Banana Pudding

Let me begin by saying this: I’m a copy cat. A big, stinking, copy cat.

And to this, you might respond, “But Maggie! You? Never!” and I would reply, head hung in shame, “Yes. Me.”

My nephews would not approve.

I copied this recipe from Memaw Carol. A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I took a trip to the Forth Worth, TX area to visit his family. While we were there, we had a wonderful meal at Memaw and Papaw’s house. Afterwards, Memaw brought out the most beautiful banana pudding for dessert.

Now, most of the time when I think of banana pudding, I picture plain old vanilla pudding mixed up with banana slices.

But not this banana pudding. Oh, no. This banana pudding blows that banana pudding out of the water. That banana pudding is long gone, never to return in my kitchen.

At least, that’s what I thought while I was eating it. Then the dishes were cleared, final conversations were wrapped up, and we were piling into vehicles, off to a football game. And I completely forgot to ask for the recipe. Gasp!

A few days later, while killing time on Pinterest, I noticed a friend had pinned a recipe for banana pudding that looked just like the one I had so eagerly consumed. Could it be?!? Yes. I promptly re-pinned and wrote the ingredients down in my phone for a shopping list. Score.



[adapted from Paul Deen]

Makes the biggeset 9×13 pan of pudding in the world. 

1   12-ounce container fat free frozen whipped topping thawed
1   14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1   8-ounce package fat free cream cheese, softened
2 cup milk
1   5-ounce box instant vanilla pudding
6-8   bananas, sliced
2   bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies

Line the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer sliced bananas on top.

In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer.  Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth.  Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture.  Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended.  Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

The original recipe calls for the full-fat versions of everything, but I attempted to lighten it up as much as possible to be more Weight Watchers friendly 🙂


The recipe sounds super simple. But of course, it wasn’t that easy for me.I read the recipe wrong and ended up combining the pudding mix with the sweetened condensed milk rather than the plan ole milk. This was no crisis since all the ingredients were coming together in the end anyway; I just mixed in the milk and kept on a’chuggin.

But when it came time to add the “softened cream cheese” I realized mine was still in the fridge. Shoot. Well, into the microwave it went. You’re probably not supposed to do that. Oh well. I live on the edge.

When it came out, I attempted to mix it into the pudding mixture. Result? Failure. The cream cheese definitely wasn’t “softened” enough and turned into little curdled chunks of cream cheese throughout the pudding. I cranked the hand mixer up to it’s highest speed and whipped it for at least a solid 3 minutes.

Didn’t matter. The chunks were still there. My mom and boyfriend reassured me that no one would notice the chunks.

When it came time to put the final bag of cookies on top, it turns out we had grabbed the smooshed package. Although the cookies on the bottom were pristine, the ones on top were crushed and ugly. Again, my mom and boyfriend reassured me that no one would notice.


And in the end, nobody even noticed. It was delicious. They were right.

But don’t tell them I told you.

Until next time,



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