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Banana Pudding Poke Cake

Homemade banana pudding flavor in a CAKE ya’ll! What could be more southern than that? If you can make a box cake, you can make this cake. Banana Pudding Poke cake is EASY!

the corner of a 9x13 pan holding cake with cake server in background

Hello Banana Pudding Poke Cake

Why This Recipe Works…

Here’s How It’s Done…

STEP 1. 

Make a cake per the box instructions…

overhead shot of baked cake and prepared pudding

Bake the cake and prepare the pudding

STEP 2

Poke holes in the cake, prepare the pudding and spread it on top.

A photo of spreading the pudding onto the baked cake with holes poked into it

Spread the pudding and push as much into the poked holes as possible

STEP 3. 

Place the banana disks on top

A photo of bananas cut into disk shapes spread out onto the cake with pudding on top of it

Spread the bananas that are cut into disks onto the cake

STEP 4. 

Spread Cool Whip over the top and sprinkle with crumbled Nilla Wafers

Fluffy cool whip on the top with a kitchen towel in the background

Front corner of the Banana Pudding Poke Cake

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) about Banana Pudding Poke Cake

What Is a Poke Cake?

A poke cake has holes poked in it and then something (pudding in this case) is poured into the holes. This makes the cake exceptionally moist and WONDERFUL!

Can I Use a Different Flavor of Pudding?

SURE!  I recommend the vanilla but a banana flavor works too or even a pistachio flavor would work! 

The bananas you put on the cake will give it a banana flavor. 

Can I Leave Off the Banana Slices? 

Absolutely!  That said, you’ll definitely need to use banana flavor pudding though or there won’t be any banana flavor. 

Will It Help If I Use the Cook Pudding and Put It On Warm? Can I Use a Cook and Serve Pudding Instead? 

  • Cook and serve pudding is OK to use, however, add it WARM and not hot.
  • Do not add the bananas or the cool whip until the entire cake and pudding mix have cooled to at least room temperature. 
  • Really though, it will save you time to just use the instant and it works best that way too. 

Can I Make a Sugar Free Banana Pudding Poke Cake? 

The answer is Yes and No. If you can find Sugar Free Cake Mix, Sugar Free Whipped Cream and then use the Sugar Free Pudding, you are home free!

The recipe being scooped from the pan with a bit falling on a towel

Banana Pudding Poke Cake

Can This Cake Be Made The Day Before? 

Absolutely, put it in the fridge to keep it as fresh as possible.

Can I freeze this Banana Pudding Poke Cake? 

Yes, you CAN! Do not add the whipped cream or bananas or crunchy cookie topping until ready to serve. Put those together after you remove the cake from the freezer.

 Here’s how…

  1. Stop at step two. 
  2. Poke the holes in the cake
  3. put the pudding in the holes and on the cake.
  4. Wrap the cake very well with wax paper followed by plastic wrap in several layers.
  5. Place in the freezer and will keep for 3 months. 
  6. When removing from the freezer allow it to come to room temp then you can add the bananas and cool whip.

Here’s a great article from the USDA about freezing and food safety

How To Store Banana Pudding Poke Cake.

Keep your banana pudding poke cake in the fridge.

Can I Make My Own Whipped Cream Instead of Using Cool Whip? 

Here’s what I do: 

  • 2 Cups Heavy Cream (chilled)
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbs sour cream 
  1. Chill the bowl of the stand mixer in the freezer for at least 20 minutes. 
  2. Add the chilled cream to the chilled bowl and using the whip attachment, whip on a high speed until the cream thickens to consistency I desire. 
  3. Turn the mixer off, add the sugar, vanilla and sour cream and then turn on a very low speed. 
  4. Mix until the additional ingredients are well incorporated. 

PRO TIP:  The sour cream acts as a stabilizer and will help the whipped cream not become runny or watery.

Can I Make This Into Banana Pudding Poke Cake Cup Cakes? 

Yes, you can! 

It should make about 12-18 depending on how full you fill your cup cakes. 

You’ll need to adjust the baking time, but the side of your cake box will tell you how to do this for cupcakes. 

Poke about 4 holes in the cup cake, but not more or it will become unstable. 

Can I Make This with a Gluten Free Cake Mix? 

Yes, absolutely!

  • If you have a gluten free cake mix, go for it. 
  • However, be careful to look at the size cake it makes. 
  • The rest of this recipe is for a 9×13 size cake and you may need to adjust your other ingredients accordingly.
spoon scooping the cake fully from the pan

A side view of the cake

TIPS AND TRICKS FOR BANANA PUDDING POKE CAKE

  • Cook the cake slightly under done – so if the cakes calls to be cooked for 22 minutes – cook it for 20. This allows you to poke the holes without messing up the cake too much. 
  • Poke a lot of holes in the cake.
  • Pour the pudding as soon as you make it – when it is still a tiny bit thin.
  • Use RIPE bananas for the most flavor – the greenish ones cut better but the riper ones have more banana flavor.
  • Use as many vanilla wafers as you want for the topping – you are the king in your kitchen!
  • Change up the topping with chopped pecans or walnuts. 

