Banana Pudding Cake Recipe

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As someone who loves both banana pudding & banana cake recipes, I couldn't be more excited about this delicious Banana Pudding Cake!

In this recipe, moist banana cake layers are filled with vanilla cream, sliced bananas, and vanilla wafers, frosted with cream cheese frosting, and topped with whipped cream. It is such a flavorful, beautiful, cake!

The BEST Banana Pudding Cake Recipe by MyCakeSchool

Why we Love It

There are so many reasons to love this amazing Banana Pudding Cake from scratch. Here are just a few:

  • All of the favorite flavors of Banana Pudding: Vanilla wafers, vanilla cream (pudding) filling, sliced bananas, and whipped cream. (Check out our easy Banana Pudding Cupcakes as well!)
  • Ultra moist banana cake layers
  • Makes a wonderful birthday cake recipe, potluck cake, or dessert for family and friends.

How to Make a Banana Pudding Cake

*You can find our full, printable Banana Pudding Cake recipe further down in this post. Here is a quick rundown of our steps!

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour three 8 inch pans. We also like to line the bottoms with circles of parchment paper.
  • Blending the Dry Ingredients: In the mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients, sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, & salt. Turn on the electric mixer (we used a stand mixer) and blend for 30 seconds to incorporate.
  • Add the softened butter to the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl
  • In a separate bowl, slice and mash the bananas, add lemon juice, eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and buttermilk. Lightly mix these ingredients with a fork to blend
  • Time to add the wet ingredients! Slowly add the banana/buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients beating on medium speed for 1 minute, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and mix another minute.
  • Divide Batter between the pans. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until the cake springs back to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool the freshly baked cake layers in their pans on a wire rack for about ten minutes and then turn out.

Banana Pudding Cake Recipe from Scratch- Ultra moist, flavorful and delicious!

Easy Vanilla Cream Filling

Our vanilla cream filling is based on a "mock mousse" recipe that we love, and it couldn't be easier to make. Instant vanilla pudding is combined with heavy cream and whipped into a delightfully light and creamy filling. It comes together in minutes!

This vanilla cream filling recipe is so easy to make and PERFECT for this recipe, as it really brings in the flavor and luscious consistency of banana pudding that we love so much.

(You have also seen this filling in the form of Easy Chocolate Mousse and Orange Cream Filling, as well as the Lemon Cream Filling in our Lemon Cream Cake!)

Assembling the Banana Pudding Cake

Now for the fun part!

  • When it's time to assemble the banana pudding cake, prepare your vanilla cream (from vanilla pudding mix and heavy cream), cream cheese frosting, crushed Nilla Wafers, and banana slices.
  • Pipe a dam of cream cheese frosting about ¼-1/2 inch from the edge of the cake layer and fill with the vanilla cream.
Banana Pudding Cake Recipe from Scratch with vanilla pudding cream filling, bananas, vanilla wafers, cream cheese frosting and whipped cream!
  • Next, we layered on crushed Vanilla Wafers followed by thinly sliced ripe bananas. Just as with banana pudding, the crushed cookies will absorb moisture from the creamy pudding and soften.
This Banana Pudding Cake recipe from scratch is an amazing combination of banana cake, crushed Nilla wafers, sliced bananas, and frosted with cream cheese frosting.
  •  Repeat the steps above for the second cake layer, topping with vanilla cream, Vanilla Wafers, and fresh banana slices.
  • Then, add the third banana cake layer and fill any remaining gaps between the layers with cream cheese frosting.
This scratch Banana Pudding Cake recipe is ultra moist and flavorful! It has all of the flavors that you love in banana pudding!

How to Decorate a Banana Pudding Cake

  • After frosting our moist cake tier with cream cheese frosting, I piped a double shell border using a piping tip 21. Instead of a traditional bottom border, I used crushed vanilla wafers. 
  • (You can see our free Star Piping Tip Piping Video Tutorial for more details on shell borders!)
This Banana Pudding Cake Recipe is a crowd favorite!
  • Next, I whipped up some sweetened homemade whipped cream and piped it onto the top of the cake, using a disposable piping bag with the tip snipped away. (In a pinch you could use a whipped topping like Cool Whip, but I love the homemade whipped cream- plus it is super easy!)
  • We added a sprinkling of vanilla wafer crumbs to the top, and pushed cookies into the top border.

That's all there is to it! I'm telling you, this banana pudding cake is legendary. This entire cake will disappear in no time at all!

The BEST Scratch Banana Pudding Cake Recipe

FAQs

Banana Pudding Cake is a fun twist on a southern classic. Ultra moist banana cake layers are filled with a light (instant pudding-based) vanilla cream filling, layered with thinly sliced bananas and crushed Vanilla Wafers.

The flavors are much like that of our favorite easy banana pudding, but with the impressive height and presentation of a layer cake!

We decided that we wanted big banana flavor in our banana pudding cake, and so unlike some banana pudding cake recipes that call for a yellow cake, we decided to go with our favorite homemade banana cake recipe instead.  

Should Banana Pudding Cake be Refrigerated?

