Easy banana poke cake recipe with pudding and vanilla wafers. Perfect for spring picnics and potlucks. A cool refreshing dessert for summer!
Banana Poke Cake
My husband grew up eating pudding cakes. To this day, he is crazy for anything with pudding. Move over drip cakes and layer cakes…my guy wants a simple cake with pudding and whipped topping! Since this banana poke cake is easier than ever, I’m happy to give him what he wants.
Easy Pudding Cake
This pudding cake starts with a box cake mix. You’ll prepare the cake mix according to the package directions with the ingredients listed on the back of the box. Every now and then I substitute butter for the oil listed or replace the water with milk to add richness, but for the most part, you just can’t go wrong with a box cake mix. Easy, delicious and moist.
If you’d like the base of this cake to be from scratch you can use our homemade yellow cake mix and bake it in a 9×13 pan. Find that recipe here.
How to Make Banana Pudding Cake
Once the cake is baked and cooled, you’ll use a wooden spoon to poke holes in the top of the cake. This allows the pudding that you’ll spread on top to soak down into each piece of cake.
Mix together two small boxes of instant vanilla pudding and 3 cups of milk. This is a little less milk than you would usually use but will help keep the cake from getting soggy. Allow the pudding to set for a few minutes, then use a spatula to spread the pudding on top of the cake. Press down lightly but firmly to try to force the pudding into the holes that you’ve poked into the cake.
Slice three bananas into thin slices and layer them over the vanilla pudding. Then spread whipped topping overtop.
To decorate the cake, crush half of the vanilla wafers and sprinkle the crumbs. Use the whole wafers to decorate the top of the cake also by sticking them in to stand up halfway.
Right before serving, slice the last banana and decorate the top of the cake with freshly sliced bananas.
Other Banana Cake Recipes
Tools to Make This Cake
- 9”x13” Baking Pan: One of my most used kitchen pans.
- Stand Mixer: A hand mixer will work, but I always find it easier to make frostings with a stand mixer.
- Beater Blade with Scraper: The best invention ever!
- Ninja Express Chop: Mini food processor…this is one of my most-used kitchen tools and perfect for chopping the walnuts for this cake.
Must Have Cake Mix Recipes! Sometimes you need a shortcut. Just because time is in limited supply, it doesn’t mean that flavor and fun have to be! Our cookbook has 20 cakes and cupcakes that all start with a cake mix but end up as a beautiful dessert no one will be able to resist. Click here to read about it!
Banana Poke Cake
- 1 box yellow cake mix (plus ingredients on back of box)
- 2 boxes vanilla instant pudding mix (3.4 ounces each)
- 3 cups milk
- 4 medium bananas
- 6 ounces vanilla wafers
- 12 ounces whipped topping
- Prepare a 9x13 baking pan by greasing it and preheat oven to degrees as stated on the cake mix.
- Prepare the cake mix as directed on the box, bake and allow cooling when done.
- In a large bowl, whisk the pudding mix and the milk until well combined. Set aside and allow it to thicken for a few minutes.
- Using the bottom of a wooden spoon, poke holes all of the cooled cake.
- Pour the pudding mixture all over the top and spread until well covered. Slice 3 of your bananas and spread all over the top.
- Then, spread the whipped topping on top and garnish with some crushed vanilla wafers, whole vanilla wafers and bananas.