Banana Pudding Cupcakes with Cool Whip Pudding Frosting

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bananapuddingcupcakesAs a kid, one of my favorite snacks was Jell-O Pudding Snacks topped with a hefty (and I mean hefty!) dollop of Cool Whip on top.  The ratio was probably one cup Cool Whip to standard-size pudding cup, and frankly, I had dreams of giving myself a Cool Whip facial a la Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire.  Helllooooooo, indeed!

To this day, I still have a soft spot for Cool Whip & Jell-O pudding.  Pudding is such an easy and delicious snack anytime of year, but especially in the summertime when temps are sometimes too high to bake.  It’s rich, satisfying, and so versatile — add in chopped fruits, nuts, candy or baking chips to switch things up, or fold in Cool Whip to create an easy pudding pie.

But for today’s recipe, I’m making one of my favorite frostings to top rich, moist banana cupcakes.  I first discovered this frosting a couple years ago and it instantly became a favorite.  It’s made with Jell-O pudding mix, milk, cream cheese, a little powdered sugar, and of course — Cool Whip.  Combined, these five simple ingredients create a light and fluffy textured frosting that isn’t too sweet (thanks to the cream cheese) but has just the right amount of flavor and sweetness.

DSC_0009AAnd since banana pudding is one of my favorite pudding flavors (what’s not to love?!) I decided to make these outrageously delish Banana Pudding Cupcakes with Cool Whip Pudding Frosting.  They. Are. AWESOME.  Soft and tender cupcakes topped with this scrumptious, easy frosting bursting with banana flavor, then topped off with a fresh banana slice and a vanilla wafer cookie — two key components to a seriously yummy banana pudding.

And if banana pudding isn’t your jam, feel free to make the cupcakes and Jell-O Cool Whip Frosting any flavor you’d like!  Imagine rich, chocolate cupcakes topped with a light chocolate frosting — the almost mousse-like texture would be insanely good!  Or even strawberry frosting on angel food cupcakes for a shortcake effect.  So versatile!

DSC_0011ABut if you’re a banana fiend like myself, you must give these cupcakes a try!  And if nothing else, at least make the frosting and eat it with a spoon! 🙂


4.5 from 4 reviews
Banana Pudding Cupcakes with Cool Whip Pudding Frosting
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
Love Banana Pudding? Then you'll flip for these scrumptious Banana Pudding Cupcakes! The frosting is to-die for and tastes just like the classic pudding dessert!
  • 1 box vanilla cake mix, plus ingredients on back of box
  • 2 boxes Jell-O Instant Banana Cream Pudding mix, divided
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 4 oz (1/2 pkg) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tub (8 oz) Cool Whip, thawed
  • Banana slices
  • Vanilla wafer cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with about 16 paper liners. Prepare the cake batter according to package directions. Once the batter has come together, stir in ONE box of the Jell-O banana pudding mix.
  2. Portion the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling cups about ¾th full. Bake for approx. 14-16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool completely.
  3. While cupcakes cool, prepare your frosting: in a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining box of Jell-O banana pudding and the milk until smooth. Stir in the cream cheese and powdered sugar until combined and minimal clumps remain. Lastly, fold in the Cool Whip until combined. Place the frosting in the fridge to set, about 1 hour.
  4. Once frosting has set & cupcakes have cooled, spoon the frosting into a disposable piping bag affixed with a large open circle tip. Pipe frosting generously onto cooled cupcakes. Garnish each frosted cupcake with a banana slice and vanilla wafer cookie. Serve immediately, or store leftovers covered in the fridge.
  5. If you have remaining frosting, use frosting as pudding! Simply layer remaining frosting in a jar or dish with banana slices and vanilla wafer cookies. Eat as is, or top with hot fudge or caramel sauce.

DSC_0018AI am seriously in love with this fantastic frosting!  It’s so light, so fluffy and so delicious.  I love that it tastes like a lighter banana pudding — almost like eating a cloud of banana deliciousness.  As I mentioned earlier, if you have leftover frosting you can use it as pudding!  Just layer it in a dish or bowl with banana slices and vanilla wafer cookies, or crumble leftover cupcakes on top for a fantastic deconstructed cupcake pudding 🙂  top with caramel or chocolate sauce if you’re feeling extra fancy!

Want a better-for-you option?  Use Jell-O Sugar Free/Fat Free Pudding mix, fat-free milk, fat-free PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, and Cool Whip Free.  You can also substitute unsweetened applesauce for the oil in your cupcakes, and swap out whole eggs for four egg whites to make your cupcakes a more nutritious option.

jelloooI always go to Walmart for my KRAFT Foods needs — Walmart has the largest selection of Jell-O Pudding Mixes and a great selection of other KRAFT Foods products, like Cool Whip and PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese.  For a limited time, you can now get $1 off when you purchase one (1) tub of Cool Whip and two (2) boxes of Jell-O Pudding, while supplies last.  Just use THIS link for your exclusive coupon!!  And be sure to check out Walmart’s website for more recipes and KRAFT Foods products!

Have a delicious Sunday!!

xo, Hayley


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  1. That looks easy and delicious! Your pictures are gorgeous. ;-D

  2. The cupcakes look amazing, but that frosting. I die!

  3. YES YES YESSITY YESSSS! Banana pudding in cupcake form is MAJOR-and the best part is for sure that frosting!!!

  4. These look absolutely delicious!

  5. No spoon needed, I would just stuff this right into my mouth!

  6. I am so moving in so you can make these for me daily!! Thank you so much for your hard work! #client

  7. Jessica says:

    I just finished baking these for my family’s annual 4th of July “Cupcake Wars” competition. The batter and icing both tasted delicious (I haven’t tasted the final cake product) but the icing was the consistency of pudding or yogurt, not frosting. I was originally planning to frost the cupcakes as normal and then place my yellow chocolate-covered cookie in the center as a minion’s face (my theme was minions from Despicable Me – get it, bananas?) but instead I had to put a small spoonful in the middle of the cupcake and then let it spread and drip like a glaze. I even tried adding extra powdered sugar to thicken it up like with regular icing. Didn’t work. 6/5 stars for flavor, not so much on execution.

    • thedomesticrebel says:

      Jessica – it is called Cool Whip Pudding Frosting because the consistency is like pudding. It doesn’t have the same structure as say, a buttercream does. Glad you liked them though!

      • Jessica says:

        I understand that, but it is called a frosting and the instructions say to pipe it onto the cupcakes. With the consistency it had, there was no possible way to pipe the “frosting” onto the cupcakes. The pictures of a buttercream-like frosting were also misleading. However it tasted absolutely delicious. 🙂

  8. Do you mix up the pudding before you put it in or do you put it in dry?

  9. This banana pudding recipe is really delicious. This was my first time making it, but won’t be my last. Thanks.

  10. Thank you for sharing your recipe. I’m going to try it out for Christmas. 😊✌

  11. Larissa Campbell says:

    Hi. Thanks for the recipe! I was wondering if you could give me approximate measurements of the ingredients for the icing, since I’m thinking about either making a 2 layer cake using 2-8 inch baking pans or just making a sheet cake using a 13×9 inch pyrex dish…???


    • thedomesticrebel says:

      Hi Larissa, if you made a 9×13 pan the frosting recipe as written should be okay. For a layer cake, I may double the frosting recipe.

  12. How do you keep you banana garnishment from turning brown?


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