Banana Pudding with a Twist

banana pudding

A while back I made a decision to only share a recipe on this blog if it’s one of my go-to recipes, meaning one I’ve made for family and friends a number of times and can recommend with confidence.

These Potato-Stuffed Bell Peppers fall into that category. So do this Poppy Seed Salad and Bruschetta Chicken. And now too this Banana Pudding.

The recipe itself is Paula Deen’s Not Yo’ Mama’s Banana Pudding, so it won’t surprise you that it’s delicious (and rich!). But what I especially like about this particular recipe, is that it uses Pepperidge Farm Chessman Cookies, which dress the pudding up a little.

Here’s the recipe.


2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
6 to 8 bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1 (5-ounce) box instant French vanilla pudding (I can only ever find regular vanilla, which works just fine.)
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping thawed, or equal amount sweetened whipped cream


Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top.

In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

banana pudding recipe

I’ve made this in the 13 x 9 pan called for in the recipe, but I’ve also made it for both my dinner club and book club in these inexpensive mini trifle bowls, which, like the Chessman cookies, are a little bit dressy and unexpected.

When I make it in the mini trifles, I put the top cookie just a little bit off center and then add a little whipped cream out to the side. It couldn’t be easier.

What are your go-to recipes?



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  1. Looks yummy! Do you crush the cookies before putting them on the bottom of the dish, or leave them whole? Thank you!

    1. I’ve never crushed them, but I’ve both put them whole on the bottom and broken them up into smaller pieces. Both ways seemed to work fine. The pudding softens them enough that they’re easy to eat.

  2. Sounds deelish, Julie! I have those same little trifle bowls…love them!

    You asked about go-to recipes. Since fall’s approaching, I wanted to share this family favorite with you. I promise it won’t disappoint. If desired, you can halve the recipe. I often make these well in advance since they freeze beautifully.

    Killer Pumpkin Bars

    2 cups granulated sugar
    1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
    2 cups canned pumpkin (one 15-ounce can)
    4 eggs, room temperature
    2 cups flour
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 teaspoon EACH cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, ground cloves
    1/2 teaspoon salt

    Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 15″ x 10 1/2″ x 1″ sheet pan. Sift flour, baking soda, spices, and salt together; set aside. Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add pumpkin and eggs; beat until smooth. Add dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Spread mixture into prepared pan. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until cake springs back when touched, or a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before icing.

    Cream Cheese Icing:

    4 ounces cream cheese, softened
    1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2 cups powdered sugar

    Combine and beat together until smooth.

    Note: If desired, the recipe can be halved using a 9″ x 13″ x 1″ sheet pan. The baking time will be about the same; start checking at 20 minutes.

    1. Thanks for sharing this, Jillian. Love the name – Killer Pumpkin Bars. I will definitely be giving these a try.

  3. I am a banana pudding lover and have only ever had the recipe that uses the Nilla Wafers. I happen to love those PF Chessmen cookies and I’m going to have to try this recipe soon! Yum!!!

    1. Oh, then you’re going to love this, Christine. Can’t wait for you to try it.

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