Whip up a thick & creamy homemade banana pudding from scratch that ACTUALLY tastes like banana! Unlike most recipes, this eggless banana pudding is made without instant pudding mix & with real bananas mashed into it. Layer it with vanilla wafers to make the best nilla wafer banana pudding you’ll ever eat—or enjoy it as a fresh banana flavored pudding on its own!

Homemade Banana Pudding without Eggs

Is banana pudding actually made from real bananas?

Traditionally, what’s called “banana pudding” is actually a trifle dessert with layers of vanilla pudding, sliced bananas, & vanilla wafers, often topped with meringue or whipped cream. This is also known as old-fashioned or southern banana pudding—and although it has fresh banana slices layered in the dish, the pudding itself is not banana flavored or made with real bananas. Some recipes use banana flavored pudding, but usually artificially flavored instant pudding mix.

But I wanted a REAL banana pudding with real bananas in it, not just plain vanilla. So I made my own twist on the classic trifle totally from scratch: an eggless banana pudding without instant pudding mix, AND eggless homemade vanilla wafers so the entire dessert is egg-free! And instead of a large trifle dish, I made no-bake mini trifles without the meringue topping. Which turned out so much simpler, lower in sugar, & even tastier than the original!

How to Make Fresh Banana Pudding with Real Bananas
Eggless Banana Pudding from Scratch

Ingredients for Homemade Banana Pudding without Eggs

  • Ripe Bananas. Instead of vanilla pudding or banana flavored instant pudding, this is a genuine, fresh banana pudding with real bananas mashed into it. Using fresh fruit helps to thicken the texture, adds real banana flavor, and adds natural sweetness—which helps cut down on added sugars! Use truly ripe bananas for the best flavor.
  • Butter. Start your stovetop banana pudding with melted butter to create the smooth, luscious texture that egg yolks would usually provide. For a plant-based option, use vegan butter.
  • Sugar. Every homemade pudding recipe needs sugar. But this lower sugar banana pudding has half as much sugar as most recipes—with only 8g added sugars per serving!
  • Cornstarch. Most puddings are thickened with egg yolks, flour, and/or some type of starch. So, to make this homemade banana pudding without eggs and without flour, I used cornstarch as the thickener instead. If you want to make a thick pudding without cornstarch, your best bet is to use eggs or flour. You could also try arrowroot powder as a 1-to-1 substitute for cornstarch—although arrowroot is more expensive & can be a bit more finicky. 
  • Salt. Add a dash of salt to heighten the sweet flavors, or skip it if using salted butter.
  • Whole Milk. My go-to milk for a creamy pudding is whole milk, but you could also use 2% milk here, or heavy cream for an ultra-rich option. I haven’t tested any nondairy milks in this recipe, but you could try making a vegan banana pudding with soy, almond, or coconut milk.
  • Vanilla Extract. A splash of vanilla amplifies all the comforting flavors in a pudding, and melds deliciously with banana!

What milk is best for homemade pudding?

For the richest, creamiest homemade pudding, use a milk with a higher fat content. I like whole milk because it’s lighter than heavy cream, but it still makes an irresistible pudding. A lower-fat option like 2% milk can work, although it won’t be quite as creamy. But I don’t recommend using nonfat or skim milk. If you’d like to make this eggless banana pudding vegan, use a higher-fat nondairy milk for the best results—like coconut milk, soy milk, or almond milk.

Old Fashioned Banana Pudding with Vanilla Wafers

How to Make Eggless Banana Pudding from Scratch

1. Mash Bananas Well

First, mash ripe bananas in a bowl until they’re super mashed & as smooth as possible, so they’ll integrate into the pudding more easily.

Mash bananas well so they'll integrate into the pudding smoothly.
Mash bananas well, so they’re as smooth as possible with minimal lumps.

2. Heat Butter, Banana & Sugar

Next, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, then add the mashed banana and granulated sugar. Let it cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring regularly so it doesn’t burn.

Heat butter, mashed bananas, and sugar over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Then add mashed bananas and granulated sugar.
Stir regularly so the banana mixture doesn't burn.
Allow the mixture to cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring regularly.

