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Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding is a classic and beloved dessert that has become an icon in the world of sweet treats. This delicious and creamy dessert is made with layers of vanilla pudding, sliced bananas, and Nilla wafers. The pudding is famous for its light and fluffy texture, delicate sweetness, and irresistible banana flavor!

Banana desserts are a favorite in our house! In fact, we seem to always have bananas around in our fruit bowl. We love them in general, but there always seems to be an abundance, and I have a few that end up overripe and perfect for making Banana Bread, Banana Nut Muffins, and a Banana Cake!

A clear dessert cup filled with banana pudding with a wooden spoon in it.

What is Magnolia Bakery?

Magnolia Bakery is a famous American bakery chain founded in 1996 in New York City. It is known for its cupcakes, cakes, pies, and of course, its amazing banana pudding and has become a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

Magnolia Bakery gained widespread recognition after it was featured in the television show “Sex and the City,” and has since expanded to multiple locations in the United States and around the world, including in Dubai, Beirut, and Tokyo.

If you haven’t been to one of their bakeries or just want to be able to make this at home, you are in the right place. It tastes like the real deal y’all! I am pretty certain this dessert is sure to delight your taste buds and leave you craving for more.

Ingredient Notes

  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: This ingredient is an essential part of the recipe and cannot be substituted. It is a thick, sweet, and sticky milk that adds richness and creaminess to the pudding
  • Nilla Wafers: Nilla wafers are a type of vanilla-flavored cookie that is used in the recipe. If you cannot find Nilla wafers, you can substitute them with any other type of vanilla wafer or shortbread cookie.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: Heavy cream is used to make the whipped cream in the recipe. You can also use whipping cream or double cream as a substitute.
  • Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix: Instant vanilla pudding mix is used to thicken and flavor the pudding.
  • Bananas: Ripe bananas are used in the recipe to add sweetness and flavor to the pudding. Make sure the bananas are ripe but not overly ripe, as overly ripe bananas can turn mushy and affect the texture of the pudding.
  • Water: Water is used to thin out the sweetened condensed milk and create a smooth and creamy mixture with the pudding mix. You can also use milk or half-and-half as a substitute for water if you prefer a creamier texture.
A labeled image of ingredients needed to make Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Chocolate Banana Pudding: Add chocolate chips or cocoa powder to the pudding mix to make a chocolate version of the banana pudding.
  • Strawberry Banana Pudding: Substitute sliced strawberries for some or all of the banana slices for a fruity twist.
  • Mixed Fruit Banana Pudding: Mix in other fruits, such as blueberries or raspberries, along with the bananas to create a colorful and delicious dessert.
  • Peanut Butter Banana Pudding: Add a layer of peanut butter to the bottom of the dish before layering the pudding, bananas, and wafers for a delicious peanut butter-banana combination.
  • Caramel Banana Pudding: Drizzle caramel sauce over the top of the pudding before serving for an extra indulgent dessert.
  • Dairy-free Banana Pudding: Substitute coconut milk or almond milk for the heavy cream, and use a dairy-free pudding mix to make this recipe dairy-free.
  • Vegan Banana Pudding: In addition to the dairy-free substitutions, use vegan sweetened condensed milk and vegan pudding mix to make this recipe vegan-friendly.

How To Make The Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding Recipe

Be sure to see the recipe card below for exact ingredients and full recipe instructions!

Step 1: Make the Condensed Milk Mixture

In a large bowl, mix the condensed milk and ice-cold water together.

Collage image showing combining condensed milk and water.

Step 2: Make the Pudding Mixture

Then, add the instant pudding mix to the condensed milk mixture. Beat with an electric mixer or stand mixer on medium speed until fully combined. DO NOT make the pudding according to box instructions. Use the DRY MIX.

Cover and refrigerate the pudding for at least 3 to 4 hours or even overnight.

A collage image shows adding dry pudding mix to the condensed mixture and stirred together.

Step 3: Make the Whipped Cream

In a large bowl, add the heavy cream. Using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, start on low speed until it starts to thicken, and then mix on medium speed until stiff peaks are formed. 

The collage image shows combining heavy cream in a bowl and then it whipped into whipped cream.

