An elegant twist on a Southern classic, Banana Pudding Cake recipe pairs layers of tender banana cake, creamy homemade custard, crunchy vanilla wafers, and luscious whipped cream! This delicious cake is my adaptation of everyone’s favorite childhood dessert! If you love this, you will also love this classic banana pudding, banana pudding cheesecake and banana pudding pie!
Spring is poking its head around the corner and with it comes another Easter holiday! I love any excuse for a celebration and Easter is no exception to that. Just give me a good reason (or any at all) to bake something delicious and I’m there!
This year, I’m pulling out all the stops and creating a recipe designed to be at the center of your holiday table. Banana Pudding Layer Cake is a show stopping dessert inspired by a Southern favorite: Banana Pudding. It’s seriously so good y’all!
What’s Banana Pudding?
Homemade Banana Pudding is unassuming, old-fashioned and completely perfect. Made up of layers of vanilla custard, fresh bananas, nilla wafers, and whipped cream Nanner Puddin is as much of a comfort food in the South as it is a dessert. Each nostalgic bite is wonderfully light, creamy, crunchy, and sweet!
How To Make Banana Pudding Cake
There are 5 delicious components that make up this recipe: each one offering its unique, flavorful touch. Put ‘em all together and you’ve got a mile-high, centerpiece- worthy cake!
Here’s what we’re working with:
To create our base, I adapted my simple vanilla cake recipe by adding in a bit of banana extract. Once baked, the banana flavor will be subtle but present, making a perfect compliment to the rest of our banana-ey ingredients.
Now, you could totally go the box pudding route but there’s nothing like homemade! Custard is actually quite simple to make: it requires simple ingredients and not much time. The end result is smooth, creamy, luscious, and full of delightful vanilla flavor. A little banana extract is added here as well because, well, why not?
It just wouldn’t be right to make a banana pudding cake without a few fresh slices of tender, fruity banana! Try to use ripe, slightly spotted bananas for the best result.
Crunchy and nostalgic, vanilla wafers add textural contrast as well as sweetness. I used mini wafers, adding as many as I could in between layers. Don’t forget to crush loads of them on top too!
To top it all off, I whisked up a batch of homemade whipped cream. The extra indulgence is so worth it! You could also use a homemade meringue or store bought cool whip.
How To Keep Bananas From Turning Brown
Bananas oxidize quickly, causing them to turn brown and mushy. To avoid that, you can briefly toss your banana slices in lemon juice before layering them onto the cake. Don’t worry about the flavor, you won’t be able to taste it!
How to Assemble the Cake
As it goes for cake decorating, this recipe is a breeze! No extra tools or extravagant amounts of time required.
Start by placing your first cake layer onto a large plate or stand, then spoon ⅓ of the homemade custard onto that and use the back of the spoon to spread it out evenly. Try your best to leave about ¼ inch of space around the edge. This will account for any seepage around the edges once you start to stack.
Alternate adding vanilla wafers and banana slices to the top of the custard, moving in circles until you get to the middle. Very carefully place the next layer of cake on top and repeat the previous steps.
Finally, add your last layer of cake and custard, then top it all off with whipped cream, banana slices, and more nilla wafers. And just like that, you’ve made a layer cake! Enjoy!
Because of the perishable filling, you’ll want to refrigerate this cake for a couple hours before serving. This time will allow all the flavors to come together and the filling/ frosting to firm up a bit. Allow Banana Pudding Layer Cake to soften at room temperature for about 15-30 minutes before serving.
Any leftover cake should be stored in an airtight cake keeper or sliced and tucked into individual containers. Refrigerate for 2-3 days. I would not recommend freezing this cake.
Best Banana Recipes
Looking for the best banana recipe in the bunch? Look no further! GBC is serving up the baddest banana breads, puddings, and pies on the internet.
Check ‘em out:
Banana Pudding Cake
For the Homemade Banana Pudding
- 1 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 egg yolk room temperature
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter cubed
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp banana extract
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
For the Banana Cake
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 2 3/4 cup all purpose flour sifted
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/4 cup sour cream room temperature
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp banana extract
For the Whipped Cream
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Nilla wafers
- 2 large bananas sliced 1/4 inch thick
For the Homemade Banana Pudding
- Add the milk and cream to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring often.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and cornstarch until well blended.
- Spoon a little of the hot milk over the egg mixture and whisk well. Repeat with another few spoonfuls of the hot milk, to temper the eggs (bring their temperature up without “scrambling” them).
- Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan and continue to cook over medium low heat for 4-6 minutes, or until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. If you’re still unsure, use a thermometer: it should read 170-175F.
- Once thickened, remove from the heat and stir in the butter, vanilla extract, banana extract, and salt.
- Pour the pudding through a sieve or fine mesh strainer into a container, to remove any lumps.
- Place a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper directly on top to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until completely chilled and set. Stir well before using.
For the Banana Cake
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Liberally spray 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with non-stick baking spray or grease and flour.
- In your mixer bowl, add oil and butter and beat for 2 minutes on high speed. Slowly add in sugar and beat on high speed for an additional 4-5 minutes until very pale yellow and fluffy. Next, add eggs, one at a time, combining well after each addition and scraping down the sides as needed.
- Turn your mixer down to its lowest speed, and slowly add flour into batter in two increments then add baking powder, salt and baking soda. Be careful not to over beat.
- Lastly, add sour cream, milk, vanilla extract and banana extract, then scrape down sides and mix until just combined and turn off the mixer.
- Evenly pour cake batter into prepared baking pans and place in the oven to bake for 15-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes just barely clean.
- Remove cakes from the oven and rest in pans for 10-15 minutes. Invert cakes from pans onto cooling racks, then allow them to cool to room temperature.
For the Whipped Cream
- Whip cream, sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks (in a cold bowl with a cold whisk for best results).
- Chill until ready to use.
- Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Spoon ½ of the banana pudding onto the cake and use a spatula to spread it to the edge, leaving about a ¼ inch of space.
- Starting from the outer edge, and moving in a circle, alternate between placing a Nilla wafer or banana slice on top of the pudding.
- Place the next layer of cake on top, then repeat the previous step.
- Add the last layer of cake on top, then proceed to frosting the cake with the premade whipped cream.
- Do rosettes on top with the whipped cream and alternate banana slices and Nilla wafers between them. Spread some crushed Nilla wafers along the bottom if desired.
Because of the perishable filling, you’ll want to refrigerate this cake for a couple hours before serving. This time will allow all the flavors to come together and the filling/ frosting to firm up a bit. Allow Banana Pudding Layer Cake to soften at room temperature for about 15-30 minutes before serving. Any leftover cake should be stored in an airtight cake keeper or sliced and tucked into individual containers. Refrigerate for 2-3 days. I would not recommend freezing this cake.
Banana pudding is my family’s favorite dessert so when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it! I made this cake for my hubby on his 65th birthday. It was so amazing and the kudos from the fam were overwhelming!! I had to make a few adjustments…I added mashed bananas to the cake batter because I couldn’t find banana extract anywhere locally and didn’t have time to order it. I also used boxed banana pudding for the same reason, no banana extract. I used half sugar and half Splenda whenever the recipe called for sugar and it turned out great. Honestly, this was my first ever cake over two layers and it couldn’t have been any better. My son who lives across the country has made me promise to make next time we are together. Thanks so much to Grandbaby Cakes for sharing the recipe!!
Delicious!! Okay, I cheated and used boxed banana cream pudding and cool whip. But the results were awesome and my family loves it! Thanks for your inspiration and a twist on an old fashioned recipe!!
Penny Barry says
Made the filling 2 nights ago and made the cake last night. Brought it into work and everyone raved about it. I will have to make this more often for them. Loved the pudding layers and the banana extract was not overpowering. I did add some vanilla pudding mix-instant to the whipping cream with the confection. sugar and some vanilla extract. Perfect! Thanks for a delicious recipe.
What an incredible dessert! Banana pudding is my favorite and this cake had all those flavors I love, especially the homemade custard!
I have a friend that has been begging me to make her a Nana pudding cake. Can’t wait to try this. The whipped cream didn’t need stabilizing?
Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says
If you plan on serving outside or in a warm environment or having it outside of the fridge for a while, then it is a good idea to stabilize the whipped cream.
Emily Flint says
Mine did not look quite as pretty as yours but boy was it delicious! I will be making this cake again for a birthday this weekend!
This cake looks absolutely delicious. I would love to make it soon.
Delicious! I was at first worried about the long list of ingredients but then realised that I have most of them at home already! Such an impressive looking cake with simple ingredients! Thanks so much for the recipe!
This cake is beautiful!! I haven’t even had a regular banana pudding, but I am so excited to try this cake! Thank you so much for the recipe 🙂