Banana Pudding Cake

This 3 Layer Cake has all of the classic banana pudding flavor you know and love baked into a delightfully elegant and delicious dessert.

side view of banana pudding layer cake


 

This Banana Pudding Cake recipe gives layer upon layer of perfectly moist cake and creamy banana pudding. Finish it off with a sweet cream cheese frosting and a garnish of crushed Nila wafers for a beautiful dessert the whole family will love.

Think you can’t make one? Think again!

Why You’ll Love This Banana Pudding Cake

With all the flavor of a banana pudding poke cake but in impressive layer cake form- what’s not to love!

  • Total show stopper – A layer cake is always impressive; this one is impressive in both looks and flavor!
  • Impressive but easy – If you’ve never made a layer cake, this is a great one to start with. We will walk you through it step by step, with no crazy decorating techniques.
  • Uses fresh banana – Instead of only using instant banana pudding mix, we also throw in some fresh banana slices for even more banana flavor.
slice of banana pudding cake

Ingredients

While this yummy cake recipe has a few more ingredients than an ordinary boxed cake, most of the ingredients are basic kitchen staples and many repeat themselves. So get ready to make a mess.

Layer Cake Ingredients

It’s easy to make this taste like a homemade banana pudding cake with these simple ingredients.

  • Vanilla Cake Mix– Yep, just the stuff out of a box! This will save you a little time. We liked vanilla cake mix, but feel free to use white or another light colored mix.
  • Eggs – Adding more eggs than the box recipe calls for will not only increase the volume of batter so we have enough for 3 layers, but also add richness.
  • Buttermilk– As we discuss in our cake mix hacks, buttermilk as the liquid give a little tang and also loads of moisture to any cake batter.
  • Vegetable Oil– Part of the fat needed to bake any cake.
  • Sour Cream– Looking for a super soft crumb? Sour cream is your missing ingredient.
  • Vanilla Extract– While the cake mix has some vanilla goodness, we want just a little more.
  • Banana Cream Instant Pudding– This is where things get interesting! We are going to put banana goodness right into the actual layers of cake!
inside of banana layer cake with nilla wafers

Banana Pudding Filling 

The filling and the frosting are slightly different here. We are going to line the layer edges with frosting to prevent the filling from escaping.

  • Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix – Just whisk based on the box instructions, just like you would for regular banana pudding.
  • Milk- Instant pudding has the tendency to get watery if you use anything less than 2% milk, so skip the skim on this one. Whole milk is the best option.
  • Fresh Bananas– Look for perfectly ripe bananas. Overly ripe are great for bread and cookies because they have a high sugar content, but they are also a little mushy. A nice, taunt banana that will give a little texture is the goal.
fork with bite of banana pudding filling

Cream Cheese Frosting

Usual banana pudding has whipped cream, we are elevating it with cream cheese whipped cream. A heavenly blend of my favorite frosting and the traditional ingredients. You might just want to eat the frosting…

  • Cream Cheese– Full fat will be best to blend it all together and adhere to the cake.
  • Powdered Sugar– For structure and sweetness.
  • Vanilla Extract– For flavor. If you want to switch this up, imitation butter or almond are other good choices. Sometimes you can even find a banana flavor which will really give you oodles of banana goodness.
  • Heavy Cream– For giving it the loft.
  • Nila Wafers– Because banana pudding isn’t banana pudding without crunchy cookies. Nilla wafers and Chessman cookies are the classic choices, but since we are crushing them it seemed silly to spend extra money on Chessman. You can also use generic Vanilla Wafers.

Not only can you put pudding between layers of cake, once you try it, you’ll want to try all sorts of different flavor combinations.

slice of 3 layer cake on a plate

Let’s Make It!

While this Banana Pudding Cake is a little more work than making traditional banana pudding or just a sheet cake, I promise it the effort is worth the reward.

You’re guaranteed to fall in love with the classic flavors from the first bite and also get a ridiculous amounts of accolades from friends, family and social media. Make sure to tag us on social media when you make!

