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.
- 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
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
Gather the ingredients. Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar, eggs, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla extract on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
Add the flour mixture to sugar mixture, one-third at a time, and beat on low speed after each addition until just smooth.
Fold in the mashed bananas.
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.
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.
Make the Pudding and the Topping
In a large bowl, whisk together the instant vanilla pudding with the milk and vanilla extract until thick and smooth.
Spread the pudding evenly over the slightly warm cake.
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.
Remove the plastic wrap from the cake. Scatter the banana slices evenly over pudding.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until thick and spreadable.
Spread the sweetened whipped cream over the bananas, covering the cake in an even layer.
Sprinkle the top of the cake with crushed vanilla wafers.
Slice and serve. Garnish with additional sliced bananas or vanilla wafers, if desired.