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Banana Pudding Cake

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a slice of Banana Pudding Cake taken out of the baking dish
This easy, fluffy banana pudding cake is the perfect mix of creamy flavors!
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Table of Contents
  1. Banana Pudding Cake Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Banana Pudding Cake Recipe
  3. How To Serve Banana Pudding Cake
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE
  7. Trending Recipes

This homemade banana pudding cake recipe is truly the perfect combination. The creamy pudding and fresh bananas make it light and fruity, but the cake and use of pudding make it creamy and moist.

close up shot of Banana Pudding Cake topped with a vanilla wafer in a dish

Banana Pudding Cake Ingredients

Banana Pudding Cake raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 1 (15.25-ounce) box of yellow cake mix (made according to the instructions on the box with 1 cup water, ½ cup vegetable oil, and 3 eggs)
  • 1 (5.1-ounce) box of instant banana-flavored pudding
  • 3½ cups of whole milk, cold
  • 2-3 bananas, peeled and sliced very thin – no more than ¼-inch thick slices
  • 1 (8-ounce) container of Cool Whip whipped topping, thawed
  • 12 vanilla wafer cookies (for garnish)

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

CAKE MIX: We used yellow cake mix in this recipe, but other recipes call for white cake mix, which would work just as well. There are plenty of different options for the type of boxed cake mix you can get at the store. 

WHIPPED TOPPING: If you would prefer to make your own whipped cream instead of using Cool Whip, check out our homemade whipped cream recipe.

PUDDING: If you can’t find banana pudding or would like a subtler banana taste, you could use vanilla pudding instead.

BANANA PUDDING: If you have a favorite banana pudding recipe, you can certainly make that instead of store-bought.

BANANA FLAVOR: You can really increase the banana flavor of this dish by adding 1½ teaspoons of banana extract to your cake mix batter.

MILK: We like to use whole milk for this recipe since it makes the creamiest pudding but you could also use lighter milk such as skim milk or non-dairy milk.

How To Make This Banana Pudding Cake Recipe

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with baker’s spray. Set aside.

STEP TWO: In a large bowl, add the water, vegetable oil, eggs, and contents of the yellow cake mix. 

water, vegetable oil, eggs and yellow cake mix whisked in a bowl

STEP THREE: Whisk by hand for 1 minute or until completely combined and no lumps remain.

STEP FOUR: Pour the yellow cake batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean when done.

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your cake as the suggested baking time approaches.

Banana Pudding Cake process shot of cake baked in a pan

STEP FIVE: Once the cake is removed from the oven, using the end of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over the cake (just like we do for this Turtle poke cake). Allow the cake to cool slightly on the counter while you make the instant banana pudding.

PRO TIP:

It’s best to make the holes in the baked cake while it is still slightly warm because as it cools, the crust on top of the cake will crumble more easily.

Banana Pudding Cake process shot of holes poked into the cake

STEP SIX: In a large mixing bowl, add the packet of instant banana flavored pudding and milk. Whisk for 2 minutes by hand until combined. You want this to still be pourable so DO NOT let it stand for the entire 5 minutes that is stated on the box directions for the pudding before pouring it into the holes poked into the warm cake.

banana pudding and milk whisked together in a cup

STEP SEVEN: Pour half the banana pudding mixture over the top of the warm cake, being sure to get it into all the holes. You can use the back of a large spoon to gently push the pudding into all the holes.

PRO TIP:

When you’re pouring the pudding mixture into the holes, tap the pan on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles and make sure the pudding fills the holes completely. 

Banana Pudding Cake process shot of banana pudding poured over cake

STEP EIGHT: Add the remaining half of the banana pudding and smooth the pudding into an even layer over the cake.

STEP NINE: Place the thinly sliced banana pieces into an even layer over the entire surface of the cake.

Banana Pudding Cake process shot of banana slices spread over cake

STEP TEN: Spread the thawed whipped topping evenly over the banana slices and garnish with the vanilla wafers. I like to place 1 vanilla wafer into the center of each serving of cake. This way each person gets a cookie on the top of their piece.

PRO TIP:

If you plan on making this dish more than a day in advance, wait to place the vanilla wafer cookies onto the top of the cake. The cookies will get soft the longer they sit on the cake and in the refrigerator.

Alternately, you can crush your vanilla wafer cookies and sprinkle them onto the top and place some additional fresh banana slices onto the top of the cake for a slightly different garnish. I would also wait to do this until just before you plan to slice and serve this cake.

Banana Pudding Cake process shot of pudding and whipped topping being spread over cake

STEP ELEVEN: Refrigerate this banana pudding cake for 12 hours, or overnight, before slicing and serving.

