Banana Caramel Poke Cake

This Banana Caramel Poke Cake has a VERY moist cake layer topped with Banana JELL-O Pudding flavored Cool Whip. Caramel in the cake AND drizzled on top with some Nilla Wafers completes this luscious dessert.

Banana Caramel Poke cake: deliciously, moist banana cake topped with caramel, Cool Whip and JELL-O pudding.

I’ve never made a poke cake before. Wait, I’ve made JELL-O gelatin poke cakes. But never the kind that uses sweetened condensed milk.

After making this banana version, I AM SUCH A FAN. I can’t wait to make my next version.

I combined sweetened condensed milk with a jar of caramel ice cream topping sauce. It was a lot of moisture on top of this cake, BUT please, don’t let that deter you. Once you refrigerate the cake over night, it all gets soaked up and creates a super delicious bite of caramel banana cake.

Banana Caramel Poke cake: deliciously, moist banana cake topped with caramel, Cool Whip and JELL-O pudding.

I also mixed in some banana pudding mix to the cake mix. I knew it wouldn’t be enough banana flavor, so I added a second box of pudding mix to the topping. By mixing the pudding with only one cup of milk it remained nice and thick. Perfect when folding in the Cool Whip. I could eat the topping all by itself. Adding the crushed Nilla Wafers is also very essential. They provide that little bit of crunch with the cake. Totally necessary.

I guarantee if you bring this to a potluck people will want the recipe.

Banana Caramel Poke cake: deliciously, moist banana cake topped with caramel, Cool Whip and JELL-O pudding.

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Banana Caramel Poke Cake

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 6 hours

Cook Time: 28 minutes

Yield: 16 servings


    For the Cake:
  • 1 box (16.5oz) yellow cake mix (with ingredients to prepare, according to box)
  • 1 box (3.4oz) banana cream JELL-O pudding mix
  • I can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 jar (12oz) caramel ice cream topping sauce
  • For the Toping:
  • 1 box (3.4oz) Banana cream JELL-O pudding mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 16oz Cool Whip, thawed
  • 1 cup Nilla Wafer cookies, crushed
  • 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping sauce


  1. In a large mixing bowl add cake mix and ingredients to make a 13x9 cake (according to package). Mix in box of pudding mix. Pour batter into a greased and floured 13x9 baking dish. Bake according to package directions.
  2. Remove from oven and poke holes all over the top of the cake. I used a meat thermometer to make all my holes. In a small bowl, mix sweetened condensed milk with caramel sauce. Pour over warm cake, being sure to pour over the holes. Some sauce will remain on top of the cake. That's okay!! Cover cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  3. To make the topping, beat pudding mix with milk until no lumps. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread over cake. Top with crushed cookies and drizzled caramel sauce. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Use within 3-4 days. ENJOY!

I love making pudding cakes. They are a bit different from poke cakes, but still very delicious and very easy! I have Chocolate, Lemon and Butterscotch versions on the blog!

pudding cake

I also love making NO BAKE Eclair Cakes. Layers of graham crackers with a pudding and Cool Whip filling. The original version is a family favorite, but the strawberry eclair cake has now become a requested recipe!


Summer is not complete until we have enjoyed at least ONE JELL-O gelatin poke cake! They are so fun and easy (change the flavor and colors too). We love layering our cake in a trifle bowl with a cheesecake filling!


68 Responses to “Banana Caramel Poke Cake”

  1. posted Jun 2, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    This looks insanely delicious!! LOVE!

  2. posted Jun 2, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Oh my goodness, does this look good! I have really been wanting to try a poke cake.

    • posted Jun 2, 2013 at 7:57 pm

      Definitely give it a try! I’m such a big believer now :)

  3. posted Jun 2, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    This looks really good. I can’t wait to try this. I love making poke cakes and did one red, white and blue for memorial day.

  4. posted Jun 2, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    ahhhhhh yuM!

    My mom would especially LOOOOVE this-she loves bananas and caramel!

  5. posted Jun 2, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Can we say YUM! I too have never tried a “poke” cake…probably will turn me into a believer!

  6. posted Jun 2, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    This is like the new and improved version of Banana Pudding taken to a whole new level! Awesome!

  7. posted Jun 2, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    I have seen so many posts for poke cake but havent tried any of them yet, this is the first to totally stand out as a must-make!!! I will definitely be trying this out over the summer!

    • posted Jun 2, 2013 at 8:03 pm

      Thanks Shaina! Let me know if you try it! So dense and moist and now I’m wishing I had more left!

  8. posted Jun 2, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Banana and caramel make a great flavor combination! I think I will give it a try with a gluten free cake mix. Gluten free goodies tend to get kinda dry, so I think the extra moistness would be a good thing.

  9. posted Jun 2, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    That cake is just dripping with goodness! I would love a big slice right about now!

  10. posted Jun 2, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    I haven’t made a poke cake yet. When I do, I hope it turns out as gorgeous as yours!

