Easy chilled Strawberry Banana Pudding is inspired by NYC Magnolia Bakery's famous Banana Pudding. Our recipe has a slight variation from the original recipe. This banana pudding is made without instant pudding. We also added ripe strawberries for a vibrant, fresh flavor. You can't go wrong with a strawberry banana flavor combination and this recipe proves it. Give it a try, you will love it!
NYC Magnolia Bakery – Famous Banana Pudding
Have you heard of Magnolia Bakery’s famous Banana Pudding? It is a very popular creamy banana pudding that is made with just a few simple ingredients. Magnolia Bakery is a very famous bakery in NYC and they have shared the recipe for their famous banana pudding.
Their famous banana pudding can be purchased on their website or you can make at home.
Banana Pudding without Instant Pudding - our variation
There are a lot of banana pudding recipes on the internet that share a lot of similarities. I noticed that most of them contain instant vanilla pudding. I thought I would experiment and attempt to make banana pudding without instant pudding.
Magnolia Bakery's original recipes calls for instant vanilla pudding. Our variation is made without instant pudding. I eliminated instant pudding because to me, it has an artificial flavor that I don’t care for. To get the vanilla flavor, I added a generous tablespoon of pure vanilla extract. Pure vanilla extract is the perfect addition that achieves a natural vanilla flavor. The recipe is not overly sweet and the vibrant vanilla flavor is present. Let's make pudding without pudding!
Ingredients you will need for this Recipe
Mini Nilla Vanilla Wafers – you can use one box of regular size wafers if you like, I love the minis.
Heavy Whipping Cream - make sure the cream stays refrigerated until ready to whip.
Ripe Bananas – ripe bananas work best however, make sure they are not over ripened. The skin of the banana should be a deep yellow without any green or brown. Green in the skin indicates a under ripened and brown skin indicates over ripened.
Strawberries – fresh, ripe strawberries work best. If the strawberries in their natural state are not sweet enough to your taste, you can sweeten them with the sugar in the recipe. This is optional and a preference.
Sweet Condensed Milk – sweetened condensed milk has a very distinct flavor. It adds a unique flavor to the pudding.
Granulated Sugar - optional to sweeten the fresh strawberries.
Pure Vanilla Extract - do not use imitation vanilla extract. Pure vanilla extract adds a deep vanilla flavor to the whipped cream mixture.
How to Make Strawberry Banana Pudding
Smash the ripe bananas with a fork or potato masher. Set aside.
Wash, dry, hull and dice the strawberries. Optional: Add sugar and mix well. Set aside.
Place cold heavy whipping cream into a bowl of a high speed mixer with the whisk attachment. Whisk until whipped cream is formed.
Add condensed milk and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
Add the Nilla vanilla wafers and smashed bananas to the whipped cream mixture. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving. Pudding is at its best when refrigerated for 6-8 hours or overnight.
Once set transfer pudding mixture into serving dishes and layer with strawberries. They are now ready to serve and enjoy!
Adding Fresh Strawberries
Strawberry and banana flavor combination is very popular in dessert recipes. I added sweet fresh strawberries to the pudding for a lively flavor. I mixed my strawberries with granulated sugar. The sugar adds sweetness to the strawberries. This is optional. If you prefer less sugar and calories, you can omit it. Using unsweetened strawberries will add a naturally sweet and slightly tart flavor to the banana pudding.
How long to chill banana pudding?
I used mini vanilla wafers, I thought they would be cuter, but regular wafers are fine too. I don’t think this makes much difference. However, the mini wafers may soften in less time. Regardless of whether you use mini or regular wafers, the pudding is ready to eat after it has chilled in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours. The wafers become soft during this time as they absorb the moisture from the whipped cream mixture. It is also best to eat the chilled banana pudding as soon as it is assembled with the fresh strawberries.