Mama’s Best Banana Pudding

Mama's Best Banana Pudding! It's a quick family classic with a secret ingredient that truly makes it the best ever!

There are a few things that are only good when made the way my Mom makes them. This Banana Pudding is one of them. I try to get them other places and I always regret it. It’s just never, ever as good as my Mama’s Best Banana Pudding!

I fell for it again last week and picked up a small carton of Banana Pudding at Publix because it was on sale and I knew Jorge would be excited. We both took a bite and immediately said at the same time — it wasn’t even close to as good as my Mom’s. Family recipes are the best for a reason.

Mama's Best Banana Pudding! It's a quick family classic with a secret ingredient that truly makes it the best ever!

So I promised to get everything to make it the next time at the store. And I kept forgetting…and forgetting…and forgetting. Next thing I know, it’s January and Jorge is begging me to make some Banana Pudding.

I headed to the store and picked up the few things I needed to make it and by the time I got to checkout I was drooling. I rushed home and whipped up a batch for Sunday family supper.

Jorge and the girls dove into it. Ellie loved it so much she was actually dancing in between bites — it was absolutely adorable. But to be fair, that girl could eat bananas morning, noon and night.

Mama's Best Banana Pudding! It's a quick family classic with a secret ingredient that truly makes it the best ever!

I think the secret to Mama’s Best Banana Pudding is the can of sweetened condensed milk. My mom loves to put that sweet creamy nectar in everything. It’s also the secret to her famous sweet potato casserole!

I love a ton of banana and vanilla wafers in my banana pudding and the recipe below has that. However, if you like more pudding to wafers/banana, just cut back on the wafers as you stack it. This recipe also easily doubles to fill a 13×9 and feed a crowd! Hope you enjoy it as much as we have all these years!

Recipe note: The trifle bowl in the background is this awesome one from amazon. It’s footless so you can’t knock it over (been there, done that) and it has a lid for travel/storage. Love it!

Mama's Best Banana Pudding Recipe

Recipe Note: Some people are confused by this recipes use of instant pudding. You use the dry pudding mix and mix it with the ingredients listed. You do NOT make the pudding and then add in the extra ingredients. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 (5.1 oz) box instant vanilla pudding (dry mix only)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 12 oz cool whip or 12 oz heavy cream, whipped to stiff peaks
  • 5 large bananas, sliced
  • 1 (11 oz) box vanilla wafers

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together powdered pudding mix, milk and condensed milk until smooth. Let sit for 3 minutes. Fold in whipped cream until smooth.
  2. In a large bowl (or individual parfait glasses) assemble the pudding. First, lay one third of Nilla Wafers across bottom of the bowl. Top with one third of the banana slices. Cover with one third of the pudding mixture. Continue with two more layers, reserving a few vanilla wafers to lay across the top as garnish.
  3. Cover pudding and let it rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving. Can be made up to a day ahead. 

Mama's Best Banana Pudding! It's a quick family classic with a secret ingredient that truly makes it the best ever!