Banana Pudding Cake

Banana Pudding Cake

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  • Total: 70 mins
  • Prep: 40 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Chill: 2 hrs
  • Yield: Serves 8-12

Banana pudding is a classic dessert that might be even better in cake form. The original pudding version is Southern in origin but actually resembles an English trifle. It's assembled in layers that include pudding, wafers, fruit, and whipped cream. This cake version has a moist and sweet banana cake as the base, making it easy to slice and share. It's topped with creamy pudding, sliced bananas, whipped cream, and a sprinkle of crushed vanilla wafers. It's sure to be a hit with banana pudding lovers of all ages.

Ingredients

  • For the Cake:
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups ripe bananas (mashed, about 3 to 4 large bananas)
  • For the Pudding:
  • 2 (3.4-ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • For the Topping:
  • 4 to 5 large barely ripe bananas (sliced)
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 20 vanilla wafers (coarsely crushed)
  • Garnish: Additional sliced bananas
  • Garnish: Additional vanilla wafers

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this cake is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Cake

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

    Banana Pudding Cake ingredients
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

    Mix the dry ingredients
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar, eggs, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla extract on medium speed for about 2 minutes. 

    Mix wet ingredients
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  4. Add the flour mixture to sugar mixture, one-third at a time, and beat on low speed after each addition until just smooth. 

    Mix dry and wet ingredients
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  5. Fold in the mashed bananas.

    Fold in the mashed bananas
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  6. Transfer the cake batter to the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of the cake comes out clean. 

    Bake the Banana Pudding Cake
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  7. Place the cake on a wire rack, and cool for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke deep holes all over the cake.

    Poke holes in Banana Pudding Cake
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Make the Pudding and the Topping

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the instant vanilla pudding with the milk and vanilla extract until thick and smooth. 

    Make the pudding
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  2. Spread the pudding evenly over the slightly warm cake.

    Spread pudding over cake
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  3. Cover the cake with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto pudding (to prevent a skin from forming). Chill the cake for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

    Chill the Banana Pudding Cake
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  4. Remove the plastic wrap from the cake. Scatter the banana slices evenly over pudding.

    Top with sliced bananas
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  5. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until thick and spreadable. 

    Make the whipped cream
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  6. Spread the sweetened whipped cream over the bananas, covering the cake in an even layer. 

    Spread the whipped cream on top
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  7. Sprinkle the top of the cake with crushed vanilla wafers.

    Garnish the Banana Pudding Cake
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  8. Slice and serve. Garnish with additional sliced bananas or vanilla wafers, if desired.