Step 4: Fold Pudding into Whipped Cream

Next, add the whipped cream to the pudding mixture. Gently fold in the whipped cream with a spoon. Fold until there are not any streaks of pudding left.

Collage image showing combining pudding mixture and folding it into whipped cream.

Step 4: Assemble the Magnolia Bakery’s Banana Pudding

Save 5 cookies for the garnish that will be placed on top. You can save as many as you would like for the top.

Pull the chilled pudding out of the refrigerator and slice the bananas.

A collage image showing the chilled pudding and sliced bananas on a cutting board.

In a 3-quart trifle bowl, assemble the dessert.

In the bottom of the trifle bowl, spread one-quarter of the pudding mixture. Layer with one-third of the vanilla wafers cookies and one-third of the bananas.

Repeat this process 2 more times.

The final layer of pudding mixture will go in last before adding the garnish.

Then garnish the top of the creamy pudding with cookie crumbs from the additional cookies.

A collage image showing step-by-step layering of Magnolia Bakery Pudding Recipe; Adding a layer of pudding, layer vanilla wafers, layer sliced bananas, then repeat 2 more times and top with crushed cookies.

Step 5: Cover and Chill to let the Pudding Set and Flavors Combine

Lastly, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours. There you have it– a beautiful no-bake banana pudding that everyone is going to devour.

If you want your topping to be really crispy, you can garnish it after chilling. You can also add more freshly sliced bananas just before serving.

A trifle dish filled with Magnolia Banana Pudding.

Tips

  • Do not use overripe bananas for this recipe. They brown too quickly and have a softer texture than you want. You want a nice firm bite of banana for the best banana pudding recipe.
  • Don’t be tempted to skip the chill time. First, you will chill the pudding mixture. If you skip this, the mixture will be watery. Secondly, you will chill the combined mixture. This allows everything to set up nicely and the texture of the cookies to become somewhat soft and cake-like. It also gives the bananas time to flavor the pudding.
  • This is best served within 8 to 12 hours, as much longer than the bananas will start to brown. You can see FAQs for tips to prevent bananas from browning.

Southern Banana Pudding with Condensed Milk

While this recipe is made famous in New York, it is a spin on a southern banana pudding made with condensed milk. The only difference is that typically the southern version would be made with 2 ½ cups of ice-cold whole milk instead of ice-cold water, 2 boxes of the instant pudding, and 6 bananas. It can be served in a trifle dish or a 9 X 13 pan.

Recipe FAQ’s

Can you use Cool Whip Instead of Heavy Cream?

You can use Cool Whip instead, but it will result in a much sweeter dessert. If you would like to make banana pudding with cool whip, try my creamy banana pudding recipe.

Can I Use Generic Ingredients for this No Bake Banana Pudding?

Yes, you can replace the Jello-O brand and Nabisco Nilla Wafers with generic brands, even for the Magnolia banana pudding recipe. You will still get yummy results.

Can I make Gluten-Free Banana Pudding?

Gluten-free Banana Pudding: Use gluten-free Nilla wafers or shortbread cookies to make this recipe gluten-free. Jell-O brand instant pudding isn’t labeled gluten-free, but the ingredients do not contain gluten. Be sure to check your brand ingredient labels before making.

How to prevent bananas from turning brown?

Sliced bananas tend to turn brown quickly due to exposure to air and the release of enzymes that cause oxidation. Using just barely ripe bananas will help. Also, try to keep the bananas covered with pudding to prevent air exposure. If you want to serve with bananas on top, wait until just before serving to add those.

You can dip the sliced bananas in any acidic fruit juice, like lemon juice or lime juice. This does change the taste a bit, using club soda can also be used and will not change the flavor.

Three desert cups filled with Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding set on a table with sliced bananas and a white tea towel set in the front.

Storage

Storage: Cover with foil or plastic wrap or place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. This is best when served within 8 to 12 hours. However, leftovers can be stored for 3 days. You may see some browning of the bananas after the 12-hour mark, but the pudding will still taste delicious.

Can you Freeze Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding?

Unfortunately, banana pudding does not freeze well. The texture of the cookies will go very mushy, and the bananas will turn brown.

