South Your Mouth: Paula Deen’s Banana Pudding


This iconic recipe using cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk isn’t the Banana Pudding you grew up with but it’s a classic for a reason – it’s insanely delicious! If you’re a lover of layered desserts, you have to try Paula’s Not Yo’ Mama’s Banana Pudding!

OK, so this is a little weird. I’m sharing a popular recipe with you and I’m not changing a dang thing. Some folks would tweak one ingredient by a 16th of a teaspoon and pretend it was a brand-spanking-new recipe they just invented but, y’all… there’s no two ways about it… this recipe is absolutely perfect and shouldn’t be altered.

And, ol’ Paula deserves the credit for it. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I took something this good and tried to pass it off as my own. It’s happened to me plenty so I know what that feels like.

Side note about that… I cannot, for the life of me, understand why some food bloggers have such a hard time giving credit where it’s due? ANNNYwho…

When I try an amazing recipe and share it with you, I am happy to lead you to the source of my inspiration! It doesn’t take anything away from me. It doesn’t make you think any less of my cooking ability. Right??

Most recipes aren’t truly original anyway. I have few dozen recipes that are 100% my own creation but most of my (and everyone else’s) recipes are old classics we all grew up eating, a spinoff of other great recipes or tried-and-true family recipes.

  Paula Deen’s Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

Ain’t nobody reinventing the wheel around here. Ya know? Let’s just cook good food, EAT IT and share the recipes!

Another reason I want to share this original recipe with you is because sometimes the originals are hard to find. Have you ever looked for a classic recipe online only to find 247 variations of it and no idea where to get the original??

Classic recipes are classic for a reason: they’re perfect just the way they are! You get to monkeying around with them too much and you risk ruining a good thing.

OK, so back to the recipe. Would y’all believe I’d never made this banana pudding?? I’ve heard people talk about it plenty and I’ve seen it places but I’ve never had it or made it. I put together a collection of Banana Pudding recipes a week or so ago and included this one since it’s so popular. I noticed more people were pinning and clicking on this recipe than any of the others so I thought I better make this dang thing and see what all the fuss is about!

Welp. The fuss it legit. This banana pudding is perfection. And now I gotta be honest with y’all… I’d never made it or tried it because… well… I was being Miss Judgey McJudgeface about the sweetened condensed milk and cream cheese in the recipe.

I’d seen the recipe before and made that pffffft noise Nanny used to make when she didn’t like something.

Cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk in banana pudding is blasphemy! Right? RIGHT?!

Wrong. So, so, so wrong. It’s heavenly. It’s amazing. It’s perfection.

And the Chessman cookies? They’re amazing too. The thought of them never bothered me too bad because I’ve used other cookies in a pinch (and Aunt June sometimes makes her banana pudding with coconut cookies and that’s absolutely delicious too).

  Paula Deen Strawberry Cake (Simply Delicious Recipe)

So, here’s Paula Deen’s Not Yo’ Mama’s Banana Pudding recipe! Don’t be like me and think you won’t like it – because I promise you will! Enjoy!

If you love layered icebox desserts like this, check out a few of these recipes too!

  • Red, White & Blue Cheesecake Salad – This berry cheesecake recipe is the perfect patriotic dessert with strawberries, blueberries and cream cheese filling.
  • Chocolate Nutter Butter Icebox Cake – A chocolate layered dessert with peanut butter cookies, whipped cream and peanut butter drizzle like a chocolate peanut butter lasagna!
  • Strawberry Cream Cheese Icebox Cake – An easy no-bake layered dessert with graham crackers, cheesecake filling and fresh strawberries.
  • Italian Bakeless Cake – A layered dessert with pineapple, vanilla wafers, cool whip, coconut and cherries.
  • Peanut Butter Ripple Nutter Butter Banana Pudding – Banana pudding made with Nutter Butter cookies and layers of peanut butter ripples.

Paula Deen’s Banana Pudding

South Your Mouth: Paula Deen’s Banana Pudding


  • 1 12-oz container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 5.1-oz box instant French vanilla pudding mix
  • 6 to 8 sliced bananas, sliced
  • 2 7.25-oz bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies


  1. Line the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish with cookies then add a layer of bananas over cookies (see note).
  2. Combine cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk in a large mixing bowl then beat with an electric mixer until smooth.
  3. Combine milk and pudding mix in a separate bowl then whisk for one minute or until smooth. Stir pudding mixture into cream cheese mixture then mix until completely incorporated.
  4. Add whipped topping to the mixture then fold together until incorporated.
  5. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas then cover with remaining cookies. Cover and refrigerate 6-8 hours before serving.
  Paula Deen Pumpkin Bars


  • I think next time I will pour half of the pudding mixture over the first layer of cookies before adding the bananas (then cover bananas with remaining pudding mixture before adding the top layer of cookies). Layering the pudding on top of the cookies will help them get softer quicker. Sealing the bananas between two layers of pudding will create a “seal” around the bananas which will help them keep from browning.
  • I couldn’t find a large box of instant French vanilla pudding so I had to use regular vanilla. I added a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the pudding before mixing to help get that stronger “French vanilla” flavor.
  • I haven’t been able to find the 12-oz containers of cool whip in a coon’s age so I just buy two of the 8-oz containers and use one and a half (I find this easier than guessing with the 16-oz container plus I use the 8-oz containers to pack my leftovers for lunch 😁).
  • You won’t use quite all of the cookies. Since some of them break in the package, put all the broken ones in the bottom of the dish and save the good ones for the top.
  • The dessert will need to rest at least 6 hours before serving to ensure the cookies have time to soften.

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