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Dairy-Free Banana Pudding

This dairy-free banana pudding recipe is made with homemade creamy vanilla pudding layered between vanilla wafers, fresh banana slices, and coconut whipped cream for a truly decadent dessert.

Traditional banana pudding is a southern-inspired dessert typically made with boxed instant pudding mix, sweetened condensed milk, and heavy cream. This dairy-free version is made from scratch but uses easy-to-find, simple ingredients.

For more banana recipes, check out dairy-free banana bread, strawberry banana smoothie, and banana blueberry oatmeal muffins.

Ingredients

  • Full-fat coconut milk (from a can) – adds creaminess and richness.
  • Non-dairy milk – such as oat milk, almond milk, or soy milk.
  • Egg yolks and a whole egg – contribute to the custard-like texture of the pudding and add richness.
  • Granulated sugar – this is what sweetens the vanilla pudding base. I love using organic cane sugar as a less-processed option.
  • Cornstarch – thickens the pudding and is naturally gluten-free.
  • Dairy-free butter – gives it an extra silky texture and more elevated flavor.
  • Vanilla extract – for extra flavor.
  • Pinch of salt – to round out the sweetness.
  • Barely ripe bananas – you want them to be mostly yellow. A few brown spots are okay.
  • Dairy-free vanilla wafers – for topping. I used an allergen-friendly brand called Kinnikinnick.
  • Coco Whip – a great non-dairy substitute for cool whip.

How to Make Dairy-Free Banana Pudding

Step 1. Combine the coconut milk and non-dairy milk of choice in a medium saucepan over medium heat until warmed through.

Step 2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and granulated sugar until well combined. Then whisk in the cornstarch until smooth.

Step 3. Slowly pour about half of the hot milk mixture into the eggs while continuously whisking (this will prevent the eggs from scrambling). Return the custard mixture back to the saucepan with the rest of the warmed milk and place it over medium-low heat.

Step 4. Whisk constantly for about 8-10 minutes or until the pudding has thickened. You’ll know it’s done when it coats the back of a spoon.

Step 5. Remove the pudding from the heat and whisk in the dairy-free butter, vanilla extract, and salt. Then pour the pudding through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any lumps for a silky smooth texture.

Step 6. Transfer it to a large bowl and cover it with a piece of plastic wrap that touches the surface of the pudding. This helps to prevent a layer of film from forming on the top.

Step 7. Let the pudding come to room temperature before transferring it to the fridge to allow it to cool completely. This will take about 2-3 hours. It will thicken up more as it cools.

Step 8. It’s time to assemble. Add a layer of banana pudding to the bottom of your glasses followed by a layer of crumbled vanilla wafers, a dollop of Coco Whip, and then a layer of thin banana slices. Repeat this process until you have the number of layers you’d like.

Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations

Please remember that recipes are just a starting point.

How can you make this dairy-free banana pudding using what you already have? Here are some ideas

  • No full-fat canned coconut milk? – you can also use lite canned coconut milk if you wish.
  • No cornstarch? – you can also use potato starch or tapioca flour.
  • No dairy-free butter? – substitute refined coconut oil.
  • Want a banana-flavored pudding? – add about 1 cup of banana slices to the milk while it warms up, then strain them out before adding the milk to the egg mixture. You can use the strained bananas for a smoothie or muffins.
  • Variations – add freeze-dried strawberries ground into a powder for strawberry banana pudding or cocoa powder for chocolate banana pudding.

Helpful Tips

  • Use room-temperature eggs. Because you’re adding warm milk to them you want them to be similar temperatures.
  • The pudding will continue to thicken as it cools down.
  • Pass the pudding through a sieve to get out any clumps from the cornstarch or egg to make it super smooth.
  • You can easily use this banana pudding recipe to make a dairy-free banana cream pie, all you need to do is pour it inside a cooked dairy-free pie crust and top with banana slices. Yum!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is banana cream pudding vegan?

No, it’s not vegan. Eggs are used to give it more structure, richness, and a custard-like texture that’s similar to traditional banana pudding. If vegan, you can try using aquafaba, an egg replacement that performs very similarly to eggs.

Can I make banana pudding ahead of time?

Yes, you can make it up to two days in advance since it needs time to chill in the fridge. Just wait to assemble the layers until right before serving.

How to store leftovers?

Store leftover vanilla pudding in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Don’t slice the bananas until you’re ready to assemble the glasses, otherwise, they’ll turn brown.

More Dairy-Free Desserts

Dairy-Free Banana Pudding

5 from 3 votes
Two glasses with layers of dairy-free banana pudding, crushed vanilla wafers, dairy-free coconut whipped cream, and fresh banana slices.
This dairy-free banana pudding recipe is made with homemade creamy vanilla pudding layered between vanilla wafers, fresh banana slices, and coconut whipped cream for a truly decadent dessert.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Chill time 2 hours
Serving Size 6

Ingredients
 

Vanilla pudding

  • 13.5 oz can full-fat canned coconut milk
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk such as oat, almond, or soy
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons dairy-free butter I love Miyoko's
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch of kosher salt

Toppings

  • 3-4 barely ripe bananas, sliced into coins mostly yellow
  • dairy-free vanilla wafers mine were also gluten-free (linked)
  • coco whip

Instructions

  • Combine the coconut milk and non-dairy milk of choice in a medium saucepan over medium heat until warmed through.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and granulated sugar until well combined. Then whisk in the cornstarch until smooth.
  • Slowly pour about half of the hot milk mixture into the eggs while continuously whisking (this will prevent the eggs from scrambling). Return the custard mixture back to the saucepan with the rest of the warmed milk and place it over medium-low heat.
  • Whisk constantly for about 8-10 minutes or until the pudding has thickened. You’ll know it’s done when it coats the back of a spoon.
  • Remove the pudding from the heat and whisk in the dairy-free butter, vanilla extract, and salt. Then pour the pudding through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any lumps for a silky smooth texture.
  • Transfer it to a large bowl and cover it with a piece of plastic wrap that touches the surface of the pudding. This helps to prevent a layer of film from forming on the top.
  • Let the pudding come to room temperature before transferring it to the fridge to allow it to cool completely. This will take about 2-3 hours. It will thicken up more as it cools.
  • It's time to assemble. Add a layer of banana pudding to the bottom of your glasses followed by a layer of crumbled vanilla wafers, a dollop of Coco Whip, and then a layer of thin banana slices. Repeat this process until you have the number of layers you'd like.

Notes

You can easily use this banana pudding recipe to make a dairy-free banana cream pie, all you need to do is pour it inside a cooked dairy-free pie crust and top with banana slices. Yum!
Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations
No full-fat canned coconut milk? – you can also use lite canned coconut milk if you wish.
No cornstarch? – you can also use potato starch or tapioca flour.
No dairy-free butter? – substitute refined coconut oil.
Want a banana-flavored pudding? – add about 1 cup of banana slices to the milk while it warms up, then strain them out before adding the milk to the egg mixture. You can use the strained bananas for a smoothie or muffins.
Variations – add freeze-dried strawberries ground into a powder for strawberry banana pudding or cocoa powder for chocolate banana pudding.
5 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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