Southern Style Banana Pudding – thick and creamy banana pudding with buttery Chessmen cookies.
Southern Style Banana Pudding Recipe
This recipe is very close to my heart. I make it every Easter and for BBQs and family events. Hands down, the very best part of this banana pudding is the texture. It’s so thick and creamy. You can serve it sliced instead of scooped. The Chessmen butter cookies are amazing in this recipe too. They hold their shape and make for perfect portions. If you take this to a party, make sure you print off a few copies of the recipe, because people are going to ask!
Originally adapted from the Paula Deen Not Yo’ Mama’s Banana Pudding recipe. This banana pudding is a classic and sure to be a hit for any celebration.
Banana Pudding with Chessmen Cookies
I recommend buying 3 bags of the chessmen cookies even though you only really need two. Buy three bags because very often these cookies are broken. If I have a few broken cookies, that’s ok. I just arrange them in the bottom layer as pictured below. But more than once, I haven’t had enough unbroken cookies for the top layer. I also double check the expiration dates in the store. Right now, they have the spring version in stores which are fresh, but the traditional chessmen in both my grocery store and at Target were just one day from expiration.
How to Make Southern Style Banana Pudding
- Prepare the pudding mixture before slicing your bananas. This cuts back on the time the bananas are exposed to air.
- Use fresh ripe bananas rather than overripe bananas in this banana pudding recipe. The firmer texture is a nice contrast to the soft pudding.
- For the final layer, arrange the cookies is to fit them vertically in a glass baking dish. Four cookies across and five down. Evenly space them, then fill in the rest of the cookies so they make a lovely grid pattern.
- I use the cookies to measure portions and get twenty servings from each banana pudding recipe.
Whipped Cream Tips
The pudding mixture is the absolute star of this recipe. The original recipe calls for Cool Whip but I really prefer substituting with homemade whipped cream that has been only slightly sweetened. It keeps the banana pudding from being overly sweet. I’ve included instructions for the homemade whipped cream and taken care of the measurements in my version. I’ve also tried to streamline the assembly steps. Do not use canned whipped cream as a substitute. It will deflate when stirred and make the mixture too runny.
One of my favorite parts of this Paula Deen banana pudding recipe is the addition of cream cheese to the mixture. You can’t taste the cream cheese, but it makes for a really amazing thick and smooth texture.
More Easter Recipes
- 6 large bananas
- 1 5.1 oz box of vanilla JELLO-O instant pudding
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 to 3 7.25 oz bags of Pepperidge Farms Chessmen cookies
- 1 8 oz package of cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons of sugar
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip chilled cream, sugar and vanilla together until soft peaks form. Measure out 3 cups of whipped cream and refrigerate remaining whipped cream to serve as topping.
In a small bowl, whisk together pudding mix and two cups of milk.
Rinse the bowl of the stand mixer and using paddle attachment, beat together softened cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until smooth.
Add pudding to stand mixer and continue to stir until combined.
Then, gently fold in 3 cups of homemade whipped cream.
To assemble banana pudding:
Line bottom of 9x13 casserole dish with 20 Chessmen cookie.
Slice bananas and arrange over cookies.
Spread pudding mixture over bananas.
Finally arrange another layer of 20 Chessmen cookies on top of pudding mixture.
Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until chilled through.
Serve with additional whipped cream if desired.
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I make this all of the time also and it is a big hit. I totally agree with your “cookie hint.” From past experience of broken cookies, I always open all of the cookies and save the best for the top.
another recipe that is of no use to readers from outside USA 8-(
I know there is nothing you can do, but its so frustrating seeing all these smashing recipes that we Europeans cant make because we dont have things like Chessmen Cookies or Jello Instant Pudding!
Would it be possible to include a sub-title saying something to the effect “Includes USA store-boughT Ingredients – dont bother reading, if you live outside USA”
I love this recipe. Make it all the time. I don’t always use the chessman cookies. I use any kind of shortbread cookie I can find. Ann, I’d be willing to send you the cookies and the jello just so you can try this. It’s not fair for you to go without this wonderfulness!! =)
Im Trying An Adult Verison Of This Using 99% Proof Banana Liquor. Wish Me Luck 😅
Obviously no one is going to put that in a subtitle. Be creative and make your own substitutes such as custard instead of pudding, and use any cheap vanilla cookie instead of the ones mentioned.
Would you like for me to mail you some Chessmen cookies?
Jello-pudding is just a basic cornstarch (corn flour) pudding. So 2 cups of whole milk, 1/2 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch/corn flour, dash salt, 1 tsp. vanilla. What I do is mix the dry ingredients, and add the milk into a big glass bowl…and then nuke it for 2 minutes….whisk…nuke again….whisk…until it is firm. Takes about 6-8 minutes. Add in the vanilla at the end. Can also heat on the stove and stir until thick.
Can you order the ingredients online?
Chessman cookies are kind of a sweeter version of a shortbread biscuit. You could use any shortbread biscuit (maybe even a chocolate biscuit) instead of the cookies. Another person’s suggestion of using a custard instead of the pudding is also a great idea. I prefer English custard to American pudding in general because because I think American puddings are too sweet.
It is not really practical to put something like “USA ingredients” because we have no idea what is and is not available in your country.
