Banana Pudding Bars Recipe

Banana Pudding Bars Recipe

If you are a fan of classic banana pudding then you will truly love this variation of banana pudding bars! A fluffy, rich, and creamy banana pudding base topped over a vanilla wafer crust and garnished with whipped cream; it truly is the perfect summertime dessert!

Banana pudding bars are a delightful twist on a classic dessert, combining the rich flavors of banana pudding with the creamy texture of cheesecake and whipped cream. These banana pudding bars are perfect for any occasion and are sure to be a hit with friends and family.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Balanced Flavors: The combination of vanilla wafer cookies and ripe bananas creates a perfect balance of sweetness and banana flavor. It takes the classic version of this recipe to the next level!
  • Texture Perfection: The creamy banana pudding bars have a smooth banana whipped filling that complements the crunchy vanilla wafer crust.
  • Simple Ingredients: This recipe uses common ingredients like cream cheese, fresh bananas, cold milk, and banana pudding mix, making it easy to whip up anytime.
Banana Pudding Bars Recipe

Supplies Needed

  • 9×13 inch Baking Pan 
  • Parchment paper
  • Electric hand mixer
  • Medium bowl
  • Large bowl
  • Medium saucepan
  • Wire rack

Ingredients Needed

  • Vanilla Wafer Crust:
  • 2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs (substitute with graham cracker crumbs if desired)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (unsalted butter)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (brown sugar for a different flavor if desired)
  • Whipped Cream Base
  • 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • Banana Pudding Layer:
  • 1 package instant Banana pudding mix (use the large 5.1 oz sized box)
  • 2 cups cold milk (you cannot substitute here or the pudding won’t set correctly)
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese (this gives the pudding a little more structure to hold up as a bar, use a full-fat cream cheese to get the correct texture)
  • 3 ripe bananas, sliced (you can add more to your filling or as a garnish on top before serving if desired).
Banana Pudding Bars Recipe ingredients

Step-by-Step Instructions

Vanilla Wafer Crust

  1. Prepare the Crust: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhang for easy removal.
  2. Mix Ingredients: In a medium bowl, combine the vanilla wafer crumbs, melted butter, and sugar. Stir until the crumbs are evenly coated and the mixture resembles wet sand.
  3. Press into Pan: Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the 9×13-inch pan to form an even layer.
  4. Bake: Bake for 10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack. Your crust must be completely cool to the touch before adding the filling.
Vanilla wafer crust steps

Banana Pudding Filling

  1. Prepare the Filling: In a large bowl, begin by preparing the pudding base by adding the softened cream cheese, banana pudding mix, and milk. Slowly mix until it is fully combined and becomes whipped and thick. Set the filling aside in a separate bowl.
  2. Homemade Whipped Cream: Next, make homemade whipped cream by adding the cold heavy cream to the bowl of the stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, mix the cream on high speed until it starts to form soft peaks. Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla and continue to whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  3. Combine the Fillings: Gently fold the whipped cream into the pudding and cream cheese mixture you already made. This will take a bit of time and I only suggest doing this by hand (not with the mixer).
  4. Spread Over Crust: Pour half of the banana pudding filling mixture over the pre-baked crust and spread it evenly.
  5. Add Bananas: Top with fresh banana slices, spreading them evenly over the pudding layer.
  6. Topping: Finish the banana pudding bars off by covering the sliced bananas with the remaining banana pudding filling. Carefully spread it across the top in an even layer so it covers them completely.
  7. Chilling: Chill the bars uncovered for at least one hour, then cover them with plastic wrap. Let them set up for 4 hours or overnight for best results.
Vanilla wafer crust steps

Tips for Serving and Storing

  • Serving: Remove the bars from the fridge and remove them carefully from the pan by lifting the edges of the parchment paper. Use a sharp knife and cut them into equal-sized squares. It helps to wipe the chef’s knife after each cut to prevent a lot of messy edges.
  • Garnishing: I like to pipe a little whipped cream over the top of each one. You can add a sliced banana before serving or crumbled or whole vanilla wafers as well.
  • Storing: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. The bananas may brown a bit, but the filling covers them well to prevent them from getting too discolored.
  • Enhancements: For a next-level banana dessert, sprinkle white chocolate chips or chocolate shavings on top. For a different flavor, consider adding a layer of graham cracker crumbs or try it with my biscoff cookie pie crust too.
Banana Pudding Bars Recipe

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Banana Pudding Bars Recipe

Banana Pudding Bars Recipe

If you are a fan of classic banana pudding then you will truly love this variation of banana pudding bars! A fluffy, rich, and creamy banana pudding base topped over a vanilla wafer crust and garnished with whipped cream; it truly is the perfect summertime dessert!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Banana Pudding Bars Recipe
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Resting Time: 4 hours
Servings: 24 Servings
Calories: 155kcal
Author: Bon Appeteach

Ingredients

Vanilla Wafer Crust

  • 1 box Vanilla Wafers
  • 1/2 cup Butter melted
  • 1/4 cup Sugar

Banana Pudding Filling

  • 3 Bananas sliced
  • 1 package Banana Pudding (5.1 oz box)
  • 2 cups Whole Milk cold
  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese softened

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Instructions

Vanilla Wafer Crust

  • Prepare the Crust: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhang for easy removal.
  • Mix Ingredients: Add the box of vanilla wafers to a food processor and pulse until it becomes crumbs. Then in a medium bowl, combine the vanilla wafer crumbs, melted butter, and sugar. Stir until the crumbs are evenly coated and the mixture resembles wet sand.
  • Press into Pan: Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the 9×13-inch pan to form an even layer. I like to use a spatula or a small measuring cup to press it down.
  • Bake: Bake for 10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack. Your crust must be completely cool to the touch before adding the filling.
    Vanilla wafer crust steps

Whipped Cream and Banana Filling

  • Prepare the Filling: In a large bowl, begin by preparing the pudding base by adding the softened cream cheese, banana pudding mix, and milk. Slowly mix until it is fully combined and becomes whipped and thick. Set the filling aside in a separate bowl.
  • Homemade Whipped Cream: Next, make homemade whipped cream by adding the cold heavy cream to the bowl of the stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, mix the cream on high speed until it starts to form soft peaks. Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla and continue to whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  • Combine the Fillings: Gently fold the whipped cream into the pudding and cream cheese mixture you already made. This will take a bit of time and I only suggest doing this by hand (not with the mixer).
  • Spread Over Crust: Pour half of the banana pudding filling mixture over the pre-baked crust and spread it evenly.
  • Add Bananas: Top with fresh banana slices, spreading them evenly over the pudding layer
  • Topping: Finish the banana pudding bars off by covering the sliced bananas with the remaining banana pudding filling. Carefully spread it across the top in an even layer so it covers them completely.
    Vanilla wafer crust steps
  • Chilling: Chill the bars uncovered for at least one hour, then cover them with plastic wrap. Let them set up for 4 hours or overnight for best results.
  • Slicing: Remove the bars from the fridge and remove them carefully from the pan by lifting the edges of the parchment paper. Use a sharp knife and cut them into equal-sized squares. It helps to wipe the chef's knife after each cut to prevent a lot of messy edges.
  • Garnishing: I like to pipe a little whipped cream over the top of each one. You can add a sliced banana before serving or crumbled or whole vanilla wafers as well.
    Banana Pudding Bars Recipe

Notes

This is best stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the fridge. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 133mg | Potassium: 107mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 433IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 0.1mg

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