Banana Pudding Poke Cake is an easy cake mix recipe that is sweet, flavorful, and delicious. Light and full of banana flavor, this is the perfect anytime cake!
What’s in Banana Poke Cake?
Pudding and cake – is there a more decadent combination? Each bite of this banana poke cake is fluffy, creamy, and bursting with banana flavor. Covered in smooth Cool Whip and topped with banana slices and vanilla wafers, it’s a texture lover’s dream.
- Yellow Cake Mix: Makes this recipe a snap! I like Betty Crocker, but any brand will work.
- Water: Adds moisture to the cake mix.
- Vegetable Oil: Adds fat and moisture to the cake mix, helping to create a tender crumb.
- Eggs: Adds richness and structure to the cake mix.
- Instant Banana Pudding Mix: When I said this recipe was easy, I meant it! If you’re feeling fancy, try making homemade banana pudding!
- Milk: Hydrates the pudding mix to create the right consistency.
- Whipped Topping: The perfect won’t-melt topping for this rich cake.
- Vanilla Wafers: Add a bit of crunch and that classic banana pudding flavor.
- Fresh Banana: You can’t have banana pudding without bananas!
Pro Tip: If the whipped topping is in the freezer, remember to let it thaw before spreading it on top of the cake.
Variations on Banana Poke Cake with Pudding
This poke cake recipe is endlessly riff-able! Yellow cake mix goes with just about any pudding flavor you could dream of, so let your mind run wild. Lemon, cheesecake, pistachio, chocolate, cookies ‘n creme, or butterscotch would all be delicious! Top with the fresh fruit of your choice and crumbled vanilla wafers, Oreo cookies, or chopped nuts!
For even more banana flavor, add 1 teaspoon of pure banana extract to the cake batter. Be careful, though, as a little extract goes a long way.
The cake should be cooled slightly when you make the holes, but it can still be warm. Use a wooden spoon with a thin, rounded handle to poke holes all over the top of the cake. I make the holes about 3/4 of the way through the cake, not all the way to the bottom.
If the banana pudding hasn’t set after an hour of refrigeration, let it chill for an additional 30 minutes. After this point, if it’s still not set, you may have added a bit too much milk. Make sure to carefully follow the recipe to avoid this issue.
If you plan to store this cake, you may want to wait to top it with banana slices until just before serving. If you’d like to top it ahead of time, try tossing the banana slices with a bit of lemon juice to slow the browning.
If your pudding hasn’t been made correctly, it may be too wet, causing the cake to become soggy. Make sure to make the pudding exactly as instructed!
How to Store
Store leftover banana pudding poke cake tightly covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The bananas will start to brown after 2 days, so you may want to keep some extra on hand for topping. I don’t recommend freezing poke cake.
Can’t get enough banana pudding? Try my banana pudding cookies!
Banana Pudding Poke Cake Recipe
- 15.25 ounces yellow cake mix 432 grams (1 box), such as Betty Crocker
- 1 cup water 227 grams
- ½ cup vegetable oil 100 grams
- 3 large eggs 150 grams
- 6.8 ounces instant banana pudding mix 192 grams (2 boxes)
- 4 cups milk 908 grams
- 8 ounces whipped topping 226 grams, thawed, such as Cool Whip
- 1½ cups vanilla wafers 124 grams (about 33 wafers)
- 1 banana sliced
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13-inch pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.15.25 ounces yellow cake mix, ½ cup vegetable oil, 3 large eggs, 1 cup water
- Prepare the cake mix with the water, oil, and egg. Bake per the box directions (about 30 minutes). Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes.
- Take the back of a wooden spoon or a chopstick and poke a hole almost to the bottom of the cake. Repeat this process all over the cake. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the pudding mix and milk just until combined. Immediately pour the pudding evenly over the cake.6.8 ounces instant banana pudding mix, 4 cups milk
- Cover the cake with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to let the pudding set.
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator. Spread the whipped topping over the top of the cake.8 ounces whipped topping
- Place some whole wafers on top of the whipped topping, then crush the rest of the wafers and sprinkle the crumbs over the top. Place the banana slices over the crumbs prior to serving.1½ cups vanilla wafers, 1 banana
- When poking holes in the cake, try to make sure they are evenly spaced so each slice has pudding in it.
- If the whipped topping is in the freezer, remember to let it thaw before spreading it on top of the cake.
- In addition to the wafers and banana slices, top the cake with toasted coconut, walnuts, and sprinkles.