Vegan Banana Pudding

Southern Vegan Banana Pudding [+VIDEO]

This is the recipe that made me appreciate banana pudding, y’all! It’s perfectly sweet, creamy, slightly crunchy from the vanilla wafers and filled with banana chunks. Wanna know the best part? It’s made with just 6 ingredients! Take this to your next function with family or friends and they’ll be sure to love it!

Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Vegan Banana Pudding:

  • Instant vanilla pudding – using instant pudding saves you a great deal of time when it comes to preparing this recipe. If preferred (or needed) you can also use cook and serve pudding.
  • Plant milk of your choice – if you’re using instant pudding, chances are you’ll need to add plant milk to it. The good news is, you can use whatever plant milk you enjoy best, though I’d probably stay away from coconut milk, as you may be able to taste it easily.
  • Vegan whipped cream – I love the convenience of store bought vegan whipped cream, but if you’d rather make it yourself you can try this recipe from Minimalist Baker.
  • Vegan cream cheese – When combined with whipped cream, this mixture makes for the most delicious layer in your vegan banana pudding! I haven’t tested any substitutions as of yet.
  • Vanilla wafer cookies – traditional vegan banana pudding recipes typically use ‘Nilla Wafers, but I opted for an organic variety I found at Whole Foods for a bit of a healthier choice.
  • Bananas – the star of the show! You’ll want to make sure you’re using ripe bananas because they have the best, sweet flavor. Spotted bananas are best for this vegan banana pudding recipe!
Southern Vegan Banana Pudding

How to Make Vegan Banana Pudding:

If you’ve never made vegan banana pudding, you’re in luck! Making this recipe is super easy and you’ll be making it for every family gathering going forward.

The first thing you’ll want to do is round up all of your ingredients. There’s nothing worse than starting a recipe only to realize halfway through that you don’t have what you need. Once you’ve gathered up everything, go ahead and start making your instant vanilla pudding.

I did this by simply combining my instant vanilla pudding powder mix with two cups of plant milk, however it’s important to note that not all instant pudding is not the same so your directions may differ. Be sure to follow the directions on your packaging for the best results. Once you’ve mixed together your vanilla pudding, feel free to transfer it to the freezer to encourage it to thicken quickly while you put together everything else. 

Now it’s time to make the next layer of our vegan banana pudding recipe, which involves mixing together the vegan cream cheese and vegan whipped cream. Simply place these two ingredients in a bowl and grab your high-speed hand mixer to mix until thoroughly combined.

Southern Vegan Banana Pudding

Your mixture may not be totally smooth (mine wasn’t), but should be mostly smooth. Once the ingredients are well combined, transfer this to the fridge to keep cool.

Next, we’ll slice up your bananas. They should be about 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch thick. Once done, set them aside. Grab the baking dish of your choice and line the bottom of your serving dish with a layer of vanilla wafers followed by the vanilla pudding, cream cheese mixture, then bananas.

Repeat the layering process as many times as necessary until each component has been used. Once you’re finished layering, feel free to top with additional bananas and crushed vanilla wafer cookies.

I found it easiest to use a potato masher to crush up my cookies, but you can use whatever you can find around your kitchen. Some people enjoy banana pudding after it’s had a chance to chill for a few hours, but because the ingredients were already cold, I didn’t mind serving this immediately after being put together. The choice is yours! 

Southern Vegan Banana Pudding

Vegan Banana Pudding FAQs

What is banana pudding?

A classic American dessert best known in the black American community that’s often found at family cookouts, gatherings or celebrations. It’s layered with vanilla pudding, ripe bananas, vanilla wafer cookies, and whipped topping.

How do you store banana pudding?

Banana pudding can be stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Southern Vegan Banana Pudding

Can this Vegan Banana Pudding recipe be made ahead?

Yes, you can certainly make this recipe in advance. Simply make the recipe as instructed below and cover well with plastic wrap or secure with a lid.

Can you freeze this recipe?

I wouldn’t recommend freezing this dish as it might interfere with the texture once it’s thawed.

Is all pudding mix vegan?

While I haven’t researched every pudding variety out there, it seems that most of them are! For this recipe I used the Whole Foods 365 brand because the ingredients were a bit cleaner than a lot of national brands, but you can use whatever you’d like! Just be sure to check the ingredients to ensure it doesn’t include any animal products.

Southern Vegan Banana Pudding

Can I use cooked pudding?

Absolutely! If you’re not in a rush and don’t mind waiting for your pudding to chill, you can absolutely use a cooked pudding variety in place of instant pudding. However, instant pudding is of course faster and a little less involved. It’s part of what makes this recipe so easy!

Do I have to use vegan cream cheese?

The cream cheese addition is one of the best parts of this recipe! Many black, southern banana pudding recipes include cream cheese and it certainly helps to up the creaminess of the dish and adds to the overall flavor. If you want, you can simply use the vegan whipped cream on its own but you’d certainly be missing out!

Are vanilla wafers vegan?

Unfortunately the popular ‘Nilla Wafers we all grew up enjoying in the red and yellow box are not vegan, as they contain milk and eggs. The good new is, the ingredients in Whole Foods’ store brand are organic and have cleaner ingredients so I used those instead.

What’s the best vegan cream cheese to use?

I tested this recipe using Daiya and Violife. While Violife was fine, it did have a slight after taste that I wasn’t particularly fond of. So if you can, use Daiya or your personal favorite vegan cream cheese (I also enjoy Kite Hill). There are lots to choose from these days!

Southern Vegan Banana Pudding

How do I keep my bananas from turning brown?

Luckily the bulk of the bananas in your vegan banana pudding recipe are protected from the air due to them being layered between the pudding and cream cheese mixture. Any banana slices that you use to decorate the top of the dish should be brushed with a small amount of lemon juice to avoid oxidation.

I know you’ll love this Easy Vegan Banana Pudding recipe! It’s easy to make and is perfect for sharing with family and friends! Even my non-vegan family members gave it rave reviews– including my banana pudding connoisseur dad! 🙂 Give this Vegan Banana Pudding a try and let me know how it goes in the comments below. Can’t wait for you to try it!

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Southern Vegan Banana Pudding [+VIDEO]

A vegan rendition of your favorite creamy, rich, classic southern banana pudding recipe layered with vanilla pudding, a cream cheese mixture, vanilla wafers and sliced ripe bananas. The perfect treat for the next family gathering!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Banana, Pudding, Southern
Prep Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Make the vanilla pudding according to package ingredients. Set aside in the freezer to thicken quickly.
    1 package instant vanilla pudding, 2 cups plant milk
  • In a large bowl combine the vegan whipped cream and vegan cream cheese. Beat with an electric mixer until mostly smooth. Set aside in the fridge to keep cool.
    2 cups vegan whipped cream, 8 oz. vegan cream cheese
  • Line the bottom of your serving dish with a layer of the vanilla wafers followed by the vanilla pudding, cream cheese mixture, and bananas. Repeat layering as necessary.
    1 box vanilla wafer cookies, 3 ripe bananas
  • Once finished layering, top with additional bananas and crushed vanilla wafer cookies. Enjoy immediately or cool in the fridge for 3-4 hours (or until chilled). Enjoy!

Video

Notes

Amount of plant milk needed may vary depending upon the instant pudding brand you use. The instant pudding used in this recipe required two cups, so be sure to read the directions on your pudding to be sure.
 
You may use unsweetened or sweetened plant milk.

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