Banana Split Poke Cake


Recently, my sweet friend Ashton moved her little family into their own home! As a non-home owner myself, I can attest that this is VERY mature and responsible of her! ‘Mortgage’, ‘HOA’ and ‘APR’ are words I do not know of yet and want to shut my eyes and cover my ears and revert back to childhood by screaming songs from Barney when I hear them.

However, I DO enjoy shopping for home goods like vases, lampshades, and general cluttery knick-knacks for my non-existent home. So I totally know what Ashton is going through with the whole ‘new-home-wanting-to-decorate-everything-in-Target-and-Z-Gallerie’ kinda thing. I get it.

And despite not owning a home myself, I HAVE moved homes which, I can say, sucks majorly. You don’t realize how much crap you have until you have to somehow Tetris-status it into eleventy-seven thousand boxes. And it isn’t as simple as throwing every book you own in a single box and calling it a day.

But when it’s all said and done, when you’re all unpacked, settled in and ready to make memories, it’s a rewarding feeling and definitely cause for celebration. So when some of my bloggy friends suggested we throw Ashton a virtual housewarming party, I was immediately on board. Moving definitely requires extra calories for endurance and stamina .. it’s a fact.

ashton housewarming

And while I may be over 3,000 miles away from Ashton’s house, I know she can still appreciate a tasty poke cake when she sees one–after all, she’s basically the queen of poke cakes! From peanut butter cup to red velvet, rainbow to carrot, she’s got them all covered .. and has me brainstorming inventive poke cake ideas constantly.

DSC_0840AAaaaaand since we’re celebrating her new home AND because summer is already approaching (I wore shorts all of last week .. ugh), I thought I’d make a poke cake for Ashton in a fun, summery flavor — Banana Split! You’ll be amazed just how similar this tastes to a frosty banana split sundae. It’s delicious!

Congratulations, Ashton!!


Banana Split Poke Cake
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18-20
This cake has all the classic flavors of a banana split and would be perfect for a potluck or picnic.
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • About 1 cup mashed banana (I used two large jars of banana baby food--works in a pinch!)
  • 1 small box sugar free/fat free instant banana cream pudding mix
  • ½ of a 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 small jar strawberry sundae sauce (the chunky preserves-kind)
  • 1 tub (8oz) Cool Whip Free, thawed
  • About ¼ cup chopped sundae peanuts
  • About ⅓ cup miniature chocolate chips
  • About ⅓ cup rainbow sprinkles
  • Maraschino cherries
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9 inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the cake mix, water, oil, eggs, and bananas until blended and smooth. Beat in the box of banana pudding to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake until set, or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Cool completely.
  3. Once cooled, poke a bunch of holes (approx. 20 or so) with the wooden handle of a spoon on the cake. Evenly drizzle the half can of scmilk over the holes, trying to fill them as best as possible.
  4. Spread the strawberry sundae sauce on top of the cake in an even layer; top with the Cool Whip. Sprinkle the Cool Whip with the peanuts, mini chocolate chips and rainbow sprinkles. Allow the cake to set in the fridge for up to 4 hours, but preferably overnight. Before cutting into squares, garnish with drained maraschino cherries and serve! Store leftovers airtight in the fridge.


DSC_0849aThis banana cake is out. of. this. world! It’s SO moist and dense — definitely not a light and airy cake! — and tastes identical to a creamy, dreamy banana split sundae. If you prefer your sundaes extra chocolate-y, feel free to use hot fudge instead of the sweetened condensed milk, or increase the amount of chocolate chips on top! However, I found the balance of banana, strawberry, whipped cream, peanuts, chocolate and cherries to be perfect… exactly how a banana split should taste!

Wanna know the best part about a party? The other food guests bring!

Julianne at Beyond Frosting – Pound cake with Champagne Glaze

Kate at Food Babbles – Raspberry Lemon Coffee Cake

Anna at Crunchy Creamy Sweet – Glazed Vanilla Donut Muffins

Loretta at A Finn in the Kitchen – Caramelized Almond Nougat Mousse Ice-cream

Joanne at Fifteen Spatulas – Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake

Ashley at Kitchen Meets Girl – Blueberry Muffins

Amber at Bluebonnets and Brownies – Lemon Drop Cookies

Dorothy at Crazy for Crust – Reese’s Fudge

Joan at Chocolate Chocolate and more – Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Quiche

Roxana at Roxana’s Home Baking – Banana Sheet Cake

Julie at White Lights on Wednesday – Mocha Cupcake Milkshake

Tanya at Lemons for Lulu – Lemon Muffins

Natasha at The Cake Merchant – Nutella Layer Cake

Again, welcome home Ashton!

xo, Hayley

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  1. Banana cake sounds so good to me and leave it to you, to doctor it up, and make it look so moist and unbelievably good!

  2. Please remove me from your email list. I love your items and food creativity but emails are too often.


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  3. Aaaannnddd I just gained 10 pounds right here lol! This looks amazing!

  4. noyomoco says:

    I adore banana cake – this looks so awesome! And, can I just say that I LOVE that you used baby food? You are hilarious, my friend! 🙂

  5. Yum! I love poke cakes. Happy House Warming Ashton 🙂

  6. Moving is no fun at all! I wish I had this poke cake waiting for me every time I’ve moved!

  7. This is so nice! Housewarming is happy. Banana splits are happy. Poke cakes are happy. Stars on photos are REALLY happy!

