Homemade banana pudding could not be simpler to make (or easier to eat!). If you’re familiar with the infamous Magnolia Bakery in NYC, perhaps you’ve tried their world renowned banana pudding. While people travel from all over to enjoy it, I was lucky enough to live a few short subway stops away in my 20s. (Side note: they also make absolutely amazing red velvet cupcakes!)
There’s something about a bowl of creamy banana pudding that just screams summer. And this recipe for Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding reigns supreme. I think what I love most about it is the way the Nilla wafers take on a cake-like texture as the dessert sets. They kind of melt in your mouth along with the creamy pudding and the result is decadent.
Homemade Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding
This incredible Magnolia Bakery banana pudding comes straight from their cookbook, and it is an ode to banana lovers. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a special place in our hearts for baked banana bread and of course banana chocolate chip muffins, but this banana pudding is more for entertaining (it’s perfect at cookouts and barbecues) and feeding large groups in a truly special way.
Making banana pudding from scratch is really quick and simple, especially because there’s no cooking involved. You’ll need instant vanilla pudding (you can use banana flavor if you prefer!), sweetened condensed milk, Nilla Wafers, heavy cream, and duh — bananas! Because this is a no cook dessert and takes about 20 minutes to assemble, you’ve got plenty of time to think about the rest of your menu.
What’s In This Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding Recipe?
This is such an easy banana pudding recipe. It literally takes 20 minutes to assemble from start to finish and I bet you already have most of the ingredients hanging out in your pantry.
This is a classic Nilla Wafer banana pudding that’s made from scratch with sweetened condensed milk, water, instant vanilla pudding mix, whipping cream, Nilla Wafers, and ripe bananas. Seriously, that’s it!
Just make sure you leave enough time for the pudding to set — at least 4 hours! The recipe suggests not letting the banana pudding sit longer than 8 hours, or the bananas may oxidize and turn brown.
How To Make Banana Pudding à la Magnolia Bakery
To make Magnolia Bakery banana pudding with condensed milk, whisk together the condensed milk, ice water, and instant pudding mix. Set the banana pudding mixture in the fridge to firm up for at least 4 hours.
Whip and fold in the cream: Once the pudding is set, whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks, then fold it gently into the pudding mixture. So far so good, right? I’m telling you, homemade banana pudding is incredibly easy to make, no need to attempt a copycat recipe.
Assemble the Magnolia Bakery banana pudding: Start with a layer of whole or crushed Nilla Wafers, followed by a generous layer of banana pudding. Lastly, add some sliced bananas. Repeat this process until you reach the top of your dish and garnish with whole Nilla Wafers.
No, but if you buy certified gluten-free Nilla Wafers (or a similar alternative), it would definitely be GF. Whole Foods sells similar gluten-free cookies!
Once assembled, this copycat Magnolia banana pudding will last up to 3 days in the fridge. Note that the Nilla Wafers will soften over time, but they shouldn’t become too mushy.
Some people recommend brushing the sliced bananas with lemon juice or other fruit juice, but this will change the flavor of the dessert, even if just slightly. Instead, we recommend sticking with just ripe bananas and not letting the dessert sit too long. It also helps to wrap the bowl tightly with plastic wrap before serving! Removing all air will help keep the bananas from oxidizing.
Expert Tips For Making Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding
- Make sure you’re using instant vanilla pudding mix for this easy banana pudding recipe and not the cook and serve kind. Instant vanilla pudding just needs to be whisked together with a few ingredients and then it’s good to go. The cook and serve type takes longer to make.
- If you’re a banana fanatic, I bet you could use instant banana pudding pudding instead of vanilla. Or add a few more banana slices in between the layers of pudding and Nilla Wafers.
- You can assemble this Nilla Wafer banana pudding in a large serving dish (like the trifle bowl seen here) or multiple smaller dishes. Either way, the end result is impressive!
- Be sure to save some whole Nilla wafers to place on the top before serving!
If you are a lover of old fashioned, southern banana pudding, this is the recipe for you! It’s quick, flavorful, has great texture, and is so close to the real deal Magnolia banana pudding I could cry.
If you make this Copycat Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding recipe, please let us know by leaving a review below!
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More quick and easy dessert recipes to try!15-Minute Cannoli Cream Parfaits Easy, Fudgy Chocolate Cherry Dump Cake Blueberry Pie Milkshakes (Best Use For Leftover Pie!) Dark Chocolate Chunk Browned Butter Blondies Easy Strawberry Galette with Flaky Crust
Magnolia Bakery’s Famous Banana Pudding (5 Ingredient!)
- 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1½ cups ice cold water
- ⅔ cup instant vanilla pudding mix
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 box mini vanilla wafers
- 4 ripe bananas sliced
- Make the vanilla pudding. In a large mixing bowl, whisk 14oz condensed milk, 1½ cups ice water, and ⅔ cup instant vanilla pudding together until smooth. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
- Whip heavy cream. Use a handheld mixer (or a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment) to whip 3 cups heavy cream until soft peaks form. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the chilled vanilla pudding until well incorporated.
- Assemble the banana pudding. In one large dish (or in several small jars), layer the ingredients – vanilla wafers, vanilla pudding, and sliced bananas – repeating until you reach the top of the container. Cover tightly, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours. If you let it sit longer, you risk the bananas browning a bit.
- Banana pudding will keep up to 3 days in the fridge. To prevent bananas from browning, wrap the pudding tightly as it chills and don’t let it sit more than 8 hours before serving. We do not recommend brushing the bananas with lemon juice, as this changes the flavor of the fruit.
- Want a more intense banana flavor? Use instant banana pudding instead of vanilla.
- Don’t have Nilla Wafers? While it won’t be traditional, you can substitute with any crumbly, crunchy cookie you have on hand!
This post was originally published in August 2018. It has since been updated with additional tips, tricks, and new photos.
Photography by: Cambrea of Cambrea Bakes