Dad's Banana Dream Cake
Updated: Jul 9
Bananas, cool whip, vanilla pudding, frosting, chocolate ganache and cake... what a dream. We made this one for Father's Day this year. (We also did not know cakes were a thing on Father's Day so you're not alone!) But, what dad wants, dad gets. His request in previous years was the Banana Dream cake from TooJays. (Good, but not as good as ours 😉) The downside to TooJays (in our opinion), is that they put walnuts in their cake. If you're anything like us, and do not enjoy eating nuts with your cake, then this cake is perfect for you. No nuts here!
If you've read our prior blog posts, we always give tips and suggestions. These are only to help you get through the baking process as seamlessly as possible! Here are our Banana Dream tips:
Tip #1: Use ripe bananas! We know our recipe calls for this, but want to make it clear that ripe bananas will always work the best. The riper the banana, the sweeter the cake!
Tip #2: If you want more of a banana flavor, you can swap the vanilla pudding for banana pudding. Still add the cool whip though!
Tip #3: Keep the pudding mixture in the fridge until you're ready to layer and frost. This will ensure that the pudding mixture is as thick as possible and not too runny!
Tip #4: Add the sliced bananas on top right before serving. If you put the bananas on too early, they will brown and the appearance won't be as pretty. But not to worry, it'll still taste just as good 😍
Suggestion: to make this cake EXTRA delicious, feel free to throw some chocolate chips in the batter before baking. We didn't do this, but would definitely do it next time around for a more chocolate-y flavor! Semi-sweet chips would probably be the best, but milk or dark would work just as well. It's personal preference, really.
We've included some pictures of the process since this recipe is a little longer than our usual recipes. Use these for reference if you have to :) RECIPE IS BELOW! (Recipe in "text form" is below the process pictures. Recipe in "picture form" is all the way at the bottom!)
**The top left picture was taken once all four layers were assembled.
**The top right picture was taken once the second layer of cool whip was finished and we were in the process of adding the banana slices.
**The middle left picture was taken once the cake was layered and frosted.
**The bottom left picture was taken in the middle of the ganache process.
**The larger picture on the bottom is the final product 😍
FOR THE CAKE
6 ripe bananas
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 & 1/2 cups buttermilk
FOR THE FILLING
4-8 oz. cool whip
1 packet vanilla instant pudding
Milk to make instant pudding (amount on box)
FOR THE FROSTING
2 - 16oz tubs of vanilla frosting
FOR THE GANACHE
1 & 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 & 1/2 cups heavy cream
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease two 9x9 round pans.
2. Mix 3 ripe bananas in the mixer until mashed and smooth.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
4. Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add both sugars and beat on high for two minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. Add mashed bananas and beat again.
5. Add the dry ingredients in thirds with mixer on low speed. Alternate between adding the dry ingredients and buttermilk until all is incorporated. Do not overmix. Lumps in the batter are ok!
6. Pour batter equally into two pans. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Keep an eye out! Once done baking, allow cakes to cool completely.
7. Make instant pudding based on box instructions. Once pudding becomes thick, add 4-8 oz of cool whip. You want the pudding to remain thick and not get too runny. Refrigerate to thicken.
8. Once cakes have cooled, cut each cake in half to make 4 layers. Place the bottom cake layer on your cake stand and frost with your pudding mixture.
9. Repeat this process for the second layer of cake. Once you have cool whip on top of the second layer, place sliced bananas on top of the cool whip. Then, repeat for the third cake layer (minus the banana slices). Do not put the pudding mixture on the top layer of the cake.
10. Once all layers of the cake are assembled, frost the exterior of the cake with the vanilla frosting. Once frosted, let the cake chill in the refrigerator.
11. While the cake is in the fridge, make your ganache by melting the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in 30 second increments, stirring in between.
12. Let the ganache cool for about 10 minutes. Pour the ganache over top of the cake. (If you want to be fancy, and use the drip technique like we did, look up some tips and tricks on how to do that.)
13. Once the top of the cake is covered in ganache, put the cake back in the fridge to cool. Prior to serving, place the sliced bananas on top of the cake. (If you put the bananas on too early, they will star to brown.)