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Banana Pudding Trifle

During the summer I try to avoid spending too much time in my kitchen. That’s where trifles come in, especially this banana pudding trifle!

It comes together so quickly, and is made with delicious layers of fresh bananas, sweet vanilla pudding, chopped vanilla wafers and whipped cream.

image of banana pudding trifle that's been layered and is ready to be eaten

What Is Banana Pudding?

Before we dive into how to make this banana pudding trifle, let’s talk about what banana pudding actually is. A lot of people think it’s made with banana-flavored pudding, but that’s not the case!

Banana pudding is usually made with layers of sweet vanilla custard or pudding, vanilla wafers or lady fingers, slices of fresh bananas and whipped cream.

While the name might make you think this dessert is full with banana flavor, it really just has a hint of it from the fresh slices of banana. It’s just enough to give it a subtle, delicious banana flavor.

Banana Pudding Trifle Ingredients & Substitutions:

This banana trifle recipe doesn’t use a ton ingredients but I know you might not have all of them on hand.

Or if you have food allergies or restrictions, I’ve got you covered. Below are some swaps and substitutions that you can make:

  • Sweetened condensed milk – I use the canned kind, but if you have a dairy allergy you can make your own vegan condensed milk.
  • Vanilla Pudding Mix – Any vanilla pudding mix should work for this! Just be sure to get a 3.4 oz. sized box.
  • Vanilla Wafers – I use mini Nilla wafers for easy layering, but any brand or even vegan vanilla wafers will work great.
  • Whipped Cream – If you don’t have time to make the whipped cream from scratch or you have a dairy allergy, use cool whip instead.
  • Slices Bananas – Fresh sliced bananas are a non-negotiable in this recipe. Use large, ripe bananas. The riper the banana, the more flavor it’ll add to your banana pudding!
image of ingredients laid out to make a banana pudding trifle

Using Different Sized Trifle Dishes

The quantities in this recipe are based on a trifle dish that is 8 inches in diameter.

You can also make individual trifles in stemless wine glasses or small plastic for easy serving! The number of individual trifles you can make will vary based on the size of your cups.

image of a beautiful, layered banana pudding trifle

Why Trifles are the Perfect Make Ahead Dessert

When you’re able to beautifully layer your ingredients in a trifle dish, you don’t have to spend much extra time on the decoration of the dessert.

As long as you create even layers of filling, your trifle will be a work of art by the time you finish.

Trifles are also great make ahead desserts and can easily be made in advance. Just be sure to fully cover the trifle with plastic wrap to make sure it’s protected in your fridge.

image of a banana pudding trifle made and decorated with fresh banana slices and mini nilla wafers

Tips for Making the Best Banana Pudding Trifle

  • Toss the banana slices with squeeze of fresh lemon juice to prevent them from browning.
  • Carefully spoon and smooth the layers of pudding and whipped cream with an offset spatula to give your trifle a gorgeous finished look.
  • If you have time, make the whipped cream from scratch. It only takes a few minutes to make and tastes so amazing!!
  • If you’re short on time just use creamy cool whip! It has a nice consistency and also works great in this recipe.
  • While making the trifle, get down at eye level with the trifle dish or glasses to make sure the layers are even and the roughly same thickness.

Making this Banana Pudding Trifle in Advance & Storage Tips

  • Make this trifle in advance to make life easier! It can easily be made a day or two before an event or party. Wrap the top of the trifle container with plastic wrap to keep it fresh.
  • Wait to garnish the top of the trifle until right before you plan to serve it.
  • Leftover trifle can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days if tightly wrapped with plastic wrap. After that the whipped cream will lose its shape.
image of banana pudding trifle that's been layered in an 8 inch trifle dish

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you try this banana pudding trifle recipe, please tag me @chelsweets. Also use the #chelsweets so that I can see your baking!

