dairy-free banana pudding recipe

The Secret to Perfect Dairy-Free Banana Pudding Recipe

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Updated on March 9, 2024

Craving that classic banana pudding taste but looking for a dairy-free option? You’re in luck! A Dairy-free banana pudding recipe is the perfect answer. It captures all the creamy sweetness of the traditional dessert but uses plant-based ingredients to create a delicious and inclusive treat. 

Whether you have a dairy allergy, are following a vegan lifestyle, or simply want to explore new flavour options, a Dairy-free banana pudding recipe is a delightful way to enjoy this timeless favourite.

Gone are the days of missing out on this classic dessert. With the ever-growing world of plant-based alternatives, we can now whip up a dreamy, dairy-free banana pudding that’s just as satisfying (if not more!). 

This easy recipe delivers creamy, nostalgic goodness and is completely customisable to your taste. So, get ready to embrace the guilt-free joy of the ultimate dairy-free banana pudding!

How to Make Dairy-Free Banana Pudding

Dairy-Free Banana Pudding
Dairy-Free Banana Pudding

There are two main approaches to making dairy-free banana pudding: using a store-bought vegan pudding mix or making your own dairy-free pudding from scratch.

Easy Dairy-free Banana Pudding (No-Cook)

This quick and easy option is perfect if you’re short on time. Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients 

  • Instant vegan vanilla pudding mix (2 boxes)
  • Unsweetened non-dairy milk (4 cups)
  • Vegan vanilla wafers (9 ounces)
  • Bananas (2-3, barely ripe)
  • Lemon juice (1 tablespoon, optional)
  • Vegan whipped topping (2-3 cups)

Instructions

  1. Prepare the pudding according to the package instructions using non-dairy milk.
  2. While the pudding sets, slice the bananas. You can toss them with lemon juice to prevent browning, but this is optional.
  3. In a serving dish, assemble the pudding in layers: vanilla wafers, bananas, and pudding. Repeat these layers until you fill the dish.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Top with vegan whipped topping, and enjoy!

Dairy-Free Banana Pudding (From Scratch)

This option requires more work but gives you more control over the ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients 

  • Sugar (⅓ cup)
  • Cornstarch (2 tablespoons)
  • Salt (¼ teaspoon)
  • Coconut milk (1⅔ cup)
  • Almond milk (1 cup, vanilla or plain)
  • Bananas (2 large, ripe)
  • Lemon juice (squeeze)
  • Egg yolks (4 large)
  • Vanilla extract (½ teaspoon)
  • Coconut oil (2 tablespoons)

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
  2. Pour in the coconut and almond milk and whisk to combine. Heat the mixture over medium heat.
  3. Blend the bananas with a squeeze of lemon juice until smooth and creamy. Add the banana mixture to the saucepan.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the egg yolks into the saucepan, whisking constantly.
  5. Continue whisking frequently as the mixture heats for 10-15 minutes or until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  6. Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in vanilla extract and coconut oil.
  7. Assemble the pudding in layers in a serving dish like option 1. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Top with vegan whipped topping, and enjoy!

Healthy Dairy-Free Banana Pudding Recipe

Here’s a healthy dairy-free banana pudding recipe that skips the added sugars and uses cashews for a creamy texture:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked overnight (or at least 4 hours) and drained
  • 2 medium ripe bananas with brown spots for extra sweetness
  • ½ cup unsweetened plant-based milk (almond, oat, soy, etc.)
  • 2 Tbsp. Melted coconut oil (refined, for no coconut flavour)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine the soaked cashews, bananas, plant-based milk, coconut oil, and vanilla extract in a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. You may need to scrape down the sides occasionally to ensure everything gets incorporated.
  2. Taste the pudding and adjust the sweetness if needed. You can add a pinch of stevia or a couple of dates for extra natural sweetness, but the ripe bananas should already provide some sweetness.
  3. Layer the banana pudding mixture with a sprinkle of cinnamon (optional) for extra flavour in a serving dish or individual bowls.
  4. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. The pudding will thicken up further as it chills.

Tips

  • Add a scoop of your favourite plant-based protein powder to the blender with the other ingredients for an extra protein boost.
  • Want more texture? Fold in chopped nuts or seeds, such as sliced almonds, chia seeds, or chopped walnuts, for a bit of crunch.
  • For a richer flavour, drizzle a tablespoon of melted dark chocolate or date syrup on top, but remember that this will add some extra sugar.
httpss://youtu.be/tG3XPXBifhI?si=U7bCX7Yak5yWWPIA

Tips and Tricks for the Ultimate Dairy-Free Banana Pudding

Creating a delicious and impressive dairy-free banana pudding is all about the details! Here are some valuable tips and tricks to elevate your dessert and ensure it boasts creamy perfection and restaurant-worthy presentation.

