Here’s how to make a poke cake so you can create one at home with any flavor cake or filling you want. Start with our pineapple poke cake and then try this yummy ganache filling style we made today.
Whether you make a ganache poke cake like we did here or a tropical flavored one we’re here to explain how to make a poke cake so you can create your own favorite dessert too. Think of your favorite flavors and a sweet sauce you love and get ready for the moistest cake ever. Just one of our easy dessert recipes. (affiliate links present, originally published 5/22)
How to Make a Poke Cake
Why we love poke cakes is a long list of whys but I will narrow it down to a few. To start with my girls have always been fans. To get them involved in the kitchen is a goal so once they fell in love we went on a roll to make many variations of them over the years.
- They are easy to make
- You can create a bunch of combinations of cake easily
- It is super moist
- It’s filled with cream, caramel or chocolate which is just amazing
- It’s pretty topped with Cool Whip and chocolate shavings, fresh fruit, or anything else you could possibly imagine like what we added here with this smores poke cake
Let us show you how to make one of these OH SO Moist desserts. Let your imagination run wild with flavors and decorations.
What you need to make a poke cake
If you want to make a specific color for a birthday I would opt for strawberry for pink, boxed lemon for yellow or if you want homemade you can go for our purple cake recipe.
- Box of cake mix – Or you can make one from scratch but that’s not happening in my house. Let’s just go with the basic yellow or white cake mix shall we.
- Wide straws, Use the end of a spoon or if you have a cupcake injector you can use that. You just need something to poke holes in the cake so the filling will seep in.
- Filling – A can of sweetened condensed milk is typically used. You can use jar of caramel sauce, warmed jar of raspberry jam, vanilla pudding, ganache, the list goes on and on. These work great if you don’t want to make your own filling.
- Basically you want something sweet and warm that will ooze into the holes.
- Topping – Cool Whip is typically used for a light fluffy topping but you can whip up some frosting yourself or use a tub of whipped frosting
- Pretties – Anything and everything you’d like to “decorate” your cake or give it a unique flavor
- Ideally a fridge – You’ll want to refrigerate it after adding your filling, then again after you add your topping(s). No need to cover the cake while chilling.
- Pan – 13×9 baking dish is needed
How do you poke a cake?
You can see where the holes were made and “injected” with ganache for this poke cake recipe. You could also poke holes with a large straw to pour the warm filling inside if yours is more liquidy.
When spots go all the way down to the bottom of the pan you can just pour your sauce on top so it seeps into the holes. Either way works.
There is a recipe for homemade ganache style filling and frosting below. I’ve also provided alternatives if you are looking for a quicker dessert.
Like I said there are TONS of different varieties. Here’s our tropical cake being made below.
How to Make Poke Cake
Ok so there are steps to follow no matter what type of cake mix you choose, flavors or fillings. They are simple to follow and remember but should be followed in this same order. The temp of how it’s done is important so don’t rush things.
- Bake your cake as directed on the box in a 13×9 pan
- Take out when it springs back when gently touched in the very center
- Set on a cooling rack to almost cool completely
- Poke holes in the top of your cake as you see in the video
- Warm your filling so it is liquidy
- Pour sauce on top of your entire cake so it seeps into the holes you’ve created
- Put cake in your fridge for a good hour
- Take cake out and use a spatula to spread your whipped topping or whip frosting until it has stiff peaks and spread that on the top
- Add toppings on top of that
- Put cake back into the fridge to cool again (my preference, but you could immediately serve it)
And here it is……These are easy desserts that are great for any occasion, especially potlucks!
Other easy dessert recipes
- Smores cake is amazing using homemade chocolate cake mix
- Our coconut chocolate poke cake is oh so good.
- Strawberry poke cake is great for the summertime.
Does jello poke cake have to be refrigerated?
Yes. They all should if there is any left.
Can you freeze a poke cake?
I guess if you really wanted to you could. Cover with plastic wrap after poking the holes and adding the “filling”. Freeze this way and after it is defrosted then add your whipped topping and berries to the very top.
Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!
How to Make a Poke Cake
- Make cake as directed on box, allow to completely cool on cooling rack.
- Use a very wide straw or the end of a small spoon to poke holes all over the top of the cake going all the way down to the bottom of the pan.
- Pour can of condensed sweetened milk over top of cake and allow it to go into holes, if you want a chocolate ganache filling instead melt chocolate chips and heavy whipping cream above on stovetop and pour 1/2 of that on top instead.
- Use a spatula to spread whipped topping on top of cake, if you want a chocolate topping use the rest of your ganache mixture that has been cooled and put it into your mixture. Whip until it is lighter in color and fluffier and spread that on top instead.
- Top with candies, berries, or any other toppings.
- Put into fridge for at least 1 hour to cool and solidify liquid that has been poured on top and then serve!