The No Bake Dessert – Banana Pudding

This Southern dessert will satisfy your sweet tooth and help you keep your cool! This is the no-bake post that will have your family eating out of your hand.

Banana pudding is perfect for the hottest day. Pulled straight from the refrigerator it’s a layered dessert that rivals any cake. A bottom cakey layer of puddin’ soaked vanilla wafers followed by pudding and sweet, ripe banana slices – it’s so good you need to add a few more layers on top of that!

It may be true that this week is summer baking, but I have to say I’m just against it. I’m happy if you want to bake for me, but if I’m baking it will be a nice vegan pound cake and it would be cooking in a slow cooker with a pizza cooking in another slow cooker right beside it.

There is a little bit of planning involved if you make your vanilla pudding from scratch since you’ll need to cook your pudding. However there are other alternatives. You can use pre-made store bought vanilla pudding or vanilla vegan yogurt in place of homemade pudding.

The yogurt gives it a tangier flavor that’s not quite traditional, but considering it takes zero work it’s perfect for a last minute dessert. Just make sure to let the completed dessert chill for at least an hour or two to overnight so that all the layers meld and the cookies soften.

The photo above gives you an example of about how thick my pudding recipe needs to be before you let it cool. You are welcome to cook it down even thicker. Just remember it will get thicker as it cools in the fridge too.

Once your pudding is cool it’s time to assemble your banana pudding.

You’ll need:

  • A box of vanilla wafers – some brands are vegan just check the labels carefully
  • 3 to 4 bananas – the riper they are the sweeter your dessert will be
  • Vegan vanilla pudding or vanilla yogurt, cooled

Get out a dish that has a cover and layer the bottom and sides with vanilla wafers. Spread a layer of vanilla pudding and top with banana slices and repeat. Save the broken wafers to crumble on the very top.

Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour and as long as 12 hours. You can serve topped with vegan whipped cream or enjoy it as is.


Kathy Hester is the author of The Vegan Slow Cooker and HealthySlowCooking.com. Her second book, The Great Vegan Bean Book, is now available on Amazon and you can pre-order her third book which comes out this fall, Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just You!