These banana pudding cupcakes are fluffy, light, and filled with decadent fresh banana pudding. The whipped cream frosting and crunchy Nilla Wafer is the perfect finishing touch!
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If you are a banana pudding lover, you will go crazy for these cupcakes. It’s a whole new way to enjoy that banana pudding you crave! The classic vanilla cookie flavor and sweet banana taste are in every single bite. Get ready to be obsessed.
Banana Pudding Cupcake Recipe
Homemade banana pudding is a classic Southern dessert. The traditional pudding is usually served in a big glass dish where everything is layered together like a trifle. However, I wanted to recreate this childhood dessert and transform it into something more modern and easy to eat. Cupcakes were the answer!
The recipe starts with a Nilla wafer cupcake that is tender and moist. Next, I use Jello Instant pudding with fresh bananas to make a filling for the cupcakes. Then, whipped cream makes the perfect frosting for the banana pudding cupcakes and helps keep the dessert light. Finally, I like to add a Nilla wafer as a garnish, but a few fresh banana slices also look pretty!
You really can’t go wrong when you make a batch of these cupcakes. They are amazing for every occasion and a fun dessert recipe I make all the time. I think you’re going to love them!
Ingredients For Banana Pudding Cupcakes
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Jello Instant Banana Cream Pudding – Make sure you use instant pudding, which will thicken quickly and does not need to be cooked. You can use regular pudding mix (or make your own homemade banana pudding), but you will need to follow the instructions on the box to prepare it correctly. Instant pudding is quick and easy. So, I think it’s the best choice.
- Cold milk – Whole milk works best and gives the pudding the creamiest consistency.
- Banana – Make sure your bananas are ripe. Bananas that are completely yellow with a few brown spots will be the sweetest and the best for baking.
- Nilla Wafer cookies – I like to use the brand name Nilla Wafers, but any kind of similar vanilla wafer cookie will work.
- Cake flour – Cake flour has less protein than all-purpose flour and helps keep the cupcakes light and fluffy.
- Baking powder
- Melted butter – Unsalted butter is best for this recipe.
- Light brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar – Powdered sugar is best for the whipped cream frosting because it dissolves quickly and does not leave a gritty texture behind.
- Cornstarch – Cornstarch will help stabilize and thicken the frosting, helping the whipped cream hold its shape after being piped on top of the cupcake.
- Heavy cream
Here are a few ingredient substitutes and variations you may want to try.
- Replace the box mix of pudding with a homemade banana pudding. Use my homemade banana pudding recipe to stuff the cupcakes. Then, your dessert will be completely made from scratch!
- Top the cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting in place of whipped cream for a more decadent dessert. Cream cheese frosting also tastes great and makes for a delicious cupcake.
- Replace the light brown sugar with regular granulated sugar. The cupcakes will still taste delicious!
- Use Cool Whip as the cupcake topping instead of making the whipped cream frosting. This is a quick and easy way to ice your banana cupcakes when you’re in a rush.
How to Make Banana Pudding Cupcakes
- Prepare: Preheat the oven to 350ºF, and line a cupcake pan with paper cupcake liners. Set the muffin tin aside.
- Combine the dry ingredients: Add the Nilla wafers to a food processor, and pulse into crumbs. Then, add the Nilla wafer crumbs, cake flour, baking powder, and salt to a large bowl. Mix to combine.
- Mix the wet ingredients: Beat the melted butter and brown sugar together in a separate bowl. Add the egg, mashed banana, and vanilla, and blend well.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients: Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients, and beat until a thick, smooth batter forms. Stir in the milk.
- Bake the cupcakes: Scoop about 1/4 cup of batter into each cupcake liner, and bake for 20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and springy to the touch. Remove the cupcakes from the pan, and set them aside to cool on a wire rack.
- Make the pudding: While the cupcakes cool, make the pudding. Whisk the banana cream pudding and cold milk together in a medium bowl until smooth. Stir in the mashed banana.
- Make the frosting: Whisk the powdered sugar and cornstarch together in a small pot. Add ½ cup of heavy cream, and whisk again. Heat the mixture in a pot over medium-high heat until it begins to thicken, whisking constantly. Remove the pot from the heat, and whisk in the rest of the cream and vanilla. Whip the mix with an electric mixer in a large bowl until stiff peaks begin to form.
- Cut and fill: Cut a small hole in the center of each cupcake. Then, pipe the banana pudding into the hole.
