A delicious take on banana pudding, these Banana Pudding Cookie Bars have been a favorite recipe on our site since 2015. They have all of the flavor a classic banana pudding – without the mess! Perfect for parties, summer BBQs, or just a decadent dessert anytime.
Banana Pudding Cookie Bars Recipe
Banana pudding is one of those desserts that you have to try to see what all of the fuss is about.
Creamy and rich vanilla pudding with a subtle and natural banana flavour, often served with soft wafer cookies and fresh banana slices – banana pudding is just as humble-looking as it’s roots, but its simple appearance belies it’s truly delicious and decadent nature.
While I love an old-fashioned banana pudding, this month, I wanted to figure out how to make banana pudding a little more portable and a little less messy.
These banana pudding cookie bars definitely fit the bill!
This recipe uses Magnolia Bakery’s infamous banana pudding – and its use of boxed vanilla pudding mix and sweetened condensed milk as a base – as our inspiration for a simple recipe that delivers big taste. (You can find their original recipe in their Magnolia Bakery Cookbook.)
Along with vanilla pudding mix, this recipe also uses vanilla wafer cookies to give a great, chewy, crumbly texture to the banana pudding bars, and I added Ghiradelli white chocolate chips, because I put them in anything I can get away with!
Part of the “trick” to a great cookie bar recipe is to twice bake the “crust” like you would with a pie.
So for this recipe, I mixed melted butter with some of the crushed vanilla wafer cookies and pushed it into a lined 9″x13″ baking dish and baked that for 5 minutes while I created the top “layer.” This gives the cookie bars a solid base so they don’t completely fall apart in your hands, without overcooking the rest of the bar which would make it way too hard to eat.
These bars are still a bit crumbly and soft, but still way easier to eat and serve at a party than banana pudding.
I honestly don’t know who loves these bars more – me or the kids! The awesome thing about making them into bars rather than traditional cookies is that I can control the portion sizes a bit easier — bigger for me, smaller for them!
You can also freeze these banana pudding cookie bars by wrapping them tightly (with plastic wrap, foil or beeswax wraps) and then storing in airtight freezer bags or freezer containers for up to two months. (This set of freezer containers is a crazy bargain.)
We’ve made these recipes two ways – mixing the vanilla wafers and white chocolate chips into the pudding mixture, and also using the vanilla wafers-chocolate chips mixture as a third, final layer to the cookie bars. The bars are delicious both ways but I think I enjoy them more with three layers (as shown in the video). It provides more variety of texture with a gooey, chewy center and crunchy bottoms of tops of the cookie bars. Experiment and see which version of the recipe you like more!
Check out our quick video for how to make Banana Pudding Cookie Bars – and then don’t forget to scroll down to grab our free printable recipe!
Banana Pudding Cookie Bar Ingredients
- Vanilla Wafer Cookies, crushed
- Butter, melted
- All Purpose Flour
- Baking Soda
- White Sugar
- Banana Cream Pudding Mix <– can use vanilla pudding mix, if desired
- Vanilla Extract
- White Chocolate Chips
Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.
Tip: this recipe will work with different flavor combinations – like, chocolate cookie crumbs and vanilla pudding filling, etc.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Wooden spoon or spatula <– I like these spatulas because they are one solid piece and don’t have removable heads for bacteria to get trapped underneath. Plus they are heat-resistant and have a lifetime warranty.
- Electric mixer <– this is a great hand mixer if you don’t want to make the investment into a stand mixer
- 9″ x 13″ casserole dish <– I love these Pyrex dishes with fitted lids – they are great for taking along to parties
How to Make Banana Cookie Bars
Preheat your oven to 400ºF
Crush the wafers and set aside 1 cup for the top layer of the cookie bars.
Mix the remaining wafers with 3/4 cups melted butter, and press into the bottom of a 9*13″ baking dish. Bake for 5 minutes while preparing the next layer.
Stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, and pudding mix. Mix in the eggs, remaining 1 cup butter, and the vanilla extract until fully incorporated.
Stir in the chocolate chips and the reserved vanilla wafers. Spoon the mixture onto the pre-baked crust.
Bake the bars at 350ºF for about 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bars comes out clean.
Pin this Banana Pudding Cookie Recipe:
Grab your free printable for our banana pudding cookie bars recipe:
- 12 ounces Vanilla Wafers, crushed
- 1 ¾ cup Butter
- 2 ½ cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1-3.4oz package of Banana Cream Pudding Mix
- 2 Eggs
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup White Chocolate Chips
- Preheat your oven to 400F
- Crush the wafers and set aside 1 cup for the top layer of the cookie bars.
- Mix the remaining wafers with 3/4 cups melted butter, and press into the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking dish. Bake for 5 minutes while preparing the next layer.
- Stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, and pudding mix. Mix in the eggs, remaining 1 cup butter, and the vanilla extract until fully incorporated.
- Stir in the white chocolate chips and the 1 cup reserved vanilla wafers. Spoon the mixture onto the pre-baked crust. (See baking note.)
- Bake the bars at 350 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bars comes out clean.
Alternatively, you can press the flour-baking soda-salt-sugar-pudding mixture as a second layer, and use the vanilla wafer and white chocolate chips as a third and final layer (as seen in the video).
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 472Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 422mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 1gSugar: 27gProtein: 5g
Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.
Check out these other delicious cookie recipes from my fellow bloggers:
- Cherry and Chocolate Chip Scones from Spiceroots
- Chocolate Andes Mint Chip Cookies from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Chocolate Stout and Pretzel Cookies from Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt
- Flourless Dark Chocolate Espresso Oatmeal Cookies from Rhubarb and Honey
- Gourmet Iced Oatmeal Raisin Cookies from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Lemon Bits Oatmeal Cookies from Our Good Life
- Nutty Bits Cookies from Basic N Delicious
- Peanut Butter Chunk Cookies from Noshing With The Nolands
- Rocky Road Cookies from Upstate Ramblings
- Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies from Magnolia Days
- Uncle Hector’s 100 Cookies from Food Lust People Love
Original picture from 2015: