Punch Bowl Cake Recipe

| October 6, 2019 | 19 Comments

Audrey’s Punch Bowl Cake

Follow our easy, step-by-step, photo illustrated directions to learn how to make this very delicious Punch Bowl Cake. It’s easy to assemble, and it feeds a crowd. Printable recipe included.


Punch Bowl Cake, enjoy.
This is a dessert that is easy to assemble and feeds a large crowd of folks. The recipe is from my cousin Audrey who always made one of these for our family reunions.


Punch Bowl Cake, slider.

My cousin Audrey was a few years older than me. There were three girls and two boys in her family, and we all played together as young kids. It was always a treat to visit their house and we played as hard as we could the entire time.

Sadly, Audrey is no longer with us, but I still have lots of great memories of her, and I’ll never forget that little giggle she often did when she smiled. She always seemed to have a smile,

Later, and with a family of her own, Audrey would attend our annual family reunions. She almost always brought one of these great big punch bowl cakes. It was the biggest dessert on the dessert table most of the time.

During the course of those reunions, the family created the “Stewart Family Favorites Cookbook.” It was just a small cookbook like many churches and other families made, and it was sold as a fundraiser to help cover the cost of renting the building we always used. Audrey’s recipe for the cake is in that cookbook.

I’ve looked at it for a long time, and I’m happy to now share it with you. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you’ll make one to share at your next large gathering. Audrey would be proud.

Audrey’s sister Agnes, is the one that shared her recipe for Southern Potato Salad that you’ll find here on Taste of Southern. All the girls in the family turned out to be great cooks on their own.

Only the youngest girl in the family, my cousin Carolyn, is still living. We talked on the phone for almost two hours just a few days before I made this cake. Carolyn and I kind of compete against each other in making desserts to take to what we now call our Cousins Reunion. She’s a great cook just like her sisters.

This cake is really simple. And, you can let the kids help you put it all together. I baked my sheet cake the day before I assembled the cake, so that makes assembly go that much faster. Smile.

So, if you’re ready to try it, let’s head on out to the kitchen, and… Let’s Get Cooking.


Punch Bowl Cake, you'll need these ingredients.
Punch Bowl Cake Recipe – You’ll need these ingredients.


Punch Bowl Cake, prepare the sheet cake.
First thing you will need to do is to prepare the sheet cake. You can do this a day or two ahead of time which really helps when you get ready to assemble the cake. Just follow the directions on the box to prepare your cake. It’s best to let the cake cool completely before using it to make our cake.


Punch Bowl Cake, prepare the pudding.
When you’re ready to start putting the cake together, start by making the Vanilla Pudding. Again, just follow the directions on the package, prepare the pudding, and let it setup while you begin assembly of the cake.


Punch Bowl Cake, halve the cake.
Cut your sheet cake in half. Crumble half the cake into the bottom of your punch bowl.


Punch Bowl Cake, add pineapple.
DRAIN the cans of pineapple, then spread one entire can over the cake. Save the juice. It’s good.


Punch Bowl Cake, add cherries.
Spread HALF of the can of Cherry Pie Filling over the top of the pineapple.


Punch Bowl Cake, add vanilla pudding.
Spread HALF of the Vanilla Pudding over the top of the cherries.


Punch Bowl Cake, add cool whip.
Spread HALF of the Cool Whip® over the top of the pudding.


Punch Bowl Cake, add the coconut.
Spread HALF of the sweetened flake coconut over the top of the Cool Whip® Topping.


Punch Bowl Cake, add pecans.
Pecans are optional, but if you’re using them, sprinkle them on next.


Punch Bowl Cake, add remaining cake.
Crumble up the other half of the cake, and spread it out over the top of the other layers.

From here, we just REPEAT THE LAYERS.

Add the other can of pineapple, the rest of the cherry pie filling, the rest of the vanilla pudding, the remaining Cool Whip®, coconut and pecans.


