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34 Ways to Use Pudding Mix in Top-Rated Desserts

Busy home cooks appreciate time-saving shortcuts. And when it comes to desserts, a very popular shortcut ingredient is pudding mix--both the instant and the cook-and-serve varieties. After all, they're a quick and convenient way to add flavor and texture to cakes and cookies, and creamy custard fillings to pies and trifles. Here are 34 of our favorite ways to use the most popular pudding mix flavors  in top-rated dessert recipes.

Chocolate Pudding

1. Too Much Chocolate Cake

"This cake won me First Prize at the county fair," say recipe creator Denise. And with more than six thousand 5-star ratings, this is one of the most popular chocolate cakes on Allrecipes. Home cook Ellen E. says, "This chocolate cake is phenomenal! I have been making this for about 2 years now for many, many different occasions, and it always gets rave reviews."

Too Much Chocolate Cake
Photo by Amber Dehn-Koenig

2. Giant Ding Dong Cake

"Wow, this was such a great idea! I made mine into cupcakes and used a pastry bag to fill them for a birthday party, and people were begging for the recipe." -- brandy

3. Death By Chocolate III

Four ingredients are all it takes to make this 5-star phenomenon. "This is so easy it is always a little embarrassing to hear all of the raves when I serve it to friends," says chellebelle. "To add even another chocolate punch, try drizzling hot fudge sauce from a jar between the whipped topping and brownie layers."

Death By Chocolate III
Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

4. S'mores Popsicles®

"My 13-year-old daughter created this recipe for a quick yummy summer snack. Easy for anyone to make and enjoy." -- Beilerfam

5. Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

"I added a layer of thinly sliced banana between the peanut butter and chocolate pudding and sprinkled the top with chocolate chips...very very yummy!" -- BN61079

recipe active photo
Photo by EmmasMomma

6. Easy Chocolate Cookies

"These cookies rock! They are so simple to make and are super chewy and chocolaty. I like to make cookie sandwiches with them by spreading buttercream frosting between two cookies." -- lynnmarie

Easy Chocolate Cookies
Photo by Jodie Biesenthal

7. Ice Cream Lasagna

"Made it exactly as written. Wouldn't change a thing. It was fantastic. Already sharing the recipe. Real crowd-pleaser." -- mobaker

8. RumChata® Pudding Shots

"Made these with vanilla cheesecake pudding and chocolate as well. Won the best drink trophy at a friends' party :). So simple and so good!" -- Grandma Ham 2

RumChata(R) Pudding Shots
Photo by Soup Loving Nicole

Vanilla Pudding

9. Award Winning Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

"Everybody wants this recipe when I take them in for a carry-in. To make them award winning, my daughter, Tegan, made them for a cookie baking contest and won a red ribbon! You can use any flavor pudding you like for this recipe." -- Debbi Borsick

Award Winning Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
Photo by Ashley Greco

10. Cinnamon Rolls III

"I had never made cinnamon rolls from scratch before this weekend when I tried this recipe. These are great and easy even for a beginner like me!" -- Louise Maxine

Cinnamon Rolls III
Photo by Jesse Raschk

11. The Best Banana Pudding

"This one is a keeper!! The only thing that I did differently is that I used the cook 'n serve pudding and let it cool. This was much creamier than the instant pudding." -- JRP-DLP

12. Golden Rum Cake

"I've used this recipe quite a number of times and have experimented with many different rums. The best is actually a combination of two different kinds. For the cake, use Bacardi Dark/Select or Myers. For the glaze, use Appleton Estates. If you can't find Appleton Estates, use the Bacardi or Myers, but the Appleton really makes the glaze sweeter and almost tangy." -- Lindsay W

Golden Rum Cake
Photo by David Caro

13. No-Bake Chocolate Eclair Cake

"Only difference was out of necessity: I used half and half for the pudding mix as I was out of milk. So very rich and creamy! My husband said this was the best dessert I have ever made...rave reviews by all who sampled!" -- Crystal S

No-Bake Chocolate Eclair Cake
Photo by Angela Thompson

14. Heath Bar Pie

"My family could not believe I made this. It was so good. I could not tell you about leftovers--there were none. The only change I made was I used a package of Heath Bar pieces instead of breaking my own." -- Kathy Fulop Chamberlain

Heath Bar Pie
Photo by Amy Young

15. Pumpkin Pie Pudding Shots

"Spiced rum helps to create a not-so-traditional addition to your table or a fun adult treat to hand out Halloween night. These pudding shots are extra delicious with a layer of graham or spaced wafer crumbs." -- TINATED

Pumpkin Pie Pudding Shots
Photo by TINATED

16. Margarita Cake

"This cake was a hit at two different occasions I made it for. I could not find orange cake mix, so I substituted with white cake mix and added 1 tablespoon of grated orange rind, squeezed some juice from the orange and added 2 teaspoons of orange extract. I also made extra glaze and coated the cake again before serving." -- Kim D.

