5 from 1 votes

Pudding Poke Cake

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Banana Pudding Poke Cake is a light and fresh spring dessert, a perfect recipe for holidays like Easter or spring potlucks.

Top banana pudding poke cake with fresh, not too overripe bananas and delicious vanilla wafer cookies. You cannot beat the layers of fresh homemade cake paired with banana pudding and creamy whipped topping.

If you are a fan of banana pudding or any banana desserts, this is about to be your new favorite cake recipe!

slice of banana pudding poke cake.

Why you will love this Banana Dessert

Banana is one of those flavors you do not always consider for a cake, but it’s excellent!

With 24 generous slices, this pudding poke cake is relatively large and does great for a crowd. Soft, moist vanilla cake mix and a center stuffed with a pudding mixture of vanilla and banana pudding, the sweetness of the banana flavors goes all the way down through the middle.

You can also decorate the top layer in just about any way you want (see our strawberry poke cake recipe for a more elegant way to use whipped topping), but a smooth layer of whipped cream is an easy way to get this dessert on the table quickly. Other choices that complement this type of dessert are a dusting of powdered sugar or a little brown sugar on top of the bananas. 

Before serving, dress up the top with a layer of banana slices, vanilla wafer cookies, or even a sprinkling of crushed graham cracker crumbs. 

decorated banana pudding poke cake.

Ingredients

  • Cake Mix – This dessert starts with a vanilla cake, so grab a boxed mix and follow instructions. Choosing a vanilla cake also helps avoid having to add in vanilla extract. That being said, yellow cake mix or white cake mix works if a substitute is needed.
  • Boxed Pudding Mix: You will need instant vanilla pudding mix and instant banana pudding mix as well as cold milk to make this delicious dessert. 
  • Cool Whip topping – Whipped topping is the perfect light cream topping (over something too stiff) and doesn’t overfill the senses. Just make sure it’s thawed.
  • Vanilla wafer cookies – Also known as Nilla Wafers, these round vanilla flavored cookies are synonymous with banana desserts. 
  • Fresh Banana – I do not like my bananas too ripe. Since, in this case, the banana pudding brings the majority of the flavor, and real banana slices are the topping, a nice stiff banana that is yellow and not too mushy or overripe works best. 

Pudding Poke Cakes are so easy!

Just a rundown on how poke cakes work before you get started.

  • Bake – Bake cake with simple ingredients according to cake mix box package directions and let the warm cake cool completely.
  • Cool – Allow cake to cool and poke holes to settle with flavors through the middle.
  • Fill – Poke cake with even holes and fill with the desired center – the banana pudding recipe.
  • Decorate – Decorate the top with whipped topping, sliced bananas, and vanilla wafers.

How to make a Pudding Poke Cake

  1. Bake cake according to box cake mix package directions and let cool completely in baking dish.
  2. Use a wooden spoon handle to poke holes into the cake, keeping holes large enough to allow pudding to pour and be even throughout the whole cake. It’s easiest to do a row at a time, pushing the spoon handle anywhere from the middle of the cake to the bottom.
  3. Add both creamy vanilla pudding and classic banana pudding with milk together in a medium bowl and whisk well in the mixing bowl until combined and smooth. Be careful to make sure all the pudding powder is thoroughly mixed and off the sides of the bowl.
  4. Pour pudding over cake, filling each hole. There will be excess pudding on the top of the cake, leaving an extra pudding layer.
making a pudding poke cake.
  1. Refrigerate poke cake for 5 minutes to give the pudding time to settle and the cake to firm up.
  2. Remove banana poke cake from refrigerator and top with whipped topping. Whipped cream topping can be dolled out on the top layer and spread gently with a spatula or back of the spoon. Canned whipped topping also works great for little spurts.
  3. Slice ripe bananas and top cake with fresh bananas and vanilla wafer cookies on each piece. Note that bananas go brown when exposed to air, and cookies can get soft in a fridge, so if not serving immediately, wait until ready to serve before finishing the cake. You can also add bananas and wafers per slice right before serving.
  4. Keep cake in the fridge and covered with foil.
banana pudding poke cake recipe.
poking poke cake with a wooden spoon.

How to use Jello in a Poke Cake

This particular poke cake is pudding based but try this Key Lime Jello Poke Cake Recipe or our Red, White, and Blue Jello Poke cake that shows multi-colors. 

Alternate Topping Ideas for Banana Cake

fork of pudding poke cake.

If you need some quick and easy dessert recipes, this is one of my favorite dessert choices. Try 5-minute Chocolate Chip Dip Recipe, which also goes great with vanilla wafers. 

Did you know you can make banana bread in a crockpot?

This frosted Banana Bars recipe uses up those ripe bananas into a banana dessert that is even better than cake or bread. 

Combine light as air Cool Whip and rich and thick Snickers bar for the best dessert salad ever.

Lastly, looking for a dessert without the work? This pumpkin pie dump cake recipe is a great way to enjoy fall year-round with canned pumpkin. 

5 from 1 votes

Banana Pudding Poke Cake


Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Banana pudding poke cake with soft homemade cake mix and a delicious banana pudding center is an amazing spring dessert. Top with light and fluffy whipped topping and fresh bananas for the perfect easy and delicious banana poke cake.

Ingredients
 

  • 15.25 oz. vanilla cake mix plus ingredients to make cake
  • 3.5 oz. instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 3.5 oz. instant banana pudding mix
  • 3-1/2 cups milk
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip Topping thawed
  • vanilla wafer cookies
  • 3 fresh bananas

Instructions

  • Bake cake according to package directions and let cool completely.
  • Use a wooden spoon handle to poke holes into the cake, trying to keep holes large enough to allow pudding to pour as well as even throughout the whole cake. Its easiest to just do a row at a time, pushing the spoon handle anywhere from the middle of the cake to the bottom.
  • Add both vanilla pudding and banana pudding with milk together in a bowl and whisk well until combined and smooth. Be careful to make sure all the pudding powder is fully mixed and off the sides of the bowl.
  • Pour pudding over cake, filling each the holes. There will be excess pudding on the top of the cake, which leaves for an extra pudding layer.
  • Refrigerate poke cake for 5 minutes to give the pudding time to settle and the cake to firm up.
  • Remove banana poke cake from refrigerator and top with whipped topping. Whipped cream topping can be simply dolled out on the top layer and spread gently with a spatula or back of the spoon. Canned whipped topping also works great for little spurts.
  • Slice bananas and top cake with fresh bananas and vanilla wafer cookies on each piece. Note that bananas go brown when exposed to air and cookies can get soft in a fridge, so if not serving immediately, wait until ready to serve before finishing cake. You can also add bananas and wafers per slice right before serving.
  • Keep cake in the fridge and covered with foil.

Notes

  • DECORATING TOP LAYER: This cake always looks great with a layer of whipped topping and graham cracker pieces or even crushed Nilla wafers.
  • STORE BOUGHT TO HOMEMADE: Do not have time to make a cake? A store-bought cake without frosting works great in a pinch.
  • KNIFE CUTS: As with most desserts, cakes, and fudges, wiping the knife off between cuts can give you a smoother and more precise (and prettier) cake cut.
  • Sliced Banana can turn brown once exposed to the air for a time, so its best to decorate top of the cake right before serving. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 160kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 226mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

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5 from 1 votes

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