Imagine rich creamy layers of homemade pudding, sliced ripened bananas, vanilla wafer cookies, and whipped topping in a trifle bowl. This gluten and dairy free dessert will satisfy your sweet tooth and then some.
Learn how to make this safe dessert at home free of gluten, dairy, and soy. You’ll find this classic, easy recipe is a keeper to enjoy throughout the summer or anytime.
This homemade Banana Pudding recipe is perfect for feeding a crowd too. It’s the perfect homemade recipe that’s addictive and always a hit with family and friends.
And this no bake recipe is perfect during the spring, summer, and fall when temperatures can be warm. Nothing tastes as good as this light, chilled, refreshing recipe does.
I became a huge fan of Banana Pudding when I lived in North Carolina for a few years. There’s no doubt– this is the ultimate southern dessert. I could never get enough of the banana pudding flavors that are so dreamy together.
banana pudding recipe notes
- Instant Jell-O— we prefer using the 5.1 oz box of vanilla Instant Jell-O over the banana cream Jell-O. Use your favorite flavor in this recipe.
- refrigerated dairy free milk— our preferred is the refrigerated unsweetened almond milk. Soy milk does not work in this recipe nor does the shelf-stable unsweetened almond milk. The dairy free milk amount is the key to this recipe being perfect. If you add too much dairy free milk, this instant pudding will not set. Follow the recipe card below, not the provided directions on the Instant Jell-O box.
- vanilla extract
- gluten free vanilla wafers— these Kinnikinnick Vanilla Wafer Cookies are so, so good. You’ll enjoy snacking on them, so grab an extra box or two to enjoy later. Purchase them online here.
- bananas— we use 2 ripe bananas in this recipe. If you’re a mega banana fan, slice for 3 or 4 bananas for this recipe. The bananas will brown if sliced ahead of time.
- dairy free whipped topping— we’re a big fan of So Delicious Cocowhip available in the frozen section of grocery stores. It’s so creamy and delicious. Thaw this whip about 2-3 hours before you are ready to assemble the trifle. If thawed for too long the mixture becomes runny.
- trifle bowl— this is a popular bowl for other desserts too like our Fruit Brownie Trifle recipe. We also use this bowl for serving veggie pasta salads, fruit salads, and centerpieces. Purchase one here.
- mini glass parfait cups— this recipe also makes 10 mini parfaits. The pictured mini parfait cups below can be purchased here.
- plastic dessert cups— and you can also place this Banana Pudding into small plastic dessert cups found in grocery stores.
First, prepare the Instant Jello-O as directed in the recipe card and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
Next cover the bottom of the trifle bowl with a layer of vanilla wafer cookies.
Then layer fresh, ripened bananas over the vanilla wafers. We’re not huge banana fans, so you’ll notice we went a little light covering the vanilla wafers. If you’re a mega banana fan, add in another sliced banana or two to this recipe.
Next pour the refrigerated and thickened Instant Jell-O over the layer of bananas. To do this eyeball the Jell-O and add half to this layer, saving the last bit for the second layer.
Now layer the Banana Pudding trifle with the thawed So Delicious Cocowhip. Using an angled spatula, smooth the Cocowhip evenly over the Jell-O.
Repeat this layer process again. End with crushed vanilla wafer cookie crumbs, more freshly sliced bananas, and the remaining wafer cookies.
Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. It’s suggested to enjoy this Banana Pudding within an hour or two of assembling.
can I make this recipe ahead of time
The Instant Jello-O can be prepared and refrigerated a day ahead of time. The Cocowhip tends to become runny if refrigerated for longer than a few hours.
And the wafer cookies become too mushy when assembled in the trifle bowl hours before serving. We suggest assembling this layered trifle an hour to two before serving.
is Jell-O Cook and Serve the same as Instant
These are prepared differently. This recipe is uses the Instant Jell-O that is refrigerated, not cooked.
serve this trifle at your next event
Such as BBQs, pool parties, a work potluck, with your Easter meal or Mother’s Day brunch, for any 4th of July celebration, graduation party, and Memorial Day festivities.
how to store leftovers
Store leftovers in the fridge up to a day. However this dessert will yield the best results when enjoyed the day of.
gluten + dairy free meal ideas
- mini chicken pot pies— this easy recipe is all about the cozy crust and delicious filling. Everyone loves this recipe.
- cowboy hamburger soup— one of our favorite winter soups; with its potato chunks and veggies, you’ll enjoy every bite of this soup
- lasagna soup— enjoy this mouthwatering soup with tender lasagna noodles, flavorful ground beef and Italian sausage topped with dairy free ricotta for extra creaminess
- 6 delicious pantry meals— use up canned foods from your pantry or freezer with these 6 wonderful meals
more dessert recipes you’ll love
- fruit brownie trifle— layers of rich, fudgy brownie chunks with whipped topping and fresh fruit make this dessert a crowd pleaser
- brownie cookie sandwiches— imagine soft, rich buttercream frosting sandwiched between two fudgy brownie cookies
- ice cream cake-– enjoy layers of cake and ice cream together in every bite and topped with a frozen whipped topping; this is a hit for birthdays, Father’s Day, and summer BBQ’s
- lemon poppy seed bread with icing— these moist bakery style bread slices are perfect for breakfast, snack, or even dessert
There are so many reasons to love this Banana Pudding recipe. It’s quick, easy, and so delicious with fresh sliced bananas, a thick pudding, and crunchy wafer cookies.
If you haven’t already, pin this recipe now so you have it handy for your next dessert need.
And check out more gluten and dairy free dessert recipes from my website here.
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Eat well and feel well,
- 1 5.1 oz box Instant Vanilla Jell-O
- 1¾ c dairy free unsweetened almond milk soy free milk does not work
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 box gluten free wafers see suggestion in the post
- 2 bananas, thinly sliced add more if you love bananas
- 2 9 oz dairy free whipped topping, thawed suggestion in the post
- In a medium size bowl, whisk the Instant Jell-O mix, dairy free milk, and vanilla extract until smooth. Then transfer to the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- 1 -2 hours before serving cover the bottom of the trifle bowl with a layer of vanilla wafer cookies.
- Then layer fresh, ripened sliced bananas over the vanilla wafers. If you're a mega banana fan, add in another sliced banana or two to this recipe.
- Next pour the refrigerated and thickened Instant Jell-O over the layer of bananas. To do this eyeball the Jell-O and add half of the Jell-O to this layer, saving the last bit for the second layer.
- Now layer the Banana Pudding trifle with the thawed So Delicious Cocowhip. Using an angled spatula, smooth the Cocowhip evenly over the Jell-O.
- Repeat this layered process again. End with crushed vanilla wafer cookie crumbs, more freshly sliced bananas, and the remaining wafer cookies.
- Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. It's suggested to enjoy this Banana Pudding within an hour or two of assembling. The Cocowhip becomes runny once thawed for several hours.