This Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding layers ripe bananas, vanilla wafers, and a luscious vanilla pudding base. This classic dessert offers a delightful fusion of flavors and textures the whole family will love!

After my husband graduated from medical school, we took a short trip to NYC to celebrate! We ate a lot of delicious food while there; but two places that I’ll never forget would be Jacob’s Pickles (an incredible and delicious brunch and dinner restaurant), and Magnolia Bakery’s banana pudding. 

For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of enjoying the famous Magnolia bakery banana pudding recipe while listening to the busy New York City traffic zoom by, don’t fret! You can make it from your own home. If you love this banana pudding recipe, then you will go crazy for my Crumbl Banana Cream Pie Cookies! They have the same delicious banana cream pudding topping!

Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding in a jar against a white background.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Best banana pudding recipe. The combination of ripe bananas, vanilla wafers, and a creamy vanilla pudding base creates a perfect balance of flavors in this decadent banana dessert. 
  • Uses homemade banana pudding mixture with homemade whipped cream. Making homemade banana pudding and using homemade whipped cream makes a HUGE difference to get a rich and smooth banana pudding! 
  • Magnolia bakery copycat recipe. Magnolia Bakery’s famous banana pudding recipe has earned a reputation as an iconic and delicious dessert that has become a favorite of so many. Now you can make it in your own home! 

Ingredient Notes

Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding ingredients on a marble background: Nilla wafer crackers, vanilla jello, heavy cream, bananas, water, sweetened condensed milk.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: The sweetened condense milk will help sweeten and help thicken the pudding. 
  • Cold Water: The cold water will help the set the pudding. 
  • Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix: Be sure to use the the instant pudding mix, not the already made pudding. Also, DON’T use cook and serve. 
  • Nilla Wafers: Break the Nilla wafers into chunks for the vanilla wafer banana pudding. When it comes to vanilla wafer cookies, be sure to get the Nilla wafers brand. Other off-brands won’t taste as good. 
  • Bananas: For a sweeter flavor, make this as a ripe banana dessert. The layers of fresh bananas help lift the flavor of this favorite banana pudding recipe. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Make the easy vanilla pudding recipe. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment add one 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk and 1 1/2 cups cold water. Mix until combined. Add one 3.4 oz box instant vanilla pudding mix and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight. 
Three images showing how to make Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding, top left is white mixture in glass bowl, bottom left is yellow liquid mixture in glass bowl, right image is hardened yellow pudding in glass bowl.
  1. Beat the whipping cream. Remove the cold and firm vanilla pudding from the fridge. Add 3 cups heavy whipping cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until stiff peaks form. 
  2. Combine whipped cream and pudding. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in half the pudding mixture into the whipped cream. Once almost combined, add the remaining pudding and fold in until combined. 
  3. Layer the Magnolia banana puddings. In a trifle dish or in individual serving glasses, layer the puddings. Add a layer of Nilla wafers to the bottom of the dish or glass, top with sliced bananas, then a layer of the pudding mixture. Repeat: cookies, bananas, pudding, finishing with the final layer of pudding. 
  4. Chill then serve. Chill the Magnolia banana puddings in the fridge for up to 6 hours. Enjoy! 
Three images, top left is whipped cream on a whisk, bottom left is Nilla wafers in a jar topped with white pudding, right image is layered Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding in a jar.

Recipe Tips

Use freshly whipped cream instead of store-bought whipped toppings. It will provide a lighter and fresher taste to the dessert. 

Use cold heavy cream. If it’s a hot day, you can chill the metal bowl and whisk to keep the heavy cream cold.

Use ripe bananas for the best flavor and sweetness. They should have some brown spots on the skin, indicating their ripeness and natural sweetness.

The combination of instant vanilla pudding mix and condensed milk. This will create a smooth and rich texture.

You can use whatever size of containers you’d like. You can divide everything into 12 smaller sized jars, or 1 large trifle bowl.

Allow the pudding to chill in the refrigerator for at least a few hours or preferably overnight. This will allow the flavors to meld together and the cookies to soften, creating the characteristic creamy texture of Magnolia Bakery’s banana pudding.

Use Nilla Wafer brand. There are certain times in life you should buy “name brand,” this is one of those times. The Nilla Wafer brand tastes better and they’ll softened beautifully. Some off-brands don’t behave this way and will stay firm in the pudding. You don’t want that, trust me.

When assembling the pudding, create alternating layers of sliced bananas, vanilla wafers, and the creamy mixture. This will ensure that every spoonful has a balanced mix of flavors. Use a clear jar or bowl so you can see the beautiful layers! 

Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing

You can make banana pudding in advance. It actually tastes even better when allowed to chill for a few hours or overnight. Just keep it covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.

Store in a covered or airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 

Do not freeze. The pudding can separate and the bananas can go brown. 

Overhead photo of Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding in a glass jar on a wooden background.

Recipe FAQs

Can you use cook pudding mix to make Magnolia’s Banana Pudding recipe?

Unfortunately, no. You need to use the instant vanilla pudding mix.

Can you freeze Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding?

No. If you freeze it, you’ll end up with soggy wafers and black bananas.

Can you refrigerate the banana pudding overnight?

Yes! It’ll stay overnight perfectly. In fact, my husband thinks it tastes better the next day.

Can I use underripe bananas for banana pudding?

While you can use underripe bananas, they won’t have the same sweetness and flavor as ripe bananas. It’s best to use ripe bananas with some brown spots on the skin for a more delicious result.

Can I use Cool Whip?

While you can use whipped topping as a convenience, freshly whipped cream will provide a better taste and texture. It’s worth taking the extra time to whip the cream yourself.

What if my banana pudding is runny?

Check to making sure you used instant pudding instead of cook and serve. This banana pudding recipe only works with instant banana pudding. 

Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding in a jar against a white background.

More Banana Desserts

Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding in a glass jar.
Print Save Review
4.88 from 8 votes

Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding

This banana pudding is straight up irresistible! It’s layered with Nilla wafers, sliced bananas, and fluffy vanilla pudding. 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
chill time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 1 3.4 oz box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream - cold
  • 1 box Nilla Wafers - broken into large chunks
  • 5 medium bananas


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment mix the sweetened condensed milk and cold water until combined. Add the pudding mix and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight. 
  • Remove pudding mixture from the fridge, it should be cold and firm
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer (with whisk attachment) or with hand beaters, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. 
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold half of the pudding mixture into the whipped cream. Once almost combined, add the remaining pudding mixture and fold until combined. 
  • Slice the bananas.
  • To your serving dish (you can use a trifle, or individual glass jars) add a handful of the Nilla wafer chunks to the bottom of the dish, then top with sliced bananas, and then a layer of pudding. Repeat with cookies, bananas, and pudding. Depending on the dish you’re using you can do another layer of cookies, bananas, pudding. 
  • Chill desserts for 1 hour or up to 6 hours. 
  • Serve cold. 


Recipe Source: Magnolia Bakery


Calories: 500kcal (25%)Carbohydrates: 26g (9%)Protein: 3g (6%)Fat: 44g (68%)Saturated Fat: 27g (135%)Cholesterol: 163mg (54%)Sodium: 51mg (2%)Potassium: 441mg (13%)Fiber: 2g (8%)Sugar: 12g (13%)Vitamin A: 1810IU (36%)Vitamin C: 9.2mg (11%)Calcium: 84mg (8%)Iron: 0.3mg (2%)
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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