I grew up eating traditional Thai food. But there were several American (mostly Southern) dishes that we would eat on occasion. This was probably due to my pa. He didn’t cook a lot, but there were a handful of American dishes that were his jam.
One of these dishes was sweet banana pudding with Nabisco vanilla wafers. I can’t actually remember if he made this or if he was just a champion at eating it. Either way, this banana pudding dessert was something we both really enjoyed.
I’ve made it before using store-bought vegan vanilla pudding packs. This time I wanted to go all Martha Stewart on the pudding and make it from scratch. A couple of recipes from An Unrefined Vegan and The Vegan Cookbook Aficionado got me thinkin’— oh yeah, I forgot cashews can be used for more than just cheese! So the banana-y creaminess of this pudding is amped up with raw cashews.
Layered with organic vanilla snaps (storebought—I don’t have time to Martha Stewart everything!) and fresh banana slices, this dessert is a fresher animal-friendly version of the yellow stuff I grew up with. Yet it still remains creamy, decadent and full of banana-vanilla flavor.
Banana Pudding Cups with Vanilla Cookies
This makes about 1 1/2 cups of the banana pudding. When layered with cookies and bananas, it fills two 8oz cups as shown.
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked overnight (at least 6-8 hours) and drained
- 4 tbs coconut cream
- vanilla beans scraped from one inch of a vanilla pod
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 3 ripe bananas (if you don’t want your dessert turnin’ dark due to banana oxidation, lightly soak the bananas in a little lemon juice mixed with water before blending or assembling)
- 6-8 vanilla wafers (I used these or make your own)
Blend the cashews, coconut cream, vanilla beans, maple syrup and 2 bananas in a high-speed blender or food processor until silky smooth. Set aside. Slice the remaining banana. Now, assemble. You can do the layers however you wish. I was pretty random but I think I did cookie, pudding, banana slices…until I reached the top of each cup (about 3 pudding layers). Cover the cups with saran wrap and let it sit in the fridge for at least 3 hours so the cookies soften from the pudding and the pudding firms. Then when it’s ready, crush some more cookies on top and dig in!