Southern Banana Pudding with Nilla Wafers in 7 Easy Steps

Everyone loves the classic banana pudding with Nilla wafers. It's a family favorite, and kids especially love to dig into this dessert. It's super-delicious and easy to make. Here, we'll show you how to make a Southern banana pudding that will give Paula Deen a run for her money.

2 cups whole milk
1 small package of instant vanilla pudding mix
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
24 round vanilla wafer cookies (Nilla Wafers suggested)
2 medium bananas
Whipped topping (optional)


  1. Combine the milk and pudding mix in a large bowl.
  2. Beat with an electric mixer or whisk for 2 minutes, or until the mixture has no clumps.
  3. Blend in the sweetened condensed milk until the mixture is smooth, then set aside.
  4. In a 9-inch square baking pan, arrange a layer of wafers on the bottom of the pan with the flat side down. Top the wafers with banana slices. Repeat layering until you are out of wafers and bananas.
  5. Pour the pudding mixture on top of the vanilla wafer and banana layers. Allow pudding to seep down between the wafers and bananas, lightly jiggling the pan if necessary.
  6. Cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2–3 hours.
  7. If desired, spread whipped cream over the pudding before serving.

Tips and Tricks

  • If you're looking for a low-fat recipe, opt for fat-free or skim milk, sugar-free and fat-free pudding mix, and reduced fat Nilla wafers. For an even more low-fat pudding, omit the sweetened condensed milk.
  • Consider using banana pudding instead of vanilla pudding. This substitution will give your banana pudding an extra delicious kick of flavor. Another mouth-watering substitution is to use white chocolate pudding. You'll be hooked.
  • Consider adding a tablespoon or so of vanilla extract to the mixture, allowing it to mix well with the pudding.
  • If you aren't a fan of whipped topping, consider meringue. Beat 2–4 four egg whites in a bowl until foamy. Gradually add 3–6 tablespoons of white sugar to the egg whites, beating until stiff. The egg whites should form peaks and valleys. Spread onto pudding, bake at 350 degrees for 5–10 minutes, and allow to cool completely before serving.
  • A banana pudding pie makes a great presentation. Purchase and bake a 9-inch pie crust. Add a small amount of pudding mixture to the crust. Add a layer of sliced bananas, followed by wafers, followed by bananas slices again. Then, add more of the pudding mixture. Allow the pie to refrigerate for 2–3 hours.