If you’re a fan of classic potluck desserts, you’ll LOVE this simple Punch Bowl Cake!! They are layers of yellow cake (from a mix for simplicity!), shredded coconut, crushed pineapple, cherry pie filling and Cool Whip. Perfection!
The Punch Bowl Cake is a Southern potluck classic!
I don’t know about where you live, but here in the South, we get really excited about desserts that combine cake with pudding.
Or Cool Whip.
Or pie filling.
I don’t really know who started it or why, it’s just a thing. And seriously, it’s delicious.
There’s just something about cake layered with a whole bunch of other messy stuff that tastes amazing. Honestly, I can’t think of a single cake/fruit filling/Cool Whip combo that doesn’t make me jump for joy.
What is Punch Bowl Cake?
There are lots of different Punch Bowl Cake recipes around the land, and they’re all universally loved at Southern potlucks. Unless you try to incorporate browned butter or Biscoff spread or whipped goat cheese or something.
I mean…fancy ingredients are perfectly delightful, but there’s a time and a place, people. Time and a place.
This ol’ reliable dessert would be perfectly at home at a church potluck, Easter dinner, cook out, or Mother’s Day brunch. It’s just layers of yellow cake, coconut, Cool Whip, cherry pie filling, and crushed coconut.
Most people serve these in a giant punch bowl (hence the name) but I love putting them in individual jars. First off, they’re way prettier. Because the punch bowl thing is fine until about four people have picked through it and then a delightful dessert looks like a hot mess.
These little jars solve that whole issue. Plus, you’re not hauling a nasty punch bowl full of cake crumbs and pie filling home in the back of your car. Gross.
How to assemble these Punch Bowl Cakes in a jar
- Bake your cakes and let them cool completely, then chill in the freezer until you’re ready to assemble.
- Once the cakes are chilled, cut the cake into 1″ cubes.
- Begin layering your ingredients in the jars. Start with the cake cubes, then a sprinkle of coconut, a spoonful of pineapple, a dollop of Cool Whip. Repeat, this time subbing cherry pie filling for the pineapple.
- Refrigerate for several hours, preferably overnight!
Wanting more potluck recipes? Check these out!
- Pineapple Upside Down Cake
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Butterfinger Bars
- Lemon Meringue Jar Cakes
- Key Lime Pie Meringue Bars
- No Bake Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
- 2 (9 inch) round yellow cake layers, baked, cooled, and chilled (chilled cake cuts better)
- 12 oz sweetened shredded coconut
- 20 can crushed pineapple
- 16 oz Cool Whip
- 1 (20 oz) can cherry pie filling
- 12 (1 pint) wide mouth canning jars
- Cut cake into 1 inch cubes.
- Layer each jar as following: Cake, a sprinkle of coconut, a spoonful of pineapple, a dollop of Cool Whip. Repeat, this time subbing cherry pie filling for the pineapple.
- Refrigerate for several hours before serving, preferably overnight.
- Alternately, you could use a large punch bowl and make just one large one.
I used a yellow cake mix for this recipe. If you’re looking for a great yellow homemade cake, feel free to use the base recipe HERE.