The Best Gluten Free Banana Pudding

If you love banana pudding and haven’t had it in years because you’re gluten free, you’re in for a treat! Using gluten free shortbread cookies makes this smooth and creamy banana pudding just right!!

the best gluten free banana pudding

Years ago, when Paula Deen was still on the Food Network, I watched her make this banana pudding that she called “Not Yo Mama’s Banana Pudding.” It looked like something I would absolutely love, so naturally I made it and I was right, it was the bomb!

I’ve been missing that banana pudding since being diagnosed with Celiac so many years ago. I always said I was gonna try to make it gluten free, and I finally got around to it! One of my laziest reasons why I didn’t until now is because I really didn’t want to first make a bunch of shortbread cookies, and then make the actual pudding. No thanks! Too much work for something that’s supposed to be easy. Am I right?

What’s in This Wonderful Banana Pudding?

You would expect that anything Paula Deen makes is gonna be luscious, and this banana pudding does not disappoint. The ingredients are simple, but perfect.

  • Gluten free shortbread cookies. I know this goes against all things we know about banana pudding, but trust me, it totally works. Paula Deen was a genius for using shortbread cookies, and I found these cookies by Schar that are gluten free and worked perfectly in this recipe. Just like the traditional vanilla wafers, these cookies get nice and soft after sitting in and on the pudding for several hours.
  • Bananas. Of course, you can’t make banana pudding without bananas.
  • Sweetened condensed milk. Probably my favorite ingredient of all time. Just sayin.
  • French vanilla pudding mix. Simple, easy.
  • Milk. To mix into the pudding mix.
  • Cream cheese. Makes the pudding mixture thick and creamy.
  • Whipped cream. Paula’s recipe calls for Cool Whip, but she also says whipped heavy cream that’s sweetened can be used instead. I chose the latter.
the best gluten free banana pudding

It’s so easy to make this gluten free banana pudding. Probably the hardest part about it is waiting until it sets to dig in!!

the best gluten free banana pudding

The Best Gluten Free Banana Pudding

If you love banana pudding and haven’t had it in years, you’re in for a treat! Gluten free shortbread cookies make this smooth and creamy banana pudding just right!!
Print Recipe
Keywordbest gluten free banana pudding
Prep Time15 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Servings12 servings


  • 2 1/2 7 ounce bags Schar gluten free shortbread cookies (or any other shortbread cookies of your choice)
  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 4 ounce package French vanilla pudding mix (or vanilla pudding mix)
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 4-6 large bananas, sliced


  • Line bottom of 9 by 13-inch baking pan with half of shortbread cookies followed by all of the bananas slices.
  • In small bowl, combine milk and pudding mix and whisk until smooth.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready.  
  • In bowl of stand mixer, whip heavy cream using whisk attachment until soft peaks form.  Slowly add powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.  Scrape from bowl and place into another container and refrigerate until needed.
  • In same bowl used for whipping cream, using same whisk attachment, whip cream cheese until smooth.  Slowly add sweetened condensed milk and continue to whip until smooth and combined.  
  • Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture, followed by pudding mixture.  
  • Spread onto bananas in pan.  Top with the rest of the cookies.  Cover and set in refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.  Cookies should become soft after sitting long enough.  

Adapted from Paula Deen’s Not Yo’ Mama’s Banana Pudding recipe.

5 thoughts on “The Best Gluten Free Banana Pudding”

  • I was so bummed…it turned out awful, for me! The consistency was wayyyy to liquidy and never set…I was so excited to find the recipe and then it was a total bust. I followed the recipe to the “T”!

    • Other than the gluten free shortbread cookies, I adapted the recipe from Paula Deen’s recipe, using the same measurements as hers. I’ve made it several times and it’s never been liquidy.

  • I used about half of the Step 3 and Step 4 mixtures to reduce the sweetness and it was delicious! This is my family’s favorite banana pudding recipe, even for those who don’t normally like gf dishes. Or I double the pudding mix (Step 2) to make sure that I have enough for everyone.

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