  8. I can’t wait for summer and your colorful sprinkles scream of sunny days. I love banana desserts and can’t wait to try yours.
    Thanks for sharing and thank you for participating in this party

  9. Oh my gosh! I was SOOOO surprised!! I can’t believe you guys did this!! You are all WAY TOO SWEET!!! I may or may not have teared up a little 🙂 Thank you so much! And this cake looks AMAZING. Home run!

  10. OOOH! Banana split poke cake, how FUN!!! Thanks for sharing.

  11. Yay, Ashton! We’ll all eat a slice in celebration of your move… deal? Enjoy decorating and nesting!

  12. This is just good old deliciousness Hayley! I love that you turned an ice cream split into a fabulous cake!!! Ashton is lucky!

  13. This looks so yummy! I have to make this, I love banana-flavored anything! And um, side note, I am so jealous that you were wearing shorts last week. Do you want to switch locations? It is so miserable and cold here! I live for the summer heat and wearing shorts!

    • Amanda, wherever you are, YES, I’d love to switch. Just a heads-up, bring your shorts and swimsuit because it’s going to be 88 and 89 next Monday and Tuesday. UGH.

      In the meantime, I’ll pack my trench coat and boots!

      • OMG soooo jealous! Those are my FAVORITE temps! I live in Wisconsin and it’s been rainy and cold and they’re talking snow tomorrow. We haven’t even hit 60 degrees yet this year. I might have to go stuff my face with some of your delectable treats to make myself feel better 🙂

  14. Aw!!! This is so sweet! And I am in love with how summery this poke cake makes me feel B)

  15. Banana Split is the perfect flavor to work into a poke cake! It looks drool-worthy Hayley and what a nice way to have a virtual housewarming! 😀

  16. We just moved into a house 6 months ago and yeah, MEGA responsibilities – that’s for sure!! And now I’m not sure how we ever managed to squeeze so much stuff into a one bedroom apartment before this.

    I love poke cakes and this virtual housewarming!

  17. This is so sweet and your cake looks totally yummy!

  18. Happy Housewarming Ashton!! I just moved in two weeks ago and OMG the stress! So much to do. But there is always poke cake. You two are the queens of it!!!! Banana split – so creative. Love this Hayley girl.

  19. As soon as I saw this cake, I thought “that’s the perfect cake for Ashton!” She really is the queen of poke cakes. I seriously seriously need to make one already! I’ve never made one before. This cake looks AMAZING!! So creative and wish I could have a slice right now.

  20. Ugh moving…yay shopping! You know what would be even better? For you to bring me this cake. 🙂

  21. what a great cake…seeing as how Ashton is the queen of poke cakes 🙂

  22. Loving this banana split poke cake, Hayley! I guess I need to get on the poke cake train because every time I see a version of one I immediately start drooling. Actually, it would just be easier (for me) if you would just send me a slice??

  23. bakerbynature says:

    This cake is so much fun! Now let’s talk about how we’re going to get it to my mouth…

  24. WHY have I never heard of a poke cake? And why is it called a poke cake?! Love the pictures though Hayley… as always, they’re colourful and enticing. Yum yum yum… heading over to check out Ashton’s blog right now! x

    • Hey Laura! Thanks for your comment, girlie! They’re called poke cakes because after the cake has cooled, you poke holes in it and drizzle sweetened condensed milk over the holes so it seeps into the cake. SO delish!

  25. Poke cake deliciousness!! And what a colorful way to celebrate 🙂

  26. Back for Seconds says:

    This cake is pure genius, Hayley! And it’s so pretty too! Love love love this idea.
    I am in the process of packing up my entire house now and it sucks majorly. Crossing my fingers we don’t have to move twice. ugh. I could totally use a cake (or 2) to make things better 😉 Such a sweet thing to do for Ashton, and perfect that you made her a poke cake!!

  27. Now that is a crazy awesome summer poke cake!!! You know how much I love banana everything…I can’t wait to give this a try!!!

  28. I just made your reeses and potato chip cookies for a second time last night…. pretty needless to say even with all that sugar, I still need this in my life! Let’s just never wear shorts again and eat all of the cake. Deal? Deal. Though, there’s fruit in here…. so it’s healthy? 😉

  29. afinninthekitchen says:

    Banana split? Yum! What a classic summer flavor combination. I never would have thought to put it in a cake! I was hoping someone would do a poke cake for Ashton 🙂

  30. Having moved to three different cities in the past three years, I know the stress that comes with it. But this poke cake is like xanax. One bite and your worries melt away.

  31. Trish @ Mom On Timeout says:

    Loving this Hayley! It looks amazing!

  32. You just brought back so many bad moving memories it’s not even funny! Nonetheless, congrats to Aston for moving into a new home! It’s exactly as you described – once it’s all done and you’re ready to make memories, it’s all worth it.

    The cake sounds great, and if it really tastes exactly like a banana split then I am on board! Thanks!

  33. I am making this today, cant wait! You have the cutest, funest (is that a word?) recipes!


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