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Food & Recipes

This Banana Pudding Cup Recipe Is the Sweetest Treat — Make It in Just 10 Minutes

Learn how to make your own vanilla pudding and meringue topping!

We love a fancy dessert, but sometimes the classics are what we’re craving most. We found the best no-bake banana pudding cups recipe that looks bakery-level but with a little extra love. Refreshing layers of vanilla wafers, sliced bananas, vanilla pudding and meringue will impress anyone with a sweet tooth. And it takes 10 minutes to make into single servings with thanks to a little store-bought magic. Plus, learn the nutritional benefits of bananas and how to get them perfectly ripe without browning. Here’s how to make banana pudding cups.

What is banana pudding?

Also known as banana cream pudding, this classic Southern dessert features layers of vanilla custard, vanilla wafers, sliced fresh bananas and a meringue or whipped cream topping. This layering method allows the wafers to absorb the custard and the flavors to blend. Since its creation in the mid-20th century (after bananas became widely available in America), modern adaptations switched out the custard for vanilla- or banana-flavored pudding. For many Southerners, it served as an affordable and comforting dessert for Sunday dinner or celebrations. You can either bake or refrigerate banana pudding, the latter being more popular for its chilled texture.

“Banana pudding is fantastic because it’s simple and easy to make, requiring just a few key ingredients to prepare,” says Natasha Kravchuk, food blogger and author of Natasha’s Kitchen. “I opt for instant pudding for convenience and to save time in the kitchen since it doesn’t require any cooking. Cool Whip is a great substitute for whipped cream for the topping, but keep in mind it will taste a little sweeter than traditional whipped cream.”

“Vanilla wafers are a classic ingredient used for their mild vanilla flavor,” says Jessica Chan, food blogger and author of Jecca Chantilly. “Vanilla wafers soften between the layers, adding richness and lusciousness to the banana pudding. Substitutes for vanilla wafers include graham crackers, ladyfingers, and shortbread cookies.”

All about bananas

bananas used for banana pudding
Elizabeth Fernandez/Getty

The humble banana gives this pudding its iconic taste, but it also packs a nutritional punch. These sweet fruits have a lot of potassium, a mineral essential for healthy blood pressure regulation. Additionally, bananas contain high amounts of fiber, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. According to Healthline, they offer a low-calorie addition to your diet that can improve gut, kidney and heart health as well as aid in weight loss.

Why ripe is best

When it comes to banana pudding, ripe bananas provide the best flavor and texture. They have a deeper yellow peel with brown speckles and feel softer to the touch. We recommend avoiding unripe or green bananas since they lack sweetness and have more of a tough bite. Conversely, overripe bananas with brown peels may become too mushy in your pudding.

But what if you don’t have ripe bananas just yet? Don’t worry — Kravchuk has a quick trick that speeds up the process. “Place them on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on their initial ripeness.” Alternatively, “you can place the bunch of bananas (without separating them) in a paper bag, cover it and leave it at room temperature. Bananas emit ethylene, which causes ripening. Adding an apple to the bag will speed up the process.” Within a day or two, your bananas should be ready for perfect banana pudding.

Want to keep your bananas fresh? Learn these 4 pro tricks.

Pro tips for banana pudding

Even with a ridiculously easy recipe, a few helpful tips can elevate your banana pudding to new heights. We also included some DIY instructions for homemade vanilla pudding and meringue if you have some spare time!

1. Preventing brown bananas

No one wants brown bananas in their pudding. Thankfully, we have lemons to save the day. “You can brush them with lemon juice before layering. Lemon juice contains ascorbic acid which helps prevent oxidization. Keep in mind that this will alter the taste of the banana pudding,” says Chan.

Additionally, Kravchuk explains that “bananas begin to brown quickly as soon as they’re exposed to air, so keep them completely covered with the pudding. Peel and add the bananas just before serving.”

2. Layering techniques

“For beautiful even layers, I recommend measuring all the components beforehand,” says Chan. “For example, use a measuring cup to get an idea of how many cups of pudding you’ll have then divide that by how many layers you’ll need. Next, separate the vanilla wafers and bananas based on how many layers you want to add.”

Traditionally, banana pudding starts with vanilla wafers on the bottom, followed by sliced bananas, and then pudding. Repeat the layers until you reach the top of your glass (or dish) and top with the meringue. 

