This recipe is so basic- so easy- that I almost hesitate to include it on the blog. This recipe is so simple that I first copied it down on a small 5x7 notepad from the office. There are very few measurements-- "big Jell-O pudding box," "tub of Cool Whip," and "sliced bananas." My friend who taught me how to make this indulgent dessert is from North Carolina, so I always think of Banana Pudding as semi-Southern. I don't actually know if it is or not, but after learning to make it back in the early 2000s, I brought the recipe home to Seattle over the holidays and imagined it as something "exotic" that I'd learned from my Southern friend who I met working in New York City. I felt so "worldly." Ha ha ha... I crack myself up sometimes.
In any case, I enjoyed this recipe a lot when I was single and childless in NYC.
Then, I got married.
Then, I had a kid.
Then, my kid got diagnosed with Celiac...
And that was the end of banana pudding for me. UNTIL-- fast forward about 8 years, have another kid, move out of the city (sob!)-- I went grocery shopping in my new hometown of Stamford, CT and came across Kinnikkinnik Gluten Free Vanilla Wafers. WHAAAAAT?!?? Total. Game. Changer. Gluten-Free Banana Pudding, you've returned to me!
The first time I made the recipe GF, I made it the traditional way in a big, big bowl. But, I immediately knew that I wanted to try to make this indulgent dessert just slightly more elegant. I wanted to make it in small individual cups. Which I just did and it is too cute. The recipe follows, but of course, now I want to one-up even this version. My next version will literally be one-bite banana puddings. Imagine a Nilla wafer, topped with a dollop of pudding/Cool Whip cream and diced bananas, and sprinkled with just a bit of cinnamon. One. Bite. Taste. Explosion. Stay tuned....
Single-Serving Gluten-Free Banana Puddings (serves 12)
- 2.6 oz Instant Jell-O Vanilla Pudding (approx 3/4 of a small box)
- 1 tub of Cool Whip (8oz total)
- 1/2 can of Sweetened Condensed Milk (7oz total)
- 3/4 cup cold water
- 1 box GF Vanilla Wafers
- 4-5 bananas, sliced into 1/4"-1/2" slices
- 12 5oz plastic cups
Whisk pudding mix powder, sweetened condensed milk and cold water in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 5 minutes, until mixture has begun to set. Gently fold about 3/4 of the Cool Whip into the pudding mixture.
Place one Vanilla Wafer in the bottom of each cup, top with 2 slices of banana, followed by a generous dollop of the pudding-Cool Whip mixture. Layer another few slices of banana on top and another dollop of pudding-Cool Whip mixture. Top it all off with the remaining Cool Whip, sprinkle with Vanilla Wafer crumbs and one whole Vanilla Wafer.
Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from fridge at least 30 minutes before serving. These taste better closer to room temperature.