Coconut Pudding Cake

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Make this delicious Coconut Pudding Cake with just a few ingredients! Moist cake with a creamy cool whip topping gets even better when you add a sprinkle of toasted coconut on top.

Pudding Cake recipes are some of my families favorite desserts. Like today’s coconut version, this Lemon Pudding Cake Recipe is especially perfect for the summer time.

Slice of coconut cake with pudding and whipped cream on a plate.
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Why this Recipe Works

If you love coconut cake, you’ve got to try this easier version.

  • Starts with a cake mix.
  • Warm coconut pudding is poured over a baked vanilla cake. Every nook and cranny is super moist and saturated with coconut flavor!
  • No need to make a frosting with this recipe. Just spread on some Cool Whip and add a handful of toasted coconut.
  • Thanks to the pudding, this coconut cake stays moist and delicious even the next day.

I love how easy it is to transport and serve this cake, too. Baked in one layer, you can slice and serve your homemade Coconut Cake right out of the pan!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make coconut pudding cake.
  • French Vanilla Boxed Cake Mix. If you can’t find French Vanilla, any white cake mix will do. You’ll also need the ingredients to make the cake according to package directions.
  • Cool Whip. My Homemade whipped cream or this stabilized whipped cream make a delicious substitutes, if you can’t get Cool Whip where you live.
  • Coconut Cream Pudding Mix. You’ll need the instant mix for this recipe (not cook and serve).
  • Milk. You can use skim milk, whole milk or even your favorite plain nondairy milk. It’s up to you!

Easy Instructions

Step by step photos showing how to make coconut pudding cake.

Bake the cake. Mix and bake the vanilla cake according to package directions. Remove from the oven and poke holes all over the top of the cake with the handle of a wooden spoon.

Pour on pudding. Mix together the instant pudding mix with the milk. Immediately pour it over the warm cake. Cover and chill the cake for at least 3 hours.

Cool Whip Topping. Just before serving, spread thawed Cool Whip all over the top of the cake. Sprinkle with toasted coconut flakes. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Tips and Tricks

  • Make ahead option. Bake the cake the night before and let it chill in the fridge overnight. It’ll be ready to frost and enjoy the next day!
  • Poking holes. I use the handle of a wooden spoon for making poles in the cake. A skewer or tip of a meat thermometer are also perfect for this! Make sure to cover the whole top of the cake with holes to ensure the pudding seeps into every bite of the cake.
  • How to store. Keep leftovers tightly covered in the fridge. Enjoy within 3 -4 days.
  • More Coconut. Stock up on coconut so you can try our easy Impossible Coconut Pie. Or give our from scratch, coconut cupcakes a try next!
Coconut pudding cake cut into squares in a 13x9 dish.

Recipe FAQs

Can I make this recipe with a from-scratch cake instead?

Yes, you can use any vanilla sheet cake recipe you enjoy in place of the boxed mix!

Can I use cook ‘n’ serve instead of instant pudding?

I haven’t tried this Coconut Pudding Cake with the mixed you have to cook first. I imagine it would work but you will need to follow the instructions on the package for making pudding before pouring it over the cake.

Can you freeze pudding cake?

Yes you can freeze pudding cake. After baking and assembling, freeze in airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator overnight.

More Poke Cakes

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Coconut Pudding Cake

4.67 from 6 votes
By: Aimee
Looking for an easy dessert recipe that delivers impressive results? Make a delicious Coconut Pudding Cake with just a few ingredients! Moist cake with a creamy cool whip topping gets even better when you add a sprinkle of toasted coconut on top.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Chill Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 20 servings


  • 1 box French Vanilla cake mix plus ingredients to make according to package
  • 1 package instant coconut cream pudding mix 3.4 ounce
  • 2 cups milk
  • 12 ounce Cool Whip thawed
  • 1 cup toasted coconut
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  • Prepare cake in a 13×9 according to package directions. Remove from oven and poke holes all over cake using the handle of a wooden spoon or a wooden skewer.
  • In a mixing bowl, whip together the pudding mix and milk. Immediately pour over warm cake, using a spatula to spread it. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours (or overnight).
  • When ready to serve, top with Cool whip and toasted coconut. Serve and enjoy!


