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Best Strawberry Banana Pudding Recipe (3 ways)

This fantastic strawberry banana pudding recipe is the best dessert for a crowd. Learn how to prep the strawberries for 3 exciting varieties of the recipe. Plus, get pudding in a jar instructions.

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strawberry banana pudding recipe in a trifle dish

Ready to add a colorful twist to ordinary banana pudding? Then pull out those strawberries, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to make some magic.

Display this easy strawberry banana pudding recipe in a jar, a casserole bowl, or a trifle serving dish. Or check out tons of other cool ways to serve banana pudding.

Is it strawnana or banaberry pudding? Any way you scoop it, the dessert will be a hit.

Why You Will Love This Strawberry Banana Pudding Recipe

  • Strawberries make the dessert versatile. Change the strawberries, change the dessert. Switching up how you make the strawberries will give you 3 varieties of this classic recipe.

    Sliced fresh strawberries (classic), strawberry crunch (throwback), and strawberry topping (modern).
  • Beautiful to display. Show off those layers of cookies, bananas, strawberries, and pudding. The dessert is gorgeous in a trifle bowl, glass jar, or another clear serving container.

    Get ready for the oohs and ahhs of your guests. It will happen. Take a moment to bask in the praise.
  • Great dessert for a crowd (and to make early). Don’t worry. I will tell you the essential tips so you can make the pudding the night before. Stop fretting about brown bananas and mushy cookies. You will learn how to avoid them.

Strawberry Banana Pudding Ingredients

Vanilla Pudding

Make homemade vanilla pudding or whip up a box of instant vanilla pudding.

You can swap out the vanilla pudding with instant banana pudding mix or even strawberry pudding. But I don’t recommend it.

Vanilla pudding is the best flavor to pair with layers of fresh strawberries and bananas.

Whipped Cream or Cool Whip

It is easy to make whipped cream with heavy cream and a hand mixer with a wire whip attachment. Make it in under 5 minutes.

However, Cool Whip is ready-made and more convenient. Choose whichever whipped topping suits you.

You will mix the whipped cream into the vanilla pudding to make it light and fluffy.

Strawberries

The sweeter the strawberry, the better for layering. Slice fresh strawberries for the classic and throwback versions.

Fresh or frozen strawberries are equally good when making the modern strawberry topping.

Bananas

Ripe bananas are sweet and pudding worthy. However, too-ripe bananas can be mushy in the pudding. Choose a banana you would eat as a snack, not the ones you would make banana bread with.

Bananas begin to brown right after they are cut. Do not slice them until you are ready to construct the pudding layers.

If you make the pudding the day before, check out these tips for success.

For example, browning is a problem for bananas. But if you sprinkle banana slices with lemon juice or Fruit Fresh, it helps prevent them from turning brown.

Cookies

There are many cookies you can use in creamy strawberry banana pudding. Vanilla wafers are the most common but definitely not the only choice.

Check out this article on the best cookies for banana pudding. You will find several cookie choices.

My top recommendations for a strawberry banana pudding are vanilla wafers or shortbread cookies.

  • Vanilla wafers. Nilla wafers are associated with banana pudding. They are cheap and crumble easily. They are the best choice when you serve the pudding within a couple of hours after making it.
  • Shortbread cookies. Shortbread cookies are hearty. If you are making a strawberry banana pudding recipe early, this is a great choice. They hold up well overnight under layers of pudding.

Start with Vanilla Pudding

All three versions of the strawberry banana pudding recipes start with vanilla pudding.

Before making your strawberry banana pudding recipe, decide how to display it. That will help you choose how to prep the strawberries.

Instant Vanilla Pudding Directions

Instant pudding is quicker to make than homemade pudding. Throw out the package directions and try these instead. Use two packages of pudding mix.

  1. Dump the pudding mix in a large bowl. Combine pudding mix with a can of evaporated milk and 2¼ cups of whole milk.
  2. Beat with a hand mixer on low speed for 30 seconds until everything is combined. Increase to medium speed and beat for 1½ minutes.
  3. Set the bowl aside for 5 minutes while the pudding sets.
  4. Carefully fold the whipped topping into the pudding mixture with a rubber spatula.