17. Berry Trifle

"This recipe is always a huge hit. One word of advice...after you put the 1st layer of cake and berries down, pour half the 'pudding' mixture over the top, then finish with another layer and pour the rest of the pudding mixture. The mixture is too thick to reach the bottom layer if you only pour over the top." -- Abby Zollinger Schultz

Berry Trifle
Photo by MELLYGIRL23

 

Lemon Pudding

18. Lemon Poke Cake II

"Sooo Lemony and sooo delicious! I used the lemon cake and lemon pudding mix. I also doubled the amount of glaze to go on top, and basically bathed it in glaze, letting it soak up into every inch of the cake! It turned out amazingly tasty!" -- yummywife

Lemon Poke Cake II
Photo by MomTo6

19. Key Lime Cake II

"I made this into cupcakes and did not make the glaze. The cake was good, but still more of a lemon cake rather than a lime cake. The cupcakes were still very good and incredibly moist. I chose to make a lime cream cheese frosting. I used one of the lemon cream cheese frosting recipes from this site, and just subbed lime in place of the lemon. These were very popular at the get-together I took them to." --mominml

Key Lime Cake II
Photo by sweetserenade

20. Copycat of Starbucks® Lemon Bread

"This was amazing! And virtually identical to Starbucks lemon loaf. I accidentally used instant pudding...oops! But I added a little more liquid and it came out perfect. I brought it to work to share and it was gone in an hour! I would recommend this to anyone and will for sure be making this again! Thanks for sharing!" -- Kate

Copycat of Starbucks(R) Lemon Bread
Photo by Yoly

21. Lemon Pudding Cookies

"This is a great quick recipe, and surprisingly good cookies, if you like soft cookies, which I do! I plan to experiment with other pudding flavors." -- stephanie. Tip: You can make an easy glaze with lemon juice and confectioners' sugar.

Lemon Pudding Cookies
Photo by Kriss Morton

22. Outrageous Lemon Berry Trifle

"Very good! The lemon pudding gives this a very light lemony flavor that makes this such a light dessert. It was enjoyed by everyone." -- Mother Ann

Outrageous Lemon Berry Trifle
Photo by nantothedob

23. Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

"These turned out really well and they were so quick and easy! The only thing I changed was adding a little bit of glaze made with powdered sugar, The juice of 1 lemon and the zest of that same lemon. My hubby thought they were amazing and he's not much of a 'muffin man'!" -- Deanna Rebman Sommers

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Photo by catherine.drew

24. Lemon Lush

"This is a definite family request at our holiday get togethers and all our summer picnics! It tastes just like a cool & creamy version of lemon meringue pie, but better :)" -- MANOPA

Lemon Lush
Photo by Melissa Goff

 

Butterscotch Pudding

25. Butterscotch Pecan Cookies

"MMmmmmmm! I love butterscotch and these are great! Very easy to make too." -- sweetiepeaz

Butterscotch Pecan Cookies
Karen Dean Covington

26. Butterscotch Pudding Pancakes

"It's a little bit sweet and a whole lot of yummy, especially when there's a pile of crisp bacon served on the side. I came up with this variation looking to spice up the regular routine. Serve with sauteed apples and maple syrup." -- Leslie Kelly

Butterscotch Pudding Pancakes
Photo by Tammy Lynn

27. Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes

"Hit of the party. I had someone say, 'These are to die for!' The guests @ the party also said that these were easily better than a local cupcakery (that charges a small fortune for a cupcake)!" -- Julie

28. Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

"Incredible! I must say, I was wondering what all the fuss was about, but after trying them, I quickly found out! I made 3 batches: lemon pudding with white chocolate chips, vanilla pudding with butterscotch chips, and butterscotch pudding with milk chocolate chips." -- KRANEY

Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies
Mrs. Dr. The Ivan

29. Quick and Easy Monkey Bread

"This is the BEST cinnamon roll-monkey bread recipe I have ever tried. Everyone LOVES it. This is a keeper. I did find that I like to dip each bun in melted butter before assembling though. It seems to make it more gooey." -- A Baker's Dozen

Quick and Easy Monkey Bread
Photo by Emily Bergkamp Blew

30. Apple Snicker Salad

"Great recipe as is. Butterccotch pudding is what makes this recipe great. To make breaking the candy bars easier, freeze candy bars ahead of time, when ready to put the bars in, put them on a solid surface and hit with a hammer. Breaks them into nice small pieces." -- scot

Apple Snicker Salad
Photo by Makayla Lynn Frey

Banana Pudding

31. Banana Trifle

"MARVELOUS! I made this recipe exactly as stated. It gave such a nice presentation. I crushed the vanilla wafers by putting them in a zip lock bag and using a rolling pin. When I dished the dessert out, I sprinkled the top with extra crushed vanilla wafers I had set aside. It was the hit of the night." -- SHORECOOK

Banana Trifle
Photo by kayleighkathleen

32. Easy Banana Pudding Cake

"My family loves this cake. I add 3 or 4 sliced bananas over the top, before I put the whip cream on. Yummy!: -- Diane Culifer Akerman

33. Banana Cream Pie Made Easy

"SUPER EASY, and delicious. also left the ice cubes out and it had a wonderful texture...could see the same method for chocolate cream too!" -- idagal

Banana Cream Pie Made Easy
Photo by ph4hawks

Any Flavor Pudding Mix

34. Fast and Easy Creamy Ice Cream

"Using only two ingredients, this ice cream recipe consistently produces thick, creamy ice cream. It can be made fat-free or sugar free in any flavor available in a pudding mix." -- Andi

Fast and Easy Creamy Ice Cream
Photo by kennalou5

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About Vanessa Greaves

Good food, friends, and fun are always on the menu. Find me as foodelicious on Allrecipes and vanny.gee on Instagram (but only if you don't mind cat pics and cocktails).