3. Making your own pudding

While store-bought or instant pudding mix offer convenience, homemade pudding adds that “from-scratch” touch. You can also control the ingredients and customize the flavor. Follow this TikTok tutorial below to make your pudding ahead of time and chill before assembling.


The other day, I made chocolate pudding, and you guys loved it! So let’s make vanilla! This one is made with vanilla bean paste, which gives it such a pop of vanilla flavor. – 2 cups milk – 1 cup white granulated sugar – 1/3 cup all-purpose flour – 1/2 tsp kosher salt – 2 egg yolks, whisked – 2 tbsp unsalted butter – 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract) #vanillapudding #homemadepudding #dessert #homemadedessert #dessertrecipe

♬ original sound – Kaleb Wyse

4. Whipping up meringue

We’re fans of judge store-bought whipped toppings, but turns out, you can make your own airy meringue without any fancy equipment. And it takes just 15 minutes with 5 ingredients. Watch this TikTok tutorial below to learn how to make it.

A no fail MERINGUE FROSTING recipe that is so easy to follow and perfect for your meringue required recipe or frosting. It’s very stable, fluffy and stand beautifully. Ingredients Egg white 2 Sugar 100g Salt 1/2tsp Lemon/lime justice 1/2tsp Vanilla extract 1/2tsp NB -make sure to separate the egg white from yolk carefully without getting any drop of yolk into the white -make sure the bowl is oil and water free also dry and clean. -whisk continuously on a low heat so the egg doesn’t cook -stop whisking immediately it stand on its peak. #meringue #meringues #frosting #meringuefrosting #fyp #foryoupage #goviral #vitaltiltok #goviraltiktok #frostingrecipe #foryourpage

♬ Terminator – King Promise

Banana pudding cups recipe

Make any day a celebration with this grab-and-go recipe from Budget Bytes. You can prep it up to a day in advance without using your oven. Once assembled, chill your pudding cups for a few hours for the best flavor.

Banana Pudding

banana pudding cups on white platter with meringue
gwenael le vot/Getty


  • 6 oz. vanilla wafers (about half of 11 oz. box)
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 3 cups vanilla pudding
  • Meringue or whipped topping, optional


  • Active Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes, plus chilling
  • Yield: 4 servings
  1. Slice bananas about ⅓-inch thick. Then take out four 16 oz. glasses.
  2. Add about four vanilla wafers to each glass. If needed, snap them in half to create an even layer. Then, top with 4 or 5 slices of banana.
  3. Spoon about ¼ cup of pudding over the bananas. Then, repeat the layering process a second and a third time. Then, add the meringue or whipped topping if using. Finally, chill glasses or serve immediately.

Note: You can also prepare in a 9-inch round pie plate and then scoop into individual servings after assembling.

Storage tips

“After assembling the banana pudding, cover it with plastic wrap then place in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days,” says Chan. “Alternatively, you can portion out the banana pudding into air-tight containers.” The longer it sits, the more the vanilla wafers might soften. Due to the textural changes, we don’t recommend freezing this dessert.

Don’t throw out leftover banana peels! Instead, try some of these 15 brilliant uses.

What to pair with your banana pudding cups

We can’t argue with the simple flavors of banana pudding. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be paired or topped with accompaniments. We put together a few ideas to elevate your cup.

1. Caramel sauce

A drizzle of rich caramel sauce adds a nice depth of flavor and touch of sweetness that enhances the banana flavor. For a touch of sophistication, try salted caramel that helps cut through the sweetness.

2. Vanilla ice cream

For an extra cold and creamy treat, serve your banana pudding with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The neutral flavors allow the pudding to shine, but you can also get creative with other complimentary flavors like brown butter or pecan.

3. Shortbread cookies

For a satisfying textural contrast, crumbly shortbread cookies make great dippers for your banana pudding. You can use classic shortbread cookies or experiment with flavored shortbread, such as lemon, pecan or chocolate chip.

4. Chocolate

Take inspiration from a Boston Cream Pie and drizzle your pudding with chocolate sauce. Alternatively, you can add chocolate chips within your layers for texture and added sweetness. We recommend miniature-sized chips to prevent overcrowding.

For more ways to use banana, try these delicious recipes below

Korean Banana Milk Is the Ultimate Sweet and Creamy Sip — Here’s How To Make It

Fight Sugar Cravings With These Healthy, 5-Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Wake Up To Mmm! This 3-Ingredient Banana Waffle Recipe Preps Fast In Your Blender

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