Mama’s Chocolate Banana Pudding

Mama’s Chocolate Banana Pudding

I know what you all are thinking – “Banana Pudding?  How is that Middle-Eastern?”   Well . . . it’s not. But this blog is about more than just Middle-Eastern recipes. It’s about sharing our memories and what has been passed along to us through generations.  So from that perspective, Mama’s Banana Pudding fits the bill.  It was the first “American” recipe shared with my Mom when she moved to the U.S. (San Luis Obispo, CA to be exact) from Baghdad, Iraq.  I remember Mom teaching me how to make this delicious and perfect combination of banana, vanilla wafer cookies, whipping cream and chocolate pudding, when I was around eight or nine years old.  Once I got the hang of it, it quickly became my designated task to make this decadent dessert for family picnics and birthday celebrations.  If we were ever lucky enough to have a bit left over, perhaps an even better treat was having it for breakfast the next morning! I love making this dish (and eating it) until this day and especially now with the help of my girls (ages 5 and 2).  I’ll cherish and savor these moments of making this dish with them just as I do the times I used to make this with my Mom as I know one day it will become my daughters’ designated task to make it on their own.   

What better way to celebrate this “American” dish than making it for your upcoming 4th of July celebration?  Happy 4th to all! 

Mama’s Chocolate Banana Pudding

Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Course Dessert


  • 4 banana large; moderately ripe to ripe
  • 12 oz whipped topping (ex Cool Whip)
  • 17 oz vanilla wafer cookie (ex Nilla Wafer)
  • 6 oz instant chocolate pudding (ex one Jello Box)
  • cold 2% milk for amount see instant chocolate pudding instructions


  • Take Cool Whip out of freezer and let defrost for about 30 minutes so that its a whipped cream texture and easy to spread.
  • Make chocolate pudding per the instructions on the instant pudding box
  • slice all 4 bananas into 1/8" thick coins
  • Put two tablespoons of chocolate pudding into the bottom of an empty round 3.5 quart glass bowl and spread to thinly cover bottom of bowl. You only need enough so that the wafer cookie layer (coming next) has a little something to stick to.
  • Place a layer of vanilla wafer cookie on top of the thin layer of chocolate pudding.
  • Spread a layer of chocolate pudding on top of the cookie layer, enough to cover the cookies completely.
  • Place a layer of banana slices on top of the chocolate pudding layer.
  • Spread a layer of whipped topping on top of the banana slices, enough to cover the banana completely.
  • Place a layer of vanilla wafer cookie on top of thin layer of whipped topping.
  • Repeat steps 6 through 9 until you get to the top of the bowl. Your last layer should be a layer of whipped topping.
  • Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight (so the cookies have time to soften and become cake-like)
  • Decorate top layer with fruit or cookies as you like before serving.
  • Serve cold.


This recipe serves 10-12 but is easily adjustable depending on the size of your serving bowl. All you need is the pudding, cookies, banana and whipped topping and you can adjust the amounts of each ingredient to fill a bowl of your desired size.
A glass bowl is preferred so you can see all the layers, but can also be made in a tray as long as there is some depth so you can add all the layers at least twice over.

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