Banana Cream Cake

Aug 08

Banana Cream Cake – Light and fluffy white cake layers with banana cream filling, toasted graham crackers, whipped cream and salted caramel.


My Banana Cream Cake is inspired by the popular Magnolia Bakery banana cream pudding and stacked like my favorite Milk Bar Cakes. If you’ve had Magnolia Bakery’s banana cream pie, you probably dream about it often like I do! It’s one of my favorite New York City treats. 

I first developed this recipe for my nephew’s birthday a few years ago. As I was coming up with the cake, and thinking about all the flavors and textures I wanted to add to it, I knew it needed to be stacked like a Milk Bar cake. (If you’re not familiar with Milk Bar, I highly recommend you check out their website and even buy their cookbook. There are so many amazing, unique recipes.)

There’s a couple reasons I choose to stack a cake Milk Bar style. The first being that it has a lot of elements in it (like my Tonight Show Cake) and the acetate paper will better support the cake. The second being that it has softer fillings that won’t hold up as well with a coat of frosting around them.

Milk Soak

Another Milk Bar inspired element of this cake is the banana milk soak. Adding a little extra moisture to a naked cake is never a bad idea since these types of cakes don’t have a layer of frosting to protest the cake from drying out. And more importantly, this step adds even more flavor to the cake. You can’t go wrong with a soak!

Also layered in this cake: toasted graham cracker crumbs, salted caramel, and fresh whipped cream. Basically heaven in a cake. You can also add in fresh sliced bananas if you plan to serve the cake that same day. 

Oh, and one little note about serving this beauty – serve it cold, or things will get pretty messy when you’re cutting the cake.



Banana Cream Cake

Banana Cream Cake.

Light and fluffy white cake layers with banana cream filling, toasted graham crackers, whipped cream and salted caramel.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Cake
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 10 hours 30 minutes
Author Courtney Rich


For the White Cake

  • 3 cups 345 g cake flour, sifted
  • 2.5 teaspoons 10 g baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon 2.8 g salt
  • 1/2 cup 113 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup 54.5 g vegetable oil
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons 225 g granulated sugar
  • 4 egg whites at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup 180 g buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon 2.1 g vanilla

For the Banana Cream Filling

  • 1.5 ounces banana pudding mix
  • 7 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup 120 g milk
  • 1 1/2 cups 346.5 g heavy cream
  • For the Banana Milk Soak
  • 2 tablespoons banana pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup 120 g milk
  • For the Salted Caramel
  • 1 cup 200 g granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons 118 g water
  • 4 teaspoons 82 g light corn syrup
  • 1 cup 231 g heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons 8.4 g vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons 11.2 g salt

For the Toasted Graham Cracker Crumbs

  • 18 full crackers
  • 1/2 cup 113 g melted butter
  • 1/2 cup 100 g sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • For the Whipped Cream
  • 1 1/2 cups 346.5 g heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup 62.5 g confectioners' sugar
  • Sliced Bananas optional


For the White Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Coat a quarter sheet baking pan with nonstick spray, line it with parchment paper and spray again. 
  2. Mix the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, oil and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, beat in the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the bowl and mix until incorporated.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, and then test to see if it's done using a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan. Only a few crumbs should be one the toothpick. May need to cook it for an additional 3-5 minutes, depending on your oven.

For the Banana Cream Pudding

  1. Mix the pudding mix, sweetened condensed milk and milk in a bowl until well blended, about two minutes. Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish, cover, and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours.
  2. Whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. When the pudding is set,  fold it into the whipped cream in small batches. Carefully fold in all of the pudding until it is completely blended with the cream.
  3. Cover and refrigerate until you're ready to build the cake. This step can be done a couple days in advance.

For the Banana Milk Soak

  1. Combine the pudding mix and milk in a bowl and blend. Mixture should be thin, like milk. 
  2. Best to make right before assembly.

For the Salted Caramel

  1. Mix the water, corn syrup and granulated sugar together in a very small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, but do not stir. Cook until the mixture caramelizes into the beautiful golden brown color. It happens quickly once the sugar starts browning, so don't walk away from the stove during this step.
  2. Remove the caramelized sugar syrup from the heat and mix in the cream. If the cream is not room temperature, add it SLOWLY, while mixing. Add a bit more and mix that in. Continue mixing in the cream a little bit at a time at first, and then you can start adding more and more as you go along.
  3. Mix in the salt and vanilla extract. Stir to combine. Set the caramel aside and let it cool completely before using, or store it in an air-tight container until ready to use.
  4. For the Toasted Graham Cracker Crumbs
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Crush the graham crackers in a food processor or by hand.
  7. Add the crumbs, sugar and salt in a bowl and whisk to combine.
  8. Add the melted butter and stir until all the crumbs are wet.
  9. Spread evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes. Let cool completely and set aside.

For the Whipped Cream

  1. In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the cream and sugar. Whisk until stiff peaks form.


  1. Place a piece of parchment paper on the counter. Invert the cake onto it and peel off the parchment from the bottom of the cake. Use a 6" cake ring to stamp 3 circles in the cake (or two circles and two halves). 
  2. Place the cleaned cake ring on the center of a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Use one strip of acetate paper to line the inside of the cake ring.
  3. Put one layer of the cake (or two halves) inside the ring.
  4. Dunk a pastry brush in the banana milk soak and slather it on the cake, giving it a nice milk bath.
  5. Spread one-third of the banana cream pudding in an even layer over the cake.
  6. Spread sliced bananas evenly over the pudding (if using). 
  7. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the toasted graham cracker crumbs on top of the bananas, followed by a heavy drizzle of the salted caramel.
  8. Carefully spread about 1/2 cup of the whipping cream on top.
  9. Gently tuck in another strip of the acetate paper between the cake ring and the top quarter inch of the first acetate strip, high enough to support the height of the finished cake.
  10. Set a cake round on top of the whipped cream and repeat steps 4-8.
  11. Set the final cake layer onto the whipped cream and cover the top of the cake with the remaining banana cream pudding. Sprinkle it with graham cracker crumbs, drizzle with salted caramel and decorate with whipped cream.
  12. Transfer the sheet pan to the freezer and freeze for at least 12 hours. About 4-5 hours before you're ready to serve, remove the cake from the freezer and transfer to the refrigerator to finish thawing.
  13. Serve chilled.

