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Patti Labelle Banana Pudding

This recipe for Patti Labelle banana pudding is every non-baker’s dream come true!

Trust me; if you have to bring a homemade dessert to a potluck but can’t bake to save your life, this recipe is for you.

Patti Labelle Banana Pudding in a Trifle Dish

The Best Banana Pudding You’ll Ever Taste

Banana pudding is wonderfully rich and creamy, with moist vanilla cake, sweet bananas, and velvety pudding layers.

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Served chilled, it really couldn’t be more refreshing – or easier to make!

Don’t worry about the cake layer, though. This recipe won’t require you to bake a single thing – not even a box mix.

Vanilla wafers will do the trick.

So get ready to impress your family and friends with your faux-baking prowess! Allow me and Patti Labelle to be your guide.

How to Make Patti Labelle’s Banana Pudding

First, you’ll need to prepare the pudding layer. Simply beat together sweetened condensed milk, water, and pudding.

Do this in a large bowl with an electric whisk, and it’ll take a matter of minutes.

Then, let it set in the fridge for five minutes before mixing in the heavy cream

The cream adds lightness and will also keep the pudding stable and fluffy.

Next is the fun part: arranging the layers!

The pudding starts with a layer of vanilla wafers, followed by the banana slices, and then the pudding. 

This recipe will make three layers of each. Of course, if you have a bigger trifle bowl, just double the recipe.

Once everything is layered, chill the pudding for 1 hour.

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This bit is the hardest, but it’s a non-negotiable. The banana pudding needs time to set, or else it’ll be too runny.

Garnish the pudding with dried fruits and/or crushed nuts, and enjoy!

Didn’t I say it was easy?

Banana Pudding Trifle with Vanilla Wafers and a Slice of Banana in a Small Bowl


As mentioned, this recipe is insanely easy. So, you only need a few pantry basics, which I bet you already have on hand!

  • Instant Pudding Mix – Patti Labelle uses vanilla pudding in her recipe, but you can also try banana for an even deeper flavor.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk – this gives it an unbeliveably creamy and luscious finish.
  • Heavy Cream – You can use either heavy cream or Cool Whip, but I find the former makes a more stable pudding.
  • Vanilla Wafers – Classic Nilla Wafers are perfect, here, but you can also use Pepperidge Farm Chessmen Cookies or regular butter cookies
  • Bananas – the dessert’s main attraction! You’ll want to use ripe bananas for that perfect sweet flavor. However, you’ll want them to still be a bit firm as they’ll soften during chilling. 

If you’re worried about the wafers being hard after time in the fridge- don’t.

When chilled for hours, the wafers turn into soft, cake-like layers. It’s a magic technique that all non-bakers should know! 

Patti Labelle Banana Pudding

Tips & Tricks For The Best Banana Pudding 

  • Use ripe bananas that are still a little firm. They’ll soften while chilling, so using overripe bananas will give you a mushy dessert.
  • Use an electric mixer when preparing the pudding to make a smooth mixture. It’ll save you time and guarantees the perfect, fluffy finish.
  • Instead of assembling the layers in a trifle glass, make single-serve desserts and arrange the layers in mason jars or glasses. Use a piping bag to get neat layers of pudding.
  • For something a little different, try new flavors of pudding! I like butterscotch with the banana, but you could also use chocolate or peanut butter.

How Do I Keep My Bananas From Turning Brown?

To keep bananas from turning brown in banana pudding, start with yellow bananas that are just ripe and don’t slice them until the very last minute. Also, be sure the bananas are completely covered in pudding. This will protect them from air exposure and keep them from browning. 

To pick perfectly ripe bananas, look for stems that aren’t green. But remember that the peels shouldn’t have any browning or discoloration, either.

Another issue is that exposure to air causes oxidation, which immediately turns bananas brown. That’s why you should wait to slice them until you’re ready to assemble the dish.

If you slice them sooner than you need to, they’ll turn brown even before you layer them.

You can also brush them with lemon or any fruit juice for good measure. The acid in the juice will slow down oxidation.

How Long Does This Banana Pudding Last?

I doubt there’d be any leftovers of this creamy and dreamy banana pudding. But, just in case there is:

This banana pudding recipe will last for three days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. The bananas might start to turn brown on the third day, but it’s still safe to eat. Cover the glass dish in plastic wrap to keep the pudding from absorbing the flavors and odors of the fridge.

Or, if there’s only a little portion of pudding left, transfer it into an airtight container and refrigerate.

Also, don’t let it sit at room temperature for over two hours; otherwise, the pudding and the bananas will start to spoil.

Other Easy Desserts You’ll Love

Chocolate Cornstarch Pudding
‘Ohana Bread Pudding
Trisha Yearwood Key Lime Cake
Tres Leches Cake with Cake Mix
Eagle Brand Cheesecake

Patti Labelle Banana Pudding



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This Patti Labelle banana pudding recipe is every non-baker’s dream come true! It’s quick, easy, and needs just a few pantry-staple ingredients.


  • 1 1 (14-ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk

  • 1 1/2 cup 1 1/2 cold water

  • 1 package 1 instant vanilla pudding mix

  • 2 cups 2 heavy cream

  • 36 36 vanilla wafers

  • 3 medium 3 ripe bananas


  • In a large bowl, whisk together condensed milk and cold water. Pour the vanilla pudding mix and beat at medium speed for 2 minutes or until well-combined. Chill in the fridge for 5 minutes. Gently mix in the heavy cream with a rubber spatula.
  • Arrange 1/3 of the vanilla wafers into a single layer in a large trifle bowl or glass. Slice one banana thinly and layer it on top of the wafers. Top it with 1/3 of the pudding layer. Repeat layering twice more, ending with the pudding.
  • Chill the dessert for 1 hour. Sprinkle with fruits or nuts, if desired. Serve and enjoy!
Patti Labelle Banana Pudding

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Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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