Strawberry Banana Pudding is an easy, no bake dessert that puts a creative spin on a classic by adding fresh and frozen strawberries.
My French Strawberry Cake was my first recipe to really become popular. It’s one of my beloved earlier recipes that made me decide to become a full-time food blogger. And so every once in a while I like to use strawberries in a new recipe.
Why this recipe works
My recipe for this Strawberry Banana Pudding is a combination of a lot of different desserts and favorites of mine. It borrows from the famous Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding (which I was able to enjoy when I traveled to NYC recently) because of the sweetened condensed milk. For the strawberry layer, I use thawed frozen strawberries, because they worked so well in my Strawberry Spoon Cake I published a few weeks ago.
Then instead of Nilla Wafers, which are pretty much required in a classic banana pudding, I decided to go with Oreos. So this dessert also borrows from a childhood favorite of mine, dirt pudding. And finally because I wanted my pudding to be extra thick and decadent, it contains cream cheese. So it is a little like a no bake cheesecake. I guess what I’m trying to say is my recipe has a bit of an identity crisis. But I promise you’ll love it anyway!
Ingredients for strawberry banana pudding
- Strawberries – My recipe relies on frozen strawberries for its strawberry flavor. My vanilla pudding mixture is so rich that the bright, slightly tart flavor of the mashed, frozen berries helps to give balance to this dessert. The fresh strawberries are just used for garnish on top.
- Bananas – Sliced ripe bananas are added in two layers within this pudding dessert and also on top as a garnish.
- Pudding – Use a 3.4 oz box of instant vanilla pudding.
- Cream Cheese – Provides good structure for a thick pudding plus the tangy flavor makes this pudding almost like a cheesecake and works well with the sweet flavors of the bananas, cookies Cool Whip.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk – This is what Magnolia Bakery uses to thicken their banana pudding. We don’t want runny pudding in between our layers.
- Vanilla – I prefer to use pure vanilla extract, it helps to really punch up the vanilla flavor of the pudding.
- Cool Whip – I personally love the taste and convenience of Cool Whip. You can substitute it with a recipe for homemade whipped cream if you prefer. Keep in mind however that adding heavy cream to this recipe will change the nutritional values.
- Oreo Cookies – I decided on Oreos because I’ve had great success adding Oreos to Krispie Treats and other desserts. Plus I love the combination of chocolate, strawberry and banana flavors. But by all means, replace the Oreos with vanilla wafer cookies if that is your preference.
Instructions for making strawberry banana pudding
Crush the Oreos into fine crumbs. Microwave the frozen berries for a couple of minutes and mash with a fork. Slice the bananas.
With a hand or stand mixer, whip together the cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract and vanilla pudding mix. Add about 1 1/2 cups of Cool Whip and beat until smooth.
Spread half the pudding in the bottom of a trifle dish. Layer in half the mashed berries, half the sliced bananas and half the Oreo crumbs. Then repeat the layers.
Evenly top the pudding with the remaining Cool Whip. Garnish with sliced fresh strawberries and bananas. Allow the pudding to chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving. Be sure to keep the dish covered tightly with plastic wrap until ready to serve.
What is the fastest way to ripen bananas?
Place them in a brown paper bag that is loosely sealed for 24 – 36 hours. It works even better if you have a ripe avocado or apple to place in the paper bag with the bananas.
What keeps bananas from turning brown in banana pudding?
Citric acid will help keep your bananas from turning brown. There is some citric acid in strawberries. You can also toss your banana slices with a small amount of orange, pineapple or lemon juice before assembling the pudding.
Why is my banana pudding runny?
Usually it’s because the recipe calls for too much liquid or because the instant pudding hasn’t been mixed enough to “set up”. I avoid the ‘too much liquid’ problem by not using regular milk in my recipe. This pudding tastes amazing with the combination of cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk (which is very thick) and Cool Whip.
I do not recommend freezing this pudding recipe. You can keep leftovers stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for no more than two days.
This pudding puts me in mind of potlucks and picnics! Here’s some of my favorite take-along dishes for those occasions…
- Chicken Salad Recipe
- Greek Rice Salad
- Summer Broccoli Pasta Salad
- Classic Deviled Eggs
- Macaroni Salad
- A trifle bowl (with lid for traveling) similar to what is pictured
- Large mixing bowl if you don’t have a stand mixer
- Here’s my favorite brand of hand mixer
More strawberry dessert recipes
- French Strawberry Cake
- Strawberry Spoon Cake
- Rhubarb Strawberry Pie
- Strawberry Cheesecake
- Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Strawberry Banana Pudding
- 1 1/2 cups Strawberries whole, frozen
- 3 medium Strawberries fresh
- 2 medium Bananas
- 3.4 oz Pudding vanilla flavor, instant
- 14 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 8 oz Cream Cheese softened
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 16 oz Cool Whip
- 12 Oreo Cookies or you can use vanilla wafers instead
- Use a food processor to turn the Oreos into crumbs. Or place them in a gallon-size zippered bag and crush them with a heavy rolling pin.
- Place the strawberries in a microwave safe bowl or glass measuring cup and microwave them on high for about 2 minutes. Mash them with a fork and set them in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- With a hand or stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla pudding mix and vanilla extract in a large bowl until smooth. Add about 1 1/2 cups of the Cool Whip and beat again on low speed until combined. Or use a spatula to fold in the whipped cream, if you are using homemade instead of Cool Whip.
- Spread half of the pudding mixture into the bottom of the dish. Top with half the mashed strawberries and use a table knife or fork to kind of swirl it gently into the top of the pudding. Then top with half of the sliced bananas. And finally top with half of the crushed cookies.
- Repeat these layers once more - pudding, mashed strawberries, bananas, Oreos.
- Finally, spread the remaining Cool Whip on top of the pudding layers in your trifle dish. Garnish the whipped cream layer with fresh sliced strawberries and banana slices.
- Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
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This recipe is cool, refreshing and easy enough for my kiddos to make for me! Perfect!
It is a great recipe for kids to make by themselves or help with, definitely!
Dangerously good! I could eat the whole batch myself. So easy and all that extra cream only makes it better!
Agree. I ate way too much of this recipe while photographing it. I gave the leftovers away so as not to tempt myself further. 🙂
I made this for dessert this weekend and it was wonderful. So tasty!
I’m glad you enjoyed this pudding. Thank you!
Vidya Narayan says
Can’t wait to try this for Valentines. I have everything I need to make this and love everything strawberry!
Yep, I am a sucker for any type of strawberry recipe. You are going to love this pudding. Enjoy your Valentine’s Day!