Achieving a Smooth Pudding Base

The key to a luxurious and silky-smooth pudding is preventing lumps from forming in the cornstarch. Here’s how to guarantee a flawless texture:

Whisk is Your Friend

Whisk the cornstarch thoroughly with coconut milk before even turning on the heat. This breaks down cornstarch clumps and ensures a smooth distribution throughout the liquid.

Gradual Heat and Constant Whisking

Once whisked, heat the coconut milk mixture over medium heat. Resist the urge to crank up the heat – a gentle simmer is all you need. While the mixture heats, whisk constantly. 

This continuous whisking prevents the cornstarch from settling at the bottom of the pan and forming lumps. As the mixture thickens, it transforms into a beautifully smooth and creamy pudding.

Maximising Banana Flavor

Bananas are the heart and soul of this dessert, so let’s ensure they shine! Here are some pointers for bringing out the best in your banana layer:

Embrace the Ripeness

When choosing bananas, choose those with plenty of brown spots on the peel. Ripe bananas are naturally sweeter and have a softer texture, perfect for layering in the pudding. Unripe bananas will lack sweetness and have a firmer texture that might not be as enjoyable.

Slicing for Perfection

Consider the thickness of your banana slices when creating your ideal texture. For a classic and delicate bite, slice the bananas into 1/4-inch rounds. If you prefer a bolder banana presence, opt for slightly thicker slices.

Preventing Browning (Optional)

While the beauty of ripe bananas lies in their sweetness, the enzymatic browning process can turn them unappetisingly brown after slicing. To prevent browning, you can toss the sliced bananas in a bowl with a tablespoon of lemon juice. The acidity in the lemon juice slows the oxidation process, keeping your banana slices looking fresh and inviting for longer.

Frequently Asked Questions: Troubleshooting Your Dairy-Free Banana Paradise

Dairy-free banana pudding recipe
Dairy-free banana pudding recipe

Creating a delicious dairy-free banana pudding is an easy and rewarding experience. However, you might encounter a few questions along the way. 

Here are some frequently asked questions to help you troubleshoot any potential roadblocks and ensure your pudding creation is a resounding success!

Can I Use a Different Plant-Based Milk? 

Absolutely! While coconut milk adds a subtle tropical flair, this recipe’s beauty lies in its versatility. Feel free to experiment with other plant-based milk alternatives like almond, oat, or cashew milk.  

Here are some things to consider when making your choice:

Flavour Profile

Each plant-based milk has its own distinct flavour. Almond milk offers a mild and slightly nutty taste, while oat milk has a creamier texture and a subtle oat flavour. 

Cashew milk boasts a naturally sweet and slightly creamy taste. Consider the overall flavour profile you desire and choose a milk that complements the other ingredients.

Sweetness Adjustments

Plant-based milks vary in their natural sweetness. Coconut and cashew milk tend to be slightly sweeter than almond or oat milk. 

Here’s the key: Taste your chosen milk alternative and adjust the amount of maple syrup in the pudding base accordingly. This ensures your pudding reaches the perfect level of sweetness, regardless of the milk you use.

How Can I Make This Recipe Nut-Free?  

Creating a delicious and inclusive dessert is a priority. Here’s how to transform this recipe into a delightful nut-free treat:

Seed Butter Substitute 

For the optional whipped cream topping, skip the nut butter and use sunflower seed butter instead. Sunflower seed butter offers a creamy texture and a mild, slightly nutty flavour that pairs beautifully with the banana pudding.

Seed-Based Wafers

Look for store-bought dairy-free and nut-free wafers made with sunflower or pumpkin seeds. These wafers provide a delicious textural contrast and a delightful alternative to traditional vanilla wafers.

Is There a Gluten-Free Option?  

Absolutely! Creating a gluten-free version of this recipe is simple. Here’s the swap you need to make:

Gluten-free wafers or Crumbles

Instead of traditional vanilla wafers, choose gluten-free alternatives with ingredients like rice flour, tapioca flour, or almond flour. You can also use a gluten-free graham cracker crumble for a slightly different textural experience.

Conclusion

These dairy-free banana pudding recipes are a delicious and healthy alternative for those who can’t consume dairy. With vegan milk and ripe bananas, you can enjoy a creamy and flavorful treat without guilt.

Remember to top it off with whipped topping or crushed vanilla wafer cookies for an extra indulgent touch. Try this recipe to satisfy your sweet cravings while following your dietary needs.

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