Cold Banana Pudding Parfaits

Who doesn’t love banana pudding? Whether it’s cold or warm, it conjures up lots of nostalgia for me as a young girl visiting my grandmother in North Carolina. I loved traveling the eight hours by car to my mother’s hometown because my grandmother always had a smorgasbord of food awaiting our arrival.  She would go overboard with her cooking since we visited usually once or twice a year. To my delight, she always made something sweet.  I still salivate when I think about her banana pudding. In my opinion, it was the absolute best banana pudding I ever tasted and I only wished I had her recipe today.

She would often tell me that she didn’t do anything special and that she just made it with love. Ahhhhh….the secret ingredient to lots of good cooking and baking…Love. Every time I see a box of Nilla Wafers, I smile; because I think of my grandmother and how she would be very proud that I inherited her culinary skills. I know you too, will love these simple Cold Banana Pudding Parfaits.

Vanilla pudding mixture

This recipe makes a total of 3 servings. To stretch it out, you may however make your portions smaller in any way you would like. Also, feel free to double the recipe; because this dessert is quite creamy and delicious. You will certainly want more. Not only is it tasty to the palate, it is simply an eye pleaser.

Cold Banana Pudding Parfaits

Recipe by Madison
3.6 from 41 votes
Course: Uncategorized


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1/2 (3.4 oz) packaged vanilla pudding mix

  • 1 cup milk (any kind)

  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

  • 1 (8 oz) container Cool Whip

  • 30 miniature Nilla wafers (15 for regular sized)

  • 1 large ripe banana


  • In the bottom of 3 glass jars, neatly arrange the wafers (about 6 mini or 3 regular per jar). They can overlap.
  • In a bowl, briskly whisk milk and instant pudding.
  • Add sweetened condensed milk and 4 oz. of Cool Whip. Whisk until smooth.
  • Pour the mixture over the wafers.
  • Add more wafers and now add bananas on top.
  • Finally, with the remaining 4 oz. of Cool Whip, put a healthy dollop on top of each parfait and finished with some crushed wafers. Enjoy!


  • If you want more banana, feel free to use more than one.
  • It is best to serve these chilled.

I love layering the bananas, pudding, wafers and whipped cream in a pretty glass jar, and then, placing it in the refrigerator to chill for about 20-30 minutes.  I even set my timer to remind me when it is ready to devour. It is a decadent and easy dessert to make with minimum effort. I like to keep it simple, but make it tasty.

Crushed cookies to go on top of parfaits

I understand that people are busy and are looking to make their food choices as simple as possible, given all that is going on in today’s world. The prep time for this banana pudding could not be any quicker-10 minutes tops. Just be sure that your banana is ripe, but not too soft or mushy. Feel free to layer wafers inside and around the pudding. I am quite visual; and not only do I love that my desserts are satisfying; but I absolutely love that they are my very own work of art.

Cold Banana Pudding Parfait

They do not have to be perfect to look pretty and you do not have to use a glass jar like me.  Feel free to get creative. Use your favorite mug or a small bowl. I believe in using whatever is already in my cupboard. It saves time, money and alleviates stress. My grandmother did not have perfect dishes and expensive cookware, but somehow her food was absolutely magical.

Again, her secret ingredient was LOVE and I’m glad she shared that with me. I hope you enjoy making this dessert. I did a little banana pudding research, thanks to Google, and discovered that this extremely satisfying decadence has been around since 1888. That is over 132 years of creamy goodness. Thankfully, it is a joy to make for any occasion and I hope you too, will enjoy creating memories and passing them on for generations to come. 

Happy Eating!


8 thoughts on “Cold Banana Pudding Parfaits”

  1. As a longtime (35 years) restaurant reviewer and cookBook revIewer, I find This recipe To look delicious and in all probability, taste delicious, bUt, sadly, it is filled with sugars. This country is in the mIdst of an obeSity epidemic, which MAKES it much more difficult for individuals to recover from serious illnesses like coronavirus.
    As a nation, We have, since the Betty Crocker cookbook was promulgated in the 1950’s, equated sweetness in food with love. In fact, it is the opposite. Please be aware that every time you tell your audience to devour something SO sugar-laden as this recipe, you are heading theM in a dangerous direction. And remember that meat creates desire for more meat, and sweet for more sweet!
    Dr. dea Mallin

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Dr Mallin. I certainly agree there are far too many hidden sugars in our diets, but I think most people expect to find sugar in a dessert. (And, to me, life would be bleak without the occasional sweet treat!) I worry much more about the hidden sugars in foods that market themselves as healthy for breakfast, lunch, or dinner (as I’m sure you do too!), but I do appreciate your thoughts and advice.

  2. I sort of invented this on my own about 1990 for my daughter to take to school for class treats. The differences were that I used sour cream instead of sweetened condensed milk, I used disposable clear plastic “old FASHIONED glasses” (the short, squat, but slightly FLAred plastic cups often used in lieu of glass punch CUPS), and I did not put the additional Cool Whip on top. It was a big hit. I think adults might prefer the sour cream version, but I bet the kids would have liked it even better with sweetened condensed milk instead.

    • Sour cream sounds delicious, Lisa, I will have to try that! And, yes, it sounds like it would be much more pleasing for grown-up palates! 😀

  3. Hi im just Wondering if i could use real whipped cream INSTEAD of cool whip?
    And use The pudding mix that you heat Vs the instant Sort?
    Thank you:)

  4. Why do people use Vailla pudding iNstead of making their own custarD filling in a double boiler. It tste so much better and more of a banana flavor?


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