Have you ever had an epiphany? Not just a regular old idea, but something that will change the world as you know it? Well, maybe just the baking world (feeling slightly dramatic today). When I was thinking about what dessert to make for Easter that would blow my family away and also please all you blog readers, I had an epiphany. I wanted something fruity and springy (is that a word?) since it was for Easter, but also modern and new. I like to make layered cakes for holidays, they normally look a little bit fancier, so I began to brainstorm. What layered cake can I make that I’ve never eaten or seen before? One that is just a beautiful as it is tasty? Something creative but still tied to my southern roots? Hmmmm….
BANANA PUDDING CAKE. Epiphany.
Everything that is classic, rich, and bananay (making up lots of words today) about banana pudding, plus everything beautiful, dense, and moist about a layered cake all combined to make the most decadent and delicious dessert you will ever eat. All drama aside, this is the best dessert I have ever made in my opinion. EVER. And I have made a lotttttt of desserts. The cake layers are a perfect balance between insanely dense, yet somehow wonderfully light. The pudding is thick and rich, but airy at the same time. And the wafers and bananas give it that traditional touch that lets you know this cake is all about traditional banana pudding. Its is the perfect dessert because it the so well balance. Sweet but not too sweet, rich but light, modern but traditional. It is pure perfection and I wish I was eating a piece right now.
It all starts with bananas. Duh.
To balance out the flavors in the cake, mash the bananas with some lemon juice. Set this aside for later.
Pudding time! I know what you’re thinking… Instant pudding mix? Really?
YES! But trust me, it gets better. Stay will me.
Sweetened condensed milk + cream cheese beaten together and mixed with the pudding takes it to the next level.
Fold in cool whip and it is absolutely out of the world. Told you we would doctor up that instant pudding mix!
Most of the sweetness comes from the white sugar, but there is also some brown sugar in the recipe (that I forgot to picture) that helps moisten the cake.
I love the way butter and sugar look all whipped together. I also love the way it tastes… Probably a little too much.
Gotta have eggs!
Flour first. Alternate the flour and milk, starting with flour. This will produce a smooth cake batter like in the picture above.
Milk second. The milk thins the batter and moistens the final baked product.
Left: What the batter looks like after you mix in milk – grainy and loose.
Right: What the batter looks like after you mix in the flour – smooth and intact.
This is why you always start and end with flour!
Finally time for the star of the show… Bananas!
Add some vanilla (not pictured, sorry I’m slacking) and your batter is complete!
I’m not kidding, this cake makes me speechless every single time. And I am not even a huge banana fan! It is so flavorful, so moist, so dense, so PERFECT.
Time to start layering! I love this part!
- Vanilla Wafers
- Banana slices
This step is important. Put a layer of pudding on the bottom of the top layer. It keeps it from sliding around.
Wha-la! All done! I tried to make this cake 3 layers it is was just so heavy it fell apart. But I’m totally okay with that because I got to eat the third layer… HA! So, learn from my mistakes, don’t try to do 3 layers.
I just adore this cake. I’m not sure what else I can even say about it. Dare I say this is my new favorite dessert…? I’m sorry chocolate and peanut butter. Banana just took over.
You REALLLLLLLLLLLY need to make this. Whether its for the next special occasion, birthday, holiday, party, or just because.
- 4-5 bananas (3 for the cake, the rest for layering)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3 cups of all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup of canola/vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups of granulated (white) sugar
- 1/2 cup of light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups of milk (for cake)
- 2 cups of milk (for pudding)
- 1 (5 oz.) package of instant vanilla pudding
- 1 (8 oz.) block of cream cheese
- 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 (8-12 oz.) tub Cool Whip
- 1 box Vanilla Wafers
Warning: This recipe takes a LOT of bowls. Sorry.
Warning 2: This recipe is so delicious that you won’t even care about the all the bowls you used.
Preheat your oven to 350. Spray two circular cake pans and line each bottom with a layer of parchment paper. In a medium bowl, mash the bananas with the lemon juice and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In another large bowl, beat the milk and pudding together with a hand mixer. In a medium bowl beat the cream cheese and condensed milk together until smooth. Fold the Cool Whip into this. Combine this with the pudding until smooth. Put in the fridge and start the cake. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and oil together until smooth. Add the sugars and vanilla and beat on high until smooth again. Lastly, add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Once combined, beat it on very high for about 30 seconds to make the cake fluffy. Alternately add the flour and milk. ALWAYS start and end with flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go. Pour into two prepared circular pans. Bake for 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees. A knife or toothpick should come out clean. Let the cakes cool completely, then start layering. Put down a cake layer, top with a generous amount of pudding, vanilla wafers, and bananas. Repeat and let it set in the fridge for an hour. Serve cold and enjoy!
Note: Use quite a bit of pudding between the layers and on top to really drive home the banana pudding aspect of this dessert. I used way more pudding than I would ever use if this was regular icing, just to give you an idea.