Church Cake

A Jiffy cake mix topped with a creamy pudding and cream cheese layer then crushed pineapple and cool whip makes an easy and delicious traditional Church Cake or Preacher Cake. 

Bite of thin Church Cake with pudding, cream cheese, pineapple and Cool Whip topping in front of piece of cake

Jiffy Cake Mix Recipe

We love making easy cakes from a box mix.  Having several good dessert recipes that can be quickly whipped up for a potluck, picnic, family or holiday meal makes life easier. This old-fashioned cake recipe has been in our family for generations.

This cake is unique because there’s actually just a thin layer of cake topped with delicious layers of vanilla pudding mixed with cream cheese which is super refreshing and creamy.  This layer makes the cake taste best served cold which is nice that it can be made up to a day ahead of time.  

This cake reminded me of our Orange Cake with Pineapple Icing which mixes crushed pineapple and pudding into whipped topping for the frosting where this cake just layers each of those ingredients.  There are also similarities to our Pina Colada Cake.

Our Pineapple Pretzel Salad, 7 up Jello salad and Watergate Salad mix cool whip and crushed pineapple with different ingredients to create so many different refreshing flavors.  

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Piece of Church Cake on a plate with fork in front of full dish of cake

It all began with our Moist & Rich Chocolate Cake. Then we amped up our Heath Bar Cake, Snickers Cake and Glazed Rum Bundt Cake.  Once we began enhancing a boxed cake mix we knew there was no turning back.  

Do I Have to Use Jiffy Cake Mix?

Jiffy Cake Mix is what this original old-fashioned recipe calls for, but any butter or white cake mix can be used.  Since a jiffy Cake Mix comes in a small box I would use half of a regular box of cake mix for this recipe and use the remaining half of the batter to make cupcakes.  

If a different cake mix is used the baking time will vary.  

Could use banana pudding and add a layer of thinly sliced bananas for another flavor dimension like our Strawberry Banana Split Cake.

How to Add More Flavor

One reader commented that she used pineapple juice instead of water for the base layer.

Another option is adding some coconut or rum extract to the creamy pudding layer.

Church Cake Recipe

  1. Mix up Jiffy Cake mix according to the directions on the box (add 1 egg and 1/2 cup cold water). Pour into a greased 9 x 13″ dish and bake for 10 – 12 minutes in 350°F oven.
  2. Cover cake with foil to hold in moisture and allow cake to cool.
  3. In a mixing bowl whisk together instant pudding and milk. In a seperate bowl beat softened cream cheese. Add pudding mixture into the cream cheese and mix well. Spread over cooled cake.
  4. Sprinkled drained crushed pineapple over pudding layer. Then spread cool whip over the top. I like to pat repeatedly with the end of a butter knife to get little spikes and make a more decorative look.
Several pieces out of pan of Jiffy Cake Mix Church Cake

How to Make Church Cake

Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. I just use non-stick cooking spray, but a layer of flour can be added if that’s your preference to help prevent sticking. Mix up cake mix and bake for 10 – 12 minutes. Don’t overbake – this is a thin layer of cake.

Using an electric mixer beat cream cheese very well.

Cream cheese beaten in mixing bowl

In a separate mixing bowl stir together pudding and milk. Then add pudding mixture into cream cheese in the mixing bowl and mix well.

Cream cheese beaten in mixer next to pudding in mixing bowl with whisk

Once baked cake has cooled spread cream cheese and pudding mixture in a layer over the cake.

Baked Jiffy Cake Mix in 9x13 dish next to mixing bowl of cream cheese and pudding

Drain pineapple well and then spread in an even layer over cream cheese and pudding mixture. I find using my fingers is easiest.

Layer of crushed pineapple on church cake

Then spread defrosted whipped topping over the cake and chill until ready to serve. This cake definitely tastes best chilled.

Store covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Layers of church cake garnished with a cherry on a white plate

Other Easy & Delicious Cake Recipes:

  • Oreo Dirt Cake – Crushed Oreos, pudding and cream cheese make this classic irresistible.
  • Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake – A classic chocolate cake mix with a gooey cream cheese layer of top is so delicious.
  • Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake – Layers of hot fudge and a chocolate mousse icing on a chocolate cake make a great special treat or easy birthday cake!
  • Cream Puff Cake – Like a cream puff only much easier to make and in cake form.
  • Cranberry Duff Cake – A holiday classic with the most amazing sauce you’ve ever poured over a warm cake.
Square piece of church cake on white plate by fork

Church Cake

Servings 15 pieces
Author: Jennifer
A Jiffy cake mix topped with a creamy pudding and cream cheese layer then crushed pineapple and cool whip makes an easy and delicious traditional Church Cake or Preacher Cake. 
4 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes



  • 1 Jiffy Cake Mix yellow or butter mix works best
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup cold water or pineapple juice


  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 6 ounces instant vanilla pudding
  • 3 cups milk
  • 16 ounces crushed pineapple well drained
  • 8 ounces whipped topping defrosted


  • Mix Jiffy Cake according to the instructions on the box. Pour in a greased and floured 9 x 13" baking pan. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes in a 350°F oven. Allow cake and pan to cool.
  • Beat cream cheese in a mixing bowl. In a seperate bowl whisk together pudding and milk. Add pudding to cream cheese and mix well.
  • Spread pudding mixture over cooled cake. Then spread drained pineapple in an even layer on top of pudding.
  • Spread whipped topping over cake and refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with chopped nuts and maraschino cherries if desired.


Calories: 307kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 5gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 408mgPotassium: 158mgFiber: 1gSugar: 35gVitamin A: 324IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 160mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Plowing Through Life” is not a dietitian or nutrition professional. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate and can vary greatly depending on specific products are used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator of your choice.

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  1. You have 6 oz of instant vanilla pudding listed. That would mean that I need 4 of the big boxes that are 1.5 oz each, right? I just want to make sure before I make it. Thank you!

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! I know brands can vary a little bit, but I would use 2 of the small boxes of instant pudding mix that are just over 3 ounces each. Hope you enjoy the recipe 🙂

    2. The 1.5 oz. boxes are sugar-free. You would still only use 2 of them. Use any brand/size that calls for 2 c. milk per box.

  2. 4 stars
    Nice, moist, light dessert. I would save 1/2 cup of the pineapple juice that is drained from the pineapple, and use that instead of the water for the cake base. Another possibility would be adding a little coconut or rum extract to the pudding/cream cheese layer. Very good as is, but a couple tweaks would improve it exponentially!

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! Love these ideas. Thanks so much for taking the time to share 🙂

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