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
CourseDessert
CuisineAmerican
Keywordbest gluten free banana pudding
Prep Time15 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Servings12 servings
AuthorKim

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.



6 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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Easy Gluten Free Banana Pudding

With store bought gluten free cookies, this easy no-bake semi-homemade dessert is definitely the BEST Gluten Free Banana Pudding!

the best gluten free banana pudding

Some of the items linked in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission.

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?

So when I set out to make Paula Deen’s banana pudding gluten free, I had to first figure out what I was gonna use instead of those cute Chessmen cookies she uses. Eventually, I found just what I was looking for, albeit in a different shape, right at my local Walmart. These Schar Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies (affiliate link) were what I used and they were perfect!

What’s in This 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 Banana Pudding

  1. Line bottom of 9 by 13-inch pan with half of the shortbread cookies.
  2. Combine milk and pudding mix and whisk until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready.
  3. Whip heavy cream with powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form.
  4. Whip cream cheese until smooth. Add sweetened condensed milk and continue whipping until well combined.
  5. Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture.
  6. Fold pudding mixture into cream cheese mixture.
  7. Place cut bananas in one layer on top of shortbread cookies in pan.
  8. Spread pudding mixture over bananas.
  9. Top with the rest of the shortbread cookies.

Banana Pudding FAQs

Can Gluten Free Vanilla Wafers be Substituted for the Cookies?

Yes, they can! You can use store bought or make your own using this recipe.

Is Instant Pudding Mix Gluten Free?

While there are some that aren’t gluten free, most of Jello Brand pudding mixes are gluten free, including vanilla and French vanilla. If you don’t feel safe eating instant pudding, you can make your own “pudding” using this pastry cream recipe.

Can I Use Cool Whip Instead of Whipping My Own Cream?

Yes, to make it even easier, use thawed Cool Whip in place of the whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla.

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
CourseDessert
CuisineAmerican
Keywordbest gluten free banana pudding
Prep Time15 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Servings12 servings
AuthorKim

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.



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