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Banana Pudding Cake

This mile high Banana Pudding Cake recipe is an absolute dream to make and serve. Three tall layers of vanilla cake are sandwiched together with an easy banana pudding filling then frosted with plenty of whipped cream. Garnish with Nilla wafers then chill until serving to allow the cake to set. It’s simply glorious.  



Easy Mile High Banana Pudding Cake Recipe

I have a confession. I’m slightly obsessed with banana pudding. I think Southern babies cut their teeth on vanilla wafers. You heard it here first. I can tell you that every cook in my family has made a variety of banana pudding recipes. Because of this, I love to figure out new ways to make it in a variety of forms. My Banana Pudding Cupcakes, Banana Pudding Pound Cake and Banana Pudding Dip are fan favorites. It’s fun, it’s challenging and most importantly it’s delicious! This banana pudding layer cake is a show stopper and amazingly delicious.

How to Make the Best Banana Pudding Cake Recipe

This banana pudding layer cake is the result of one of my banana pudding experiments gone right. It’s a dessert rock star. This 3-layer version is tall, and I mean, skyscraper tall. It’s an impressive addition to your dessert table.

  • What you’ll need to make the cake layers for a Banana Pudding Layer Cake: This cake is designed as a 3-layer cake using my Old Fashioned Butter Cake recipe.  To make the cake batter you’ll need all purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, butter, vanilla and almond extract, eggs and buttermilk.
  • Ingredients needed for the filling: Half and half, Dream Whip whipped topping mix, instant vanilla pudding mix, vanilla extract, cream cheese, cubed or sliced bananas and whipped topping.
  • What is Dream Whip? It’s a dry whipped topping mix that forms volume, flavor and a stabilizer for the cake filling. You can find it on the baking aisle of most grocery stores.
  • Fresh whipped cream can be used in place of Cool Whip for the frosting. Please note, should you choose to do so it’s not as stable and will need to be frosted the day you plan on serving the cake. For this cake, Cool whip works best. You may also opt to frost the cake with a homemade Vanilla Buttercream or my recipe for 7 Minute Frosting. 
  • You can adapt this cake into a smaller version using a butter flavored cake mix for a two layer cake.
  • If you’d like to make your own pudding for the layers, checkout my recipe for old fashioned Banana Pudding.
  • Should you choose a shortcut using a cake mix, keep in mind that boxed cake mixes continue to dwindle in size. In that case, you’ll only need to prepare half of the filling should you choose to go that route.
  • To save time, the cake layers can be baked in advance, cooled then wrapped in plastic wrap and chilled until assembling.
  • After filling the cake layers, allow ample time for the cake to chill until set.
  • When made per the recipe, this cake will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If using fresh whipped cream, the shelf life decreases due to the oxidation of the bananas.

Banana Pudding Layer Cake

More Southern Layer Cake Recipes to Make

There are so many spectacular ways to bake with bananas and beyond. Checkout these recipes for more special occasion layer cake inspiration:

Banana Pudding Layer Cake

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Helpful Kitchen Items:

Banana Pudding Cake

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Chill time6 hours
Total Time6 hours 45 minutes
Course: Cakes, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: banana-pudding-layer-cake, banana-pudding-recipes, southern-banana-pudding-cake
Servings: 12 pieces
Calories: 863kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka


  • 1 recipe Old Fashioned Butter Cake ( baked in three 8 inch pans)
  • Filling:
  • 1 2.6 oz box dry whipped topping mix [i.e.Dream Whip] (Box contains 2 packets, use both)
  • 3 cup cold half & half divided
  • 2 3.4 oz boxes vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 12 oz whipped plain cream cheese
  • 2 large bananas diced
  • 1 16 oz container frozen whipped topping thawed
  • whole vanilla wafers plus 1/2 cup crushed for garnishing


  • Prepare the butter cake layers per the directions and cool completely.
  • To prepare the filling, using an electric mixer whip together both packets whipped topping with 1 1/4 cup cold half & half. Whip for 3 minutes or until firm peaks form.
  • Add both packages of instant pudding, 1 3/4 cups of cold half & half and 2 tsp pure vanilla extract.
  • Beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until thickened. Add cream cheese and whipping for 1-2 minutes until fully combined and fluffy.
  • Spread half of the filling over the bottom layer of cake. Top with cubed bananas. Gently press the bananas into the filling.
  • Top with the middle layer of cake and repeat. Top with the last cake layer.
  • Frost with whipped topping and garnish with vanilla wafers. Chill for at least 6 hours before cutting.
  • Store leftovers chilled.