If this is what you have time for, go for it. I won’t be judgy. But …

Homemade Vanilla Pudding

If you have the time and gumption, homemade vanilla pudding is the way to go.

Homemade vanilla pudding from scratch takes longer to make. Plus you need to chill it. But it is worth every tasty spoonful.

I know what you are thinking. The lumps. Oh, those annoying lumps. You never get lumps with instant vanilla pudding.

Well, fellow cooking maven, rejoice. I have some excellent lump-free news for you. You can make velvety smooth pudding at home following one of two methods.

Use modified cornstarch (like E-Z Gel) OR a cornstarch slurry.

One more thing. There are no egg yolks in this simple pudding recipe. Custard needs eggs, but pudding does not. (Although some pudding recipes call for eggs). No eggs = reduced lumpiness.

Modified Food Starch Method

Have you tried modified food starch, like Cornaby’s E-Z Gel?

I like using modified food starch instead of cornstarch for two reasons.

First, it is much more forgiving. You can add it to hot or cold liquid, and it never clumps. There is less thought and prep work to use it.

Second, it is flavorless. Cornstarch has a mild cereally taste.

However, it is difficult to find unless you look online.

Because it is hard to locate, this strawberry banana pudding recipe uses cornstarch.

Cornstarch Slurry Method

Most people use a cornstarch slurry because they have cornstarch in their cupboards. It is easy to find in the store, and they know what it is.

Lumpy pudding frustrates many home cooks. It used to frustrate me too, until I discovered the power of a cornstarch slurry. Ever since I began using the slurry, I get no lumps in my pudding.

Here’s how it works.

  • Start with cold water in a separate bowl.
  • Slowly add the cornstarch, whisking as you sprinkle it in.
  • Whisk until you have a smooth slurry.
  • Set it aside until the cup of milk mixture is steamy.

Homemade Vanilla Pudding Instructions

STEP 1: Prepare a cornstarch slurry. Pour the cold water into a small bowl. Slowly whisk the cornstarch into the water. Stir until it is a thick slurry. Set aside until the milk/cream mixture is ready.

STEP 2: Pour 2 cups of milk and ½ cup of cream into a 4-quart saucepan. STIR in ¼ cup sugar and the salt. Stir briefly to combine.

STEP 3: Warm over medium heat until the liquid gets steamy and the sugar has dissolved. Stir occasionally. The liquid should not boil but should reach between 180° and 190°F (80-85°C).

When the milk/cream mixture is steamy, SLOWLY DRIZZLE the cornstarch slurry into the hot liquid. Whisk constantly. It will start to thicken immediately.

Continue to whisk over medium heat until the mixture is thickened and starts to bubble. Be patient. Depending on your stove, it may take between 15 and 20 minutes. (Gas stovetops are quicker, and electric stovetops take longer. Saucepan quality also plays a role.)

After it begins to bubble, stir for one more minute. Then remove the pan from the heat and cool for 1 minute.

STEP 4: Pour the pudding through a fine-mesh sieve or strainer into a bowl with an airtight lid (even if you do not see lumps).

STEP 5: Stir in the butter and vanilla extract.

STEP 6: Cool the pudding, stirring every few minutes. The pudding will continue to thicken as it cools.

When the pudding has cooled (15 or 20 minutes), COVER it with plastic wrap. Press the plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding. This prevents a skin from forming on the pudding as it cools.

STEP 7: Secure the lid to the top of the container and place it in the refrigerator until thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours.

STEP 8: Whip the cream. Place 1 cup of heavy cream in a chilled bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Using a hand or stand mixer with a wire whip, whip the cream until it forms medium peaks. Alternately, use Cook Whip instead.

STEP 9: Remove the pudding from the refrigerator and use a hand mixer to mix until smooth. It will be slightly thick.