    • posted Jun 2, 2013 at 10:36 pm

      Awww thanks Eva, you’re too kind! You need to try this though, it’s so good.

  11. posted Jun 2, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    What a delicious recipe Aimee! I love poke cake, and especially with bananas and caramel!

  12. posted Jun 2, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Forget the potluck! I am not sharing that cake with ANYONE but yours truly. Dude that is a cake you hide in the fridge in a brown bag so no one knows what it is and you can keep all the goodness to yourself.

    I am a terrible person. I know. But it’s this cake’s fault. 😉

    • posted Jun 2, 2013 at 10:37 pm

      Nope. Not terrible. I completely understand not wanting to share this delicious dessert!

  13. Marcie
    posted Jun 2, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    This looks SO good. I’m a banana fiend, and I bake with them all the time. It’s new for me to see it in poke cake, which sounds devine! Looks so moist and delicious.

  14. posted Jun 2, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    I’ve never tried a poke cake before, but you regularly make me question that decision. I need an excuse to make this, for sure. It sounds amazing.

  15. posted Jun 3, 2013 at 9:28 am

    This is SO dangerous! There’s no way I could just have one slice!

  16. posted Jun 3, 2013 at 11:15 am

    This looks so moist and AWESOME!! I love the banana and caramel combo :)

  17. posted Jun 3, 2013 at 11:36 am

    This looks incredibly! I made one but topped it with Golden Oreo. The addition of caramel would take it up a notch!!! Love me some poke cake :)

  18. posted Jun 3, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Banana caramel? Pllleeease smuggle this through TSA and bring me a fat slice to BHF! I need it.

  19. posted Jun 3, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    I have yet to try and make a poke cake. I think I will start with this show-stopper!

  20. Lisa
    posted Jun 3, 2013 at 3:32 pm


    Real quick question on this recipe… is it instant or cook and serve Jell-O pudding you are using? Thanks!

  21. posted Jun 3, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Pudding poke cakes are my favorite, for sure. Growing up my mom used to make them a lot. This one sounds amazing, and I can’t wait to try it! At Disneyland, I tried banana caramel french toast and I can’t get the flavors out of my head!

  22. nessa
    posted Jun 3, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    You had me at banana-caramel :-)

  23. posted Jun 3, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    I’ve never heard of a poke cake, but the texture looks amazing! Banana and caramel is such a winning combination!

  24. posted Jun 3, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    This is awesome! I love that you folded the pudding right into the whipped cream, what a great idea!

  25. posted Jun 3, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    I think I’ve been missing out, I gotta have one now!

  26. posted Jun 4, 2013 at 12:15 am

    Banana and caramel? I can only imagine how good this is until I make it.

  27. posted Jun 4, 2013 at 9:49 am

    oh my gooodness, i can seriously taste that already!

  28. posted Jun 4, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Wowza Aimee! This looks so delicious!

  29. posted Jun 4, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Woah – this sounds amazing! I haven’t made a poke cake before (just the ones with jello), but obviously I need to correct that. This one looks phenomenal!

    • posted Jun 5, 2013 at 7:51 am

      The JELL-O ones are awesome, but this makes them quite different. And equally delish!

  30. posted Jun 4, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    I love banana anything and this cake looks ridiculously moist! I’ve never made a poke cake either…gotta try this one. :)

  31. posted Jun 4, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    I just made an apple/caramel poke cake! Yours looks spectacular!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE! Wish I could have a big ol piece right about now!

  32. posted Jun 5, 2013 at 11:58 am

    This looks fantastic! I totally want some for breakfast right now! :)

  33. posted Jun 6, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    This sounds amazing… banana and caramel=delish!

  34. posted Jun 8, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Great recipe except for the Cool Whip,it leaves an after taste…When you spend time on a great recipe why settle for a under standard product…use the whipped’s so much better…..thank you for a sure fire hit recipe!! Mickey C.. Fort Walton Beach Florida

  35. posted Jun 8, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Banana caramel, oh goodness this looks so lovely!

  36. posted Jun 9, 2013 at 12:14 am

    Oh, lawsy, Aimee!! This looks so crazy good I can’t even handle it!

  37. posted Jun 20, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    This looks delicious! =)

  38. posted Jun 21, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    I seriously want a piece of this right now! Pinned and Tweeting you!

  39. Amy
    posted Sep 8, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    I made this yesterday, and, oh, my goodness, it is dangerous! The only change I made was to add a layer of bananas on top of the caramel and before the cool whip topping. Oh, and I only had 8 oz. of cool whip, but it was still great. Thanks for the recipe!!

  40. Diane Gish
    posted Sep 22, 2013 at 12:26 am

    insatnt or cook &serve pudding? does it make a difference?

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  51. Daphne
    posted Jul 19, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    You should put in a recipe box so we can save the recipes we can’t print out. That would be a great help! Then we could go back to them when we wanted to make them!

    • posted Jul 20, 2015 at 1:26 pm

      If you’re on pinterest, a lot of people use that to save recipes.

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