Tomorrow (Feb 24th) is my Grandma Deloris’ Birthday and she requested only one thing – my banana pudding crunch cake. Hearing her say that just melted my heart. She has so many health problems and is not in the best of health…but she said it would “make” her birthday if I would make that cake for her. How could I say no? I love her so much and can not wait to deliver it to her…
I have made this cake several times based off of a Facebook “Banana Pudding Poke Cake” recipe, but have put my own spin on it. I find that if you make the cake a couple of days in advance the flavors really “marry” together and you have not only a more moist cake, but a more flavorful one. I also recommend using “Cool-Whip” brand and NOT “Reddi-Wip” brand because “Cool-Whip” stands up better. I prefer using the REAL whipped cream (“Reddi-Wip”) on just about everything else…but if you use that here, it will become a puddle of cream on top – not good! Another thing I prefer is to wait and sprinkle the crushed vanilla wafers on top just right before eating…that way they will still have “CRUNCH” when eating the cake. And personally…I do not like a soggy cookie.
Here is the recipe, and it could not be anymore simple…
Banana Pudding Crunch Cake
1 box yellow cake mix and the ingredients to make the cake (eggs, oil and water)
2 (3.4 oz) banana cream INSTANT pudding mix
4 cups whole milk
1 (8 oz) tub of “Cool-Whip” brand whipped topping
3-5 bananas (depending on their size)
5 cups vanilla wafers, crushed
Start off by making the yellow cake exactly as the package instructions tell you to. Make sure and use a pan that is 9X13 and do not forget to grease and flour the pan.
One the cake is out of the oven let it cool for about 2 minutes.
Once cooled a couple of minutes poke holes all over the top of the warm cake. For this, I use the handle end of a wooden spoon. The holes need to be large and all over the cake. Do not completely tear up the top of the cake…do it in a row or pattern – just make sure and cover the top with holes approximately the size of the end of a large wooden spoon. Poking holes in the cake with just a FORK will not work here…
Once the holes are poked, make the pudding by combining the two packets of INSTANT banana cream pudding into the 4 cups of whole milk. Whisk out any lumps and whisk until well incorporated. Let the pudding sit for about 2 minutes or until it begins to thicken up.
Once the pudding has thickened up, pour the pudding over the hole punched cake. Make sure and fill every hole and cover the entire cake – using ALL of the banana pudding. It will look like it is about to overflow. It will not, I promise…just keep pouring and covering the entire top of the cake.
After this has been completed, cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. You can actually do this part up to 48 hours in advance…the longer it sits the better it will taste when eaten.
When you are ready for the next step, take the cake from the refrigerator and “frost” the top with “Cool-Whip”. Use the WHOLE tub and make sure and even it out. It will appear thick and this is exactly what you want.
Peel and slice your bananas. You are wanting to cover the entire top layer with banana slices, so slice as many as that takes. I usually find anywhere between 3 and 5 bananas will do the trick…
Arrange them neatly on the top of the cake. Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.
Crush the vanilla wafers and keep them in a large plastic bag. Crush them but do not crush them so fine you turn them into powder. You want large chunks of cookie as well.
Once ready to eat, cut and plate desired number of pieces. Right before serving, sprinkle the crushed vanilla wafers over each piece of cake. Serve immediately.
Note: To keep the bananas from turning brown, soak slightly in lemon juice – or lime juice – or simply place the bananas on top of the cake right before serving.