STEP 10: Fold the whipped topping into the thick vanilla pudding until it is mixed well.

3 Ways to Prep the Strawberries

  • Are you a classic gal? The classic version uses fresh sliced strawberries. Wash and cut the berries. Don’t forget to remove the stem.
  • Ready for a throwback? Make a strawberry crunch topping with vanilla wafers and strawberry jello powder (or freeze-dried strawberries). Strawberry crunch is the cookie layer. You can also layer sliced strawberries in the dessert.
  • Are you modern? Then instead of fresh strawberries, cook an easy strawberry topping. Using a strawberry topping is beautiful, and it keeps the banana flavor from overpowering the strawberry flavor.

No-Bake Strawberry Crunch

The secret ingredient in a throwback strawberry banana pudding recipe is the strawberry crunch. Forget the hastily crumbled cookies on top that don’t add to the look or taste. Strawberry crunch is different, delicious, and dang good!

Make no-bake strawberry crunch with crushed vanilla wafers, butter, and strawberry jello or freeze-dried strawberries.

There is no need to bake strawberry crunch because there is no raw flour.

Strawberry jello vs. freeze-dried strawberries in strawberry crunch

Strawberry jello is brighter red and sweeter than freeze-dried strawberries. Jello is less work too. Freeze-dried berries must be blended into powder before using.

Strawberry Crunch Instructions

  1. Melt butter.
  2. Crumble vanilla cookies in a food processor.
  3. Process freeze-dried strawberries to dust (if using). Skip this step if you will use strawberry jello.
  4. Mix the cookie crumbs with the strawberry jello powder or freeze-dried strawberry powder.
  5. Pour in the melted butter and mix until combined.
  6. Spread the strawberry crunch on a cookie sheet in a thin layer.
  7. Let it sit for about 15 minutes or until it is dry. You can refrigerate it to speed things up.
  8. When it is dry, break it apart. It should be the consistency of streusel.

Strawberry Topping Instruction

STEP 1: Make a cornstarch slurry by whisking the cornstarch into cold water.

STEP 2: Slice the strawberries if you are using fresh.

STEP 3: Mix fresh or frozen strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar in a small pan. Stir to combine.

STEP 4: Heat the strawberries over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, and the strawberries start to bubble.

STEP 5: Slowly stir in the cornstarch slurry.

STEP 6: Cook for 1 more minute.

STEP 7: Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter.

STEP 8: Pour into an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. It will take about 2 hours to thoroughly chill.

Do you want to marble strawberry glaze into the vanilla pudding? Then after you cook the strawberry topping, pour it into a strainer to collect the smooth glaze. Strain for 5 to 10 minutes. You only need about ¼ cup of the glaze.

Return any excess glaze to the strawberries. Then refrigerate the strawberries and the glaze in separate containers.

Strawberry Banana Pudding in a Jar

The best way to make strawberry banana pudding in a jar is to use strawberry crunch in place of a cookie layer. Yep. This is the throwback version.

Jars come in all sizes. And let’s face it. Wafer cookies can be hard to squeeze into some bottles. One cookie might fit but look bare. Two cookies would not fit right or be attractive together.

And if you are using a glass jar, you want it to look good.

Enter strawberry crunch. The strawberry-flavored crushed cookie mix is perfect.

Sprinkle what you need in the jar bottom. Layer bananas, strawberry topping (or sliced strawberries), and pudding.

Strawberry crunch replaces the vanilla wafer cookie layer.

How to Make Strawberry Banana Pudding in a Jar (with strawberry crunch)

Prep Work

  • Cook and chill the vanilla pudding.
  • Make the strawberry crunch.
  • Choose real strawberries or a strawberry topping.

    Fresh: Slice the fresh strawberries and then quarter the slices.

    Or make the strawberry topping. Chill the strawberry topping.
  • Slice the bananas. Then quarter the slices. Sprinkle them with lemon juice or citric acid (optional).

