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Banana Poke Cake

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Banana poke cake is a flavorful and refreshing dessert to serve during the warmer months or any time of the year. Banana lovers will absolutely move this to the top of their dessert list.

If the unicorn poke cake was a bit too magical for you, give this banana pudding poke cake recipe a try. It’s light enough for a brunch dessert, but indulgent enough for any type of celebration. This poke cake recipe uses pudding instead of Jello so you might want to try each way to see which you prefer.

See how you can make this creamy and dreamy dessert for your next happy event.

Yellow cake on a white plate on a white table with bananas and cookies.

Banana Pudding Poke Cake Recipe

Banana pudding and whipped topping is one of my most favorite flavor combos. Add in the cake and vanilla wafers and it’s just pure heaven. I think if I had to pick one dessert for the rest of my life this would be it.

The pudding adds creaminess to the fluffy cake and the whipped topping makes it refreshing. There’s just enough crunch with the cookies and then add fresh bananas for even more flavor and texture. Yum YUM!

Bowl of flour.

What you need to make banana poke cake

Here’s what you need to make this recipe. The exact measurements are in the printable recipe card below.

  • Yellow cake mix
  • Water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Eggs
  • Banana pudding mix
  • Milk
  • Whipped topping
  • Vanilla wafer cookies
  • Sliced bananas
  • 13×9 baking pan

Banana Pudding Cake Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9×13 inch baking pan with a light coating of cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the yellow cake mix, water, vegetable oil, and eggs. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Bowl of cake mix. 

Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Yellow cake with holes poked in it.

Allow the cake to cool, then using the handle of a wooden spoon poke holes over each inch of the cake. You want the holes about an inch apart. Set aside.

Bowl of banana pudding.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the pudding mix and the milk.

Spreading pudding on top of a cake with wholes in it.

Spread the pudding over the cake, pushing it over the poked holes.

Refrigerate the cake topped with pudding for one hour.

Spreading whipped topping on a cake with holes in it.

Spread the whipped topping over the pudding layer.

Top of cake topped with white frosting and cookie crumbles.

Top with crushed vanilla wafer cookies and fresh sliced bananas if desired.

Banana pudding cake topped with whipped cream and cookies.

Banana Poke Cake Recipe Notes and FAQ

What should I use to poke the holes in the cake?

The handle of a wooden spoon works well for poking the holes in the cake. Be sure to space out the holes about an inch apart as you do not want them to be too close together.

Forkful of banana poke cake.

Does this poke cake need to be refrigerated?

Yes, banana poke cake most definitely needs to be refrigerated. Keep it in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

Banana cake with pudding topped with whipped cream and nilla wafers.

Can I make banana pudding cake the day before?

You will want to make this cake the day you plan to serve it. It may get mushy if you make it too far in advance. To save time, you can always make the pudding and bake the cake the day before. Spread the pudding on the cake and do the rest the morning of your event. If you’re really short on time, you can even buy a baked cake from a bakery or grocery store and poke holes in it.

Yellow cake on a white plate with bananas and cookies.
Yield: 1 13x9 inch cake

Banana Pudding Poke Cake

Yellow cake on a white plate on a white table with bananas and cookies.

Light and fluffy banana poke cake. Makes 28 slices.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 3.4 ounce packages banana pudding
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 1 8oz whipped topping
  • 2 cups crushed vanilla wafer cookies
  • Optional: Sliced bananas for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9×13 inch baking pan with a light coating of cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, water, vegetable oil, and eggs. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Allow the cake to cool, then using the handle of a wooden spoon poke holes over each inch of the cake. Set aside.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the pudding mix and milk.
  6. Spread pudding over cake, pushing over poked holes.
  7. Refrigerate for one hour.
  8. Spread the whipped topping over the pudding layer.
  9. Top with crushed vanilla wafer cookies and sliced bananas, if desired.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

28

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 186Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 191mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 0gSugar: 13gProtein: 2g

Nutrition facts are an estimate only.

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Yellow cake with frosting and toppings sitting on a white plate and a white table. 

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