Yes. Because of the perishable filling, fresh bananas, frosting, and whipped cream, you will want to keep this Banana Pudding Cake cake refrigerated until a couple of hours before serving.

When to Remove the Cake from the Refrigerator

Cakes and frostings firm up quite a bit when chilled. It's a good idea to remove it from the refrigerator 2-3 hours before serving for the best flavor and texture.

As the banana pudding cake comes closer to room temperature, the cake softens and the flavors of the cake and frosting are really able to shine.

Yes! If you prefer to work with cake mix recipes rather than from scratch, we've got you covered.

You can easily swap in our Banana Layer Cake Doctored Cake Mix recipe for the cake layers in our Banana Pudding Cake, which is based on a box of yellow cake mix! The banana cake layers are so moist and have wonderful flavor.

We also have a great recipe for banana pudding cupcakes based on this doctored banana cake mix recipe!

Yes! Just as with most of our cake recipes, from our almond cake recipe to carrot cake recipe, lemon cake and more, these layers freeze perfectly.

After cooling the freshly baked cake layers in their pans (on a wire rack), we flip each warm cake layer onto a foil-wrapped cake board. We allow them to cool a bit more and then apply the plastic wrap and foil while still slightly warm.   

You can freeze your tightly wrapped cake layers anywhere from a few hours to a few months! They will taste as fresh as the day that they were baked.

Thawing the Frozen Cake

When you are ready to assemble the cake, simply move the cake layers from the freezer to the kitchen counter.

Keep the layers wrapped at least 30-45 minutes or until condensation has formed on the foil. Then, unwrap and bring to desired temperature.

You may like to thaw the layers completely before assembling the cake although some bakers prefer to work with partially frozen cake layers as they are less fragile and easier to handle.

Not everyone settles their cakes, but we try to when time allows. Especially when we are frosting a cake with a smooth finish around the sides (rather than a textured or ridged frosting technique).

Whenever time allows, we like to wrap the filled, unfrosted cake with plastic wrap and settle it under the weight of a small book, cake pan, or something that will add light, consistent pressure across the top of the cake for a few hours.

What is the purpose of settling cakes?

All cakes are prone to settling over time, which can cause visible bulging of the frosting in between the layers. This is noticeable around the sides of the cake. While this isn't harmful to the cake, it can be frustrating.

Adding a light weight to the cake as we discussed above will minimize the chances of bulging, because it forces the cake to settle a bit before the cake is ever frosted.

A gentle press-down or two on the cake for a few seconds doesn't hurt either just before frosting. Since this banana pudding cake has a perishable filling, you would settle it in the refrigerator.

We demonstrate settling a cake in part two of our How to Make a Cake Tutorial.

More Banana Cakes

If you just can't get enough banana deliciousness in your file of dessert recipes, you MUST try these other favorites from our site.

Some are banana cakes while other recipes have banana in combination with other flavors.

Some of our favorites are: Hummingbird CakeBanana Split Layer Cake, and Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting! We have a wonderful recipe for banana cupcakes as well.

If you prefer the convenience of banana bundt cakes or pound cakes, we have a great Easy Banana Bundt Cake from cake mix, as well as a delicious scratch Banana Pound Cake!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Don't miss our full collection of Cake Recipes, including our favorite cake recipes from scratch as well as cake mix recipes!

Also, if you are interested in learning to make pretty cakes, we have hundreds of cake decorating tutorials on our site as well! Have fun scrolling through, and enjoy the Banana Pudding Cake!

Enjoy the Recipe

The BEST Scratch Banana Pudding Cake Recipe

Banana Pudding Cake Recipe

All the wonderful flavor of banana pudding in cake form! Moist banana cake layers are filled with vanilla cream, sliced bananas, and vanilla wafers, and topped with whipped cream!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Course: Dessert
Servings: 15 servings
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Ingredients

For the Banana Cake

  • 2 cups granulated sugar (400g)
  • 3 cups cake flour (342g)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder (12g)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda (3g)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (3g)
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (170g)
  • 1 1 /2 cup mashed bananas (about 3 medium bananas) (277g)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (8g)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk (363g)

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 sticks sticks unsalted butter, softened (226g)
  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened (We used two 8 oz packages, full fat)
  • ½ teaspoon salt 2g optional
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (8g)
  • 6 to 6 ½ cups powdered sugar (690g to 747g)

For the Vanilla Cream Filling

  • 1 small box instant Vanilla pudding 3.9 oz/96g We used Jello- Brand
  • 2 cup heavy cream or whipping cream (stir in a little more if recipe is too thick) (464g)

For the Sweetened Whipped Cream (top of cake)

  • 1 cup heavy cream (240g)
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar (29g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (4g)

Vanilla Wafers and Sliced Bananas for Filling

  • 1 box Vanilla Wafers we used about 20 coarsely crushed cookies in filling, plus additional for crumb border and cookies around the top. Adjust to your liking
  • Thinly sliced bananas we used two in the filling- adjust to your liking

Instructions

For the Banana Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, Grease/spray & flour three 8 inch pans and line with parchment circles
  • In the mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients, sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, & salt. Turn on the mixer and blend for 30 seconds to incorporate ingredients
  • Add the softened butter to the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl
  • In a separate bowl, slice and mash the bananas, add lemon juice, eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla and buttermilk. Lightly mix these ingredients with a fork to blend
  • Slowly add the banana/buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients beating on medium speed for 1 minute, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and beat another minute.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pans and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until the cake springs back to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool the cakes 10 minutes on the rack and then turn out.
  • Recipe makes 8 cups of batter.

