This is the best Vegan Banana Pudding! It has everything you love about the classic Southern-style dessert, including layers of decadent vegan pudding, vanilla wafer cookies, banana slices, and heaps of whipped cream.

assembled vegan banana pudding topped with whipped cream, crushed cookies, and banana slices.

The classic banana pudding recipe was first published in an 1888 issue of Good Housekeeping. It was made by layering custard over sponge cake and freshly sliced bananas, then finished with a whipped cream topping. This sweet and creamy dessert hasn’t changed much from all of those years ago because it’s just so darn delicious!

Nowadays, we can easily make a just-as-delicious Vegan Banana Pudding with some simple substitutions. My dairy free version is like a banana cream pie-flavored tiramisu. It’s layered with homemade vegan vanilla pudding, store-bought vegan vanilla wafer cookies, homemade whipped cream (or store bought), and, of course, bananas. 

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Creamy, rich, and sweet: ​​True to traditional banana pudding recipes, this non dairy banana pudding is a multi-layered trifle-style dessert. Every bite is rich and creamy but nicely sweetened by bananas and vegan vanilla pudding.
  • An easy no-bake dessert: Turn to this recipe when you need a low-effort but crowd-pleasing vegan dessert that will fit in at any occasion.
  • It’s customizable: Switch up the cookie layer and add custom toppings to make this banana pudding your own
a scoop of vegan banana pudding on a small white plate with vanilla wafer cookies on the side.

Ingredients needed

  • Granulated sugar – Feel free to use coconut sugar. I haven’t tested this recipe with liquid sweeteners, like maple syrup.
  • Cornstarch – To help thicken the pudding. You may be able to use arrowroot as a substitute.
  • Salt
  • Soy milk – You can use any type of dairy free milk you like, but make sure it’s unsweetened. Feel free to use almond, cashew, or oat milk as a substitute.
  • Vegan butter
  • Vanilla extract – This is what gives the vegan pudding its signature, well-balanced vanilla flavor.
  • Bananas – Save the spotted ripe bananas for banana cake or banana bread. The bananas you use for this recipe should be barely ripe and easy to slice into firm rounds. 
  • Vegan vanilla wafers – I used the 365 Brand Organic Vanilla Wafer Cookies. They’re naturally vegan-friendly but not gluten free. You may have to shop around for gluten free and vegan vanilla wafers, but it looks like the Homefree brand makes a vanilla wafer cookie that’s worth looking into.
  • Vegan whipped cream – My Heavy Whipping Cream Substitute is my favorite vegan whipped cream here because it’s rich, yet light and fluffy. If you don’t want to use this, you can use homemade coconut whipped cream, aquafaba whipped cream, or store-bought vegan whipped cream.
ingredients for vegan banana pudding in individual white bowls.

How to make vegan banana pudding

Find the complete recipe with measurements in the recipe card below.

It’s best to start this recipe with the vegan vanilla pudding. To begin, whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium pot over medium heat. Slowly stir in the milk, whisking continuously to avoid lumps.

Continue to cook and stir as the pudding begins to simmer. You’ll know it’s ready when the consistency has started to thicken (it will thicken more as it chills). 

whisking the ingredients for vegan vanilla pudding in a white pot.

Take the pot off of the heat and stir in the vegan butter and vanilla. Now that it’s smooth, you can set the pudding aside.

womans hand pouring butter and vanilla extract into a pot full of vegan vanilla pudding.

To assemble, line the bottom of a deep baking dish with a layer of vanilla wafers followed by a layer of banana slices. Pour half of the pudding over top. Repeat with a second layer of wafers, bananas, and the remaining pudding. 

Cover the dish with plastic and place it in the fridge to chill.

Once the banana pudding is chilled and set, top it with as much whipped cream as you like (I like to use a lot!). Crumble a few more wafers over the top, garnish with extra banana slices, and dig in!

pouring vegan vanilla pudding over layers of vanilla cookies and banana slices in a large white dish.

