Everyone has had banana pudding before… It’s a southern staple (so the hubs tells me…) and is the perfect potluck dessert.

It’s a crowd. pleaser.

Everybody loves it.

Everyone, that is, except me! (GASP) I know I know…

The hubs is a southern boy by blood and banana pudding is one of his all time favorite desserts. He grew up on the stuff.

The problem is, because I have this pesky aversion to bananas… that leaves only one person under our roof to eat a huge trifle dish of banana pudding. Hence why I don’t make it.

Well, we had a Church lunch yesterday at the beach, and I was in charge of bringing a dessert… I KNEW I had to make banana pudding for the hubs!

However, I was determined to make the best daggum banana pudding he’d ever tasted! So off I went in search for the perfect recipe. I stumbled across one by Paula Deen called: “Not yo’ mama’s banana pudding!”

Done and Done.

Now, this aint your traditional Nilla Waffer and Cool Whip Banana puddin… this is so much more than that! It’s IN.CRED.IBLE (minus the banana part haha)

But seriously. The pudding mixture in this is RIDICULOUS. In fact, I plan on replicating this recipe, except with strawberries or raspberries (or BOTH)… OH. BABY.

I made a few tweaks to Paula’s recipe… the main one being that I made my own whipped cream.

Ya’ll, I do not get down with the Cool Whip thing… BLEH. That “Non-Dairy whipped topping” thing seems innocent enough, but when you flip over the label you see that it actually means that it’s made out of OIL… Yes, OIL. grossed out yet? I am. While we’re on that topic… the same goes for those “non-dairy” coffee creamers.

No. Thank. You.

Back to the banana pudding…

Since I’m not the best judge of this dish I WILL tell you that hubs told me “This is THE best flipping banana pudding” he’s ever tasted (and we had numerous Church folks second that).

Don’t believe me? Well friends, the proof is in the pudding (or lack thereof):

Yah, that was totally corny.

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Banana Pudding

Yield: 12 servings

Total Time: 25 minutes

Not your typical Nilla Wafer and Cool Whip Banana Pudding... SO. MUCH. MORE.

Ingredients:

2 (3.4 ounce) boxes instant French vanilla pudding
2 1/2 cups cold lowfat milk
16 ounces heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (8-ounce) package 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
6 to 8 ripe bananas, sliced

Directions:

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the instant pudding and the milk until well combined. Set aside to thicken. In another bowl, beat the cream until medium to stiff peaks form. Mix in the powdered sugar and vanilla into the whipped cream. In a third bowl, add the softened cream cheese and the sweetened condensed milk and beat until well combined. Fold 2/3 of the whipped cream into the cream cheese/sweetened condensed milk mixture. Then, fold that mixture into the pudding and stir until well combined.

Line the bottom of a trifle dish with some of the cookies (breaking them in half helps them lay better). Top with sliced bananas and then 1/3 of the pudding mixture. Add another layer of cookies topped with bananas and then another 1/3 of the pudding mixture. Add a third layer of cookies topped with bananas and then the final 1/3 of the pudding mixture. Add one last layer of cookies, topped with banana slices. Top with remaining whipped cream and a few slices of banana for garnish. Refrigerate for at least a few hours (or overnight) before serving.

Layering should look like this (when looking at the dish):
Whipped Cream
Bananas
Cookies
1/3 of Pudding
Bananas
Cookies
1/3 of Pudding
Bananas
Cookies
1/3 of Pudding
Bananas
Cookies

Adapted from: Paula Deen