This red velvet banana pudding recipe is straight from Magnolia Bakery’s recipe vault! It has layers of mousse-like vanilla cream cheese pudding, chunks of red velvet cake, sliced bananas, and mini chocolate chips.
Why This Recipe Works
This recipe is straight from Magnolia Bakery herself! If you are not familiar with Magnolia Bakery, it is an iconic NYC bakery with legendary desserts. They regularly have this red velvet banana pudding on their menu and it is to die for.
This recipe is actually pretty simple and we’ve given you a few tips in this post to help simplify the process and make this recipe a complete success! I love the addition of cream cheese in this rich vanilla pudding, it pairs perfectly with the red velvet cake, bananas, and chocolate chips.
What Goes Into This Recipe
- Condensed Milk. Condensed milk sweetens and makes this Magnolia banana pudding extra rich.
- Ice Cold Water. You need ice cold water to help your instant pudding mix set up.
- Instant Pudding Mix. Instant pudding mix (preferably Jell-O brand) helps this pudding set up.
- Cream Cheese. Cream cheese in the pudding gives this pudding a tang, just like the traditional cream cheese frosting that’s on top of red velvet cake.
- Whipping Cream. Heavy whipping cream whipped until light and fluffy gives this pudding a light, mousse-like pudding.
- Red Velvet Cake. You’ll need a 9x13 inch pan of red velvet cake. I used a cake mix, but you could also use store bought red velvet cake, or the actual Magnolia Bakery red velvet cake recipe is in the recipe card below.
- Bananas. Make sure your bananas are firm (no yellow spots) to keep the bananas in your banana pudding fresher longer.
- Mini Chocolate Chips. I used mini semisweet chocolate chips for a bit of crunch and rich chocolatey flavor.
How to Make this Recipe
- Make the Red Velvet Cake. Start by making the red velvet cake. You can use a red velvet cake mix and follow the instructions on the back or if you want it to be super authentic, follow the instructions in the recipe card below for Magnolia Bakery’s red velvet cake recipe! Let the cake cool completely. Slice into 4-inch squares, about ½ inch thick. Keep the cake covered until assembly.
- Make Pudding. Whisk together sweetened condensed milk with ice cold water until smooth. Then whisk in instant pudding mix (must be instant!). Cover and let chill in the fridge for 4 hours to overnight.
- Add in Cream Cheese. Add cream cheese in a couple tablespoons at a time, beating with a hand mixer until smooth. Repeat until all the cream cheese has been added in.
- Whip Cream. Whip cream on high until you reach stiff peaks. Take a spoonful of cream and fold it into your chilled pudding mix. Fold in the remaining whipped cream into the pudding.
- Layer the Banana Pudding. In a large container (trifle bowl, mixing bowl, deep 9x13-inch pan, etc.), spread a thin layer of pudding over the bottom of container, then layer red velvet cake completely over the pudding, top with sliced banana, ⅓ cup mini chocolate chips, and then top with ⅓ of pudding. Repeat those layers two more times, your last layer should be pudding. Top off the pudding with some red velvet cake crumbles, and a few mini chocolate chips. Cover the pudding and let it chill for at least 4 hours before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions and Expert Tips
Magnolia Bakery’s banana pudding is best eaten within 24-48 hours of being made. The pudding will still be good for several days afterwards, your bananas will just start to brown and go soft.
Yes, banana pudding should always be covered when not being eaten. If you leave it uncovered the pudding can dry out and develop an unpleasant skin on the outside.
There are a million different containers you can layer this red velvet banana pudding! If you are using a trifle dish, make sure it is at least 4.5 quarts or it won’t all fit. You could also use a large mixing bowl, a super deep 9x13-inch pan, or use cups or jars to make individual servings.
Yes, you can use low-fat cream cheese or low-fat condensed milk without sacrificing texture or flavor.
You have several options on what red velvet cake to use in this red velvet cake banana pudding recipe. The most time consuming option is to use the real Magnolia Bakery red velvet cake recipe which we’ve put in the recipe card for you. The next easiest option is to use a red velvet cake mix, like I did. The easiest option yet is to buy a red velvet cake. If you go for this option I would leave the cream cheese frosting on, a little frosting would be a delicious addition to this recipe, in my opinion.
