This is a delicious dessert and perfect to serve a crowd. You can cut up the squares in the kitchen, dress them up with all the toppings and serve to your guests. If you too with the bananas, place them on just before serving so they don’t brown. I normally make my own pudding, but it is very challenging to get a strong banana pudding flavor and the boxed banana pudding does the trick. I used mascarpone in the recipe to give the squares a little more structure. You could also substitute the same amount of cream cheese if that’s more available. You can make this dessert several hours ahead, and just add the droppings just before serving.
Yield 15 banana pudding squares
- 1 box vanilla wafers, finely crushed (1/2 cup reserved for optional topping)
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 2 5.2 ounce boxes of instant banana cream pudding mix
- 4 cups cold whole milk
- 3 bananas, thinly sliced
for whipped cream topping:
- 2 1/2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
- 8 oz room temperature mascarpone
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon banana liqueur (optional)
- ½ cup powdered sugar
crushed wafer topping:
- 1/2 cup reserved crushed wafers
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- Dash of cinnamon
- banana slices (~1 banana sliced)
- crushed wafers
- shaved chocolate
Preheat the oven to 350. In a food processor, crush the wafers into fine crumbs. Add melted butter and blend. Remove about 1/2 cup of wafers for crushed topping, add the sugar and cinnamon and set aside. Spray a 9×13 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Take the crust and press it into an even layer of the bottom of the pan. Bake for 5 minutes. If making the topping, bake in a separate baking sheet for 5 minutes. Remove both from oven and set aside and allow to cool while you prepare filling and whipped cream.
for whipped cream:
Beat the heavy whipping cream until using the whisk attachment of your mixer adding powdered sugar, and flavorings. Transfer cream to another bowl and refrigerate, reserving 1 cup.
for banana filling:
Whisk together pudding mix and milk for about 2 minutes until thickened and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Once thickened, whisk in1 cup of prepared whipped cream and softened mascarpone. Whisk until well incorporated.
Thinly slice ripe bananas and arrange in a layer(overlapping is fine) to cover crust. Transfer pudding to prepared pan and spread evenly in pan. Next transfer remaining whipped cream on top of pudding in an even layer. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours.
To serve, take a knife and cut your squares. The first square may be a bit challenging to remove, but the others will be easier! Place the square on a plate and top with a sliced banana, some of the reserved crumbled crust combination and shaved chocolate as desired. Enjoy!