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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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).
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.
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!
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.
Frequently asked questions
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.
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.
I don’t recommend freezing banana pudding because of the delicate, moist ingredients.
Want more no-bake vegan desserts?
- Peanut Butter Pie
- Key Lime Pie
- Vegan No-Bake Cookies
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
- Layered Raspberry Vegan Cheesecake
Vegan Banana Pudding
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups unsweetened soy milk or almond, cashew, oat
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large bananas, barely ripe, sliced
- 9 ounces vegan vanilla wafer cookies
- 3-4 cups Vegan Whipped Cream store bought or homemade, see Notes for options
- 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!