Banana Pudding Poke Cake Recipe has everything you love about banana pudding in a delicious cake. This is the easiest pudding poke cake loaded with delicious pudding, bananas and more for a tasty dessert you will make again and again.

A slice of this banana pudding poke cake on a white plate topped with crushed vanilla wafers and sliced bananas next to the cake on the plate
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Banana Pudding Poke Cake is the easiest cake recipe. The instant banana pudding mix gives it the best flavor and it’s so moist. It is one of The Best Poke Cake Recipes along with Boston Cream Poke Cake Recipe. I love being able to make dessert for my family without a ton of time or ingredients.

For more banana flavor, try Banana Pudding Cookies.

What is a Poke Cake?

The cake is poked all over to allow the delicious pudding mixture to saturate the cake. The flavor gets in the cake for an amazing dessert.

Plus, it is fun to poke the cake for the pudding layer. The kids love to help with this part.

Ingredients

  • yellow box cake mix
  • Ingredients needed to make cake: eggs, oil & water.
  • instant banana pudding – you can also try our Homemade Vanilla Pudding
  • milk
  • frozen whipped topping (COOL WHIP) thawed
  • vanilla wafers

The entire ingredient list is in the recipe card.

Variations

  • Pudding. Try using Instant Vanilla Pudding mix instead of banana.

How to Make Banana Pudding Poke Cake

  • Step 1. Preheat oven to temperature required on the bake of your yellow cake mix. Spray a 9×13 pan with non stick spray.
  • Step 2. Prepare the cake mix according to package directions for a 9×13 cake. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake based on the directions on the box. Cook until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Holes being poked into the cake with the end of a wooden spoon

Step 3. Once the cake comes out of the oven, allow it to cool for just a couple of minutes. Next, with a wooden spoon handle, poke holes in the cake. You want the holes to be big enough so that the pudding has plenty of room to get down in there.

The pudding mix and milk being whisk together in a large bowl

Step 4. In a bowl, whisk together instant pudding mix with milk. Stir until all the lumps are gone. In a bowl, whisk together instant pudding mix with milk. Stir until all the lumps are gone.

The pudding mixture being poured on top of the vanilla cake poked with holes

Step 5. Pour pudding over cake. Spread it all out on the cake layer and using the back of the spoon, gently push pudding down into the holes.

Crushed vanilla wafers sprinkled on top of the cool whip on top of the cake

Step 6. Finally, put the cake into the fridge to set and cool completely. Once completely cooled, spread on the whipped topping. Crush the vanilla wafers. Spread crushed wafers onto the top of the cake before serving. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve.

How to Serve

Keep the cake refrigerated until ready to serve. I love serving this cake topped with fresh banana slices to bring in more of that delicious banana flavor.

You can also serve topped with whole vanilla wafers or fresh whipped cream as well.

Pro Tips

  • When adding the pudding layer, don’t let the cake cool completely. The heat from the cake will help the pudding get into all the holes in the cake.
  • Work quickly with the pudding as it does turn thick quickly. Poke the holes in the cake, then mix the pudding with the milk. This way the cake is ready for the pudding when you have prepared it.
  • I love this cake cold. Keep it in the refrigerator until ready to serve and only let it sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to prevent bananas from browning?

I usually just slice the bananas and top the cake with the slices right before serving so I don’t have to worry about them browning too much.

You can spray a little lemon juice or lemon lime soda on the bananas slices and they will not brown as quickly.

Can you put bananas in the cake?

I usually don’t put bananas in the cake as the banana pudding as a ton of banana flavor. I just don’t want to have to worry about the bananas in the cake browning.

However, if you want to make more of a traditional banana pudding cake recipe, you can top the pudding layer with sliced bananas.

Then top the banana layer with the cool whip and the vanilla wafers.
The extra banana layer will give this cake an even stronger banana flavor.

