pudding! Try some of these variations the second or third time you make this pudding!

  • Chocolate sauce
  • Caramel Sauce
  • Chocolate shavings on the top
  • Kingsmen cookies instead of Nilla Wafers
  • Sliced Strawberries mixed in or on top
  • Graham Crackers instead of Nilla Wafers
  • Other cookies instead of nilla wafers
  • What are your great ideas for changes to make?


 Things You Might Need For This Recipe…

Here’s the triffle bowl like I use in case you need one (I am an Amazon affiliate and this is an affiliate link). You can click the trifle bowl to go through to Amazon to compare prices. 


The Pudding:

  • Use instant vanilla pudding. It is easy to confuse the pudding mixture you must cook with the instant pudding, the boxes are nearly identical.
  • Use the size boxes indicated in the recipe only. There are larger boxes, you want three of the small boxes.

Cool Whip:

  • C Whip can come in slightly different sizes. Just use a full container in the regular size it comes in if that is all you have.
  • You can not mess up this recipe with a little too much or a little less whip.
  • It is important to buy the regular original kind not the lite or low cal or no dairy or whatever other variations there are.

The Sour Cream:

  • Check the ounces on your sour cream, sour cream comes in all sorts of sizes.
  • You want 8 ounces of the regular sour cream.
  • DO NOT get the lite or low fat or whatever other varieties it comes in. Just go with the regular full on sour cream for this recipe.


  • Please use yellow ripe bananas and not the old bananas with spots certainly not the green bananas.
  • A good firm yellow banana will stay looking nice for all of today and if there is any left after today, people will be so in love with it that they won’t care that the bananas turned brown.


  • I’m just going to be honest with you here, it is a pain to mix in the cool whip. Keep mixing, you will eventually win.
  • Just in case you need it: What Does Divided Mean in a Recipe?


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Watch Me Make This Banana Pudding


Please leave a 5 STAR COMMENT🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 below, ok? AND PLEASE join my newsletter and get the HOT COOKING TIP of the week each week! 

A photo of Mawmaws Banana Pudding up close in the trifle bowl

Mawmaws Banana Pudding

READY in LESS THAN 30 MINUTES, this southern banana pudding recipe with fresh cool delicious creamy layers of bananas, vanilla wafers, whipped cream and TO DIE FOR PUDDING will be gone in minutes at any family or church gathering! 
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Banana Pudding, no bake banana pudding
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Resting Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 200kcal
Author: Loaves and Dishes


  • 3 small boxes of vanilla instant pudding 3.4 oz box
  • 6 Cups milk ice cold whole milk is best
  • 8 ounces Sour Cream regular sour cream
  • 12 oz. cool whip divided regular original cool whip
  • 5 bananas Cut into disks. Yellow, no spots, medium sized
  • 1 box vanilla wafers


  • Mix all three boxes of the vanilla instant pudding with the ice cold milk in a very large kitchen bowl.  Works best if you use a whisk. 
  • Add the sour cream and half of the cool whip (just eye ball it) and mix well till blended. This will require quite a bit of effort.  Start with a spatula and then switch to a whisk for best effect.  The cool whip will want to float and blop around.  Just keep going, it will eventually mix in. 
  • Use 1/3 each of the pudding, vanilla wafers and bananas and layer in that order.  Repeat this way until bowl is filled. After all layers are completed, top with the remaining half of the cool whip and sprinkle the crumbs from the bottom of the box onto the top of the pudding.