Yield: 20

Banana Pudding Trifle

image of banana pudding trifle that's been layered and is ready to be eaten

This easy banana pudding trifle is the perfect make ahead dessert! It comes together so quickly, and is made with delicious layers of fresh bananas, sweet vanilla pudding, chopped vanilla wafers and whipped cream.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

Vanilla Pudding

  • 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk (396g)
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water (360g)
  • 3.4 oz package instant vanilla pudding (96g)

Homemade Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup (8 ounce block) full fat cream cheese, cold (225g)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (125g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (4g)
  • 2 cups heavy cream or heavy whipping cream, cold (480g)

Additional Ingredients

  • 3 cups chopped vanilla wafers
  • 4 large bananas, sliced

Instructions

Vanilla Pudding:

  1. Make the vanilla pudding first! It needs a couple hours to set.
  2. Pour the sweetened condensed milk and cold water into a large bowl. Whisk together until combined.
  3. Add in the vanilla pudding mix and whisk until smooth.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to set for a couple hours or overnight.

Stabilized Whipped Cream:

  1. Once the pudding has set, make the stabilized whipped cream.
  2. Chill your mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 30 minutes to help the heavy cream whip up better.
  3. Place 1 cup (8 oz. block) of cold cream cheese into the chilled mixing bowl and mix on a medium low speed until smooth.
  4. Pour in 1 cup of powdered sugar and mix on low at first to avoid an powdered sugar clouds / explosions. Increase the speed to medium high once the powdered sugar is incorporated and mix for about 1 minute. Scrape the side and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed throughout this process.
  5. Add in 1 tsp of vanilla extract, then turn the mixer to a medium high speed and gradually pour in 2 cups of cold heavy cream. I like to do this in about 4 additions, and focus on pouring the heavy cream down the side of the bowl to prevent it from splattering.
  6. Watch the mixture closely once the heavy cream is fully mixed in. It should thicken and take shape shortly after this (mine usually does within about 30 seconds of mixing in the heavy cream). Take care not to over-mix your whipped cream!! It will become soupy and difficult to fix if over-whipped.
  7. As soon as you see the whipped cream start to take shape, turn off your mixer and do a quick whisk test. Dunk your whisk attachment into the frosting, then put it out and flip it upside down. The frosting should keep its shape and form a nice peak. If it doesn't, continue to mix the frosting on a medium high speed for 15 second intervals until it does.

Assembling this Banana Pudding Trifle:

  1. Use 1/2 the vanilla pudding to spread an even layer on the bottom of an 8-inch trifle dish.
  2. Add an even layer of chopped vanilla wafers, using about half of them.
  3. Create the next layer using half of the sliced bananas.
  4. Top with 1/2 of the whipped cream, and use an offset spatula to create an even layer.
  5. Repeat with remaining ingredients to create an additional layers.
  6. Garnish with fresh banana slices and vanilla wafer and enjoy!

Notes

Tips For Making the Best Banana Pudding Trifle:

  • Toss the banana slices with squeeze of fresh lemon juice to prevent them from browning.
  • Carefully spoon and smooth the layers of pudding and whipped cream with an offset spatula to give your trifle a gorgeous finished look.
  • If you have time, make your whipped cream from scratch. It only takes a few minutes to make and tastes so amazing!!
  • If you're short on time just use creamy cool whip! It has a nice consistency and also works great in this recipe.
  • While making the trifle, get down at eye level with the trifle dish or glasses to make sure the layers are even and the same thickness.

Making this Banana Pudding Trifle in Advance & Storage Tips:

  • Make this trifle in advance to make life easier! It can easily be made a day or two before an event or party. Tightly wrap the trifle container with plastic wrap to keep it fresh. Wait to add the garnish until right before you plan to serve it.
  • Leftover trifle can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days if tightly wrapped with plastic wrap. After that the whipped cream will lose its shape.

Using Different Sized Trifle Dishes

The quantities in this recipe are based on a trifle dish that is 8 inches in diameter.

You can also make individual trifles in stemless wine glasses, for easy serving! This recipe feeds about 20 people, so you may want to cut it in half if you plan to make individual trifle cups.

The amount of ingredients you need will vary based on the size of your trifle dish. Please adjust as needed 🙂

Nutrition Information

Yield

20

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 287Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 39mgSodium 103mgCarbohydrates 37gFiber 1gSugar 29gProtein 4g

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