PRO TIP:  Dip the banana slices in a mix of 2 Tbs of lemon juice and 1 Tbs of water to keep them from browning too quickly. 

Banana Pudding Poke Cake scooped fully from the pan

Banana Pudding Poke Cake

A light fluffy cake that tastes like banana pudding!  So delicious and creamy!  Easy to fix for a crowd too!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: banana pudding poke cake, banana pudding cake
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 18 servings
Calories: 170kcal
Author: Loaves and Dishes

Ingredients

  • 1 Yellow cake mix cake made by the package instructions
  • 2 boxes of INSTANT vanilla pudding - made by the package instructions
  • 3 ripe bananas cut into disks
  • 1 12 oz tub of whipped cream type topping thawed to room temp
  • 10 vanilla wafer cookies smashed into crumbles

Instructions

  • Make the cake according to package instructions in a 9x12 baking dish.
  • Make the two boxes of pudding according to package instructions.
  • Cut the 3 bananas into disks.
  • Poke holes into the cake at regular intervals (see the process photos) and then pour the pudding onto the cake. Using a spatula, spread the pudding out over the cake and push as much of the pudding into the holes as possible.
  • Place the banana disks onto the pudding.
  • Cover the banana disks with the whipped cream topping and spread it out.
  • Sprinkle the vanilla wafer crumbs over the top.
  • Refrigerate and serve chilled.

Notes

  • Allow the cake to cool a little before poking holes.
  • This serves the same number of people regardless of it being a layer or sheet cake, but is probably slightly easier to serve to a crowd as a sheet cake. 
  • Cook the cake slightly under done - so if the cakes calls to be cooked for 22 minutes - cook it for 20. This allows you to poke the holes without messing up the cake too much. 
  • Poke a lot of holes in the cake.
  • Pour the pudding as soon as you make it - when it is still a tiny bit thin.
  • Use RIPE bananas for the most flavor - the greenish ones cut better but the riper ones have more banana flavor.  
  • Use as many vanilla wafers as you want for the topping - you are the king in your kitchen!
  • Change up the topping with chopped pecans or walnuts. 
  • PRO TIP:  Dip the banana slices in a mix of 2 Tbs of lemon juice and 1 Tbs of water to keep them from browning too quickly. 
  • PRO TIP:  Feel free to use something besides vanilla wafers on the top.  Maybe try crushed pistachios, pecans or walnuts! 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Banana Pudding Poke Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 170 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Cholesterol 3mg1%
Sodium 238mg10%
Potassium 109mg3%
Carbohydrates 36g12%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 19g21%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 48IU1%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 84mg8%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!

***This recipe first appeared on Loaves and Dishes on May 17, 2017 and has been updated with “why this recipe works’, step by step photo instructions, FAQ’s, nutrition information, equipment information and video***

A VERSE TO SHARE

Have you ever felt like you have so much to do that you will NEVER get it all done? Yeah, me too. All the time. Every. Single. Day.

That is just my day to day life. Add work on top of that. Add family obligations on top of that. Add….. add anything else on top of that and I’m just overwhelmed.

I know, you get that way too.

I think it’s important to remember something – remember who has your back. You aren’t in this alone. Even if you WERE in it alone, you still wouldn’t be in it alone.

That’s how powerful our Lord’s game is. I mean, come on, if He made heaven and earth – surely my little stuff isn’t too much, right? Right!

Says so right here…

Psalm 121: 1-2 I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

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Recipe Rating




wendi

Friday 27th of September 2019

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Lisa

Sunday 28th of April 2019

I just made this dessert and I hope it turns out as delicious as yours looks. Thanks for this recipe! The cake is chilling as I'm writing this and when it's ready I'm serving it for my family's after Sunday dinner dessert! Crossed fingers 🤞 God bless you!

Wendi Spraker

Sunday 28th of April 2019

Hi Lisa! Thanks so much for leaving me a comment! I bet your cake will be perfect! :)

Betty

Thursday 21st of March 2019

Haven’t tried it yet but was wondering if the crumbed waffers could be on top of the pudding instead of the cool whip.

Wendi Spraker

Thursday 21st of March 2019

I’m sure that would be delicious too!

Moxie

Friday 2nd of February 2018

Made it and it was GREAT! The kids and adults all loved it! Thanks!

Marilyn

Monday 17th of July 2017

The Lord spoke to me through your recipe. As I continued reading and saw the message about our Lord being the creator and in charge of everything...I felt the words pop out from the computer into my heart. God is an AWESOME GOD who continuously makes HIMSELF known to us. I am struggling with a family problem right now and this has given me such comfort. Thank you for posting this and making my day a little easier.

Wendi Spraker

Tuesday 18th of July 2017

Hi Maryilyn! Thank you so much for visiting Loaves and Dishes and for your kind comment. Our God IS and AWESOME God! Amen! I'm sorry you are having a struggle right now - I'll keep you in my prayers. God truly is in your corner and that is where your strength shall come from. Just keep praying. Just keep praying.

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