This rich and decadent Banana Pudding without Condensed Milk is the perfect creamy combination of vanilla and bananas. It's made in a blender and doesn’t require any waiting other than to let it cool down. This is one of my absolute favorite desserts that also happens to be vegan! Aka - it's the best banana pudding recipe ever!
Ok, banana pudding is a classic dessert that's filled with sliced bananas and topped with homemade whipped cream. It’s easy to throw together, the whole family loves it, and it doesn’t require an oven. Sometimes it's served as a trifle dish and other times as a pie-baked dessert.
Most common banana puddings are a combination of sweetened condensed milk, cool whip, and pudding mix. On the other hand, classic pudding is made of heavy cream, egg yolks, and fresh bananas. This means most versions of banana pudding aren't vegan. But this recipe is! Not that everyone cares about pudding being vegan, but this version is so simple to make that you’ll prefer the vegan version!
For this banana pudding without condensed milk, we use coconut milk as a base for a super creamy texture and agave for sweetness. By using agave instead of condensed milk, we have more control over the sweetness level. Now that you know what we're making I bet you're excited to get started. So let’s get to making this super easy recipe!
Ingredients and Substitutions
All substitutions are a 1:1 substitute unless otherwise noted.
Bananas: We need two bananas for this no bake banana pudding recipe - one for mixing and one for topping.
Substitutions: Sorry, no substitutions for bananas in this banana pudding. I prefer to use slightly under-ripe bananas if making the pudding in advance. I don't recommend using banana flavor extract because it often results in a chemical taste.
Coconut Milk: The type of coconut milk you use is super important. This is the coconut milk found in a can, in the ethnic aisle at the grocery store. My favorite brand is Thai Kitchen for super creamy coconut milk!
Substitutions: You MUST use coconut milk from a can in order for this pudding to get fluffy and delicious. Coconut milk in a box or the refrigerator section will NOT work.
Cornstarch: This is how we thicken the pudding. With cornstarch, you always have to be careful not to add too much to the point that it's gummy. If using the right amount, the result is a creamy perfect dessert!
Substitutions: Arrowroot can potentially work as a substitute, but it hasn't been tested.
Vanilla: Duh! Vanilla extract for a vanilla pudding base, duh!
Substitutions: I always use 100% pure vanilla extract but you can use imitation vanilla or vanilla bean paste (which would be so tasty!) instead.
Salt: Salt enhances sweetness without having to add more sugar.
Substitutions: Sorry, no substitutions for this.
Cinnamon: I like to add a little cinnamon to this pudding to warm it up. I think the cinnamon helps bring the coconut and banana together into a cohesive dessert.
Substitutions: You can leave this out in a pinch. Otherwise, any other warm spice like nutmeg or cloves can be used.
Agave: Agave is my favorite liquid sweetener! It's vegan, mild in flavor, and doesn’t get stuck in the jar like honey does… Which is my absolute least favorite thing to deal with.
Substitutions: Even though I don't like to deal with honey, you can use it or maple syrup as substitutes. Maple syrup will affect the flavor however because it's strong.
How to Make this - Step by Step
Step one: Add all of your ingredients except the bananas to a blender and blend for 30 seconds
Step two: Pour this mixture into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir with a fork or whisk constantly. If not stirred quickly, the cornstarch will start to seize.
Step three: Once the pudding is at a boil, it will begin to thicken quickly into a creamy pudding. Continue to let it boil while stirring quickly for 5 minutes and then remove it from the heat.
Step four: Remove the pudding from heat and transfer this homemade vanilla pudding mixture to a glass jar or heat-safe bowl. Cover loosely (with plastic wrap or a plate) and leave it in the fridge or freezer to cool (about 15 minutes in the freezer and an hour in the fridge).
Step five: Once the homemade pudding is mostly cool, dice up one banana into quarters and mix it into the pudding. Thinly slice the other banana and serve it on top of the creamy banana pudding when ready to serve. Enjoy!
Watch How to Make This - Step by Step
Sometimes when waiting for the pudding to cool, it'll develop a film on top. To prevent this, gently press plastic wrap touching the top of the pudding. This will prevent that film from forming because it prevents air from getting to it!
Facts and Common Questions
What keeps bananas from turning brown in banana pudding?
Because the bananas are mixed into the pudding mixture, they are protected from air. This air is what causes bananas and other fruits to get those pesky brown spots. To help them from turning brown even more, you can also top the pudding with vegan whipped cream to create a bigger barrier.
How do you thicken pudding for banana pudding?
You thicken pudding with cornstarch! Cornstarch expands when mixed with cold liquid, then it absorbs anything around it and resets when heated. This means it stabilizes in its expanded state, therefore thickening whatever you're making!
Can I make banana pudding into pie?
Yes, of course! You can either mix this custard mixture with a vegan cool whip and pour it into a graham cracker crust. Or, make the pudding with 1 more tablespoon of cornstarch and pour it into the pie crust to set in the fridge. You can also serve this layered in a large bowl or trifle bowl with vanilla wafer cookies or Biscoff cookies (my favorite!).
Want to Save it for Later? Here’s how!
This pudding will keep for 5 days in the fridge in an airtight container. I recommend covering it with plastic wrap pressed gently to the top of the custard. This keeps the pudding from forming a film over top. I also recommend saving one of the bananas until ready to serve so it’s nice and fresh. Sometimes, it's even better the next day after the flavors mix longer!
Banana pudding wasn’t around in America prior to the Civil War. It wasn’t until bananas were more commonly exported that banana pudding became popular. Soon, references to banana pudding would show up in magazines like Good Housekeeping in 1888. This recipe involved layering sponge cake and bananas and then pouring custard over them and topping them with whipped cream. While banana pudding has evolved, its roots are still very much the same. (source)
More Joyful Recipes!
Looking for more refreshing fruit recipes? Try these!
Did you try this and love it? Leave us a review, we would love to hear from you!
- 2 bananas
- 13.66 oz can of coconut milk full fat
- 3 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup agave
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Add everything except the bananas to a blender and blend for 30 seconds.
- Pour the mixture into a sauce pan and bring to a boil while stirring with a fork or whisk constantly. If not stirring quickly, the cornstarch will start to seize.
- Once at a boil, it will begin to thicken quickly, continue to let boil while stirring quickly for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and transfer to a glass jar or heat safe bowl. Cover loosely (with plastic wrap or a plate) and leave in the fridge or freezer to cool (about 15 minutes in the freezer and an hour in the fridge).
- Once mostly cool, dice one banana into quarters and mix into the pudding. Thinly slice the other banana and serve on top of the pudding when ready to serve. Enjoy!