2 tablespoons salted sweet cream butter softened (for buttering the baking dish)
11 ounces 1 (11-ounce) box of vanilla wafers (reserve 4 – 6 wafers for an optional crushed wafer topping)
4 pieces large ripe bananas peeled and sliced
16 ounces 2 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¾ cup powdered sugar
16 ounces 2 (8-ounce) containers of whipped topping thawed
6.8 ounces 2 (3.4-ounce) boxes of instant banana cream pudding mix
2 cups cold whole milk
With your hands or a pastry brush, butter a 9×9-inch baking dish with the 2 tablespoons of softened butter.
Line the bottom and sides of the buttered baking dish with a single layer of vanilla wafers. (I was able to get 56 wafers in the bottom and up the sides of the dish)
Lay a single layer of the sliced bananas on top of the bottom layer of the vanilla wafers. (I2 large sliced bananas was the perfect amount for this layer) Set it aside.
Using either a stand mixer or a medium-sized mixing bowl and a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese and vanilla extract for 1-1½ minutes until smooth.
Add the powdered sugar and 1 cup of the whipped topping. Beat for another 1½-2 minutes until smooth.
Evenly spread the cream cheese layer over the sliced bananas and vanilla wafers.
Lay another single layer of the vanilla wafers on top of the cream cheese layer. Lay the remaining sliced bananas on top of the vanilla wafers. (Again, 2 large sliced bananas was the perfect amount for this layer)
Add the cold milk and 1 cup of the whipped topping to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Sprinkle the pudding mix over the milk and whipped topping. Use a handheld mixer on medium-high speed to mix for 1½-2 minutes until the pudding is thickened.
Evenly spread the pudding layer on top of the vanilla wafer and banana layer. Cover the baking dish and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Just before serving, spread the remaining thawed whipped topping over the pudding layer. Crush the 4-6 reserved vanilla wafers and sprinkle the wafer crumbs over the top of the whipped topping. Slice into 9 slices and serve.