Banana Pudding Layer Cake
Got a banana lover in your life? Make them this banana pudding layer cake! Vanilla cake filled with custard and bananas, topped with whipped cream frosting.
If I’m being totally honest, I’m not really a huge fan of banana desserts. But my husband DEFINITELY is. He begs for banana pudding and banana cream pie all the time. I had it on my to-do list to make a banana pudding layer cake for what seemed like ages, so when his birthday rolled around a few weeks back, it seemed like the perfect time to finally make it and share with you.
It’s a pretty simple idea really, my favorite vanilla cake recipe, layered with my favorite pastry cream, plus fresh bananas and whipped cream. The homemade vanilla wafers from the other day are a fun garnish, but I think they’d be darn good in between the layers too.
I was trying to keep the frosting job kind of rustic, just to emphasize the fluffy-ness of the whipped cream.
It’s one of my favorite frosting recipes. You may remember it from those Tuxedo Cupcakes I showed you a few weeks ago. There’s a little cream cheese and powdered sugar added, and that keeps it more stable and prevents weeping.
But with that said, it’s really best when fresh, so if you’re making this banana pudding layer cake ahead, I’d do everything but the frosting and garnishes until you’re just about ready to serve.
I have to say, there’s just something about the way the moist vanilla cake, creamy custard and bananas, and fluffy whipped cream come together. It’s undeniably good, even for a non-banana lover such as myself!
Hope you’ll give it a try sometime soon!
And be sure to check out my “Cake Recipes” Pinterest board, for lots more great cake ideas!
Banana Pudding Layer Cake
For the vanilla cake
- 1 1/2 cups (187.5 g) cake flour
- 3/4 cup (93.75 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon (0.75 teaspoon) baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon (0.75 teaspoon) scant kosher salt
- 3/4 cup (170.25 g) unsalted butter, , softened
- 3 large eggs
- 2/3 cup (162.67 g) milk
- 1/2 cup (100 g) Greek yogurt, (sour cream or buttermilk* may be substituted)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) vanilla extract
For the banana pudding filling
Make the vanilla cake:
- Place the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add the butter, and mix on medium-low speed until the mixture resembles damp sand.
- Stir in the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula after each addition.
- Add the milk, yogurt, and vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed for about 1 minute, to aerate the batter and strengthen the cake’s structure.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pans, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when gently pressed and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
- Cool for twenty minutes, then unmold and place on wire racks to cool completely.
Make the banana pudding filling:
- Heat the milk in a small pot until small bubbles form around the edge, and wisps of steam are rising from the surface.
- Place the yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add the hot milk to the egg mixture, a little at a time, whisking to combine.
- When all the milk has been added, transfer the mixture back to the pot and place over medium-low heat.
- Cook the pastry cream, whisking constantly, until thickened (the mixture should be the consistency of pudding).
- Stir in the vanilla.
- Pour the pastry cream through a fine mesh strainer, into a heat-safe bowl. Use the back of a ladle to press the mixture through the sieve.
- Press a layer of plastic wrap directly onto the surface, and refrigerate.
Make the whipped cream frosting and assemble the cake:
- Place the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl. Fit the mixer with a whisk attachment, and whip on medium speed until the mixture is smooth.
- Turn the mixer down to medium-low speed and pour the heavy cream down the side of the bowl in a very slow and steady stream.
- When all the cream has been added, turn the mixer up to medium-high and whip until the frosting holds stiff peaks.
- Place one layer of vanilla cake on a serving platter. Spread half the pastry cream on the cake, and top with sliced bananas. Spread a small amount of whipped cream frosting over the bananas, and top with the second cake layer.
- Repeat, topping with the third layer.
- Frost the cake with the whipped cream frosting, and garnish with homemade vanilla wafers and additional sliced bananas.
For more info on the filling, click here: Pastry Cream.
For more info on the frosting, click here: Whipped Cream Frosting.