- Frost the cupcakes: Use a piping bag with a star tip to pipe the stabilized whipped cream frosting on top of the cupcakes, covering the banana pudding filling. Add an extra vanilla wafer and a banana slice on top of each cupcake as a garnish, and enjoy!
If you like making stuffed cupcakes, invest in a cupcake corer. It is a little tool that helps take the center of the cupcake out, giving you the perfect spot for the filling. You can also try using a large straight pastry tip to take the middle of the cupcake out. A small knife will also work!
How to Store Banana Pudding Cupcakes
Banana pudding cupcakes need to be stored in the refrigerator. Keep the cupcakes in an airtight container or on a plate covered loosely with plastic wrap. The cupcakes will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Banana pudding is a classic southern dessert. The southern United States is close to the tropical banana-growing regions of the world. So, the fruit has been accessible there for centuries. Banana pudding is just one of the fantastic desserts that the area has created. It is still popular because of the delicious flavors of the pudding and the tradition of serving banana pudding all summer long!
You can toss banana slices in a little lemon juice to help them not turn brown. The bananas in this banana pudding recipe are mashed and covered in the pudding mix. So, they don’t typically turn very brown anyway, because they aren’t exposed to air. However, even if the bananas are brown, they will still taste great!
I recommend making banana pudding cupcakes the day you would like to eat them or just one day in advance. The pudding inside the cupcakes will make the cake soft after sitting and the whipped cream frosting can tend to deflate. So, the taste and taste of the dessert are best when it is fresh. Also, only add the vanilla wafers as a garnish just before serving to keep them crisp and crumbly. All this to say, try to make this recipe as close to your serving date as possible!
Banana Pudding Cupcakes
- food processor
- Cupcake tray
- Paper cupcake liners
- Small pot
- Mixing bowls
- Stand mixer with whisk attachment or electric hand mixer
- Rubber spatula
- Cookie scoop
- Piping bag
- Star tip
- Pairing knife
- 1/2 cup Nilla Wafer Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 banana, mashed
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 box (3.4 oz) Jello Instant Banana Cream Pudding
- 2 cup cold whole milk
- 1 banana, chopped into small pieces
Whipped Cream Frosting
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 cups heavy cream, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Extra Nilla Wafers
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a cupcake tray with paper liners.
- Add the Nilla wafers to a food processor and pulse into crumbs.1/2 cup Nilla Wafer Cookies
- Add the Nilla wafer crumbs, cake flour, baking powder and salt to a large mixing bowl and whisk together.1 1/2 cups cake flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Add the melted butter and brown sugar to a separate mixing bowl and beat to combine.1/2 cup melted butter, 1 cup light brown sugar
- Add the egg, mashed banana, and vanilla to the bowl with the butter and blend well.1 egg, 1 banana, mashed, 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- Add the dry ingredient mix to the bowl and beat to make a thick, smooth batter.
- Stir in the milk.2 cup cold whole milk
- Scoop about ¼ cup of the batter into each cupcake liner. The cupcake cavities should be about ½ way full.
- Bake the cupcakes for 20 minutes. The tops will be golden brown and they will spring back to the touch.
- Remove the cupcakes from the pan and let cool on a wire cooling rack.
- While the cupcakes cool, make the pudding. Whisk together the pudding mix and cold milk for about 1 minute. Let the mix sit to thicken for 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped banana.1 box (3.4 oz) Jello Instant Banana Cream Pudding, 1/2 cup whole milk, 1 banana, chopped into small pieces
- Next, make the whipped cream frosting. Add the powdered sugar and cornstarch to a small pot and whisk together. Add ½ cup of the heavy cream and whisk again. Heat the mix over medium heat, whisking constantly until it starts to thicken. It will look like thick pudding.1/4 cup powdered sugar, 2 1/4 teaspoons cornstarch, 2 cups heavy cream, divided
- Remove the pot from the heat.
- Add the remaining heavy cream and vanilla extract to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip the mix until it forms soft peaks.1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Slowly whisk in the thickened heavy cream then whisk the mix until it forms stiff peaks.
- Use a small pairing knife to cut a circle in the center of each cupcake. Try to make a hole about ½ inch round and ½ way down into the center of each cupcake. Remove the center cake. (See notes)
- Fill the hole in each cupcake with the pudding. It is okay if a little is on the top of the cupcake as well.
- Use a piping bag fitted with a star tip to pipe the whipped cream frosting onto each cupcake.
- Top each cupcake with an extra Nilla Wafer then enjoy!Extra Nilla Wafers