This Easy Banana Pudding Poke Cake Recipe is deliciously light and sweet with fresh banana slices, moist cake, and creamy pudding. The perfect make-ahead dessert for weeknights and holidays.
Best creamy banana cake
Poke cakes are easy and fun desserts to enjoy. This Banana Pudding Poke Cake is such a simple and delicious treat that tastes just like the classic pudding but with cake. Only a few ingredients are needed like cake mix, bananas, pudding, and Cool Whip. And it’s a make-ahead dessert that is ready to enjoy for the holidays, potlucks, or weeknights.
- Yellow cake mix– the sweet vanilla base is so tasty with banana pudding on top. The yellow cake mix has a nice appearance with bananas but the white cake mix would taste the same. Just include the egg yolks for a more yellow appearance.
- Banana pudding and vanilla pudding– this combination has the perfect flavor combination that compliments each other. It helps keep the banana flavor from being too strong and overpowering. But it can easily be changed up with banana-banana, banana-chocolate, or banana-cheesecake. Be sure it is Instant Pudding and not cook and serve.
- Vanilla wafers– these cookies add a sweet little crunch to the cake.
- Cool Whip– switch it up with homemade whipped cream if you prefer.
This poke cake is easy to make. All you have to do is:
- Make the cake and poke holes- start by making the cake according to the directions on the box. Mine included needing oil, eggs, and water for a 9×13″ pan. Allow the cake to cool completely. Then take the handle of a wooden spoon or a small dowel rod and poke holes all over the cake.
- Make the pudding– add milk, banana pudding, and vanilla pudding to a large-sized bowl. Beat with a hand mixer just until the pudding starts to thicken. Don’t let it thicken too much like traditional pudding. It still needs to be a bit runny. Immediately pour the pudding over the top of the cake and gently smooth it with the back of a spoon or spatula to help the pudding drip into the holes.
- Let it set– once the pudding is completely over the top of the cake, cover it tightly and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. This will help the pudding soak into the cake and make it even moister.
- Add banana, Cool Whip, and toppings– after it has set, remove from the refrigerator and slice 3 bananas over the cake to evenly cover. Then add a layer of Cool Whip on top. Right before serving, crush vanilla wafers and sprinkle them over the top of the cake. Serve and enjoy!
Banana poke cake can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days after it is made. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap or a lid to keep the air out. A little reminder, the bananas will start to brown and the vanilla wafers do become softer but it will still taste just as good!
Frequently asked questions
A poke cake is filled with pudding and topped with whipped cream. These dairy products need to be refrigerated to safely eat.
Lightly toss banana slices with lemon juice to help reduce browning.
Instant pudding is necessary so that the pudding will set up properly in the cake.
Tips and tricks
* Allow at least 30 minutes for the pudding to fill in the holes and absorb in the cake.
* Add the crushed vanilla wafters right before serving to keep them extra crunchy.
* Try using bananas with a few spots on the peel. These tend to be the right amount of sweetness and firmness.
More delicious dessert recipes
- White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Sugar Cookies– soft, chewy, and thick cookies that are filled with sweet cranberries and white chocolate chips in every bite.
- Pecan Pie Fudge Brownies– the perfect pair with rich chocolatey brownies and a sweet crunchy pecan pie topping.
- Old Fashioned Lemon Icebox Pie- a classically sweet dessert full of flavor with tart lemons and sweetened condensed milk and Cool Whip.
Easy Banana Pudding Poke Cake Recipe
- 15.25 ounce box of yellow cake mix plus ingredients needed for cake including eggs, oil, and water
- 3.4 ounce instant banana pudding mix
- 3.4 ounce instant vanilla pudding mix
- 4 cups cold milk
- 3 bananas sliced
- 8 ounces Cool Whip thawed
- 1 cup crushed vanilla wafers
- Make the cake according to the directions on the box for a 9×13" pan. Allow the cake to cool completely. Then take the handle of a wooden spoon or a small dowel rod and poke holes all over the cake. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add milk, banana pudding, and vanilla pudding. Beat with a hand mixer just until the pudding starts to thicken. Do not let it thicken too much like traditional pudding. It still needs to be a bit runny. Immediately pour the pudding over the top of the cake and gently smooth it with the back of a spoon or spatula to help the pudding drip into the holes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
- Remove and top the cake evenly with sliced bananas then cover with Cool Whip. Right before serving, sprinkle the crushed vanilla wafers over the top. Serve and enjoy!
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 3-5 days after it is made. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap or a lid to keep the air out. Keep in mind, the bananas will start to brown and the vanilla wafers do become softer but it will still taste delicious!
- This can be made ahead of time up to 24 hours. Just make the cake, add the pudding, cover and store. When ready to serve, add the bananas, Cool Whip, and vanilla wafers.
- The pudding flavors can be switched with 2 banana, cheesecake, or chocolate for a different variety.