I recently made and took this Layered Banana Pudding Trifle to a fun potluck 70’s party, and I must say that this reliable retro dessert was very well received. Five hours (and a few cocktails later) I brought the trifle dish home empty!
There are lots of versions of Layered Banana Pudding Trifle out there, but I used the recipe from Tina’s My Life as a Mrs, because I really like the idea of using real whipped cream instead of Cool Whip. The only change to Tina’s recipe that I made was using vanilla wafers cookies instead of Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies, because I don’t think that the Chessmen cookies have that punch of vanilla flavor truly needed for the perfect banana pudding.
Made with vanilla pudding, vanilla wafers, sliced bananas, and real whipped cream, this dessert is decadent and yet is super easy to make, with no baking required.
To pull off making this very simple Layered Banana Pudding dessert look impressive, you’ll need to use a clear glass trifle dish like the one shown. I found mine a few months ago at Walmart. Honestly, this trifle dish is so inexpensive, that you could simply let the hostess know that the dish is hers to keep, and then you’ve taken care of a hostess gift too!
All of the ingredients for this Layered Banana Pudding Trifle might not fit in your trifle dish. I ended up with some extra ingredients left over, so I simply made two extra servings in mini trifle dishes. And yes, I felt a bit smug knowing that I had my very own individual banana pudding trifles tucked away in the fridge for later!
Let me just warn you that this is a super rich dessert, especially with the real whipped cream folded into the pudding, with more whipped cream added to the top. I’m guessing that this Layered Banana Pudding Trifle will make at least twenty generous servings, and perhaps more.
A few tips: (1) allow this dessert, once made, to sit in the refrigerator for at least five hours, so as to allow the vanilla wafers to soften and better blend in with the overall pudding texture; (2) if you want a more intense vanilla cookie flavor, then be sure to use vanilla wafers cookies such as Nabisco Nilla Wafers or Keebler Vanilla Wafers, and not those Pepperidge Farm Chessmen which, although very popular for banana puddings right now, don’t really have that punch of vanilla flavor that I prefer; and (3) use bananas that are ripe enough to have enough banana flavor but that are still firm enough not to be brown in color or overwhelming in flavor.
Here’s the recipe for Layered Banana Pudding Trifle:
- 2 (3.4 ounce) boxes instant French vanilla pudding
- 2½ cups cold lowfat milk
- 16 ounces heavy whipping cream
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 (8-ounce) package ⅓ less fat cream cheese, softened
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- Approx. 16 ounces of vanilla wafers cookies (about 1 and ⅓ boxes of cookies)
- 6 to 8 ripe bananas, sliced
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the instant pudding and the milk until well combined. Set aside to thicken. In another bowl, beat the cream until medium to stiff peaks form. Mix in the powdered sugar and vanilla into the whipped cream. In a third bowl, add the softened cream cheese and the sweetened condensed milk and beat until well combined. Fold ⅔ of the whipped cream into the cream cheese/sweetened condensed milk mixture. Then, fold that mixture into the pudding and stir until well combined.
- Line the bottom of a trifle dish with some of the cookies. Top with sliced bananas and then ⅓ of the pudding mixture. Add another layer of cookies topped with bananas and then another ⅓ of the pudding mixture. Add a third layer of cookies topped with bananas and then the final ⅓ of the pudding mixture. Add one last layer of cookies, topped with banana slices. Top with remaining whipped cream and a few vanilla wafers for garnish. Refrigerate for at least five hours (or overnight) before serving. Use any extra ingredients that will not fit in the trifle dish to make small individual-sized servings.
- Layering from top to bottom should look like whipped cream, bananas, cookies, ⅓ of pudding, bananas, cookies, ⅓ of pudding, bananas, cookies, ⅓ of pudding, bananas, and cookies.
All of my opinions are independent and unbiased, and I received no samples, payments, or financial incentives from Walmart, Anchor Hocking, Nabisco, Keebler, the blog My Life as a Mrs, or any other company or entity for comments or links made in this recipe post.
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