49 thoughts on “Banana Cream Cake

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  1. This sounds amazing! I’m a big fan of your work so when I saw that you had a blog & shared your recipes; and even more exciting for me, your thought process behind flavor creations!

    I was wondering if you have a favorite vanilla/white cake? Or if it typically depends on the type of cake you’re building? Forgive me if you’ve mentioned it in a previous post, I’m so excited I couldn’t wait to ask 😉

    I’m also super excited to try your Red Velvet recipe! I have had the emulsion but I haven’t had a chance to use it.

    Thanks for sharing so much! Adore your work and style!

  2. Hello! I would like to know what type of cream should be used to make the salted caramel. Thank you.

  3. Hi! I love your recipes, and this one called my attention right away!

    I wanted to know what to do if banana pudding mix isn’t available (it doesn’t exist where i live). Can i replace it with anything else?

    Best wishes and keep up the great baking!

  4. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I’m excited to put it all together. Can you clarify how much is 1.5oz of pudding mix? I bought 170g box.

  5. Where in store would I find an acetate sheet like you used? This sounds like it’d be great for my kids’ birthday party in a couple of weeks.

  6. when do you remove the acetate sheet liner from the cake….after freezing it for 12 hours or do you wait until another 4-5 hours or right before serving the cake?

  7. I want to make this cake using cake pans, would that work? And do you think I could frost it with a buttercream? I’m just worried that the whipped cream layer would make it unstable because I don’t think I could freeze it with the buttercream, or could I?

  8. Hello
    In your salted caramel ingredients you don’t list vinegar but in the directions you state add salt and vinegar how much vinegar is needed
    Thank you

  9. Hi!! Ok just to clarify… the recipe says to use a half sheet pan sized tray for the cake but the video shows you’ve used a quarter sized sheet pan. Help!! Which is it? I think my layers are too shallow… A half sheet pan is 18×13 inches.

      1. Hi there! Just a suggestion that you fix the instructions under “for the white cake” to say quarter sheet pan, not half. I just followed the directions and was so discouraged when my cake was so flat and I thought it didn’t rise. Turns out, I just did it in the wrong size pan. (I’m still SO excited to eat this cake even tough the cake layers will be thin!) I’m just about to assemble it. Do I not put a cake board under the cake ring? I’m so confused about that part.

          1. Just wanted to tell you that I made this cake 6 days ago, my family and I ate it, and for the last six days I’ve thought about it and missed it! Haha! It was SO SO SO GOOD that I think about it day and night:). I’ve loved so many of your cakes but this is my new favorite! AMAZING!

  10. Another great recipe. It looks like a lot of steps but the recipe was easy to follow. The cake was super well balanced too and not too sweet. It got rave reviews at work.

  11. Hi. The cake was delish! Your recipe calls for 2 tablespoons banana pudding mix and 1/2 cup milk. But the mixture forms into a pudding so quickly (before you can add it to all three layers). How can I add the banana-flavored milk soak so it doesn’t turn into pudding?Thoughts/suggestions?

  12. This cake is the bomb!!! I’ve made it now for two different parties, and everyone LOVED it! So tasty, perfectly balanced in flavor and texture…. cant say enough… MMmm MMmmmmmm MMMmmmmmmm! Thank you so much for sharing! Would LOVE to see more of these stacked style cakes (:

  13. Is the pudding mix size supposed to be 5.1 ounces? The only size box I can find is 5.1 oz. or 3.4 unless it’s sugar free.

  14. Super excited to try this recipe for my dad’s 60th! Is the freezing step absolutely necessary or would putting it in the fridge suffice? Also, if I need to make the cake a day in advance should I forgo the fresh banana slices?

  15. I made this cake just yesterday and it was great! I made a few modifications, though, simply because I didn’t have certain tools on hand. First, I decided to use nilla wafers instead of graham crackers because they were a third of the cost at my grocery store. I am sure that graham crackers add a different dimension of flavor, but honestly, toasted nilla wafers were really yummy too. Second, I am actually not a super experienced baker (I am just really good at following directions) so I do not own a cake ring. This made it a bit harder to assemble my cake, and also resulted in me not being able to use as heavy of a hand when dolloping on the various layers. Further, because the caramel began to run along the sides, I decided to crumb coat the cake with the leftover whipped cream and banana pudding cream. I actually ended up combining the two and added in a few more tablespoons of pudding mix to stabilize the whipped cream enough to not only frost it, but also pipe florets on its entirety (without needing to make extra whipped cream). All in all, it turned out great. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that this cake is frozen, so you have to thaw before serving, which isn’t ideal when it’s a cake that is not meant for a special occasion and will likely be eaten in one sitting. My family and I have just been eating the cake frozen and its still great, the white cake is just a bit dry. Quick question: how long can this cake be stored in the freezer if it is never fully thawed?

  16. Hi Courtney, I can’t seem to find the recipe for this anymore. Is it located somewhere else now? Thanks!

  17. Hi I have made this recipe before and would love to make it again but I can’t seem to find the actual recipe??

  18. Hello! I can’t see this recipe is there a glitch with the website or is it just me? Made it before and love it!! Just wanted to make it again, thanks!