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Banana Parfaits are an easy no bake version of banana pudding inside a cup! Easy to make with layers of instant banana pudding, freshly whipped cream, banana slices, and crushed Nilla Wafers. 

For more desserts that use instant banana pudding try my Chessmen Cookie Banana Pudding and this Banana Cream Pie

A glass cup with layers of banana pudding, whipped cream, bananas, and Nilla Wafers. Topped with a banana and Nilla Wafer on top for garnish.

Banana Parfaits Recipe

If you’re a fan of banana pudding or banana cream pie then you are going to love these banana parfaits! They’re a handheld dessert in a cup and there is no baking involved. 

These parfaits have layers of Nilla Wafers, a layer of banana pudding, a layer of fresh banana slices, and then a layer of freshly whipped cream. 

Serve these parfaits in clear plastic cups, parfait cups, or glass cups for the best presentation. 

Glass cups with banana pudding parfait layers inside, with bananas and a glass of milk in the background.

Ingredients Needed

Here are the ingredients that you will need to make banana pudding parfaits in a cup. I also share some tips for some of the ingredients so that you can have success recreating this recipe in your own kitchen. 

  • Heavy Cream – This is either sold as ‘heavy whipping cream’ or ‘heavy cream’ and either one works just fine. My store has heavy whipping cream so that is what I use. The whipped cream layer uses heavy cream as well as the banana pudding layer. 
  • Powdered Sugar – This is the sweetener for the whipped cream layer and the instant banana pudding layer. 
  • Vanilla Extract – I highly recommend using pure vanilla extract (in all baking recipes) rather than imitation vanilla. The taste is so much better!
  • Nilla Wafers – These need to broken or chopped into medium sized pieces. You can use a box of mini Nilla Wafers and leave them whole if wanted. It just depends on the size of Nilla Wafers that you want in the parfait cups. 
  • Bananas – You need 4 medium sized bananas for this recipe. Once you slice them, drizzle some bottled lemon juice to prevent browning. 
  • Cream Cheese – I recommend using full-fat cream cheese for the best taste and texture. You can use reduced-fat if wanted as well. 
  • Instant Banana Pudding – One small box is what you need. Just dump in the dry contents and do not prepare it according to the package instructions. 

Ingredients needed for this parfait recipe with banana pudding and whipped cream. Each ingredients is labeled in text with what it is.

How To Make Banana Pudding Parfaits with Instant Pudding

Learn how to make this easy, no bake dessert recipe with fresh layers of banana, pudding, Nilla Wafers, and whipped cream. 

  • Prepare The Whipped Cream Layer : In a mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, or use a stand mixer, beat the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form. This takes about 4-5 minutes. Start on low speed and increase speed as it thickens. You should end on high speed. Set this aside until assembly. 
  • Nilla Wafers : Roughly chop or break these up into medium-sized pieces. You could also use mini Nilla Wafers and just use them as is in the banana parfaits. 
  • Prepare The Banana Pudding Layer : In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and vanilla extract until creamy and combined. Add the instant banana pudding and beat together. It will look weird and chunky at this point, but we’ll fix that later. With the mixer on low speed, add the heavy cream, and beat until combined. Add the powdered sugar and beat to combine. 
  • Banana Slices : Slice each banana and place them on a plate or a bowl. Sprinkle some bottled lemon juice over the banana slices to prevent browning. 
  • Assembly : Start with a layer of Nilla Wafers. A layer of banana pudding. A layer of banana slices. A layer of whipped cream. Repeat until the cups is full. 
  • Serving : These can be served right away OR you can refrigerate them for up to 2-3 hours before serving. I prefer to refrigerate them for about 2 hours to allow the flavors to develop and the Nilla Wafers to get a softer texture. If you serve them right away, the Nilla Wafers will still have that crunchy cookie texture. 

How to make banana parfaits with easy step by step instructions with pictures in these collages.

How to make banana parfaits with easy step by step instructions with pictures in these collages.

How to make banana parfaits with easy step by step instructions with pictures in these collages.

How to make banana parfaits with easy step by step instructions with pictures in these collages.

How to make banana parfaits with easy step by step instructions with pictures in these collages.

Tips For Success

Here are a few of my helpful tips that will hopefully make this recipe easy to make for your own family.

  • Pretty Layers : To get those really pretty layers use a piping bag or Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off. You can also just use a spoon and spoon some into the layer. I like to use a piping bag and a large 1A tip. You can also put the whipped cream and banana pudding into gallon-sized Ziploc bags and then snip the corner off, and pipe it into the cup that way. 
  • Dairy Products : For best taste and texture I recommend using full-fat, regular cream cheese and not the reduced-fat cream cheese. But if wanted, yes you can use reduced-fat cream cheese with just fine results. 
  • Use Mini Nilla Wafers : If you want to skip the chopping of the Nilla Wafers, use a box of mini sized Nilla Wafers instead. 
  • Refrigerate Before Serving : These banana parfaits taste much better when they’re cold and when they have been refrigerated for at least a couple hours. The fridge time allows the parfait to chill, it also allows time for the Nilla Wafers to soften slightly, and the flavors will develop. Because you used lemon juice on the banana slices, the banana won’t overly brown during a 2-4 hour fridge time. 

A bite of banana pudding and whipped cream on a spoon, above a glass cup of parfait inside of it.

