Punch Bowl Cake is an easy to make classic Southern dessert with delicious layers. You will love the wonderful flavors of fluffy cake, pudding, fruit, whipped cream and more.

Trifle dish with layers of punch bowl cake inside.
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You don’t have to be from the South to make this easy Punch Bowl Cake. It is perfect for a family reunion, birthday party, dinner party or any occasion you need a tasty dessert.

This recipe is similar to Strawberry Trifle and the layers are gorgeous. It is one of the easiest cake recipes. If you can toss a few ingredients together, you can make this recipe!

While it is traditionally made in a large punch bowl, you can choose a punch bowl or trifle dish. Either option will show the gorgeous layers in this recipe for punch bowl cake. You may also love this Atomic Cake and Margarita Cake.

Why everyone will love this recipe

  • Simple Ingredients. The ingredient list is simple and you won’t find anything complicated.
  • Quick and easy. The recipe is super easy.
  • Rich and Delicious. This dessert is the perfect blend of tasty ingredients.

Ingredients

Ingredients for Punch Bowl Cake - bananas, cake mix, crushed pineapple, pudding mix, milk, nuts, pie filling.
  • Yellow cake mix
  • Instant vanilla pudding mix
  • Bananas
  • Crushed pineapple
  • Cherry pie filling
  • Whipped topping
  • Chopped pecans 

You can find the complete ingredient list in the recipe card at the bottom.

Substitutions and Additions

  • Pudding. Try using white chocolate pudding or lemon pudding.
  • Cake. More options include angel food cake, pound cake, white cake mix, strawberry boxed cake mix and more.
  • Omit the Nuts. Feel free to leave the nuts out of the recipe if you prefer.
  • Try different nuts. I also like chopped walnuts, cashews and almonds instead of the pecans.
  • Topping. Add a few fresh strawberries to the top of the punch bowl cake recipe. Coconut is also delicious.
  • Pie filling. Swap the cherry pie filling for strawberry or blueberry.
  • Chocolate Punch Bowl Cake. You can also use chocolate pudding and chocolate cake to make chocolate punch bowl cake.
  • Patriotic Version. Layer blueberry pie filling in this dessert with the cherry pie filling. It is perfect for July 4th.

How to make a Punch Bowl Cake:

Baked cake in pan.

Step 1. Prepare the cake mix according to package and bake in a 9X13 baking pan.  Allow the cake to cool completely.  

Bowl of cake cubes.

Step 2. Mix together the pudding with the milk. While the pudding is thickening, cut the cooled cakes into smaller bite size pieces.

Layer of bananas in dish.

Step 3. Place half of the cake pieces in the trifle dish. Then add half of the pudding mixture on top evenly. Top with banana slices.

Layer of crushed pineapple in dish.

Step 4. Next, spread the can of pineapple, can of cherry pie filling and half of the cool whip.

Whipped Cream and nuts added to dessert for final layer.

Step 5. Top the layers of cake with the remaining whipped topping. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts on

Trifle Dish ready to serve with punch bowl cake.

Step 6. Place the lid on the dish or use a layer of plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and then serve and enjoy!  

Tips for Success

  • Drain the pineapple. Remove all of the juice from the pineapple so it does not make the dessert soggy.
  • Don’t use fresh pineapple. Canned pineapple results in a better texture than fresh in this recipe.
  • Chill before serving. The flavors need time to combine before serving. Chill at least an hour but I prefer overnight.
  • Cut the cake into small pieces. The cake cubes need to be bite size so you don’t have any large chunks in the dessert.
Spoon serving punch bowl cake out of dish.

FAQ’s

Can I reduce the calories in this recipe?

Yes, this recipe is easy to adapt to meet your needs. Swap the pudding for sugar free pudding, use light whipped cream and sugar free cake mix.

How to store?

Store the leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days.  Any longer and the bananas will turn brown.

Can I use homemade whipped cream?

Feel free to use homemade whipped cream if you prefer. It only takes a few minutes, and it tastes delicious.

Can you make this in advance?

Yes, this recipe can be made 1 day in advance. I actually prefer to do this because the flavors taste even better.

What type of container is best to make this dessert in?

Traditionally, this dessert is made in a glass punch bowl. However, you can use a trifle bowl or any glass bowl you have on hand. Just make sure it is clear so that you can see the pretty layers.

More Easy Trifle Desserts

Make this for your next get together and watch it disappear. Then please come back and leave a comment letting us know how you liked it.

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Punch Bowl Cake

5 from 3 votes
Punch Bowl Cake is an easy to make classic Southern dessert with delicious layers. You will love the wonderful flavors of fluffy cake, pudding, fruit, whipped cream and more.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Refrigerate 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 15
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 524

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg yellow cake mix 18.25 ounces
  • 2 pkgs instant vanilla pudding mix 5 ounces each
  • 5 cups milk
  • 6 bananas
  • 2 cans crushed pineapple drained (20 ounces each)
  • 2 cans cherry pie filling 21 ounces each
  • 1 pkg frozen whipped topping thawed (16 ounces)
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • 0.25 cup oil
  • 2 eggs

Instructions

  • Bake the yellow cake mix based on the package instructions in a 9X13 baking pan.  Let the cake cool completely.
  • Prepare the pudding by combining the 2 vanilla pudding mixes with the 5 cups of milk. Leave it to set for 30 minutes to thicken.
  • Cut the cakes into smaller bite size pieces after they have reached room temperature.
  • Put half of the cake pieces in a big bowl, then add half of the pudding on top, spreading it out evenly.
  • Slice 3 bananas and lay them onto the layer of pudding. Follow it up with 1 can of pineapple, 1 can of the cherry pie filling and half of the whipped topping.
  • Do the same steps with the ingredients that you have left.
  • Finish it off with whipped topping and sprinkle it with chopped walnuts.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and then the cake is ready to serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Store the leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 524kcal, Carbohydrates 96g, Protein 7g, Fat 13g, Saturated Fat 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat 2g, Monounsaturated Fat 4g, Trans Fat 0.1g, Cholesterol 32mg, Sodium 409mg, Potassium 533mg, Fiber 3g, Sugar 53g, Vitamin A 418IU, Vitamin C 14mg, Calcium 223mg, 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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