3. Add Cornstarch & Salt

When the banana mixture smells nutty and is light brown in color, stir in cornstarch & salt and cook for another minute.

Add cornstarch and salt and cook another minute.
Mix cornstarch and salt into the banana mixture and cook for 1 minute.

4. Slowly Pour in Milk

Then, begin pouring milk into the saucepan in a slow stream, while you whisk constantly but gently to avoid scorching the milk. (Aim for a middle ground here: whisking too vigorously can make your homemade banana pudding watery, but the ingredients won’t integrate properly if you mix too little.)

Slowly pour milk into the pan while whisking constantly but slowly.
Pour milk into the saucepan slowly, while you whisk constantly but slowly (so you don’t scorch the milk).
Whisk constantly while pouring in milk. Then bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down the heat to simmer for 4-5 minutes.
After whisking in the milk, bring the mixture to a boil. Then, turn down the heat and simmer the banana pudding for 4-5 minutes, until it begins to thicken.

5. Boil & Simmer

Once everything is integrated, bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down the heat and let it simmer for around 4-5 minutes, until the pudding thickens.

6. Add Vanilla

Once thickened, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in vanilla extract.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in vanilla extract.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and add vanilla extract.
Homemade banana pudding will continue to thicken as it cools.
You’ll see the pudding continue to thicken as it cools.

7. Cover & Chill in the Fridge

Cover your fresh banana pudding with plastic wrap, so the plastic is flush against the surface of the pudding to prevent a film from forming on top. Let the covered pudding cool at room temperature for 30-45 minutes, then refrigerate it for 3-4 hours (or more). This no bake banana pudding will definitely thicken up in the fridge, so give it some time to chill!

Cover pudding with plastic and chill for 3-4 hours.
Cover the pudding with plastic wrap and let it cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for 3-4 hours.

Old-Fashioned Nilla Wafer Banana Pudding Ingredients

  • Fresh Banana Pudding (or Pudding of Choice). When I’m not enjoying this banana flavored pudding on its own, I like to serve it in mini banana pudding trifles with vanilla wafers! If you’d rather stick with the classic old-fashioned recipe, feel free to use your favorite vanilla pudding instead. Or for a super-simplified option, you could make these trifles with banana or vanilla flavored instant pudding.
  • Eggless Vanilla Wafers (or Store-Bought). Since classic Nilla Wafers contain eggs, I made my own egg-free vanilla wafers to go with my eggless pudding. (Which was such a fun copycat to make!) But you can also use store-bought Nilla Wafers, which are also sooo tasty & quicker than making your own from scratch. Or, if you want a substitute for vanilla wafers in your banana pudding, you could also use shortbread cookies, butter cookies, or graham crackers—or try my eggless sugar cookies!
  • Sliced Bananas. I love the extra flavor & pretty layers that fresh banana slices add to these trifles. To prevent my banana slices from turning brown, I just layer them between the pudding, vanilla wafers, & whipped cream so they’re not exposed to the air.
  • Whipped Cream. Instead of the old-fashioned meringue topping, I topped my mini trifles with whipped cream for a simplified & egg-free twist! (Cool Whip would also be delicious.)  And honestly, sometimes a treat just tastes better to me when it’s easier to make.

Using Instant vs. Homemade Banana Pudding

Compared to instant pudding, this banana pudding from scratch has less sugar, a much richer & creamier texture, and no artificial colors or flavors. And I just love that real banana flavor! But if you love instant pudding, or if you want a simpler& quicker option, you can absolutely use instant pudding mix to make these trifles. Enjoying the food we eat & reducing our stress are essential (& underrated) aspects of our health. I encourage you to give yourself permission to make your own banana pudding with the ingredients that will bring you joy & ease.

