Layered desserts. They've been around for as long as I can remember. They usually consist of some sort of baked crust layer, followed by a sweetened cream cheese layer, then pudding, then whipped topping. Four layers is the general rule of thumb for these "delight" desserts. Now, how you make those layers is up to you. You can switch up the flavors of the pudding and the crust layer. But usually the cream cheese layer and the whipped topping layers stay the same. So it's a fun dessert to play around with once you have the basic concept down. We make a Cookie Monster Dessert (see the end of this post) that my husband devours. It has a chocolate chip cookie crust layer - whoa!
So when I saw this recipe for Banana Cream Delight by Tina over at Mommy's Kitchen, I immediately messaged Tina (because she's my best buddy and she's used to me bugging her) and said "How come I have never made this before?" She said "I don't know, it's been on the blog a while and it's good. You need to make it." She's bossy like that. I can't believe I had never made a banana version before. Duh. She has an incredible strawberry version on her blog that you absolutely must try.
The only small change I made to this version was I added Nilla wafers to the crust layer instead of chopped pecans. Now, I love pecans. Love. Them. But my family, not so much. So I went with the crushed wafers as a crunchy alternative. Feel free to use the pecans though. We really, really enjoyed this banana version. It tastes just like a banana cream pie on steroids - in a good way.
3/4 cup real butter, softened
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup crushed Nilla wafers
1 - 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed (COOL WHIP)
2 bananas, sliced
1 (3 oz.) package instant banana cream pudding
2 cups cold milk
remaining COOL WHIP
1/2 cup crushed Nilla wafers
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray an 8x8 or 9x7x2 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Prepare crust by adding the butter and flour to a bowl and blend using a large fork or pastry blender.
Add crushed Nilla wafers and mix (don't crush the wafers too small, leave some bigger pieces for a crunch.)
Press mixture into the bottom of an 8x8 or 9x7x2 inch baking dish. The easiest way to do this is to put a little flour on your fingers and press it down.
Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until light golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool.
While the crust is cooling prepare the filling. In a large bowl using a stand mixer or a hand mixer add the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar. Cream the mixture until smooth. Stir in one cup whipped topping and set aside.
Prepare pudding according to package directions adding the 2 cups cold milk. Using a wire whisk, mix the pudding until thickened.
When the crust is completely cooled spread on the cream cheese mixture evenly.
Add a single layer of sliced bananas.
Top with remaining COOL WHIP
Sprinkle the crushed vanilla wafers evenly over the top. Chill for at least 2 - 3 hours before serving.