Please note:
  • If you choose to use a cake mix for this cake, you'll only need half the filling. 
  • To save time, the cake layers can be baked in advance, cooled then wrapped in plastic wrap and chilled until assembling. 
  • Allow ample time for the cake to chill until set. 


Serving: 1piece | Calories: 863kcal | Carbohydrates: 103g | Protein: 10.8g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 110.25mg | Sodium: 785.25mg | Potassium: 355mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 65.5g | Vitamin A: 1199IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 154mg | Iron: 2.3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!


  1. Hi Melissa, I wanted to ask you what size cake pans you used for the banana pudding cake? Can it be made as 2 layers? WOudl the pans need to me larger? Thank you for the amazing recipes.

  2. I am trying to make this cake and I can not find any Dream Whip. I have looked at both grocery stores in my town. Walmart is one of those stores! Any suggestions?

    1. That’s amazing, I can find Dream Whip at Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Walmart and Target. Depending on where you live your grocery stores may be different, of course. It’s usually on the baking aisle with the cheesecake mixes.

  3. Hello I am going to make this cake and we only have two stores where I live and both Walmart and H‑E‑B did have have it in stock. Any suggestions?

    1. What is surprising about it. If you don’t care for it, skip this recipe and find a recipe from scratch. I can’t understand why you would make such a comment. It truly has no purpose other than to be negative. A lot of us love these type recipes. Life is busy!

    1. Hi Andrea, it’s typically found in the baking section of most stores including Walmart, near the cheesecake mixes. You could try whipped cream however, in this recipe the whipped topping mix stabilizes the filling. I hope you can find it on second look. It’s widely available.

  4. I am making this cake right now for Easter. I am going to carmelize the bananas and I hope that will keep them fresh too. I will let you know how it works out

  5. My cake is sliding. I don’t think I will be able to take it anywhere for Thanksgiving. Make sure you level it.

    1. Here’s a travel trick…if you have long wooden skewers secure the cake layers with several of those to help stabilize. That would also hold plastic wrap from adhering to the frosting. This one is a challenge to travel with best wishes!

  6. Can the filling be made and stored in the fridge overnight for use the next morning, or do you think it would start to break and get too runny?

  7. I have to ask. You talk about banana pudding in your intro, but the recipe calls for “VANILLA instant pudding mix” — is it correct that the only banana is the actual banana?

    1. The custard that is used for classic banana pudding is a vanilla custard so yes, that is correct. It’s the same as in ANY banana pudding. Not only in the intro but the name of the cake as well. This is a banana pudding layer cake.

      1. Thank you SOOO much for responding so quickly! I asked the question above as I was about to bake the cake and then I trusted you and the recipe and used the vanilla pudding and we are eating it now and it. is. FABULOUS!

        Thank you for a great recipe and again for a quick response.

      2. It’s my pleasure, I’m delighted you love this cake, too. Thanks for taking the time to let me know!

  8. Quick question: if by chance this cake lasts more than a few hours, do your bananas turn or do you treat them with fresh fruit or lemon juice before adding between the layers. I want to make this for my husband but don’t think it will be as beautiful once sliced if bananas are brown. It may sound minor but we really do eat with our eyes first. Thanks in advance.

    1. I think it’s always a good idea to toss the bananas with lemon juice to keep them from turning brown so, your instinct was right. If you make this on the day you plan to serve it they should be fine taking that extra step and even into the next day. Sure hope he likes it!

      1. Hello Melissa, this sounds and looks absolutely delicious. I can’t wait to make it. But one question do you think this filling would hold up in a fondant cake. I will be building it one day before. Thank you in advance. ????

      2. Hi Peggy, what an exciting idea! I haven’t used this in a fondant cake but the filling is stabilized and I’m thinking it would do fine. I can’t advise from personal experience but, based on the filling itself I think it would be OK. Fondant is pretty air tight so I’m thinking the bananas would do OK. If you decide to try it, let me know how it goes.

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