Banana Pudding Poke Cake is a delicious cake that is made from yellow cake mix, banana instant pudding, whipped topping and bananas with crumbled nilla wafers on top. The moist cake is easy to make and since it can be made in advance is great for parties and potlucks.
This tasty banana poke cake dessert can even be prepared with children, since it’s so simple with only a few ingredients.
This holiday and barbecue classic is always a hit with both young and old alike. Banana Pudding Poke cake is served chilled and can be made ahead of time, making it a nice way to end a hot meal or for a summer treat.
How to Make Banana Pudding Poke Cake
Let's make this scrumptious banana cream dessert. It's super easy but I've provided some pictures to help you along. Skip right down to the recipe card if you prefer.
The recipe make 12 servings.
Prep time 15 mins | Bake time 30 mins | Chill for 45 mins
Ingredients for Banana Pudding Cake:
Here is everything you will need to make this delicious dessert recipe!
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- ½ cup of oil
- 1 cup of water
- 3 eggs
- 2 boxes instant banana pudding, shown already mixed with milk
- 3 cups cold milk
- 8 oz of Cool Whip frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 3 bananas, sliced
- 2 cups of vanilla wafer crumbs
You may want to try making this with a layer of homemade banana jam as a fun alternative, that avoids discoloring of bananas.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat interior of 9 x 13 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
Mix together the cake mix, eggs, water and oil in a medium bowl.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center pulls clean.
While cake is baking mix up the instant pudding with the cold milk. Refrigerate the pudding mixture until needed.
Allow the baked cake to cool on the counter for 15 minutes and then chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator. Make sure the cake is completely cool before poking holes.
Using the opposite end of a wooden spoon, poke holes in the cake. Try and space them out somewhat evenly aiming toward getting a few in each slice.
Pour pudding over cake and spread out evenly covering the entire cake, making sure all the holes to fill with pudding.
Spread whipped topping across the cake fully coating it. Lay out sliced banana across the top evenly.
Sprinkle cookie crumbs on top.
Stick cake in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm up.
Cut the cake into 12 slices and serve.
- Fresh whipped cream can be used in place of the cool whip, but it will not hold it's form as long. Stabilizing it with powdered sugar will help.
- Swap one or both of the puddings for a box of instant vanilla pudding if you like. Add a couple mashed bananas or banana flavoring to boost the banana flavor.
Banana Pudding Poke Cake with Condensed Milk
A common variation on this banana cake is to add sweetened condensed milk into the pudding layer. This makes the cake even more moist and a little sweeter. If that sounds good to you just add it along with the milk when mixing up the pudding.
If you want a more Old Fashioned banana pudding poke cake, top with homemade whipped cream.
To make: whip together 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1-½ cups of heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form, then spread over the pudding layer.
You will find the canned type whipped cream will melt too quickly, so don't use that, unless it's going on individual slices as you serve.
If well wrapped and consistently kept refrigerated, the poke cake will last for 3 days.
If you are storing for a day or so before serving the entire cake, I suggest nestling the banana slices below the whipped topping to reduce browning or wait and slice them on top of the cake as serving.
Tossing the sliced bananas in a citric acid or lemon juice solution is also an option. [ref]
If you like this easy dessert you may also like my no bake Strawberry Icebox Cake, Kool-aid pie, super moist Banana Bundt Cake or Million Dollar Pie recipes. My Peach Dump Cake recipe is also a popular choice.
Banana Pudding Poke Cake Recipe
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- ½ cup oil
- 1 cup water
- 3 eggs
- 2 boxes instant banana pudding mix (3 oz boxes, or one large box)
- 3 cups milk cold
- 8 oz frozen whipped topping thawed
- 3 ripe bananas sliced
- 2 cups vanilla wafers crushed
- 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk ***optional
- Mix together the cake mix, eggs, water and oil. Cook in a 9 x 13 pan on 350 for 30-35 minutes. Edges will be golden brown an pick will pull clean from center of cake.
- Whisk together the instant pudding mix and milk. Refrigerate until ready to use. (If using condensed milk add it into the pudding while mixing)
- Allow the baked cake to cool on the counter for 15 minutes and then chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator. Make sure the cake is completely cool before poking holes.
- Using a wooden spoon handle, poke holes in the cake.
- Spread banana pudding across the entire cake, making sure all the holes to fill with pudding.
- Spread the cool whipping across the cake fully coating it. Lay out banana slices across the top.
- Sprinkle cookie crumbs on top.
- Stick cake in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to solidify.
- Cut in 12 slices.
- Fresh whipped cream can be used in place of the cool whip, but it will not hold it's form as long.
- Swap one of the puddings for a box of instant vanilla pudding if you like.