13 Ways to Enjoy the Flavors of Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding Cheesecake
Photo: Photo: Jennifer Davick

From Quick & Tasty Banana Pudding to Banana Pudding Cheesecake, these twists on our favorite classic summer dessert will be the hit of the barbecue. In the South, bananas aren't just a side dish served with breakfast, or a healthy afternoon snack. They've earned their place as a staple of the Southern diet. Sliced and stacked on top fresh white bread that's smeared with creamy peanut butter, they become the centerpiece of a lunch box classic. Baked into butter-rich batter with chopped walnuts, they become the namesake of banana bread, our favorite food gift. And layered between fluffy whipped cream, crispy Nilla Wafers and creamy vanilla pudding, they become part of an iconic Southern dessert—banana pudding. Universally loved and easy to make, this classic treat is ripe for riffs.

Whether you prefer serving up your banana pudding in an oversized trifle for Sunday lunch, or caramelizing it in ramekins then topping with homemade meringue for a dinner party, we've got a recipe you're sure to go bananas for. These banana pudding dessert ideas all capture the essence of the beloved pudding, but some execute it in all-new ways.

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Coconut-Banana Pudding

Coconut-Banana Pudding
Hector M. Sanchez

Recipe: Coconut-Banana Pudding

This new take on classic Southern banana pudding offers a taste of the tropics. Make the whole recipe to feed a crowd, family-style, or halve and serve in individual bowls. Keep the banana slices from turning brown by tossing them in a couple tablespoons of lemon juice.

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Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Banana Pudding

Ditch the vanilla pudding packet from the pantry and try this scratch-made version of individual party-ready banana puddings. We especially love it with extra vanilla wafers.

See more: 23 Vanilla Desserts That Are Anything But Boring

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Nutter Butter®-Banana Pudding Trifle

Nutter Butter®-Banana Pudding Trifle
Photo: Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Nutter Butter®-Banana Pudding Trifle

This homemade pudding tastes divine! Instead of using the traditional vanilla wafers for banana pudding, we used Nutter Butter® sandwich cookies to add even more flavor. Plus, the extra-large cookies keep their toothsome chewy better than some more flimsy alternatives.

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Banana Pudding Pie

Banana Pudding Pie
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Banana Pudding Pie

Banana pudding, but make it sliceable. With a brown butter vanilla wafer crust and velvety custard, this pie takes banana pudding to the next level.

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Caramelized Banana Pudding

Dessert Recipes: Caramelized Banana Pudding
Photo: Jennifer Davick, Prop Styling: Annette Joseph, Food Styling: William Smith

Recipe: Caramelized Banana Pudding

This dressed-up banana pudding features bananas caramelized in brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon. It's finished with an old-fashioned meringue that toasts in the oven for a picture perfect topping.

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Banana Pudding Cheesecake

Banana Pudding Cheesecake
Photo: Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Banana Pudding Cheesecake

This sinfully sweet dessert is the perfect blend of fresh bananas, creamy cheesecake, and crunchy vanilla wafers. It's a dessert mash-up you never knew you needed, but likely won't stop making once you try it.

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Quick & Tasty Banana Pudding

Quick & Tasty Banana Pudding
Van Chaplin

Recipe: Quick & Tasty Banana Pudding

This super easy banana pudding calls for just four ingredients: a banana, thawed whipping topping, prepared vanilla pudding, and vanilla wafers. The best part? It's ready in only 10 minutes.

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New-Fashioned Banana Pudding

New-Fashioned Banana Pudding with Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: New-Fashioned Banana Pudding

This might not be a traditional banana pudding, but we promise that it's just as good—if not better—than Mama's. Scratch-made vanilla custard, real vanilla bean whipped cream, and a touch of nutmeg set it apart from the old-fashioned recipes.

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Salted Caramel Banana Pudding

Salted caramel banana pudding
Joy Howard

Recipe: Salted Caramel Banana Pudding

Similar to the much-beloved classic, this version alternates layers of fresh bananas, vanilla wafer cookies, and homemade pudding with a little something extra in between: drizzles of salted caramel.

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Banana Pudding Poke Cake

Banana Pudding Poke Cake
Photo: Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Banana Pudding Poke Cake

This decadent dessert is sure to wow on special occasions and holidays. It begins with a super moist banana cake that is soaked in homemade pudding and then topped with fresh bananas and cream.

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Strawberry-Banana Pudding Icebox Cake

Strawberry-Banana Pudding Icebox Cake
Iain Bagwell; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Hadas Smirnoff

Recipe: Strawberry-Banana Pudding Icebox Cake

This fun twist on banana pudding uses strawberries to add brightness to the rich dessert. Graham crackers sub in for vanilla wafers, which make for neater slices of this gorgeous cake.

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Banana Pudding Trifle

Banana Pudding Trifle

Recipe: Banana Pudding Trifle

A trifle, or a layered dessert with cake, custard, and whipped topping, is the perfect low-fuss, high-impact dessert. It looks elegant and difficult, but it couldn't be more simple to pull off. This banana pudding-inspired trifle is built with vanilla wafers, homemade pudding, and freshly whipped cream. For a bit of interest, sprinkle crushed English toffee candy bars throughout the trifle layers.

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Banana Pudding Cheesecake Bars

Banana Pudding Cheesecake Bars
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

If you love the luscious texture of banana pudding but wish it could be a bit more like cheesecake, you're in luck. These cheesecake bars capture the warm, custardy richness of banana pudding and the silky richness of cheesecake, all with the decadence of a brown butter-vanilla wafer crust.

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Get More Dessert Inspiration

Coconut Pudding
Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas
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