For the Vanilla Cream Filling

  • Combine the pudding mix and heavy cream in a mixing bowl. I prefer to mix with a hand held mixer, but a whisk is just fine too. If using a mixer, start on low speed until well combined. Then, switch to high speed and whip the pudding until thick and fluffy. If mousse is too thick, mix in small amounts of heavy cream to reach desired consistency.
  • If mixing by hand, simply whisk rapidly for a couple of minutes or until mixture is nice and thick.
  • Refrigerate until ready to use. Cakes with this filling should be chilled until close to serving time.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cut the softened butter into slices and add to the bowl of your mixer. Beat on low to medium speed until the butter is softened and smooth.
  • Cut the softened cream cheese into pieces and add to the butter, beating at low to medium speed until incorporated. If you are using a hand mixer you may need to soften the cream cheese a bit more.
  • Add the vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar beating on low speed until blended. Cover the bowl with a towel to keep down the cloud of powdered sugar.
  • Increase mixing speed and beat until fluffy. Don't over beat or it will become too soft. If it becomes too soft, just refrigerate a short while to firm it up a bit.
  • This frosting will pipe best if used while still chilled. You can make it in advance, refrigerate and when ready to use let it soften slightly (do not microwave) and remix.

For the Sweetened Whipped Cream

  • Chill the mixing bowl and beaters/ whisk attachment in the freezer for 10 minutes. Pour the whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla into the chilled mixing bowl, begin beating on low speed gradually increasing to medium high speed. The cream begins to thicken (approx. 1 ½ minutes) and soft peaks form….peaks that slightly bend over. Watch closely as this happens quickly. Do not over beat or it will turn into butter.

Assembly of Cake

  • Pipe a dam of cream cheese frosting about ½ inch from the edge of the cake layers. Fill in with vanilla cream.
  • Layer on crushed vanilla wafer cookies and thinly sliced bananas. Repeat for next layer, then top with remaining layer.
  • Frost cake with cream cheese frosting. Add border (We did a double shell border with a tip 21), add dollops of whipped cream (we piped on with a large round tip), and top with a sprinkling of crushed vanilla wafers.
  • Cake should be refrigerated. However, for best flavor and texture, remove from the refrigerator a couple of hours before serving to allow cake to warm and soften.

Notes

The banana cake layers can be baked in advance, wrapped tightly with a layer of plastic wrap and aluminum foil, and frozen for up to three months. To thaw, place on counter, still wrapped, for 30-45 minutes before unwrapping and thawing to desired amount for assembling the cake.

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62 Comments

  1. I made this and everyone is still talking about it a week later. It was a hit! I froze the cake while it was warm (about three days before I needed it). The next day I made the frosting, then a day later the pudding and the whipped topping the night before. The only change I made was I used French vanilla pudding.

  2. A friend asked me to make her husband's birthday cake. He loves banana pudding. This cake is amazing! The cake is full of natural banana flavor, and the texture was light and fluffy. I made a double recipe and baked 2 13x9 cakes. Used my favorite buttercream, and covered with whipped cream, Nilla wafers. Photo won't Thank you!!upload, but I couldn't have been prouder. Very impressive cake!

  3. I made this amazing cake and everyone loved it! I also made cupcakes with this recipe and they turned out great too! For the cupcakes I cut the recipe in a third and it made 1 dozen cupcakes and I baked at 350 for 22 minutes. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Hi KayElleElle, Your cake is perfectly beautiful and great presentation for your cupcakes! It is good to know that the recipe can be cut by a third and still work well. Thanks so much for posting a photo and the helpful information.

  5. I made this cake for my son-n-law's Birthday. I followed the recipe to a T. It was such yummy cake! My only issues are I need to keep practicing to get a smooth iced cake, and I have to continue to work on my whipped topping. Mine is not as fluffy as I would like it to be. The taste was great and I got lots of compliments on how great it was. I will definitely being making this cake again. Thank you for this wonderful website and the very detailed recipe provided.

  6. My friend requested a banana pudding cake for her boyfriends birthday and sent me a recipe (using a box mix). I said oh no, and went looking for a scratch cake recipe. I honestly didn't have high hopes that this would be a great cake, but it was request so I went for it. I found your recipe, and boy was I wrong. This is one of the best, flavorful, comfort food cakes I've ever made. Definitely in my top 5! I took it to a restaurant as we were celebrating with a birthday dinner, and honestly, the other customers and staff were drooling when they saw it.! haha. It was fabulous and I'll definitely be making this again!!

    1. Hi Terry! Thanks so much for your comment, I'm so glad that you all enjoyed the cake! It is one of our favorites too. You decorated it beautifully!

  7. 5 stars
    Incredible!! Will make again and again. I crammed 8 bananas into the whole cake! Some baked in, some fresh in between layers!