Banana Pudding Poke Cake is a classic Southern recipe made with creamy vanilla pudding, crisp vanilla wafers, heavenly whipped cream, and bananas. In the spirit of keeping this banana pudding sheet cake recipe as simple as possible, it is also made with a boxed cake mix and instant pudding for great taste in half the time!
15.25ouncesbox yellow cake mixplus the eggs, and oil, or other ingredients called for on the box
2packages instant vanilla pudding mix3.4 oz each
1teaspoonpure vanilla extract
8ouncesfrozen whipped toppingthawed
Prepare the cake mix and bake according to the instructions on the box for a 9X13 inch cake.
While the cake is still warm, use a wooden spoon handle and poke about 30 holes in the cake. Be sure to go all the way to the bottom. Set aside.
Prepare the pudding mix according to the directions on the package and add one teaspoon pure vanilla extract.
Before the pudding sets up, pour over the cake. Try to get as much as possible into each hole. Use the back of your spoon to gently push the pudding down into the holes. Spread the remaining pudding out evenly. Cover and refrigerate for two hours.
While the cake cools, add the butter, crushed vanilla wafers, flour, and sugar to a small bowl and mix well. Pour onto a baking sheet and bake in a 350-degree oven for about five to six minutes. The mixture should be golden brown. Pour out on a paper towel to cool. It will crisp up as it cools. Set aside.
Once the cake has cooled completely, slice the bananas and place them on top of the pudding layer.
Top with the whipped topping and use an offset spatula to spread out evenly.
Sprinkle the toasted vanilla wafer mixture evenly over the whipped topping before serving.
I think the easiest way to crust the vanilla wafers is to place them in a plastic storage bag and either roll over them with a rolling pin or gently crush them with the smooth side of a meat mallet. If you want a crispy vanilla wafer topping, wait to add the crumb mixture until right before you serve the cake.If you are in a hurry, you can crush the vanilla wafers and sprinkle them plain on top of the whipped topping. The cake will still be delicious.You can substitute homemade whipped cream for the whipped topping. To make whipped cream, combine one cup cold heavy cream or whipping cream with two tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar and one-half teaspoon vanilla extract. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer and beat the mixture for three to four minutes or until it forms medium peaks.To make ahead, make the cake according to the directions on the package. Poke the holes in it, and when it has cooled completely, cover tightly and store in the refrigerator up to 24 hours. Before serving, add the pudding and toppings.To freeze, make the cake according to the directions on the package. Poke holes in it and cover tightly. Store in the freezer for up to two months. Before serving, allow the cake to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, add the pudding and toppings.Banana Pudding Poke Cake can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to three days.