Tips and variations

  • I made this recipe in a deep 2 or 2.5-quart dish. You can use any other type of deep dessert dish you already have at home or, for a stunning presentation, layer it in a trifle dish instead. For individual servings, assemble the dessert in dessert glasses or small mason jars.
  • Don’t skip the chill time. The assembled dessert needs to chill in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours, but leaving it overnight always gives you the best results. During this time, the pudding will thicken and all of the flavors will marry together.
  • Wait to slice the bananas because they begin turning brown almost as soon as they’re exposed to air. Wait until right before you’re ready to assemble to start slicing them.
  • If you can’t find vanilla wafer cookies, use vegan graham crackers, vanilla sandwich cookies, or shortbread cookies.
  • Have fun with the toppings. Once the banana pudding is fully set and smothered in whipped cream, finish it with dark chocolate shavings, shredded coconut, peanut butter, hazelnut spread, caramel sauce, and anything else you like.
vegan banana pudding in a large glass dish with a scoop missing.

Frequently asked questions

Can you make banana pudding ahead of time?

Yes! In fact, it’s always best to make this recipe at least 4 hours ahead of time. Just leave the whipped cream and other toppings off until right before serving.

How long does it last?

Banana pudding is best enjoyed once it’s thoroughly chilled and set. However, leftovers will last in a covered container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

Can you freeze dairy free banana pudding?

I don’t recommend freezing banana pudding because of the delicate, moist ingredients.

close up on a spoonful of vegan banana pudding.

Want more no-bake vegan desserts?

close up on an assembled vegan banana pudding topped with whipped cream, crushed cookies, and banana slices.
4.75 stars (4 ratings)

Vegan Banana Pudding

This is the best Vegan Banana Pudding! It has everything you love about the classic Southern-style dessert, including layers of decadent vegan pudding, vanilla wafer cookies, banana slices, and heaps of whipped cream.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Chilling time: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 10 servings

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • In a medium pot, add the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk to combine.
  • Turn the heat to medium and slowly stir in the milk, whisking constantly. It's important to keep whisking so clumps don't form.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer. Once simmering, stir occasionally for about 2 minutes, until the pudding thickens somewhat. It will keep thickening as it chills.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the vegan butter and vanilla, until the butter melts and the pudding is smooth. Set aside.
  • Line the bottom of a 2 or 2.5 quart dish with a layer of vanilla wafers, then a layer of banana slices.
  • Pour half of the vanilla pudding on top. Repeat the layers once more, then place a layer of plastic wrap over the pudding so it's touching it.
  • Place in the refrigerator and chill for 4 hours or overnight.
  • Once chilled and ready to serve, top with as much whipped cream as you'd like. I like to use a lot! Place some more vanilla wafers on top of the whipped cream and a few banana slices, if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. For gluten free, use gluten free and vegan vanilla wafers.
  2. Any plant milk will probably work here, but I prefer soy milk.
  3. For the whipped cream, you can use store bought Coco Whip, homemade coconut whipped cream, aquafaba whipped cream or my favorite: Heavy Whipping Cream Substitute.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 10 servings | Calories: 264kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 189mg | Potassium: 225mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 315IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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Comments

  1. Simple recipe with great taste. To my surprise, this tasted better than I thought. I do prefer my bananas to be sweet so I did let them ripen. I also used partial brown sugar and it really put it over the top for me.

  2. This was so easy to make & sooooo good!! It’s been a long time since I’ve had banana pudding. So happy you made this vegan recipe cause it tastes just as I remember!

  3. Delicious! Love the silky texture, and the flavor is great. I used some coconut milk in substitute for part of the soymilk, and omitted the vegan butter. I also cut back sugar to 1/2 cup for the first try , and it was wy too sweet for my taste. I can’t imagine how sweet it would be with the full cup of sugar – 16 tablespoons! Second time I tried 1/4 cup sugar, and it suits my taste better.

    1. Hi Karen. How great that you love the pudding, and found the sweet amount that works for you! Thank you for sharing your great feedback and review!

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