This dairy free banana pudding is creamy and thick with layers of fresh banana slices and crushed graham crackers for the best southern-inspired treat!
Magnolia Bakery is who put banana pudding on the "cool" list with their down right delicious recipe. People go crazy over their various flavors.
Most banana puddings are made with instant pudding mix and sweetened condensed milk or heavy cream. I wanted to switch things up a bit and make a dairy free version that is equally delicious with the same banana flavor but without a boat load of sugar which is exactly what we have here!
This pudding is silky smooth and just the right amount of sweet with real bananas. Layered with crushed graham crackers, banana slices, and dairy free cool whip if ya know what's good for ya! This nostalgic sweet treat will have you licking the bottom of the bowl.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Coconut cream - Used to help thicken up the milk. This is the creamy solid part at the top of a can of full fat coconut milk. No, the pudding will not taste like coconut.
- Almond milk - Any type of non-dairy milk will work like oat milk, cashew, etc. Use unsweetened and plain if you can.
- Sugar - This is how we sweeten the pudding. You can use other granulated sugars like cane sugar, coconut sugar, or monk fruit, but the color of the pudding may be different.
- Egg yolks - You need two for this recipe. They help thicken the dairy-free banana pudding and set it.
- Corn starch - This is also needed to thicken the pudding. You can use arrowroot starch or tapioca flour if needed.
- Bananas - Fresh bananas are best as they will soften up a little in the pudding. Choose a few ripe bananas in the store without any brown spots for best results.
- Wafer cookies - Traditional banana pudding may use Nilla Wafers but unfortunately they aren't dairy free. I used crushed up Simple Mills graham cracker cookies instead but ay dairy free wafer or graham will work.
How to Make Dairy free Banana Pudding
You will need a medium saucepan and a stiff whisk to make the pudding and a bowl with a little plastic wrap when chilling it.
Step 1 : Whisk the coconut cream and almond milk. Add both the coconut cream and the almond milk to the saucepan and heat over medium heat until it begins to simmer.
Step 2 : Add the corn starch. In a separate bowl, mix a few spoonfuls of the warm milk with the corn starch until the starch is well incorporated. It will be thick. Pour the corn starch mixture into the pot and whisk well into the rest of the simmering milk. Continue to whisk for about 5 minutes while the mixture simmers and thickens up.
Step 3 : Add the egg yolks. Remove the pot from the stove. Whisk the egg yolks together gently in a separate bowl and add them to the pot along with the vanilla extract. Stir well until you get a pale yellow color. The pudding should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon but will run off the end.
Step 4 : Chill the pudding. Pour the pudding into a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap, making sure it's touching the top of the pudding to prevent a layer of film from forming. Chill the bowl in the fridge for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight, until the pudding is set.
Step 5 : Assemble. When ready to serve, place the sliced bananas into the bottom of individual glasses or mason jars or a large trifle dish. Line the banana slices along the bottom and up the sides slightly. Sprinkle some crushed graham crackers over top of the layer of bananas followed by a layer of banana pudding. Repeat this process until you reach the top of the glass. Top with a dollop of dairy free whipped cream as a final touch and dig in!
- Mix the corn starch with a little bit of the warm milk before adding it to the simmering pot. This helps the corn starch from settling at the bottom of the pot which makes it hard to incorporate into the milk.
- Stir the mixture immediately after you add the egg yolks. This breaks up the yolks and mixes them into the warm milk quickly so they don't end up cooking like scrambled eggs!
- The plastic wrap is key in preventing a tacky film layer from developing on top of the bowl of pudding. You want the plastic wrap to touch the top of the pudding and go up the sides of the bowl so it's airtight.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, this pudding can be made a day or two ahead of time since it needs time to chill in the fridge. Simple make as directed below and assemble the pudding in individual glasses or a large trifle dish when ready to serve.
Once assembled, the banana pudding is best enjoyed on the same day. The graham crackers and slices of banana can become mushy and soft in the pudding mixture after a while. If needed, you can wrap up the glasses or dish well with plastic wrap or transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for a day.
This is probably due to not allowing the pudding to cook for long enough on the stove. The milks need to simmer for at least 5 minutes with the corn starch until it thickens up. It will thicken up more once the egg yolks are added and it's chilled in the fridge but it also needs to be slightly thick on the stove.
Yes, the pudding should be refrigerated until ready to serve. If serving in a large trifle dish, keep it in the fridge covered up until it's time to serve it.
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Dairy Free Banana Pudding
- ½ cup coconut cream
- 1 ⅓ cup almond milk
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 ripe bananas - sliced
- 1 cup graham crackers - dairy free
- dairy free cool whip - optional
- Add the coconut cream, almond milk, and sugar to a saucepan and heat over medium heat until it begins to boil.
- Add a few spoonfuls of the milk to a separate bowl with the cornstarch and stir well to incorporate. Then add the cornstarch mixture to the saucepan. Stir frequently and allow the milk to simmer for about 5 minutes so it thickens up. Remove the saucepan from heat.
- Gently whisk the egg yolks together in a bowl and add to the saucepan along with the vanilla extract. Whisk the mixture together until a nice silky smooth pale yellow pudding forms. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon but will run off the end.
- Pour the pudding into a separate bowl and place plastic wrap over the top, making sure it’s touching the top of the pudding, to prevent a film from forming as it chills. Let the pudding chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
- Once the pudding is set, assemble individual glasses or one large glass by placing banana slices along the bottom and up the sides. Then sprinkle crushed up graham crackers over the bananas followed by a thick layer of pudding. Repeat this process until you reach the top of the glass. Top with dairy free cool whip or whipped cream if desired and enjoy!