Mama’s Banana Pudding

Paula Deen’s “Not Yo’ Mama’s Banana Pudding”

Get ready for a taste of sweet, creamy heaven with Paula Deen’s “Not Yo’ Mama’s Banana Pudding.” This iconic recipe transforms simple ingredients into a dessert masterpiece. Layered with luscious vanilla wafers (or Chessmen cookies), fresh banana slices, and a rich, velvety filling, it’s a classic Southern delight that’s perfect for any occasion. Let’s dive into the delicious details:


  • 2 bags of Pepperidge Farm Chessmen Cookies (or Vanilla Wafers)
  • 6-8 sliced bananas
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 box of instant French Vanilla pudding
  • 1 package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14 oz.) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12 oz.) container of frozen whipped topping, thawed (or an equal amount of sweetened whipped cream)


  1. Layer the Cookies and Bananas: Start by using one bag of cookies to line the bottom of a 13×9-inch dish. Layer the sliced bananas on top of the cookies.
  2. Prepare the Pudding Mixture (Bowl 1): In a bowl, use a handheld electric mixer to combine the whole milk and the French Vanilla pudding mix. Blend until the mixture is smooth and well-combined.
  3. Create the Cream Cheese Mixture (Bowl 2): In another bowl, combine the softened cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk. Mix until the two are smooth and fully blended.
  4. Incorporate the Whipped Topping: Carefully fold the thawed frozen whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. If you prefer, you can use an equal amount of sweetened whipped cream instead.
  5. Combine the Mixtures: Now, add the creamy, dreamy cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture, stirring until the two are thoroughly blended.
  6. Layer the Pudding: Pour the delectable mixture over the cookies and bananas, ensuring an even distribution.
  7. Add the Final Cookie Layer: Cover the creamy filling with the remaining bag of cookies, creating a delightful cookie crown for your pudding.
  8. Refrigerate and Serve: Once you’ve assembled this irresistible dessert, refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve. The chilling process allows the flavors to meld, creating a dessert that’s creamy, crunchy, and utterly satisfying.

This “Not Yo’ Mama’s Banana Pudding” is a true Southern gem, perfect for family gatherings, potlucks, or simply satisfying your sweet cravings. Paula Deen’s recipe brings together a symphony of textures and flavors, from the crunch of cookies to the sweetness of bananas and the rich, velvety creaminess of the filling. Dive in and savor each heavenly spoonful!

Certainly, here are some popular questions about Paula Deen’s “Not Yo’ Mama’s Banana Pudding” along with their correct answers:

  1. Can I use a different type of cookie besides Chessmen or Vanilla Wafers?
    • Yes, you can use other cookies that you prefer. While Chessmen and Vanilla Wafers are popular choices, you can get creative with cookies like graham crackers, shortbread, or even ladyfingers.
  2. What can I substitute for French Vanilla pudding?
    • If you can’t find French Vanilla pudding or prefer a different flavor, you can use regular vanilla pudding or even banana pudding for an extra banana boost.
  3. Is it necessary to use a handheld electric mixer for the pudding mixture?
    • Using an electric mixer ensures a smooth and well-blended pudding mixture, but you can also whisk it vigorously by hand. Just make sure there are no lumps.
  4. Can I use fresh whipped cream instead of frozen whipped topping?
    • Absolutely, you can use fresh sweetened whipped cream in place of frozen whipped topping. It adds a homemade touch to the dessert.
  5. How long should I refrigerate the banana pudding before serving?
    • It’s best to refrigerate the banana pudding for at least a few hours or overnight to allow the flavors to meld and the dessert to set. The longer it chills, the better it tastes.
  6. Should I cover the dessert while it’s in the refrigerator?
    • Yes, covering the banana pudding while it’s in the refrigerator helps prevent it from absorbing any other odors and keeps it fresh.
  7. Can I prepare this dessert in advance for a party?
    • Yes, this banana pudding is an excellent make-ahead dessert. You can prepare it a day before your event and refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve.
  8. How many servings does this recipe yield?
    • The number of servings depends on the portion size. Generally, you can expect about 10-12 servings from this recipe.
  9. Is it necessary to soften the cream cheese?
    • Yes, it’s important to use softened cream cheese to ensure it blends smoothly with the sweetened condensed milk and whipped topping. You can soften it at room temperature or in the microwave for a few seconds.
  10. Can I add extra flavorings like vanilla extract or banana extract to the pudding mixture?
    • Certainly, you can enhance the flavor by adding a splash of vanilla extract or a bit of banana extract if you want a more intense banana flavor.

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