Punch Bowl Cake, garnish top as desired.
Garnish the top as desired. I reserved just a few of the cherries and placed them on top along with some more pecans.

Refrigerate the cake for an hour or two prior to serving, or overnight if possible. I think it’s better when it’s cold, but that’s just me. Smile.


Punch Bowl Cake, closeup.
Here’s a little closeup of the side of the bowl so you can see the layers. Since the cherries really stand out, be sure to spread some of them around the outer edge of the bowl when you put down that first layer.


Punch Bowl Cake, enjoy.


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Punch Bowl Cake, printbox.

Punch Bowl Cake Recipe

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Varies
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American, Southern


This cake is great anytime you need to serve a crowd of folks. Layers of cake, pineapple, cherries, vanilla pudding, and whipped topping are sure to please everyone.



1 box Yellow Cake Mix
2 cans Crushed Pineapple, drained, reserve juice (20oz-each)
1 can Cherry Pie Filling, (20oz) reserving about 10 cherries.
8 ounces Sweetened Flake Coconut
2 Large Vanilla Instant Pudding (3.5oz-each)
2 Large Cool Whip (8oz-each)
Nuts, your choice, if desired


Bake sheet cake according to package directions. Let cool completely.
Prepare the instant pudding according to package directions. Set aside.
Drain the pineapple. Save the juice.
Break or cut cake into bite size pieces.
Place half of cake in bottom of punch bowl.
Add one can of crushed pineapple. Spread over cake.
Add 1/2 of the can of cherry pie filling as a layer.
Add half of the pudding mix as a layer.
Add half of the cool whip as a layer.
Sprinkle on half of the coconut as a layer.
Add half of the nuts if desired.
Repeat all the layers again.
Sprinkle coconut on top.
Garnish with a few cherries and the nuts.
Refrigerate one to two hours before serving.


Make it even bigger and a bit sweeter.Use two one pound tubs of whipped topping.

Baking time listed is just for making the sheet cake. No other cooking required.

Keywords: punch bowl cake, southern trifle, southern desserts, pineapple, cake mix, vanilla pudding, cherry pie filling, cool whip


Your Comments:

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Be Blessed!!!


You might also like this: Southern Potato Salad

Or, maybe this:  Mama’s Fresh Coconut Cake

How about this one?  Sweet Potato Pie


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Category: Desserts

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Author of three cookbooks. "From Mama's Big Oval Table, From Mama's Big Oval Table - BOOK TWO and Carolina Christmas Sweets and Appetizers." Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (19)

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  1. Madelene Guzzardo Pisciotta says:

    Where does the reserved pineapple juice go?

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Madelene, I’m sorry for any confusion with the pineapple juice. I just stated to save it because it’s good. I like to drink it instead of just throwing it away. Guess I should have made that more clear. Thanks for pointing it out. I do appreciate your question and your visit. I hope you’ll try the Punch Bowl Cake and let us know how you liked it. I hope you’ll stop by for another visit… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • Shannon says:

        I use the pineapple juice reserved, for the liquid in the cake mix. The pineapple cake adds to the fruity flavor.

  2. Kathleen says:

    Many thanks! This is one of my very favorite desserts. They served it at the Blue Willow Inn in Social Circle, GA last time I visited with some of my children.

    I don’t have a pretty punchbowl but I found a plain glass bowl on a stand at Walmart for $10.00. It’s nice to serve layered salads in too.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Kathleen, You don’t need a pretty punch bowl to make the cake, but you will need something as big as one. Smile. Thank you for sharing your comments with us. I appreciate your visit and hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  3. Paula says:

    This looks wonderful! Haven’t thought about a punch bowl cake in a while. I make the same cake, except, I use twinkies. Gone in a flash with boys and their friends around. Thanks for the reminder. Will be making this weekend.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Paula, I bet this would be good using the Twinkies. Hadn’t even thought about something like that. Thank you for suggesting it. I hope you get to make it real soon. Thank you for sharing your comments and for your visit today. Be sure to visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  4. Alene says:

