Saturday, May 2, 2009

Not Your Granny's Banana Puddin'

Probably a staple at every Southern family reunion is good old banana pudding. I can remember my grandmother making the traditional banana pudding--hot, cooked pudding poured over layers of vanilla wafers and banana slices--best eaten when it's cooled just enough to "set", but still slightly warm. (Any later and it turned into a slimy mess of soggy cookies and blackened bananas. Yuck.) Every now and then she made a pineapple version for one of my cousins who doted on it. (Hot pineapple. Double yuck.)

Banana pudding was never one of my favorites growing up, but I did enjoy it on occasion if I could catch it at just that right moment--otherwise, I'd rather have the pie. Or cake. Or anything other than banana pudding.

A number of years ago, though, there began to appear recipes for "uncooked" banana pudding. At first they were just instant pudding poured over the cookies and banana--good, but nothing to write home about.

Later some other versions came up, made with that staple of a Good Southern Belle cook--Cool Whip. My sister made one of these at Easter, and it was Very Good.

I remembered, though, somewhere in the back of my brain, finding a recipe once for uncooked banana pudding that was made with sweetened condensed milk as one of it's ingredients, and I determined to leave no search engine unsearched until I found it. Turns out there are several different versions of uncooked-banana-pudding-made-with-sweetened-condensed-milk, so I looked over several of them and found the basis of what I believe may be the Ultimate Uncooked Banana Pudding. It has all the right ingredients--namely, Cool Whip, sweetened condensed milk, and cream cheese. Could it possibly get any better than this? I don't think so. I did adjust the proportions of some ingredients, but I believe this may be IT.

Here is my version of the Ultimate Uncooked Banana Puddin'

  • Vanilla Wafers
  • 4-5 bananas
  • 2 boxes of instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 8ox pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 c milk
  • 1/2 container Cool Whip

Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan with vanilla wafers. The original recipe called for 30--it took 35 (yes, I counted) to cover the bottom, plus a couple of extra thrown in just to be sure. And I like to put some around the edges to look traditional, too, so that was at least 20-25 more, if you really want to count them. Cover with sliced bananas. The original recipe called for 2 thinly sliced bananas. They must have shaved them awfully thin, because I used 4 or 5 to cover the pan. Mix the cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, milk, and pudding mix, and beat for 2-3 minutes. Add cool whip, and beat at low speed until well mixed. Spoon over the top of the cookies and bananas. Add extra cookies around the edge. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.

Notes: I had a hard time getting the cream cheese to mix in thoroughly. I let it sit out to soften, but apparently not long enough--when I added all of the pudding ingredients, including the cold milk, I had a hard time making the cream cheese fully incorporate. As a result, some bites have an extra little lump of cream cheese--for a special treat!

I made this tonight to take to a family reunion tomorrow. I had some extra pudding and cookies and one leftover banana, so I made a couple of small ones--don't they look cute? I admit--I tasted--the pudding is quite rich-I think it'll be a big hit.

What's your favorited version of banana pudding, cooked or uncooked?

I'm sharing this recipe at Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Bedlam and Beauty, and Tempt My Tummy Tusday at Blessed with Grace. Check both of these out for links to other recipes.

Until next time--good cooking, and good eating!


  1. I love banana pudding. Your recipe is different from others I've seen. I'll definitely have to try this!

  2. I had never heard of using cream cheese in banana pudding until a few months ago and my mom tried this very recipe. She loved it!! What is better than banana pudding? Hmmm, I'll have to think about that! LOL! Thanks for posting this!

  3. Sounds yummy! Thanks for sharing the recipe.


  4. I love banana pudding! thanks for this looks tasty!

  5. WOW! So many great TMTT recipes today. I love that you don't have to cook this!

  6. I love banana pudding!

  7. Hey Charlene. This recipe looks great!! Can't go wrong with sweetened condensed milk!! Looking forward to making this recipe.

  8. That looks delicious! I think my family would really like this!

  9. I've never had a Banana Pudding with cream cheese or condensed milk ~ but it sounds yummy! I'll be trying this ~ thanks for sharing your recipe!

  10. I've actually been thinking of making banana pudding. I'm glad I found this recipe before I made the other one! Thanks for sharing.

  11. Thanks to everyone for the comments! I loooved this banana pudding, I'm looking forward to making this again!

  12. This is the recipe I plan to use for our Easter does at church Saturday! Thanks bunches!

  13. One thing I have heard of is to use the girl scout shortbread cookies instead of vanilla wafers. Just a suggestion.