Make The Cake

  1. Prepare pans and oven. Preheat the oven and prep cake pans by greasing and flouring. You can also add a layer of parchment to the bottoms if you are worried about sticking.
  2. Make batter. Combine wet ingredients in one bowl and dry ingredients in another bowl, stirring both to combine. Then whisk together in a large mixing bowl, but don’t overmix, in fact, we don’t even suggest using a stand mixer on this one.
  3. Add to pans and bake. Divide batter evenly between the three cake pans. You can eyeball it or use a scale to get it perfect. Tap each pan gently on the counter to release any air bubbles in the batter. Bake times can vary and you might need to rotate cakes in the oven to get an even bake. Check frequently.
  4. Make pudding. While the cakes are baking, combine the pudding mix and milk and let it chill until the cakes are baked and fully cooled.
  5. Level cakes. If the cakes aren’t fully flat, trim so they are using a cake leveler or you can prevent this by using cakes strips along the pans.
fork digging into a banana vanilla layer cake

For The Frosting

A light and fluffy frosting is the perfect complement to this banana pudding cake recipe.

  1. Beat cream cheese. Don’t skip this step: beat cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. We DO recommend using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer for this one. Or do it by hand of you have awesome arm muscles.
  2. Add remaining ingredients. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla until completely combined, then add cream until the mixture thickens. After a few minutes, soft peaks will form and you’ll have billowy frosting.
cream cheese frosting in a bowl

To Assemble

Now the fun part- putting it all together!

  1. Bottom layer. Place a layer of cake face down on your serving tray. This is where it will live, so choose how you want to display it now and don’t plan on moving it.
  2. Make circle of frosting. Place frosting into a large frosting bag, you don’t even need a tip. Make a thick circle of frosting around the edge of the cake.
  3. Fill circle with pudding and bananas. Fill the center of the circle of frosting with half of the pudding mixture and sliced bananas. Repeat this process with your next layer of cake.
  4. Frost outside of cake. Finish with the final layer of cake and then frost the outsides of the cake. Don’t worry about it being perfect because the cookie crumbs will hide imperfections.
  5. Add crushed vanilla wafers. Press crushed Nilla Wafers into the top and sides of the frosted cake.
  6. Garnish. You can leave it here or garnish further using a star tip to make pretty dollops on the top around the edges and adding more whole Nilla wafers. You can also use plain stabilized whipped cream or Cool Whip for this part.

      Storage and Freezing

      Once you’re finished enjoying this Banana Pudding Cake, you’ll want to save the leftovers to sneak a bite of. Luckily it stores really easily and tastes just as delicious -if not even better- the next day! 

      How to Store Leftover Banana Pudding Cake

      Simply cover your cake in an airtight container (careful not to ruin that beautiful Nilla Wafer garnish) and store in your refrigerator for up to 3 days. For extra crunch, feel free to add fresh crushed wafers before serving up your next slicem, they do tend to get a little mushy after soaking up the frosting.

      Can I Freeze Banana Pudding Cake?

      Many of my cake recipes can be made ahead of time and frozen. And if you’re in a pinch, you can always make the cake layers and freeze them ahead of time. However, the filling does not defrost well. So, for the best bite, make this cake when you and your family is ready to enjoy it.

      close up of slice of banana cake pulling out

      More Banana Recipes

      If you’re a banana lover like me, you are going to love our favorite banana recipes.

      Super moist Banana Cake is a great way to use ripe bananas. Mix it with walnuts and top with a cream cheese frosting for a fabulous breakfast cake or fruity dessert. #bananacake www.savoryexperiments.com

      Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

      Super moist Banana Cake is a great way to use ripe bananas. Mix it with walnuts and top with a cream cheese frosting for a fabulous breakfast cake or fruity dessert. 
      See The Recipe!
      Banana fried cheesecake cut in half with raspberries

      Fried Cheesecake (Cheesecake Egg Rolls)

      This Banana Fried Cheesecake recipe will become one of your all time favorite desserts! They are fried golden brown to perfection and drizzled with honey. 
      See The Recipe!
      wire basket of banana nut muffins