    I haven’t tried this yet but it reminds me of those refrigerator cakes that use chocolate cookies, store bought, layered with whipped cream and then more layers, all made in a loaf pan. They end up all mushed together and become something else delicious, better than the parts are individually. That sounds like your aunt’s recipe, just with different flavors. Please let me express my deepest sympathy for your sister in law’s struggle in the hospital. That cannot be easy for any of you. I have a very dear friend from many years ago who is struggling with invasive, fast growing breast cancer. I am praying for them both and will continue to do so. It certainly can’t hurt. And thank you for your interesting, amusing, and even sometimes sad posts. I love reading what you have to say!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Alene, Mama use to make something like you mentioned. I’d forgot all about that. She used the Oreo cookies with the whipped cream and yes, it was really good. Sounds like another recipe I need to get busy with. Thank you for your kind words about my sister-in-law. Your prayers for her and the family are greatly appreciated. It’s a struggle, but God is good, still in charge, and still in control. We’ll be praying your friend as well. Thank you for your kind words about our recipes. I appreciate your visit today and hope you’ll visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  5. Donna Gordon Pike says:

    Hi Steve!

    This is a very deluxe version of an old fashioned English Trifle. I will definitely try this for our next family gathering as I know everyone will love that combination of flavours. The trifle was, I am sure, invented to use up stale cake. It was usually broken up, sprinkled with a little port wine or brandy, as well as some fruit preserves.(usually jam, but your pie filling sounds good). Then, a custard was made and poured over the cake and preserves. Sweetened whipped cream topped it off, and it usually had a little brandy or rum added. None of the liquor is necessary at all, it was just minute amounts for flavour and it seems that the Brits liked to keep their bellies warm in the cold, damp English Winters. So, I am glad to see a tropical twist with the pineapple and coconut and some nuts. Thank you for sharing, it is terrible that you received a defective punch bowl!

    Be Blessed!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Donna, Thank you for taking the time to share your comments. You’re probably correct in it being like a Trifle. It’s a really good cake that feeds a crowd, I hope you get to try it soon. I’ve already received a replacement for my punch bowl, so all is well with that. Smile. Thank you for your visits and your continued support. I hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  6. Emily Hand says:

    That sounds like fun! If I were still teaching kindergarten, I would definitely do this as a class project (they love to cook). Wash hands real good, follow directions, focus on measuring and estimating (good math and life skills lessons), serve, and enjoy! Fun, and Yum! I know they would thank you a whole bunch.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Emily, I can just picture a group of young kids working together to make this cake. It would be a fun project for sure. But, I’ll let you have all the fun with them. Smile. Thank you for sharing your comments. I always appreciate your visits and do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  7. Oh I have so been waiting for this recipe since you first mentioned it. It sounds so delicious. I’ll be heading to the market in the morning with my list in hand, can’t wait to make it. Will have my grandchildren over for sure, looks like a lot of good eats. Thanks Steve, will be with you at 7 PM this evening. God Bless. Sue

    • Steve Gordon says:

      HI Susan, I hope you’ll let me know how the cake turns out for you. Thanks for trying the recipe. Thank you also for sharing your prayers as mentioned in our Newsletter. It is greatly appreciated. I also appreciate your comments and your visit today. I hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  8. Mary says:

    We call that Trifle. One of my favorites. We use whipped heavy cream in place of the Cool Whip.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Mary, I’ve never had a Trifle, but I understand they are both similar. Thank you for sharing your comment and for your visit. I do hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  9. Kathy Wolfe says:

    Wow! That is a deluxe Punch Bowl cake! I’ve used Angel Food cake also and it turned out great.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Kathy, I’d heard about using Angel Food Cake, and totally forgot to mention that as a substitute. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. Maybe it will help others. I do appreciate your comments and your support of our recipes. Thank you for your visit and be sure to visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

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