This vegan banana pudding is SO delicious and couldn't be easier! With layers of creamy dairy-free pudding, sweet bananas, and vanilla wafers, it has all of the irresistible flavors and textures of traditional banana pudding but no dairy or eggs! Only 5 ingredients and 15 minutes to prepare, it's the ultimate no-bake vegan dessert.
Why You'll Love It
I usually like to make desserts from scratch. Whether it's our favorite vegan strawberry cake or a simple pan of brownies, there's just something so heart-warming about presenting a fully homemade dessert to your loved ones.
But sometimes there are good reasons for taking short cuts! And when it comes to this vegan banana pudding, I think you'll completely agree it has its perks.
Is pudding mix vegan?
Thankfully, yes! I know of at least two brands that are accidentally vegan - 365 brand organic instant pudding and Jell-O brand. If you avoid artificial flavors and preservatives, choose the Whole Foods 365 pudding.
I decided to use instant pudding mix in this vegan banana pudding because:
- since the pudding isn't cooked, the dish doesn't have to chill as long before serving.
- and boxed pudding mix just tastes better, more vanilla-ish, and more like the pudding I remember from pre-vegan days.
It's definitely easy to make vegan pudding from scratch, and I wouldn't blame you if you wanted to go that route. But I really wanted this dish to have the classic vanilla pudding flavor that I remember from childhood, you know? And box pudding mix totally achieves it.
So put away your over-achiever hat for this one, and get ready to swoon over the most delicious, easiest vegan banana pudding ever. I promise, no one will know how easy it was to make, and everyone will love it!
- Bananas - for banana pudding you want bananas that are barely ripe. They should be sweet, firm, and not have many brown spots (save the spotty, overripe ones for banana bread).
- Vanilla Wafers - thankfully, these 365 brand organic vanilla wafers are accidentally vegan. Beyond that, finding vegan vanilla wafers is tricky! If you feel like making your own, check out this recipe for vegan and gluten-free vanilla wafers.
- Instant Vanilla Pudding - as you can see in the photo above, I used the Whole Foods brand instant pudding mix. It's made with the same simple ingredients you would use to make pudding from scratch: sugar and corn starch.
Jell-O instant vanilla pudding mix is another "accidentally vegan" option, though it contains additives and preservatives the organic one from Whole Foods does not. There are other instant pudding mixes available; be sure to check the ingredients.
Or prepare this vegan vanilla pudding.
- Non-Dairy Milk - I used unsweetened almond milk for the batch in the photos. I also tested coconut milk (the refrigerated kind), which added a slight coconut flavor. Almond milk is the best choice for classic banana pudding flavor.
- Dairy-Free Whipped Topping - So Delicious Coco Whip is the absolute best out there! Check their website to (hopefully) find a store near you. Non-dairy Reddi-Wip is another tasty option that may be easier to find depending on where you shop.
- Or if you're in the mood for a light, homemade option, go with this vegan whipped cream.
How To Make Vegan Banana Pudding
First, if you're preparing vegan vanilla pudding from scratch, make sure you have enough ingredients for a double batch, and at least 4 hours for the assembled dish to chill.
If using instant pudding, be sure to read the instructions on the box. The brand I used called for simply whisking the powder into milk, but that led to clumpy pudding. So I decided to use a blender to combine the powder and the milk, and then use a handheld electric mixer. If you don't mind slightly clumpy pudding, feel free to skip the blender step!
To fill a 9-inch square dish, we're going to use two boxes of pudding mix, but prepare them one at a time:
- Prepare one box of pudding: add 2 cups of milk to a blender. Remove the small center cap in the blender's lid. Turn the blender on low speed, and pour the pudding mix through the hole in a slow but steady stream. Continue to blend on low speed just until incorporated, a few more seconds. Immediately pour the pudding into a large mixing bowl, and use an electric handheld or stand mixer to beat the pudding until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.
- Arrange vanilla wafers across the bottom and sides of an 8- or 9-inch square glass or ceramic dish. Crumble 3 or 4 wafers by hand, and sprinkle the crumbs into the gaps between the cookies. Arrange banana slices on top of the cookies. One large banana should be enough for each layer.
