This cake is everything I love about the quintessential Southern dessert, reimagined into a simple layer cake fit for a celebration. The moist layers of banana cake are layered with crushed Nilla Wafers and sliced banana, and it all gets coated in a light whipped cream frosting. While it certainly looks impressive, it’s actually incredibly easy to make. It comes together within an hour and stays moist for several days, thanks to a few clever ingredients.
YIELD Serves 8 to 10
PREP TIME 15 minutes
COOK TIME 20 minutes to 25 minutes
- 1box vanilla cake mix, plus ingredients called for on box1
- (3.4 oz) box vanilla pudding mix2 c.
- cold milk1/2 c.
- Cool Whip1 1/2 c.
- butter, softened5 c.
- powdered sugar2 tsp.
- pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of kosher salt 1/4 c.
- plus 2 tbsp. heavy cream2
- bananas, sliced1 c.
- crushed Nilla Wafers
- Make cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Line two round 9″ cake pans with parchment paper and grease with cooking spray. Prepare cake mix according to package instructions. Divide batter between cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cakes cool for 10 minutes in pans then invert onto wire racks to cool completely.
- Make pudding: In a large bowl, combine pudding mix and milk and stir until thickened, about 5 minutes. Fold in Cool Whip.
- Make buttercream frosting: In a large bowl using a hand mixer, combine butter, 3 cups powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat until light and fluffy. Add remaining sugar and heavy cream and beat until smooth.
- Assemble cake: Using a serrated knife, cut off the rounded top of each cake to level. Top one cake with a layer of pudding then top with most of the banana slices (reserve some for garnish). Place second cake on top and frost entire cake with buttercream, reserving about 1 cup to pipe on top. Press crushed Nilla wafers around the sides of the cake.
- Transfer remaining buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe large swirls around the top of the cake. Decorate with Nilla wafers and more banana slices.