Assembly

  1. Pour 3 tablespoons of strawberry crunch into the bottom of each mason jar. It should be about a half inch high.
  2. Spread 1 tablespoon of strawberry topping on the crunch.
  3. Layer the delicious bananas on top of the strawberries.
  4. Smooth 2 to 4 tablespoons of vanilla pudding on top of the fruit.
  5. Repeat the layers, ending with the strawberry crunch on top.
  6. Garnish with fresh strawberry slices.

How to Make Modern Strawberry Banana Pudding (with strawberry topping)

Assembly Instructions

  1. Layer half of cookies (or strawberry crunch) at the bottom of a glass serving dish or square pan.
  2. Cover the layer of wafer cookies with the strawberry topping and half of bananas.
  3. Spread vanilla pudding over the fruit.
  4. Repeat layers, ending with the pudding as the top layer.
  5. Refrigerate or garnish and serve.

How to Assemble Classic Strawberry Banana Pudding (with sliced fresh fruit)

Prep Work

  • Cook and chill the vanilla pudding.
  • Slice the fresh strawberries.
  • Slice the bananas. Sprinkle them with lemon juice or citric acid (optional).

Assembly Instructions

  1. Place a layer of cookies at the bottom of a glass cream cheese banana pudding with Chessmen cookies. That freezes perfectly.

    What to Serve with Strawberry Banana Pudding

    Strawberry banana pudding is a popular recipe to serve at a party.

    Serve it during summer barbecues next to hamburgers and bratwursts. Pair it with burritos and tacos. Or bring it to holiday parties when you are eating ham or turkey.


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    Yield: 12 to 15 servings

    Strawberry Banana Pudding

    classic strawberry banana pudding in a trifle dish

    This fantastic strawberry banana pudding recipe is the best dessert for a crowd. Learn how to prep the strawberries for 3 exciting varieties of the recipe.

    Sliced strawberries make classic pudding. Strawberry crunch gives you a throwback version. Strawberry topping produces a modern style.

    Ingredients

    Vanilla Pudding

    • 4 cups of milk (whole or 2%)
    • 2½ cups of heavy cream, separated
    • ½ cup + 3 tablespoons white sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons of cold water
    • ¼ cup of cornstarch
    • ¼ cup of unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 tablespoon of vanilla

    Layering Items

    • 1 (11 oz.) package of vanilla wafers OR Keebler sandies shortbread cookies
    • 3 to 4 medium bananas (firm, not too ripe)
    • 1 pound of fresh strawberries

    Strawberry Topping (optional)

    • 3 tablespoons of cold water
    • 1½ tablespoons of cornstarch
    • 1½ pound (24 oz.) of fresh or frozen strawberries
    • ⅓ cup of lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
    • ⅓ cup of white sugar
    • pinch of salt
    • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter

    Strawberry Crunch (optional)

    • 1 (11 oz.) package of vanilla wafers
    • 1 (3 oz.) package of strawberry jello
    • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted

    Instructions

    Read First

    Strawberry topping takes the place of fresh strawberry slices in the pudding. Strawberry crunch takes the place of vanilla wafer cookies.

    Choose whether to use fresh strawberry slices or strawberry topping. Then choose whether to use a cookie layer or a strawberry crunch layer.

    Vanilla Pudding

    If using instant pudding, make two small (3.4 oz.) packages following package directions. Then fold in 8 oz. of Cool Whip. Otherwise, make vanilla pudding from scratch with these directions.

