The No-Bake Dessert I Make Every Thanksgiving

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No-Bake Banana Pudding Pie Recipe

With a buttery Nilla wafer crust, a whipped mousse-like filling, pecan caramel, and fluffy whipped cream, this sky-high pastry is simply a awesome upgrade to classical banana pudding.

Serves10 to 12

MakesMakes 1 (9-inch) pie

Prep35 minutes

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Head connected position of a portion of banana pudding pie, topped pinch heavy whipped pick connected a achromatic dessert plate.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Julia Choi-Rodriguez

In my banana pudding pie, I skip nan accepted pudding. Instead, I whip instant banana pudding operation pinch acold dense pick to create a ray but sturdy banana pick mousse. This gets layered pinch Nilla wafers, sliced bananas, and a gooey salted caramel studded pinch pecans successful a no-bake Nilla crumble crust. It’s simple, yes, but a acold outcry from a humble pie.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Julia Choi-Rodriguez

Tips for Making Banana Pudding Pie

  • Use banana pick aliases vanilla flavored pudding mix. If you can’t find banana pudding mix, get vanilla. It’ll still sensation for illustration banana pudding. 
  • Buy existent caramel sauce. The jarred caramel condiment will beryllium successful nan crystal pick section. Do not get caramel syrup successful a compression bottle; it’s not nan aforesaid thing. Opt for a marque that doesn’t usage artificial flavorings, specified arsenic Mrs. Richardson’s — you tin moreover get salted caramel if that’s available. 
  • Save connected clip pinch Cool Whip. Save moreover much effort by substituting a ample (sixteen ounce) tub of Cool Whip for nan homemade whipped pick topping astatine nan end. 
  • Or, spell nan other mile pinch homemade caramel. If you want to spell supra and beyond, make Kelli Foster’s salted caramel from scratch. You won’t regret it. 

With a buttery Nilla wafer crust, a whipped mousse-like filling, pecan caramel, and fluffy whipped cream, this sky-high pastry is simply a awesome upgrade to classical banana pudding.


  • 5 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1

    (11-ounce) container Nilla wafers, divided

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1 cup

    jarred caramel condiment (not syrup), specified arsenic Mrs. Richardson’s

  • 1 cup

    chopped pecans (4 ounces)

  • 4 cups

    cold dense cream, divided

  • 1/4 cup

    instant banana pick pudding mix

  • 2

    medium ripe bananas

  • 2 tablespoons

    cold water

  • 1 teaspoon

    unflavored powdered gelatin

  • Chocolate curls aliases cocoa powder, for garnish (optional)

Make nan crust:

  1. Melt 5 tablespoons unsalted food successful nan microwave aliases connected nan stovetop.

  2. Place 35 Nilla wafers successful a nutrient processor fitted pinch nan leaf attachment. Pulse until good crumbs form, astir 25 (1-second pulses). Sprinkle 1/4 spoon of nan kosher brackish and drizzle nan food complete nan crumbs. Pulse until nan substance looks for illustration bedewed sand, astir 5 (1-second) pulses. (Alternatively, crush nan wafers successful a integrative container pinch a rolling pin, transportation to a bowl, and operation successful nan brackish and food by hand.)

  3. Transfer nan crumb substance to a 9-inch pastry sheet (not heavy dish) and property nan crumbs evenly into nan bottommost and up nan sides arsenic champion arsenic you can. Use nan bottommost of a level measuring cup to property nan crumbs into a tight, moreover layer.

Make nan pecan caramel and banana cream:

  1. Place 1 cup caramel condiment successful a solid measuring cup aliases mean heatproof bowl. Microwave until warm, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Add 1 cup chopped pecans and nan remaining 3/4 spoon kosher, and operation to combine.

  2. Transfer half of nan pecan caramel (about 3/4 cup) into nan crust and dispersed into an moreover furniture (do not spell up nan sides). Refrigerate while you hole nan banana cream; time off nan remaining caramel retired astatine room temperature.

  3. Place 2 cups of nan acold dense pick successful a ample vessel and hit pinch an electrical manus mixer connected mean velocity until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. (Alternatively, usage a guidelines mixer fitted pinch nan whisk attachment.) Add 1/4 cup instant banana pick pudding operation and hit connected mean velocity until thick, fluffy, and mousse-like, astir 30 seconds more.

Assemble nan pie:

  1. Remove nan pastry crust from nan refrigerator. Peel and portion 2 mean bananas crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick disks. Arrange them evenly complete nan caramel. Top pinch half of nan banana pick (about 2 cups) and dispersed into an moreover layer. Arrange 19 Nilla wafers successful a azygous furniture complete nan banana cream.

  2. Repeat layering nan remaining pecan caramel, followed by nan remaining banana cream. Arrange 24 Nilla wafers complete nan pick successful a azygous layer, letting immoderate of them widen complete nan crust for illustration a shelf. Refrigerate while you make nan topping.

  3. Place 2 tablespoons acold h2o successful a mini microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle pinch 1 spoon unflavored powdered gelatin, and fto beryllium for 5 minutes. Microwave until nan gelatin dissolves (there whitethorn beryllium a fewer mini lumps), 5 to 10 seconds. Set speech to cool.

  4. Meanwhile, spot nan remaining 2 cups acold dense pick successful a ample vessel aliases vessel of a guidelines mixer. Beat pinch an electrical manus mixer aliases pinch nan whisk attachment connected mean velocity until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Add nan gelatin and proceed beating until stiff peaks form, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

  5. Top nan pastry pinch nan whipped pick mixture, mounding it higher successful nan halfway truthful it looks for illustration a dome. Refrigerate uncovered until nan filling is acold and set, astatine slightest 4 hours aliases ideally 8 hours. Before serving, garnish pinch cocoa curls, a dusting of cocoa powder, aliases crushed leftover Nilla wafers. (To make cocoa curls, usage a Y-shaped rootlike peeler to shave curls from a cocoa bar.)

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The pastry tin beryllium made up to 2 days up and refrigerated. If storing for longer than 8 hours, loosely screen nan pastry pinch integrative wrap.

Storage: Leftovers tin beryllium refrigerated for up to 2 days. They tin besides beryllium wrapped successful foil and frozen for up to 3 months; thaw overnight successful nan freezer.