Our Family Favorite: Million Dollar Cake

We celebrated two big birthdays in our family in January.  My oldest turned fourteen! And my middle turned twelve. I don’t feel old enough to feel old.  Anyway- one of our normal traditions every year is letting the birthday girl or boy pick out their favorite meal and choice of dessert.  Without fail, my family members pick Million Dollar Cake.
Our family favorite dessert- Million Dollar Cake- requested for every birthday! www.thirtyhandmadedays.com
Josh’s mom has been making this cake for years and years.  I’ve had all kinds of variations of it – with strawberries, bananas, vanilla pudding, chocolate pudding, vanilla cake, etc.  That’s the beauty of this recipe.  You can switch out the flavors with the same general guidelines.  My mother in law recently made this and added Heath bar to it – yum!!

Million Dollar Cake


  • 1 box cake mix (and ingredients to make) - chocolate, white, etc
  • 1 (3.5 oz) box of instant pudding mix (and ingredients for pudding) - vanilla, chocolate, etc
  • 1 8 oz. cream cheese
  • pint of strawberries or 3 bananas, sliced
  • 1 tub of Cool Whip
  • Chocolate bar (for garnish)


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Make cake according to directions and spread into a greased 9x13 pan.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups of milk to pudding mix. (1/2 c. less than standard pudding calls for).
  • Stir with a whisk for 1 minute then let set for 5 minutes.
  • Soften cream cheese. Mix into pudding.
  • Slice fruit.
  • Add the layer of pudding mix, then a layer of fruit and top with Cool Whip onto the cooled cake.
  • Chill.
  • Shave chocolate (if desired) onto the top.
  • Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.


For a richer pudding, substitute heavy cream for all of the milk or use half milk and half cream.

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For Julia’s birthday I did a chocolate cake, vanilla filling with strawberries and banana.   Those were the flavors and toppings she wanted, so I granted her birthday wish.

Our family favorite dessert- Million Dollar Cake- requested for every birthday! thirtyhandmadedays.com

Try out some of our other favorite desserts (there are so many we love!):

Mom’s Carrot Cake (my favorite!)

Christmas Truffle Cupcakes
Truffle Cupcakes

Favorite EVER Chocolate Chip Cookies

Homemade Strawberry Heart Oreos

Do you have any MUST HAVE family favorites like our Million Dollar Cake?

Hi- I'm Mique (as in Mickey). I started 30days as an idea file a few years ago. After three years and hundreds of ideas, I now realize that I'll never check them all off my list. When I'm not creating, I love spending time with family and friends and long drives, especially if they end at the beach.

Latest posts by Mique (see all)


  1. says

    I was expecting this to be a scratch cake and I am so excited that it’s not. I mean I don’t mind making a cake from scratch every now and then, but if I can find a delightful recipe that has shortcuts I am all over it. Saving this and can’t wait to gobble some up! Mmmm

  2. says

    Mique, I really love this and can see why your family asks for it! We have a couple of cakes that are big hits in my family and I know they would love this. Thank you so much for sharing at Best of the Weekend – pinned! Hope you are having a happy week!

  3. Heather says

    My six year old son helped me make this for his birthday today and it was a hit!!! Thanks for the recipe!

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