A Punch Bowl Cake is the perfect dump-and-go dish for all your summer potlucks! This quick, no bake cake comes together in minutes, feeds a crowd, and only requires 5 basic ingredients to make. It is a cool, creamy dessert that is perfect as a summer treat!
How to Make A Punch Bowl Cake
So you found out there is a potluck tomorrow and need something FAST that looks homemade and everyone will be begging for the recipe? I think we have all been there. Today, I have you covered though with this Punch Bowl Cake Recipe. This can be made in less than 30 minutes with a store-bought cake and voila! Instant culinary genius!
There are 3 desserts I can not be left alone with: Thin Mint Cookies, Key Lime Pie, and this Punch Bowl Cake. It’s one of those sneaky desserts. The kind that you find yourself looking for just a little bit more only to realize you ate like half the bowl. A friend introduced me to this marvel several years ago at a work potluck and it gave me that amorous feeling from the very start. It’s been several years since I originally published this recipe, but I got the chance to make it yet again recently and I decided it was time to update the photos, because it really is one of my favorite quick and delicious summer desserts for potlucks.
Layered Punch Bowl Cake Recipe Variation
The main reason that I mix this variation rather than layering it is that the whip cream seems to bind a bit to the cake and protect it from becoming soggy, especially if I make it the night before. Frankly, it’s also just faster to dump and mix it in.
However, this punch bowl cake recipe can be beautifully layered, similar to a trifle.To keep the cake from soaking up too much juice from the pineapple, I recommend layering it in the following way: 1/2 cake, 1/2 whip cream, half mixture of strawberries and pineapple, repeat with the remaining halves.
(Double Batch shown in this photo)
Notes for Making A Punch Bowl Cake with Strawberries and Pineapple
I suppose I should list a few notes from my many times making this. First, I make my own vanilla extract and it is so easy!
For this recipe, you can use angel cake, yellow cake, or pound cake depending on your own preference. I personally use a dense yellow cake (just a taste preference), but I do find that it often crumbles more than either pound cake or angel cake. Using a store bought angel cake makes for a deliciously light and airy texture, however.
Lastly, fresh pineapple does not have as much juice. If you find the cake to be too dry, use canned or reserve some of the pineapple juice. I usually use canned pineapple with angel cake because it tends to be dry to me.
You can also use any fruit you like to add color or contrast. It doesn’t have to be a strawberry punch bowl cake, but the bright colors look beautiful. Try out blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, peaches, or pears!
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- 1 yellow or angel food cake store bought or homemade
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 4 Tbsp White Sugar
- 2 tsp Vanilla
- 1/2 lb Strawberries
- 20 oz canned chunked pineapple in juice or fresh pineapple
- Almonds or pecans optional
*See note about serving size. Wash and slice strawberries. Drain pineapple. Set aside.
- In a large chilled bowl, add the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla. Whip at high speed, until very fluffy and stiff. It should stick to the sides of the bowl.
- Cut cake into bite sized chunks.
- In punch bowl or other large bowl, add fruit, cake and whip cream. Fold together with a spoon. Topped with toasted almonds or chopped pecans, if desired.
- The cake can be served immediately but is best overnight to allow the fruit to soak into the cake. The cake will not become soggy overnight. Lasts about 3 days usually.
This recipe makes about 8-10 cups at it's current written size, which would not fill a large punch bowl. If you want to nearly fill a cake stand sized bowl (as pictured), I recommend doubling the recipe.
Truthfully, this cake really does best with home made whipped cream. Substituting with cool whip or, worse, reddi-whip is not recommended.
This punch bowl cake recipe can be beautifully layered, similar to a trifle.To keep the cake from soaking up too much juice from the pineapple, I recommend layering it in the following way: 1/2 cake, 1/2 whip cream, half mixture of strawberries and pineapple, repeat with the remaining halves.
You can use angel cake, yellow cake, or pound cake depending on your own preference. I personally use a dense yellow cake (just a taste preference), but I do find that it often crumbles much more when mixing than either pound cake or angel cake.
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