However, I do recommend spraying the sliced bananas with lemon juice before adding them to the cake. This will prevent then from browning too quickly.

How do you poke a cake?

I use the end of a wooden spoon to poke the cake and it works great.

You want the holes large enough for the pudding to drip down into it. I have tried using skewers and toothpicks and they don’t make large enough holes.

I have found that the spoon works best to make large holes for this banana poke cake.

Does pudding make cake moist? 

Yes, the pudding layer on this cake makes the cake very moist and soft. Make sure to get the pudding in all the holes as evenly as possible.

Also, refrigerate after the pudding has been poured over the cake and allow the pudding to set.

My favorite thing about poke cakes is how moist they are. I know you’re going to love this easy and most pudding poke cake.

Do poke cakes need to be refrigerated?

Yes, refrigerate the cake until ready to serve. This is the best cake and so easy to make with just a few ingredients.

How long can you keep this cake in the refrigerator? 

Make sure to cover this cake and it will last in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. I usually cover with plastic wrap or make it in a pan that comes with a cover for easy storing.

Can you make this recipe in advance?

This cake can be made 1-2 days before serving. Make the cake as directed and pour over the pudding layer. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

I recommend waiting to top the cake with the cool whip and Nilla wafers until right before serving.

This cake is perfect to make the night before serving as the cake just gets more moist as the pudding soaks into the cake while being refrigerated.

Can you freeze this cake?

Yes, this cake can easily be frozen. Refrigerate the cake so that the frosting is set. Then cover the cake in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil.

Freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost the cake out at room temperature for serving and then it’s ready to slice and enjoy.

Can you use other flavors of cake and pudding?

Yes! You can try other cake flavors and types of pudding in this recipe. There are so many delicious combinations that you can try.

Just use what you have. You are going to love this cake.

The recipe is very versatile. You could even try vanilla pudding instead of banana pudding in this cake if you prefer less banana flavor.

More Poke Cake Recipes

Try These Banana Recipes

Try this recipe for a tasty dessert. Then please leave a comment and star rating.

Side view of a slice of this banana pudding poke cake on a white plate topped with crushed vanilla wafers and sliced bananas

Banana Pudding Poke Cake

4.77 from 13 votes
Banana Pudding Poke Cake Recipe has everything you love about banana pudding in a delicious cake. This is the easiest pudding poke cake and so tasty.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Cool 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings 12
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 323

Ingredients

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • ingredients needed to make cake: eggs, oil & water
  • 2 3.4 oz packages instant banana pudding
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 8 oz tub frozen whipped topping (COOL WHIP) thawed
  • 20 vanilla wafers crushed plus a few whole ones
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Instructions

  • Prepare cake mix according to package directions for a 9×13 cake.
  • Once cake comes out of the oven, allow it to cool for just a couple of minutes.
  • Then, with a wooden spoon handle, begin poking holes in the cake. You want the holes to be big enough so that the pudding has plenty of room to get down in there. Be sure to poke right down to the bottom of the cake.
  • In a bowl, whisk together instant pudding mix with 4 cups milk. Stir until all the lumps are gone.
  • Pour pudding over cake.
  • Spread it all out and using the back of the spoon, gently push pudding down into the holes.
  • Put the cake into the fridge to set and cool (about 2 hours).
  • Once your cake has completely cooled, spread on whipped topping.
  • Crush the vanilla wafers. Leave some of the pieces big. It’s nice to have a bit of a crunch when you eat the cake.
  • Spread crushed wafers onto the top of the cake before serving.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 323kcal, Carbohydrates 64g, Protein 5g, Fat 6g, Saturated Fat 3g, Cholesterol 8mg, Sodium 485mg, Potassium 136mg, Fiber 1g, Sugar 26g, Vitamin A 132IU, Calcium 184mg, Iron 1mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Desserts on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you create delicious desserts on a budget and do not require a ton of time. Together, we are going to make something sweet that the entire family will love!

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