Egg-Free Banana Pudding with Vanilla Wafers

How to Assemble Easy Banana Pudding Trifles with Vanilla Wafers

  1. Choose Your Serving Dish(es). I used mini trifle glasses that are perfectly portion-sized and make assembly easier. Or you could assemble a larger banana pudding trifle in a clear 1-2 quart serving dish or a loaf pan.
  2. Layer Banana Pudding Ingredients. After it chills, layer your fresh banana pudding with vanilla wafers and banana slices, until the dish is full. Some folks like to arrange the banana slices & wafers around the outside of the dish, which looks very pretty. But I prefer to layer my banana slices and nilla wafers flat in the dish, so the wafers have a chance to absorb all that pudding goodness.
  3. Enjoy or Refrigerate. If you like your nilla wafers to be crunchier, top with whipped cream & enjoy your trifle right away. But I personally think this vanilla wafer banana pudding tastes even better the next day, after the cookies have a chance to soften. So I recommend letting it sit in the fridge overnight before topping enjoying!
  4. Store in the Fridge. After assembling, these homemade banana pudding trifles will last 4-5 days in the fridge. (The cookies will get a bit softer each day.) Wait to add whipped cream until the time of serving, and be sure to cover the dish(es) before storing.
Layer banana slices and vanilla wafers into serving dishes.
To assemble banana pudding trifles, layer banana slices and vanilla wafers into trifle dishes (or a large 1-2-quart serving dish).
Layer pudding on top, followed by more wafers and banana slices.
Layer homemade banana pudding on top, followed by more nilla wafers and banana slices.
Continue until the dish is full.
Continue layering until the dish is full, spreading the uppermost layer of pudding to even it out.
Enjoy immediately, or cover and store in the fridge.
Cover and refrigerate the banana pudding trifles overnight, so the cookies have time to soften. Enjoy the next day topped with whipped cream!
Eggless Banana Pudding from Scratch

Eggless Banana Pudding with Real Bananas

How to make the BEST homemade banana pudding from scratch with real banana flavor! No instant pudding, no eggs, & no baking required. A delicious banana flavored pudding on its own, or layer it with vanilla wafers for an old-fashioned banana pudding treat!
5 stars (2 ratings)


Fresh Banana Pudding

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed well, (~1 cup mashed)
  • 2 Tbsp butter, (1 oz)
  • ¼ cup granulated white sugar, (50g)
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch, (30g)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 cups whole milk, (474mL)
  • Tbsp vanilla extract

Nilla Wafer Banana Pudding Trifles


How to Make Banana Pudding from Scratch

  • In a bowl, mash ripe bananas well until they’re super mashed & as smooth as possible. (This will help them integrate better & make the pudding texture smoother.)
  • Heat butter in a pot over medium heat until melted. Add mashed banana and sugar and cook about 3-4 minutes, stirring regularly, until it smells nutty and is light brown in color. Don’t let it burn!
  • Whisk in cornstarch and salt and continue to cook for 1 minute.
  • Pour milk into pot in a slow stream, whisking constantly but slowly to avoid scorching the milk. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until pudding thickens, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Remove pot from heat and stir in vanilla extract. (It will continue to thicken as it cools.)
  • Cover pudding with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic so it’s flush against the surface of the pudding to prevent a film from forming on top.
  • Let covered pudding cool completely at room temperature (~30-45 minutes). Then refrigerate 3-4 hours, until cooled and thickened.
  • ~3 cups banana flavored pudding.

To Assemble Trifles with Vanilla Wafers

  • After chilling, layer pudding, sliced bananas, and vanilla wafers into desired serving dish(es). (I used individual trifle dishes, but you could also use a large clear bowl or a loaf pan if you’d like.)
  • Enjoy right away if you prefer crunchier wafers, or refrigerate overnight to let the cookies soften up and enjoy the next day! Best served topped with whipped cream and cinnamon.
  • Yields 6 banana pudding trifles.


Nutrition Notes

 Nutrition for ½ cup fresh banana pudding alone:
173 calories | 6.5g fat | 26.1g carbs | 1g fiber | 17g sugars | 3.1g protein
160mg sodium | 17mg cholesterol
Nutrition for 1 banana pudding trifle—with ½ cup pudding, 5 homemade vanilla wafers, & ½ a sliced banana:
337 calories | 12.2g fat | 53.5g carbs | 2.6g fiber | 30g sugars | 4.3g protein
250mg sodium | 32mg cholesterol
Serving: 1banana pudding trifle, Calories: 337kcal, Carbohydrates: 53.5g, Protein: 4.3g, Fat: 12.2g, Cholesterol: 32mg, Sodium: 250mg, Fiber: 2.6g, Sugar: 30g
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