Banana Pudding Cookies

published Oct 4, 2022
christmas
Banana Pudding Cookies Recipe

Nicely crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, these cookies encompass the magic of that first bite of banana pudding in one easy-to-make treat.

Makes24 cookies

Prep15 minutes

Cook22 minutes to 26 minutes

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A photo of a banana pudding cookies.
Credit: Kayla Hoang

The first time I tried banana pudding, it was from the well-loved Magnolia Bakery in Grand Central Station. I remember popping the lid off of the little container, digging my spoon in, and immediately understanding its appeal after the first bite. The combination of perfectly sweetened pudding, slices of banana, and layers of softened Nilla wafers was magical. Regardless of who makes your favorite banana pudding, this recipe encompasses the magic of that first bite all in one easy-to-make cookie. 

Credit: Kayla Hoang

Many recipes for banana cookies include both a whole egg and a whole mashed banana, yielding very cakey, almost muffin top-like cookies. But replacing the eggs completely can sometime yield a cookie that dries out quickly because of a lack of fat. In this recipe, I use one banana and one egg yolk. The banana replaces a whole egg, while also deeply flavoring the cookies, and an egg yolk is added to supplement the fat. The result is a perfectly textured cookie — ever-so-slightly crisp on the outside and soft and tender on the inside — that brings a little magic to any occasion. 

Credit: Kayla Hoang

Key Ingredients in Banana Pudding Cookies

Banana pudding cookies taste of banana and vanilla, just like banana pudding. Whereas some recipes opt for the extra work of topping the cookies with more pudding or whipped cream, I pack all the flavor right into the dough, thanks to the help of a ripe banana, instant vanilla pudding mix, crushed Nilla wafers, and white chocolate chips! 

  • Banana: One large ripe banana is mashed and creamed with the butter and sugar, yielding a cookie that’s chock-full of banana flavor. 
  • Instant vanilla pudding mix: This boxed mix goes straight into the dough, lacing the cookies with a soft, sweet vanilla flavor that accents the banana perfectly. It also helps to keep the cookies soft and tender.
  • Nilla wafers: The crumbled cookies provide texture. Any wafers exposed on the surface of the cookie get toasty and crisp when baked, while the bits fully mixed into the dough meld into the cookie, contributing to the soft texture.
  • White chocolate chips: The little morsels round everything out, providing a milkiness reminiscent of the creamy base of banana pudding. 

Banana Pudding Cookies Recipe

Nicely crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, these cookies encompass the magic of that first bite of banana pudding in one easy-to-make treat.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 22 minutes to 26 minutes

Makes 24 cookies

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks

    (8 ounces) unsalted butter

  • 1

    large egg yolk

  • 2 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 (3.4-ounce) box

    instant vanilla pudding mix

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    baking powder

  • 24

    Nilla wafer cookies

  • 2/3 cup

    packed light brown sugar

  • 1/3 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1

    large ripe banana

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    vanilla extract

  • 3/4 cup

    white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Place 2 sticks unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Place 1 large egg yolk in a small bowl. Let the butter and egg yolk sit at room temperature until the butter is softened, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

  2. Meanwhile, place 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 (3.4-ounce) box instant vanilla pudding mix, 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Place 24 Nilla wafers in a large zip-top plastic bag, seal, and crush lightly with a rolling pin or bottom of a heavy pan into 1/4 to 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup).

  3. Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 350ºF. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

  4. Add 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar and 1/3 cup granulated sugar to the bowl with the butter. Beat with the paddle attachment the butter and sugars on medium speed until well combined, lightened in color, and creamy, 30 seconds to 1 minute, stopping and scraping the sides of the bowl down with a flexible spatula as needed.

  5. Peel 1 large ripe banana, break into a few pieces, and place in a small bowl. Mash witih a fork until completely broken down with no big chunks remaining (about 1/2 cup).

  6. Add the banana, egg yolk, and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract to the butter mixture and beat on medium speed until incorporated and lightened in color, 20 to 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. This mixture will look slightly broken and curdled.

  7. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on the lowest speed until just combined, about 20 seconds. Some dry bits remaining are okay.

  8. Add the Nilla wafers and 3/4 cup white chocolate chips. Fold together by hand with a flexible spatula until the wafers and chocolate chips are well distributed and no floury bits remain.

  9. Scoop out 6 (about 2 rounded tablespoon) portions of the dough onto each baking sheet, spacing them evenly apart. Refrigerate the remaining dough.

  10. Bake for 7 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets from front to back and top to bottom. Bake until the cookies are set and light golden brown around the edges, 4 to 6 minutes more. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat baking the remaining cookie dough on cooled baking sheets (you can reuse the parchment).

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The scooped cookie dough can be refrigerated, tightly wrapped on a parchment-lined baking sheet or in an airtight container, for up to 1 day before baking. Bake as instructed for the same amount of time. The scooped dough can also be frozen on a parchment-lined baking sheet until solid, then stored in a ziptop bag for up to 1 month. The cookies can be baked from frozen and may take a few additional minutes baking after the baking sheets are rotated.

Storage: Leftover cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days.