What to Serve with Homemade Banana Pudding

Magnolia bakery’s famous banana pudding may be served in New York, but this is a southern-style banana pudding delight. If you are as crazy about banana pudding as I am, you’ll also love this Easy Banana Pudding Recipe or my Banana Pudding Cheesecake Parfaits.

Any banana pudding recipe goes wonderful with Southern food favorites like fried pork chops, southern-style green beans, or oven-fried chicken.

This recipe is perfect for potlucks, gameday, a Sunday supper, or even a picnic. You can serve this in a trifle dish, bowl, 9 X 13 dish, or even in individual servings.

Anyway you serve it up this famous banana pudding recipe is one the whole family will love, and your friends will be begging for you to share the recipe!

A scoop of banana pudding being spooned out of a dessert bowl.

More Delicious Desserts to Try

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Three desert cups filled with Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding set on a table with sliced bananas and a white tea towel set in the front.
Recipe
5 from 13 votes

(click stars to rate)

Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Chill Time – 4 to 6 hours: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Author: Nikki Lee
Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding is a classic and beloved dessert that has become an icon in the world of sweet treats. This delicious and creamy dessert is made with layers of vanilla pudding, sliced bananas, and Nilla wafers. The pudding is famous for its light and fluffy texture, delicate sweetness, and irresistible banana flavor!
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Ingredients 

  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 ½ cups ice cold water
  • 3.4 ounce box instant vanilla pudding
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 11 ounce box Nilla Wafers
  • 4 cups barely ripe bananas, sliced (3-4 bananas)

Instructions

  • Make Condense Milk Mixture: In a medium-sized bowl add the sweetened condensed milk and ice-cold water (1 ½ cups). Mix with an electric mixer on medium speed until fully blended for about 1 minute. 
  • Make the Pudding Mixture & Chill: Add the vanilla instant pudding mix. Mix on medium until fully blended for 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight. Note: Do not make the pudding according to the box instructions.
  • Make the Whipped Cream: In a large bowl add the heavy cream. Using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, start on low speed until it starts to thicken, and then mix on medium speed until stiff peaks are formed.
  • Fold Pudding into Whipped Cream: Add the whipped cream to the pudding mixture. Gently fold in the whipped cream with a spoon or spatula. Fold until there are not any streaks left.
  • Assemble Pudding: Save at least 5 cookies for the garnish that will be placed on top for garnish (you can save more if you would like).
    In a 3-quart trifle bowl assemble the dessert.
    In the bottom of the trifle bowl spread ¼ of the pudding mixture. Layer with ⅓ of the cookies and ⅓ of the bananas. Repeat this process 2 more times. The final layer will be the pudding mixture.
    Garnish the top with cookie crumbs from the additional cookies.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours. The cookies will be soft. The dessert is best served within 12 hours.

Video

Notes

  • Do not use overripe bananas for this recipe. They brown too quickly and have a softer texture than you want. You want a nice firm bite of banana for the best banana pudding recipe.
  • Don’t be tempted to skip the chill time. First, you will be chilling the pudding mixture. If you skip this the mixture will be watery. Secondly, you will chill the combined mixture. This allows everything to set up nicely and the texture of the cookies to become somewhat soft and cake-like. It also gives the bananas time to flavor the pudding.
  • This is best served within 8 to 12 hours, as much longer than the bananas will start to brown. You can see FAQs for tips to prevent bananas from browning.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving Calories: 378kcal (19%) Carbohydrates: 43g (14%) Protein: 4g (8%) Fat: 22g (34%) Saturated Fat: 13g (81%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g Monounsaturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0.05g Cholesterol: 59mg (20%) Sodium: 162mg (7%) Potassium: 286mg (8%) Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 30g (33%) Vitamin A: 746IU (15%) Vitamin C: 4mg (5%) Calcium: 103mg (10%) Iron: 0.2mg (1%)

Nutritional Disclaimer

Soulfully Made is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

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13 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Omg BEST banana pudding ever!!! I made this for a party this past weekend and I got rave reviews! Cannot wait to make it again.

  2. 5 stars
    My very dear neighbor loves Banana Pudding, so I made this for his birthday! He was over the moon! It was so delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    One of my all time favorite desserts. You can’t go to a gathering without a banana pudding. A southern favorite.