Plans in our kitchen, especially kids recipes like this attempt at banana cream pie, don’t always end up as intended. I bought a ready-made graham cracker pie crust, because I thought La Jolla Girl could make a banana cream pie on her own. As you probably know, banana cream pie involves simple ingredients: whipped cream, pudding, bananas and a crust. But once the whipped cream arrived on the scene, shewanted to make trifle. It’s probably because she’s used to having a yogurt parfait for breakfast. I’m posting this as a reminder that these ingredients can make more than one crowd-pleasing banana dessert.
Just a warning that you may lose creative control over which layer goes where and the ability to keep the sides of the trifle bowl clean. I certainly did.
The quantities will vary depending on if you are trying to make individual desserts or a giant trifle.
- 1 box of banana or vanilla instant pudding mix (if making large trifle, buy 2 boxes)
- 2 cups milk per pudding box directions (check your box to be sure)
- whipped cream (for fresh - half pint for pie or individual desserts, pint for trifle)
- bananas (2-3 for pie or individual desserts, 6-8 for trifle)
- 1 box of Nilla wafers or 1 ready-made pie crust
- If using fresh whipped cream, whip and sweeten to taste. Thaw frozen whipped cream.
- Make the pudding according to the box and set aside.
- Slice the bananas. If you press the banana slices onto the sides of the trifle bowl for decoration, buy a few more.
- For trifle: Place a layer of Nilla Wafers on the bottom of the trifle bowl. Add a layer of pudding and banana, end with a layer of whipped cream. Repeat.
- For individual servings: Layer Nilla wafer, bananas, pudding, and whipped cream in small cups or bowls.
- For banana cream pie: Skip the Nilla wafers. Layer the bottom of a ready-made pie crust with bananas. Add pudding and then top with a layer of whipped cream.
- Refrigerate. This dessert is best served on the same day, but will keep for a few days provided you don't mind mushy Nilla wafers.
- Garnish with cut banana right before serving.
- If you have leftover pudding and whipped cream, make some individual desserts.
Kids can make this recipe from start to finish, depending on if you need to step in and handle the whipped cream. I have a strong preference for freshly whipped cream. I either beat it with a mixer or have La Jolla Girl use our Williams-Sonoma Quick Cream Whipper to do it herself (to be honest as we have used this more and more, it’s harder to open). Pre-sweetened, freshly whipped cream is able to be frozen in individual servings too (I usually divide into dollops or 1 cup servings). Or, you can buy canned whipped cream or ready-made frozen whipped cream. Which you use is up to you.
I always keep instant pudding on hand for spur of the moment desserts. On occasion, Trader Joe’s has a good instant vanilla pudding.