    1. PREPARE a cornstarch slurry. Pour the cold water into a small bowl. Slowly whisk the cornstarch into the water. Stir until it is a thick slurry. Set it aside until the milk/cream mixture is ready.
    2. POUR 2 cups of milk and ½ cup of cream into a 4-quart saucepan.
    3. STIR in ¼ cup sugar and the salt. Stir briefly to combine.
    4. WARM over medium heat until the liquid gets steamy and the sugar has dissolved. Stir occasionally. The liquid should not boil but should reach between 180° and 190°F (80-85°C).
    5. When the milk/cream mixture is steamy, SLOWLY DRIZZLE the cornstarch slurry into the hot liquid. Whisk constantly. It will start to thicken immediately.
    6. Continue to WHISK over medium heat until the mixture is thickened and starts to bubble. Be patient. Depending on your stove, it may take between 15 and 30 minutes. (Gas stovetops are quicker, and electric stovetops take longer. Saucepan quality also plays a role.)
    7. After it begins to bubble, STIR for one more minute. Then remove the pan from the heat and cool for 1 minute.
    8. POUR the pudding through a fine-mesh sieve or strainer into a bowl with an airtight lid (even if you do not see lumps).
    9. STIR in the butter and vanilla extract.
    10. COOL the pudding, stirring every few minutes. The pudding will continue to thicken as it cools.
    11. When the pudding has cooled (20 or 30 minutes), COVER it with plastic wrap. Press the plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding. This prevents a skin from forming on the pudding as it cools.
    12. SECURE the lid to the top of the container and place it in the refrigerator until thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours.
    13. WHIP the cream. Place 1 cup of heavy cream in a chilled bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar.Using a hand or stand mixer with a wire whip, whip the cream until it forms medium peaks. Alternately, use Cook Whip instead.
    14. REMOVE the pudding from the refrigerator and use a hand mixer to mix until smooth. It will be slightly thick.
    15. FOLD the whipped topping into the thick vanilla pudding until it is mixed well.

    Prep the Fresh Fruit

    1. WASH the strawberries. Cut off the stems and slice them.
    2. PEEL and SLICE the bananas. Sprinkle with lemon juice or fruit-fresh to keep them from turning brown.

    Strawberry Topping (optional)

    1. MAKE a cornstarch slurry by whisking the cornstarch into the water. Set aside.
    2. WASH fresh strawberries (if using). Cut off stems and slice them. Skip if you are using frozen berries.
    3. MIX the fresh or frozen strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan.
    4. HEAT over medium heat until the mixture begins to boil.
    5. STIR the cornstarch slurry once more and then slowly drizzle it into the strawberries.
    6. COOK for one more minutes.
    7. REMOVE from the heat and stir in the butter until it melts.
    8. COOL for 5 minutes and then pour the topping into an airtight container.
    9. CHILL it in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.

    Strawberry Crunch (optional)

    1. CUT the butter into pieces and place in a microwave safe container. Cover the container with a paper towel to keep the butter from splattering in the microwave.
    2. HEAT the butter for 15 seconds. Check and then continue to heat in 10 second intervals until the butter is all melted.
    3. CRUSH the vanilla wafers in a food processor or blender.
    4. STIR in ¾ of the strawberry jello mix.
    5. ADD the melted butter. Stir until everything is well mixed.
    6. POUR the strawberry crunch onto a jelly roll pan or sheet pan with sides. Spread it into a thin layer.
    7. REST for 15 minutes or until it is no longer wet. You can refrigerate it to speed things up.
    8. BREAK the pieces apart. It should resemble a strudel.

    Assembling the Pudding

    1. PLACE a layer of cookies (or strawberry crunch) at the bottom of a serving dish, like a glass trifle dish.
    2. LAYER half of strawberry slices (or strawberry topping) on the cookies.
    3. ADD a layer of banana slices on top of the strawberries.
    4. SPREAD a layer of vanilla pudding on top of the fruit.
    5. REPEAT the layers, starting with the cookies. Finish with vanilla pudding on top.
    6. GARNISH the top with fresh strawberries, sliced bananas, crushed wafers, or strawberry crunch.



    Notes

    All images and content are ©TheTastyTip.com. If you want to use this recipe and techniques, please take your own photos, write your own description, and link back to this page. Thank you.

    Nutrition Information

    Yield

    12

    Serving Size

    ½ cup

    Amount Per Serving Calories 287Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 5.5gSodium 157mgCarbohydrates 44gFiber 2gProtein 5g

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