You can substitute vanilla wafers in place of the chessman cookies and any type of cooled homemade vanilla pudding can be used. Get creative. 🙂 I substitute similar items a lot for recipes.
Well all you have to do is have someone in the usA to send you a bulk order of everything that you would need to make this dessert. So simple to make
This is not real southern banana pudding. Southern banana pudding does not use box pudding. Our pudding is homemade. We also don’t use chess cookies we use nilla wafers. Ours is also not topped with whip cream. We top ours with whipped egg whites that are browned in the oven after placed on top of the pudding, banana, wafers. Look up Nilla Wafers banana pudding. This comes from someone born and raised in North Carolina.
On peut peut être utiliser une préparation pour crème pâtissière? le résultat semble identique .Pour les cookies des thé lu ou autre. Il faut adapter et ne pas capituler!!! Je vais essayer, je vous dis le résultat.
I would try adding some extra sugar to Birds custard and use shortbread cookies.
I am going to add some chopped butterfingers to the pudding. I do like over the top for the kids on the Fourth of July. : ) adults recoil, but kids love it. LOL
I’ve made this recipe for many years – it’s a keeper. Always a hit at potlucks, reunions, BBQs. And I have to say that while mine is always well received it never looks as nice as the one above. Like you, I use whipped cream instead of Cool Whip. I also use French Vanilla pudding instead of just plain vanilla. I did experiment once with cheesecake flavored pudding and wasn’t impressed. I recently saw a version with strawberries instead of bananas and may give that a try later this summer. I just recently discovered your website and already plan to try the one pan chicken alfredo for dinner tonight. Can’t wait to see what other goodies are in store.
Hi! I have been making this PD recipe for years. I love how yours has turned out. How did you get the pieces to cut so perfectly? Mine is always very sloppy once served. Thank you!
Thanks for the comment! Mine always comes out very thick, which is why I love it:0) You might compare this recipe to your original one. I make a few changes, so that might be the difference!
Has anyone ever used banana pudding instead of vanilla?
Instead of the 5.1oz box of Vanilla I use 1 small 3oz box of French Vanilla and 1 small 3oz Banana Pudding. Instead of 2 cups of milk I do 3 cups to make up for the extra small box. I love it and so does my family when I do it this way.
I am planning to make this for Easter brunch. Looks amazing! Do you think it would be okay to make the night before?
Yes, the night before works fine! Happy belated Easter!
Me too! For Easter Brunch but in 2022!
have you made this and let it sit overnight before serving? Or is that too long? I’d like to try it for Easter lunch tomorrow but will not have time to make in the morning.
Hi Lacey! The night before should be fine!
Just make sure to keep it refrigerated!
To me, it’s even better the 2nd day because it has time to soak all of that deliciousness into the cookies!!
I made this the night before Easter and served it Easter morning. I put it in the freezer about an hour before we had to leave so it would be nice and cold for the drive. It held up perfectly and I was able to slice it as pictured above. The cookies did sink a bit along the edges. This was extremely delicious and everyone loved it! Thank you for the recipe!
Is jello instant pudding anything like angel delight? Maybe that would work as a good substitution for us Brits
I can’t stop eating this- it’s so good!
I am swooning over all of your photos! I can’t believe I haven’t had this before. I’ll be running to the store today to get everything because I NEED this.
Our family LOVES this banana pudding recipe. So easy and delicious.
This is definitely one of the best banana puddings, I’ve ever eaten. Thanks for the great tips, definitely helps!
This is a show stopping recipe for sure! Love that it’s no bake! Will be making it for the 4th!
Ooh the biscuits on these look fantastic with the pudding! Can’t wait to give this a go!
I love banana pudding. I have always used my moms recipe but I tried this and really liked it.
This is so heavenly!! Thick & creamy, it’s perfect!! Love the cookies on top!
I found this recipient about r years ago and it is by far THE VERY BEST recipient for banana pudding. Definitely get additional bags of cookies, but the biggest difference between this one and the others is 1. The home made whipped cream..not cool whip. And 2. The addition of vanilla. Her specified measurements are spot on, though I add a little extra vanilla. Taking the extra few minutes to make the whipped cream is worth it.
I have a better idea. Order your products online. Problem solved or look for European only recipes
Wow – that is some incredible looking banana pudding! I love the cookies on top!
katerina @ diethood.com
WOW!! This banana pudding looks absolutely amazing!! I would love some right now!
Uhh so totally not your mama’s bread pudding! More like some fancy yummy pudding. I love the cookie top. It makes the presentation so much prettier than your typical pudding!
This is seriously one of the most delicious and simple desserts! We’re obsessed! Thanks for sharing!
The best kind of banana pudding! Those cookies are so good on top!
Oh my goodness this was so amazing! My kids just asked me to me make it again!
Mine didn’t turn out as pretty as yours but man was it delicious! Excellent recipe!
Now this will be the perfect weekend treat! I can’t wait to make this with the family!
I didn’t think mine would look as pretty as yours but it did!! It was gone in minutes!
SO EASY! Creamy, delicious, and a huge hit with everyone! This whips ups so fast! Perfect dessert for a large get together!
This is a total must have for us! I love your recipe and I am hanging on to this one!
This is one of my dads favorite!! Yours is so pretty & tastes so good!!
Loved how easy this banana pudding was! So delicious!