  • For best taste, use REAL sour cream, WHOLE milk, ORIGINAL cool whip and yellow ripe bananas with NO spots. 
  • Substitutions can be made for lite sour cream, other flavors of cool whip,etc. but the best banana pudding uses as noted above.
  • This makes a LARGE amount of banana pudding, which you will need once everyone tastes it, but you CAN half the recipe.  Use three bananas. 
  • Bananas will turn brown after a day. You can treat the banana slices with a mixture of 1 Tbs of lemon juice and 3 Tbs of water.  Sprinkle this over the top of the banana slices and it will help prevent browning. 
  • It is a REAL effort to mix the cool whip into the pudding, use a whisk, have patience and just keep stirring.  You WILL beat it eventually. 
  • Crunch up 2-3 vanilla wafers and reserve them to sprinkle on the top.  Makes a delightful crunch. 
  • People often ask about using the banana flavored pudding for this recipe.  I've tried this and feel that it gives the whole pudding an "off" flavor like fake bananas.  It really is best to use the plain vanilla instant pudding.
  • Its SUPER important to use the INSTANT pudding.  The instant pudding and the pudding that must be cooked are in almost identical packages. 


Nutrition Facts
Mawmaws Banana Pudding
Amount Per Serving
Calories 200 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Cholesterol 26mg9%
Sodium 92mg4%
Potassium 394mg11%
Carbohydrates 25g8%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 17g19%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 395IU8%
Vitamin C 4.5mg5%
Calcium 192mg19%
Iron 0.2mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!

***This post has been rewritten and updated with new photos, video and information from it’s original posting which first appeared March 12, 2015***


As I sit here writing this, morning is just dawning. The sun hasn’t yet peeked up over the river to my east. 

There are cold rain drops falling reminding us that winter hasn’t yet finished gathering his coat and going out the door.

This reminded me of Genesis when God creates the very first day. As the sun rises, the Bible says that God saw the light and that the light was good. 

Yes it is, God. Yes it is! I encourage you to pull out your Bible and read that entire first chapter. Wow. God. Wow.

Genesis 1: 1-5

 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.  Then God saw that the light was good and God separated the light from the darkness.  God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.


Recipe Rating


Wednesday 9th of November 2022

This is the exact recipe I got from my own grandmother. Always a favorite at any family gathering! And now I continue the tradition even with my in-laws...they ask for it often! I was taught to whisk the sour cream into the milk before adding the pudding mix, then you can fold in the cool whip after the pudding has set a little bit. Nothing like a good southern Banana Pudding!! Yummm!!

Wendi Spraker

Thursday 10th of November 2022

This is the exact recipe that I got from my mother in law who we lovingly called "Mamaw", she said she has been making this for at least 50 years although she never admitted putting sour cream in it because she knew her family wouldn't eat it if they knew that. haha


Thursday 21st of April 2022

Wow the best banana pudding and even better with "nutter butter" cookies instead of vanilla wafers. The saltiness of the peanut butter took this up a notch! Everyone loved it!

Wendi Spraker

Tuesday 3rd of May 2022

Glad you enjoyed and made it your own!


Friday 8th of October 2021

I love this recipe! And so does anyone I make it for. I usually don't tell people there is sour cream in it until after they eat some and fall in love. The only thing I do different is I use cheesecake flavored pudding instead of vanilla. Sometimes I substitute one of them with banana cream pudding

Wendi Spraker

Monday 11th of October 2021

Cheri, Same as me! In fact, my husband had been eating this his entire life and when his mom gave me the recipe she said, "Don't tell him that there's sour cream in the recipe or he will never eat another bite". hahaha.

Elizabeth W Mulgrew

Sunday 18th of April 2021

This was yummy and great for a Potluck dessert! The older I get the more nostalgic I get for these old, simple, "retro" American 20th century recipes. The kind I was raised on. When I served this, no one complained that I didn't spend hours in the kitchen making it, they just scarfed it up! Thanks for sharing your mother-in-law's recipe!

Wendi Spraker

Monday 19th of April 2021

I'm so glad you loved it!

Sharalyn Watters

Saturday 10th of April 2021

Made this for a Bible College Choir that was singing at our church. It disappeared rather quickly; in fact the only dessert that was completely gone.

Wendi Spraker

Saturday 10th of April 2021

Thanks Sharalyn, So glad to hear this!


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