Banana Pudding Parfaits FAQ’s

  • What Cup Do I Use For Banana Parfaits?
    • It’s best to use a 8 oz – 12 oz clear plastic cup or glass cup. Any bigger than that, and the serving size would be too large for one person to hold and eat it all. 
    • If you have glass cups at home then use those. You can also buy the Chinet brand of clear plastic cups that would work great for this parfait. 
    • I have bought these pudding, ice cream, and parfait cups (affiliate link) and these sturdier plastic parfait cups (affiliate link). Or any short wine glass (affiliate link) will work. 
    • It’s best to use a clear cup or glass cup so you can see the layers in this banana parfait dessert. 
  • How To Store Leftovers
    • Leftovers can be stored in the fridge, cover the parfait with plastic wrap or tin foil, for up to 2-3 days. 
    • As it sits in the fridge the Nilla Wafers will soften more and more, and the sliced bananas will brown. 
  • Can I Make Banana Pudding Parfaits Ahead of Time?
    • I do not recommend making this parfait recipe too far in advance of serving. You want the bananas to be fresh and not mushy and browned. 
    • I suggest making the parfaits and then letting them refrigerate for up to 3-4 hours before serving. This way, there is not time enough for the bananas to brown (thank you lemon juice), it gives time for the Nilla Wafers to soften, and the flavors will develop. 
    • These are best served chilled from the fridge. 
    • I do not recommend making these the day before you need them. Make them a few hours before serving and then let them refrigerate until it’s dessert time. 
  • Serving Suggestions
    • These banana pudding parfaits are best served chilled from the fridge. 
    • When I make them, I let them refrigerate for about 2 hours before serving. If you are adding any garnish on top, like a banana slice and Nilla Wafer, wait to add that until right before serving. 
  • Do I Need To Refrigerate Before Serving?
    • Yes, I do recommend refrigerating these banana parfaits for at least 1-2 hours prior to serving. 
    • This allows time for the parfait to get chilled, the Nilla Wafers to soften slightly in texture, and for the flavors to develop. 

Glass cup with layers of pudding inside, banana slices, and Nilla Wafers. A wooden background with bananas.

Close up shot of a layered parfait topped with a banana slice and cookies on top.

More Banana Recipes You’ll Love

A glass cup with layers of banana pudding, whipped cream, bananas, and Nilla Wafers. Topped with a banana and Nilla Wafer on top for garnish.
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Banana Pudding Parfaits


Author Jessica - Together as Family
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Assembly Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8
Banana Parfaits are an easy no bake version of banana pudding inside a cup! Easy to make with layers of instant banana pudding, freshly whipped cream, banana slices, and crushed Nilla Wafers. 

Ingredients
  

Whipped Cream Layer

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Nilla Wafer Layer

  • 1 box (11 oz) Nilla Wafers

Banana Pudding Layer

  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 box (3.4 oz) instant banana cream pudding
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 medium bananas (plus lemon juice to prevent browning)

Instructions

Whipped Cream Layer

  • With a handheld electric mixer, or a stand mixer, beat the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form.
    * Start at low speed to avoid splashing and increase speed as it gets thicker. This process takes about 4-5 minutes. To speed it up, place the bowl and beaters inside the freezer about 30 minutes prior to starting.
    * I like to use my stand mixer to whip up the heavy cream while I am using my electric hand mixer to mix up the banana pudding layer. This way will cut down on prep time.

Nilla Wafer Layer

  • Roughly chop the Nilla Wafers into medium sized pieces. Not crumbs. You can even use the Mini Nilla Wafers as is instead.
    * Even if I am using the mini size, I still like to cut each one in half. You can leave the Nilla Wafers as large or as small as you want.

Banana Pudding Layer

  • In a mixing bowl, with a handheld electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and vanilla extract until combined and creamy.
  • Add the instant banana pudding and beat to combine. It will look chunky and weird, but don't worry, we'll fix that.
  • With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the heavy cream, and mix until it's combined well and smooth.
  • Add the powdered sugar and mix to combine.
  • Slice the bananas and place them in a bowl. Use bottled lemon juice (or fresh lemon juice works too) and pour some over the banana slices.
    * You don't need to submerge the bananas in lemon juice. Just splash some on to prevent browning.

Assembly

  • Use clear glass parfaits cups or plastic clear cups. Anything that is about 8 oz or 12 oz will work great.
  • Add a layer of Nilla Wafers in the bottom.
  • Add a layer of the banana pudding mixture.
  • Add a layer of banana slices.
  • Add a layer of whipped cream.
  • Continue with the layers until the cup is full.
  • Serve right away or you can let them refrigerate for 2 hours before serving to allow time for the flavors to develop and the Nilla Wafers to soften a bit.
    * I prefer to chill the parfaits for 2 hours before serving. Allows time for the Nilla Wafers to soften in texture, flavors to develop, and the parfaits taste better chilled.

Notes

Nilla Wafers : You only use about half of the box in this recipe. No exact measurement for this ingredient. You will need as many as you need to create the layers in the cups. 
Serving Size : This recipe makes 8 parfait cups when using a 12 oz size cup. If you use larger cups, or smaller, then the serving size will be different. 
You can use plastic clear cups, glass parfait cups, wine glasses, or just any glass cup you have. For the best presentation, make sure you use clear/glass cup so you can see the pretty layers. 
I have linked (affiliate links) some of the parfait cups that I have used for this recipe up in the post under FAQ's. 
Lemon Juice : This will help prevent the bananas from browning too fast. Bottled lemon juice is great for this, or fresh lemon juice if you want to squeeze the lemons for it.
  • Here is what I do : I slice a banana and place it on a plate or bowl, I then take the bottle of lemon juice and sprinkle some over the bananas. I slice another banana and do the same thing, repeat with all the bananas. 
Layers : You can either use a spoon to spoon the banana pudding and whipped cream into each cup for the layers, OR you can put it inside a piping bag with a large 1A tip or inside a gallon-sized Ziploc bag that has the corner snipped off, and pipe the layers in that way. 

Nutrition

Calories: 664kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 53g | Saturated Fat: 33g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 163mg | Sodium: 199mg | Potassium: 366mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 2168IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 0.3mg

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