PRO TIP:

The cake really needs to sit overnight in the refrigerator to absorb all of the liquid. If you rush this process, your cake will not absorb the liquid and could come out very wet at the bottom.

How To Serve Banana Pudding Cake

Enjoy this creamy banana pudding cake for a special occasion or just because. It would be delicious with a scoop of our no-churn vanilla ice cream on the side to make it extra decadent.

For more amazing banana recipes, do not miss our banana cake or our caramel banana cake roll.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Tightly cover your banana pudding poke cake then place in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

IN THE FREEZER: This easy recipe freezes well and will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Wrap the cake tightly with plastic wrap before freezing.

close up shot of a slice of Banana Pudding Cake topped with a vanilla wafer on a plate

This banana pudding poke cake is definitely a delicious dessert that people will “go bananas” for. It’s creamy and delicious but light and fruity at the same time. It’s fun to make, and even more fun to eat.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a poke cake?

It’s an easy cake that you poke holes into while it’s still hot after baking. The holes are then filled with a liquid or filling — like condensed milk, pureed fruit, chocolate cream, or pudding. It makes a moist and delicious cake.

What do you use to poke holes in poke cake?

The handle of a wooden spoon is the best size to poke large holes in the cake

Should I store the cake at room temperature or in the fridge?

Because of the milk in the pudding, it is best to keep your banana cake in the fridge to keep it fresh. It will store for about 3 days.

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a slice of Banana Pudding Cake taken out of the baking dish

Banana Pudding Cake

5 from 3 votes
This easy, fluffy banana pudding cake is the perfect mix of creamy flavors!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 12 hours 40 minutes
Servings 12 pieces

Ingredients
  

  • 1 box yellow cake mix (made according to package directions with 1 cup water, ½ cup vegetable oil & 3 eggs)
  • 5.1 ounces instant banana-flavored pudding
  • cups whole milk, cold
  • 2 to 3 bananas, peeled and sliced very thin – no more than ¼-inch thick slices
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip whipped topping, thawed
  • 12 vanilla wafers, for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with baker’s spray. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the water, vegetable oil, eggs, and contents of the yellow cake mix.
  • Whisk by hand for 1 minute or until completely combined and no lumps remain.
  • Pour the yellow cake batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean when done.
  • Once the cake is removed from the oven, using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over the cake. Allow the cake to cool slightly on the counter while you make the instant banana pudding.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the packet of instant banana flavored pudding and milk. Whisk for 2 minutes by hand until combined. You want this to still be pourable so DO NOT let it stand for the entire 5 minutes that is stated on the box directions for the pudding before pouring it into the holes poked into the warm cake.
  • Pour half the banana pudding mixture over the top of the warm cake, being sure to get it into all the holes. You can use the back of a large spoon to gently push the pudding into all the holes.
  • Add the remaining half of the banana pudding and smooth the pudding into an even layer over the cake.
  • Place the thinly sliced banana pieces into an even layer over the entire surface of the cake.
  • Spread the thawed whipped topping evenly over the banana slices and garnish with the vanilla wafers. I like to place 1 vanilla wafer into the center of each serving of cake. This way each person gets a cookie on the top of their piece.
  • Refrigerate this banana pudding cake for 12 hours, or overnight, before slicing and serving.

Video

Notes

  • Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your cake as the suggested baking time approaches.
  • It’s best to make the holes in the baked cake while it is still slightly warm because as it cools, the crust on top of the cake will crumble more easily.
  • When you’re pouring the pudding mixture into the holes, tap the pan on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles and make sure the cream fills the holes completely. 
  • If you plan on making this dish more than a day in advance wait to place the vanilla wafer cookies onto the top of the cake. The cookies will get soft the longer they sit on the cake and in the refrigerator. Alternately, you can crush your vanilla wafer cookies and sprinkle them onto the top and place some additional fresh banana slices onto the top of the cake for a slightly different garnish. I would also wait to do this until just before you plan to slice and serve this cake.
  • The cake really needs to sit overnight in the refrigerator to absorb all of the liquid. If you rush this process, your cake will not absorb the liquid and could come out very wet at the bottom.

Nutrition

Calories: 319kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 559mg | Potassium: 225mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 161IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 201mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Argyleen Thomson says

    5 stars
    I really like this recipe & I used lemon juice for keeping the bananas from getting brown when I sliced for the top of the pudding & made cream cheese icing & really was a big hit & keeps better than the cool whip & used no cookies. It was a hit & kept also,

    P.S. Enjoy the recipes.
    Thanks!