  • Cake Mix- use white cake mix if you can’t find the french vanilla.
  • Coconut- use our tutorial on how to toast coconut.
  • Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 5 days.


Serving: 1slice, Calories: 121kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Sodium: 125mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 12g
Course: Cake
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

With sweet tropical flavor, this Coconut Pudding Cake has “summertime” written all over it! It doesn’t get any easier–or tastier–than a good pudding poke cakes.

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on April 19, 2014

Comments & Reviews

  1. I made this cake tonight, and it is incredibly delicious! My only problem was that I didn’t make big enough holes for the pudding. I’ve never made a poke cake before, so, at the age of 72, I still have a lot to learn. Someone should turn this into a “Little Debbie’s” type product, and market it, and become a very rich person. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! A gazillion STARS!!!!!

  2. This cake has “SUMMER” written all over it !!….. I had a cake recipe similar to this where a yellow cake mix was used (baked according to the box), along with canned Pineapple bits ( only used about 1/2 can- drained ) was added to the coconut pudding mix, then the instant coconut/pineapple pudding was added on top of the chilled poke cake (push some of the pineapple bits down into the holes), chilled for a 3-4 hours (or overnight) then topped with that fabulous Cool Whip topping and toasted coconut on top….YUMMM makes my mouth water just thinking about it….. so if you like pineapple and coconut, then this one is for you 😛 …yes please

    1. Yummy, I have a very similar recipe coming to the blog in the next couple weeks, for cupcakes 🙂

  3. Thank,you. Will check Walmart. We don’t have the other place. but will try and see if I can find a healthy alternative to the pudding. Know I can find a vanilla cake in whole foods. And might try to use the coconut milk cool whip, though cool whip is my one unhealthy guilty pleasure. 🙂

  4. Thank you for your response. I found one.but in the package they said we have to boil the budding mixture with the milk until thiken.but you said in your recipe to just mix them and pour th directly on the hot cake? Which one I have to follow please

  5. Thank you for the recipe. It looks yummy.i have to try it just wondering from where you get the instant coconut pudding.never seen in the Canadian store.

  6. Get well soon dishwasher – you are a food bloggers best friend!
    Actually, I take that back, this cake is looking like my new best friend. You had me at coconut. And then pudding. So so good! Pinned!

  7. Oh no, sorry to hear about your broken dishwasher Aimee – that’s no fun. This cake is seriously amazing though! I love all the coconut action in this cake – I am obsessed with anything coconut so this cake needs to happen – pinning 🙂

  8. Oh man broken dishwasher is the worst. >_< But I love this poke cake! Yay for coconut, yay for poke cake, yay for less dishes to clean!

  9. I have yet to make a poke cake, and I believe that needs to change. I adore coconut. This looks so moist. Pinned!

  10. This looks so good and delicious. It reminds me of something that would be served after church and the recipe would be found in the old school cookbook. Lovin’ it!

  11. I never had Coconut Pudding Cake, It looks real good and looking at the ingredients and the Instructions don’t look to hard to make, The Poke Cake Strawberry,Banana Caramel Cake, The Jell-o cheesecake all look like delicious desserts.

  12. Oooo, I think I have a box of Duncan Hines yellow cake mix somewhere in the pantry! Yummm, I’ve got to try this cake!
    Thank you for the shout-out!!

  13. Oh my gosh, a broken dishwasher would be my worst nightmare! I feel your pain. I love this Coconut Pudding Cake! The French vanilla box mix sounds like a perfect addition! I hope you have a wonderful Easter with your family!

    1. Thank you! I loved the French Vanilla with this cake, although yellow or white would have been great choices too! Happy Easter to you too 🙂

4.67 from 6 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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