- Spread the pudding on top of the banana and wafers.
- Now make the 2nd batch of pudding: add the remaining 2 cups of non-dairy milk to the blender and prepare the pudding the same way you did before. Repeat the layering process, adding a layer of wafers, sliced banana, and the 2nd batch of pudding.
Refrigerate the banana pudding for at least 3 hours. Then top with thawed dairy-free whipped topping, crumbled vanilla wafers, and a few slices of banana.
RELATED: check out this cinnamon-spiced vegan rice pudding.
Substitutions & Tips
Pudding - feel free to use a cook-and-serve pudding mix instead of instant, or make the pudding from scratch. Note that the finished dish will need more time to chill and set since the pudding will be hot from the stove. Allow at least 4 hours.
Milks - as mentioned above, I've tested the instant pudding mix with almond milk and coconut milk, but I suspect other non-dairy milks will also work. Choose an unsweetened variety since the pudding mix is already very sweet.
Batch Size - feeding a crowd? Double the recipe to fill a large 13x9-inch glass dish.
Tip! If you plan to add a few slices of banana to the top for decoration, toss them with a splash of lemon juice to prevent browning.
Any shortbread type of cookie works well in banana pudding. You can also use ginger snaps, lemon snaps, or graham crackers. To keep the recipe vegan, be sure to check the ingredients for dairy, eggs, and honey. For a gluten-free and vegan option, try almond flour cookies.
The banana slices inside banana pudding are sealed in and protected from air by the layers of vanilla pudding, as well as the whipped topping. Sliced banana used to decorate the top of the dessert needs to be brushed or tossed with lemon juice to prevent oxidation.
Yes, vegan banana pudding can be prepared a day in advance. Wait until just before serving to add the whipped topping and decorative wafers and banana on top.
Banana pudding is best enjoyed within the first 8 to 12 hours, though leftovers will keep for up to 4 days. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
I hope you LOVE how easy and delicious this Vegan Banana Pudding is. If you try the recipe be sure to drop a comment below to let us know!
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Easy Vegan Banana Pudding (No-Cook)
- 2 (3.7 oz) boxes instant vegan vanilla pudding mix - I like the 365 brand linked here and pictured above. See Notes for homemade option.
- 4 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk such as almond, coconut, or soy - We preferred unsweetened almond milk.
- 9 ounces vegan vanilla wafers - I used the 365 brand.
- 2 or 3 barely ripe bananas
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, optional - Helps prevent browning of bananas but isn't necessary.
- 2 to 3 cups So Delicious Coco Whip, thawed in the refrigerator, or homemade whipped coconut cream
- NOTE: Check the instructions on the pudding mix. The brand I used called for simply whisking the powder into milk, but that led to clumpy pudding. So I decided to use a blender to combine the powder and the milk, and then use a handheld electric mixer. If you don't mind a few clumps in the pudding, feel free to skip the blending.
- Prepare one box of pudding: add 2 cups of milk to a blender. Remove the small center cap in the blender's lid. Turn the blender on low speed, and pour the pudding mix through the hole in a slow but steady stream. Blend for just a few more seconds on low speed, until incorporated. Immediately pour the pudding into a large mixing bowl, and use an electric handheld or stand mixer to beat the pudding until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.
- Arrange vanilla wafers across the bottom and sides of an 8- or 9-inch square ceramic or glass dish (approx. 2.5 liter capacity). Crumble 3 or 4 wafers by hand, and sprinkle the crumbs into the gaps between the cookies. Slice one banana, and arrange on top of the cookies. (One large banana should be enough for each layer.) Spread the pudding on top, all the way to the edges so that the banana is covered.
- Now make the 2nd batch of pudding: add the remaining 2 cups of milk to the blender and prepare the pudding the same way you did before. Set aside.
- Repeat the layering process: a layer of wafers, sliced banana, and the 2nd batch of pudding.
- Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Cover with plastic wrap if refrigerating longer. Before serving, top with dairy-free whipped topping. If also decorating with sliced banana, toss banana with lemon juice to prevent browning. Crumble a few vanilla wafers on top and serve.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.