Easy Banana Pudding Cake

updated Nov 1, 2022
Easy Banana Pudding Cake

A simple layer cake recipe that captures all of the flavors, textures, and nostalgia of classic Southern banana pudding.

Serves8 to 10

Prep15 minutes

Cook20 minutes to 25 minutes

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Credit: Olive & Mango

In my opinion, banana pudding is the perfect dessert. The combination of creamy pudding, soft Nilla Wafers, and fluffy whipped cream creates the ultimate combination of textures and flavors that simply can’t be beat. It’s a beloved Southern dessert with an army of devoted fans (myself included) — and for good reason!

This cake is everything I love about the quintessential Southern dessert, reimagined into a simple layer cake fit for a celebration. The moist layers of banana cake are layered with crushed Nilla Wafers and sliced banana, and it all gets coated in a light whipped cream frosting. While it certainly looks impressive, the banana pudding base is incredibly easy to make. The perfect banana pudding cake recipe comes together within an hour and stays moist for several days, thanks to a few clever ingredients.

Credit: Olive & Mango

3 Clever Ingredients That Make This Cake So Good

A few shortcut ingredients make this cake incredibly easy to pull off. The first is vanilla cake mix. This cuts down the ingredient list significantly, and means you can tackle this dessert in less than an hour.

The second is banana cream pudding mix. It gets added straight to the cake batter and is a trick home bakers have sworn by for years to keep their cakes super moist. It also gives this cake its signature banana cream pudding flavor and cheery yellow color. If unavailable, you can use vanilla pudding mix in a pinch, although the flavor will be a bit less banana-y.

Lastly, cream cheese gets added to the whipped cream frosting to help stabilize it. This prevents the frosting from deflating or melting and gives it a fluffy texture. Taste-wise, you might not know it’s there, but it helps the cake last for multiple days in the fridge. Equally as delicious is this banana pudding cheesecake recipe.

Easy Banana Pudding Cake

A simple layer cake recipe that captures all of the flavors, textures, and nostalgia of classic Southern banana pudding.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes to 25 minutes

Serves 8 to 10

Nutritional Info


For the cake:

  • Cooking spray

  • 1 cup

    full-fat sour cream

  • 1/2 cup

    whole milk

  • 1/3 cup

    vegetable oil

  • 3

    large eggs

  • 1 (15.25-ounce) box

    vanilla or white cake mix

  • 1 (3-ounce) box

    cook and serve banana cream pudding mix (not instant)

For the frosting:

  • 8 ounces

    full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 1 1/4 cups cups

    powdered sugar

  • 2 teaspoons

    vanilla extract

  • 3 cups

    cold heavy cream

For assembly:

  • 1 (11-ounce) box

    Nilla Wafers, divided

  • 2

    medium ripe (but not spotty) bananas


  1. Make the cake: Place the 8 ounces cream cheese for the frosting in the bowl of a stand mixer and let it sit out at room temperature while you make the cake. (Alternatively, use an electric hand mixer and large bowl.) Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Coat 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray, then line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper.

  2. Place 1 cup full-fat sour cream, 1/2 cup whole milk, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, and 3 large eggs in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Add 1 box cake mix and 1 box banana cream pudding mix and whisk until smooth. Evenly divide the batter between the prepared baking pans.

  3. Bake until the cakes are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Place the pans on a wire rack and cool completely. Meanwhile, make the frosting.

  4. Make the frosting: Add 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract to the bowl of cream cheese. Beat with the whisk attachment on medium speed until smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually pour in 3 cups cold heavy cream. Continue beating until the mixture thickens and is smooth, 4 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the frosting is light, fluffy, and doubled in volume, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer 1 cup of the frosting to a small zip-top bag and set aside.

  5. Assemble the cake: Place 3 1/2 cups of the Nilla Wafers in a large zip-top bag. Seal the bag and gently crush the wafers with a rolling pin or the bottom of the frying pan into coarse crumbs. Peel and thinly slice 2 medium ripe (but not spotty) bananas.

  6. Remove the cakes from the pans. Using a serrated knife, trim the rounded tops off of each cake. Place one cake layer, cut-side down, onto a serving platter or cake stand. Dollop with 1 cup of the frosting and smooth into a thin layer from edge to edge with an offset spatula. Top with the sliced bananas, then 1 cup of the crushed Nilla Wafers in an even layer.

  7. Top with the remaining cake layer. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Cover the sides of the cake with the remaining crushed Nilla Wafers by taking a handful of the crushed cookies and gently pressing them against the side of the cake (start at the bottom and work your way up) so they stick to the frosting. Any pieces that don’t stick and fall off can be pressed back into the frosting until the sides are completely covered.

  8. Snip off one bottom corner of the bag of frosting. Pipe small decorative mounds of the frosting around the top of the cake. Insert a whole Nilla Wafer between each mound of frosting.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The baked cake layers can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated 1 day in advance, or frozen up to 1 month. The frosting can be refrigerated for up to 2 days in an airtight container. Let come to room temperature and beat until smooth again before using.

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers loosely covered in plastic wrap for up to 3 days.