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This No Bake Banana Pudding recipe with Cool Whip and Nilla Wafer cookies is an easy no bake dessert made with simple ingredients. The perfect dessert for holidays, special occasions, family gatherings and potluck dinners!

no bake banana pudding with banana slices, cool whip and nilla wafer cookies in glass jar

This easy banana pudding recipe is an easy version of the classic Southern recipe. If you are from the South, you know what it is. If not, banana pudding has a layer of vanilla wafer cookies, sliced bananas, vanilla pudding and whipped cream or whipped topping.

My grandma loved to serve this delicious dessert for holidays or family gatherings because it’s easy and feeds a crowd!

Plus, the whole family loves this no bake banana pudding recipe. It has tons of banana flavor, and even the picky eaters gobble it up! Best of all, this is a budget friendly recipe!

If you love no bake layered desserts, try my chocolate delight, dirt pie recipe or pineapple dream dessert.

ripe bananas, instant vanilla pudding, nilla wafer cookies, cool whip and milk


You only need a few simple ingredients for grandma’s best banana pudding recipe. What you don’t already have at home should be easy to find online or in local grocery stores.

  • 5.1 oz box Jello vanilla instant pudding — make sure it’s instant pudding, any brand works.
  • Milk — use 2 percent or whole milk for best results
  • Bananas — yellow ripe bananas, not brown
  • Cool Whip — thawed, or any whipped topping
  • Nilla Wafers cookies or any brand of vanilla wafers
  • Additional bananas — for garnish if desired

How to Make No Bake Banana Pudding

First, add the milk to the instant pudding mix in a large bowl. Whisk together until the pudding thickens. Then, stir in half of the whipped topping.

mix instant vanilla pudding with cool whip in mixing bowl

Next, line a 9 x 13 baking dish or casserole dish with a layer of nilla wafer cookies. They won’t completely cover the bottom of the baking dish, but that’s fine.

Then, add a layer of sliced bananas over the cookies. We add as many bananas as will fit in a single layer.

Spoon about half of the pudding mixture over the banana slices. Smooth the pudding with a spatula.

spread pudding mixture over banana slices in casserole dish

Repeat the layers once more — cookies, bananas and pudding. Then spread the remaining whipped topping over the pudding mixture.

I like to leave a little bit of pudding showing around the edges. You can spread the whipped topping all the way up to the edges of the dish if you want.

To serve, I like to place fresh banana slices on top of the pudding and sprinkle crushed vanilla wafers for extra crunch.

no bake banana pudding with nilla wafers in pan

Chilling Time

Place the pudding into the refrigerator until ready to serve. Even though this is a no bake recipe, allow 1 to 2 hours of chilling time for best results.

This gives the flavors time to blend and lets the cookies soften up. If you want, you can make this creamy pudding up to a day in advance. It’s even better the next day!

no bake banana pudding with cool whip on a spoon over casserole dish

How to Store

Store banana pudding covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

I would recommend finishing any leftovers in 2 to 3 days, before the bananas get bad.


There are a couple ways to customize this delicious creamy banana pudding to your liking.

If you don’t want a whole casserole dish’s worth of banana pudding, try my banana pudding pie. It’s the same tasty classic, just in a smaller pie form! You can also layer the pudding in a trifle bowl or serve in individual glasses or mason jars.

I like to keep this a super simple recipe, but you can use homemade whipped cream. Just mix heavy whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer.

If you want, you don’t have to mix the Cool Whip and pudding, and can leave them as separate layers.

For extra banana flavor, in this layered banana pudding dessert use banana cream flavored instant pudding mix instead of instant vanilla pudding mix.

Chessman butter cookies are an excellent alternate to Nilla Wafers. Use them as the bottom layer of the pudding, or to decorate the top of the pudding.

5 from 31 votes

No Bake Banana Pudding

By: Dee
This No Bake Banana Pudding recipe with Cool Whip and Nilla Wafer cookies is an easy no bake dessert made with simple ingredients. The perfect dessert for holidays, special occasions, family gatherings and potluck dinners!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 12


  • 5.1 oz vanilla instant pudding
  • 3 cups cold milk
  • 3 large bananas thinly sliced, or 4 medium
  • 8 oz Cool Whip
  • 1 box Nilla Wafer cookies
  • additional bananas for garnish if desired
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  • Mix the instant pudding and cold milk together in a large mixing bowl
  • Stir in half of the whipped topping until well blended
  • Place a layer of wafer cookies on the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish
  • Place a layer of sliced bananas over the wafer cookies
  • Spoon half of the pudding mixture over the banana slices and spread evenly over bananas with a spatula
  • Repeat the layers — cookies, bananas, and finish with a layer of pudding on top
  • Spread the remaining Cool Whip over the pudding layer and place in refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight
  • Garnish with fresh banana slices and crushed cookies, if desired before serving



Pudding can be made up to a day in advance. Store in refrigerator.
Make sure to get instant vanilla pudding and not the kind that needs cooked.
Use any brand of vanilla wafer cookies or Chessman cookies.


Calories: 134kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.05g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 119mg, Potassium: 227mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 20g, Vitamin A: 115IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 94mg, Iron: 0.1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Like this? Leave a comment below!

Homemade pudding recipes are some of my favorite desserts, and between the sweet banana slices and crisp vanilla wafers, this easy homemade banana pudding might just be the best one yet!

If you liked this nilla wafer banana pudding recipe no bake dessert much we do, be sure to leave a star rating or comment!

For more banana recipes and no bake dessert recipes, visit my easy desserts recipes archive and my bread recipes archive.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Katelin says:

    Simple and delicious!5 stars

  2. Glenda Sparkman says:

    Normally Banana Pudding isn’t my” Cup of tea.”However,I tierd this recipe it was perfect.I invite some Guests over for dinner.Needless to say,They razed about my Banana Pudding.I was surprised5 stars

  3. Tina says:

    I used 5 1oz boxes of the instant pudding and it turned out way too thick. I used the 3 cups of milk like instructed.
    I had to keep adding more milk.

    1. Dee says:

      Did you use 5 boxes of pudding mix or just the 5.1 oz box that the recipe calls for? The pudding is thick at first, but adding the whipped topping thins it out.

  4. Kasey says:

    I made this and it is SO good that it’s dangerous. Also it’s super easy to make, love that! Thanks for sharing your recipe 🙂5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      Thank you for the great review! Glad you enjoyed the banana pudding!

    2. Chiquita Parker says:

      Good Monin, I love how you make your banana pudding but with the instruction mixing you never gave how much milk to use all you say was 2% or whole. Am guessing just a cup. Am going to try your way . Thank you.

      1. Dee says:

        Hi Chiquita. I apologize for the confusion. It is 3 cups milk. I like to give a quick overview of the ingredients first. The full recipe is in the printable card near the end of the post.

  5. Ebony says:

    Tried this for dessert last night! Simple to make and everyone loved it! Going to be making this often!5 stars

    1. Kathie says:

      I made this recipe years ago and lost the recipe. Thanks so much for showing it. Its so much easier than all the others and everyone liked it!
      Can’t wait to taste it again!5 stars

  6. Ann says:

    Looks delicious! I will have to make this for Easter!5 stars

  7. Shirley says:

    I love it! This pudding was a hit with my whole family!5 stars

  8. Catalina says:

    Love this easy recipe! I am sure this will be our new favorite summer dessert!5 stars

  9. Sandra says:

    This no bake banana pudding is so easy to make and really delicious! I need to make it again for the weekend!5 stars