This banana pudding recipe isn’t too hard to make or put together, but the one thing it does require is time, so plan ahead! It take at least 4 hours for the pudding and condensed milk to set up and then it take another 4 hours for the whole banana pudding to chill before serving.
I recommend making the cake and mixing the water, condensed milk, and pudding mix tougher one day and then making the pudding-mousse mixture and assembling the next day.
The hard thing about using bananas in a recipe is the browning! Bananas start oxidizing the second they are exposed to air. Here are a few ideas to keep your bananas as fresh as possible.
Use Firm Bananas
You’ll need 5 large bananas for this recipe. When selecting bananas you’ll want them to be ripe, but still firm. I recommend bananas that are slightly green, this will keep your bananas from going brown too quickly.
Limit Air Exposure
As mentioned above, bananas start turning brown as soon as the air touches them. One of the simplest ways to stop this is limit their exposure to air. In this banana pudding, wait to slice the bananas until right before you need them.
Brush Bananas With Juice
Brushing bananas with a little juice can slow down the browning process, and keep them looking fresher for longer. You can use lemon juice, apple juice, or even pineapple juice.
How to Store this Recipe
This recipe needs to be stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered. It is bested consumed within 24-48 hours of making. It will still taste fine after 48 hours, your bananas will just start to pass their prime.
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Red Velvet Banana Pudding
Red Velvet Banana Pudding
- 9x13-inch pan red velvet cake (I used cake mix, but you could also use store bought or if you want to be really authentic use Magnolia Bakery’s red velvet cake recipe)
- 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 ½ cups ice cold water
- 3.4 ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix
- 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream
- 5 large bananas
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
Red Velvet Cake (Magnolia Bakery's recipe)
- ¾ cup (170 grams) butter room temperature
- 2 ¼ cups (450 grams) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 6 tablespoons liquid red food coloring
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons (22.5 grams) cocoa powder
- 3 ½ cups (383 grams) cake flour
- 1 ½ cups (240 grams) buttermilk
- 1 ½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
Red Velvet Banana Pudding
- In a small bowl, mix together ice cold water and sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Then add pudding mix and mix until there are no lumps. Chill mixture 4 hours to overnight. Mixture should be thick once chilled.
- Cut cream cheese into 8 pieces. Once the pudding mixture has chilled add cream cheese and beat together with a hand mixer until smooth.
- In a clean mixing bowl, beat heavy whipping cream until you reach stiff peaks.
- Add a large spoon full of whipped cream to pudding mixture and fold together. Then fold in the remaining whipped cream.
- Cut the red velvet cake into 4 inch squares, each about ½ inch thick.
- Start assembling your trifle layers. You can do this in a large (at least 4.5 quart) trifle bowl, a large mixing bowl, or you can layer them in individual cups.
- First, spoon a thin layer of pudding on the bottom, fully covering the bottom of your dish. Then add a layer of red velvet cake (it should fully cover the pudding), add a layer of sliced banana, and then ⅓ cup of mini chocolate chips.
- Then layer, ⅓ of the remaining pudding mixture, another layer of red velvet cake, sliced bananas, and mini chocolate chips.Repeat these layers one more time. Your last layer on top should be pudding. Decorate the top of your banana pudding trifle with some red velvet cake crumbles and mini chocolate chips.
- Cover the mixture and let it chill for at least 4 hours before serving.
Red Velvet Cake
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9x13-inch pan and set aside. in a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add eggs one at a time. Beat each egg in until smooth.
- Whisk in red food coloring, cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla.
- Alternate adding buttermilk and flour to batter in three parts. Mix well until cake batter is smooth, but do not over mix.
- In a small bowl, mix together vinegar and baking soda. Add to batter and mix in well. Don’t forget to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Pour into greased pan and bake for 40-45 minutes.Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake to test for doneness, it should come out clean, a few moist crumbs are okay.
- Cool completely before using in pudding.
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