      Banana Nut Muffin Recipe

      Classic Banana Nut Muffins, so soft and moist, are the perfect way to use up ripe bananas and make a simple breakfast.
      See The Recipe!
      banana pudding cake for pinterest
      side view of banana pudding cake

      Banana Pudding Cake

      4.77 from 17 votes
      This Banana Pudding Layer Cake has all of the classic banana pudding flavor you know and love baked into a delightfully elegant and delicious dessert!
      Prep Time: 15 minutes
      Cook Time: 20 minutes
      Assembly Time & Cooling: 1 hour
      Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
      Servings: 12

      Ingredients

      Cake:

      Filling:

      • 3.4 ounces instant vanilla pudding mix
      • 1 ½ cups whole milk
      • 2 bananas , sliced

      Cream Cheese Frosting:

      Decorations – Optional

      Instructions

      Cake:

      • Preheat your oven to 350°F and prepare three 8-inch cake pans by rubbing generously with vegetable shortening and dust with flour. Discard any remaining flour and set aside. If using cake strips, soak and place them on now.
      • Combine the eggs, egg whites, buttermilk, vegetable oil, sour cream, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
      • Add the cake and pudding mix and whisk vigorously until well combined and smooth, but do not overmix.
      • Divide the batter evenly between the three cake pans and tap each cake pan on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake for 20-23 minute or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
      • While the cakes are baking, combine the vanilla pudding mix and milk into a small bowl and whisk to combine. Place in the refrigerator to set until the cakes have cooled.

      Frosting:

      • Prepare the frosting by adding the cream cheese into the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or using an electric hand mixer, beat for 2-3 minutes or until smooth and fluffy.
      • Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
      • Add in the heavy cream and start whisking on low speed until the cream starts to thicken and slowly increase the speed to med-high. Continue whisking until you get stiff peaks. Add the frosting into a piping bag with a large round tip.

      Assembly:

      • Place one layer of cake face down onto a serving tray. Trace a thick circle of frosting around the edges of the cake. Place half of the pudding into the center of the circle and smooth. Top the pudding with an even layer of sliced bananas. Continue with the other layer of cake.
        how to make banana cake layers
      • Once you have all layers stacked, smooth the rest of the frosting over the entire cake. Cover the sides of the cake in crushed Nilla Wafers and top with whipped cream and extra sliced bananas or Nila wafers.
        naked banana cake layers
      • Keep leftovers in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
      • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings.

      Nutrition

      Calories: 680 kcal, Carbohydrates: 83 g, Protein: 7 g, Fat: 36 g, Saturated Fat: 22 g, Trans Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 114 mg, Sodium: 615 mg, Potassium: 255 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 53 g, Vitamin A: 1043 IU, Vitamin C: 2 mg, Calcium: 207 mg, Iron: 1 mg
      Author: Brittany Keller
      Calories: 680
      Course: Dessert
      Cuisine: American
      Keyword: 3 layer cake, banana pudding cake, chocolate layer cake
      Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
      banana pudding cake for pinterest
      Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

      About the Author

      Jessica Formicola

      Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

      Read More About Jessica

      4.77 from 17 votes (11 ratings without comment)

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      Recipe Rating




      Questions and Reviews

      1. 5 stars
        I never knew there would be a banana pudding cake until my step daughter wanted one for her birthday. I made it, turned out great, now her sister wants one for her birthday. First sister said I can make one for her but not as good as the one I made her. BTW looking to change up for a different one with cheese cake pudding and blue berries layered.

      2. I never knew there would be a banana pudding cake until my step daughter wanted one for her birthday. I made it, turned out great, now her sister wants one for her birthday. First sister said I can make one for her but not as good as the one I made her.

      3. 5 stars
        Oh wow! This cake was such a hit here and was so delicious! My hubby and daughter absolutely loved it! I’ll definitely be making this again. Such a great treat!

      4. 5 stars
        This banana pudding cake is so amazing and relatively easy to make with your how-to tips! Thanks for sharing!

      5. 5 stars
        I could eat this cake every holiday now. The texture is absolutely stunning and the presentation is out of this world!

      6. 5 stars
        Fantastic pudding cake – I absolutely love the result. This is what a banana pudding cake should be!