How to Make Poke Cake
Poke cake recipes are becoming more popular, and we can definitely see why. These lush cakes hide creamy, dreamy fillings beneath a layer of frosting, making them even tastier than regular cake. We’ll show you how to make your own with our best poke recipe so you can make your own easy poke cake for any celebration.
No more dry, crumbly cakes for you! Poke cakes are luscious, moist, and always delicious, no matter how you make them. We’ll show you how to make poke cake step-by-step with our Blueberry Lemonade Poke Cake recipe. You can also use our tips to create your own poke cake recipes, like banana poke cake or pudding poke cake. Once you’ve mastered the basics, any flavor combination is possible!
What Is a Poke Cake?
Poke cake (sometimes called poke hole cake) is a cake recipe that has holes poked in it after baking, usually with the handle of a wooden spoon or a wooden skewer. Then a liquid is poured over the baked cake to soak into the holes. Poke cakes are known for being incredibly moist (thanks to the liquid) and delicious (because of the extra filling). They’re also extremely versatile—you can make a pudding poke cake, a fruit-sauce poke cake, and even a boozy poke cake!
Choose your cake recipe, your filling, and your frosting, and get ready to sink your fork into your new go-to dessert.
Step 1: Choose Your Recipe
Start by choosing your poke cake recipe. For a quick an easy poke cake, you might want to start with a boxed cake mix—it’ll save you a little bit of time so you can concentrate on the filling and the frosting. When you’re choosing a recipe, consider taking inspiration from your favorite desserts. If you love peanut butter cups, for example, try a chocolate poke cake with a melted peanut butter filling. If you want to make our Blueberry Lemonade Poke Cake, here’s what you’ll need:
1 package 2-layer-size white cake mix
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ cup frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 8-ounce container frozen whipped dessert topping, thawed
½ cup lemon curd
Quartered lemon slices (optional)
For the Blueberry Sauce filling:
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
¼ cup water
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
Step 2: Mix Batter and Bake Your Poke Cake
Once you’ve chosen your recipe, start by mixing the cake batter and baking the cake. Follow the instructions for the cake recipe you’ve chosen, or the instructions for your boxed cake mix.
For our Blueberry Lemonade Poke Cake, start by preheating your oven to 350°F. Grease a 13x9-inch baking pan. In a large bowl combine the white cake mix, buttermilk, eggs, canola oil, lemon zest, and almond extract. Beat with a mixer on low until just combined. Beat on medium 2 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes.
Step 3: Prepare Your Filling
Calling all multitaskers! You can get started on making your filling while the cake is in the oven—just allow it a few minutes to cool before adding the filling to the cake. Follow the instructions for your poke cake filling or speed things up with store-bought options like melted peanut butter and hot fudge sauce.
To make the filling for our Blueberry Lemonade Poke Cake, combine the sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Add the water and mix well, then add the blueberries. Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture is slightly thickened and bubbly, then cook and stir 2 minutes more. Mash with a potato masher (the mixture will not be completely smooth).
Step 4: Poke Holes and Add Filling
Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes through the cake about 1 inch apart. Make sure the holes aren’t too close together or too far apart—if they’re too close together, your cake could be too moist; if they’re too far apart, there may not be enough filling throughout the cake. Once you’ve poked holes throughout the entire cake, pour the filling on top.
For the Blueberry Lemonade Poke Cake recipe, poke holes in the cake, drizzle the lemonade concentrate over the top of the cake and brush it evenly over the entire cake. Spread the Blueberry Sauce filling over the cake and cool completely.
Step 5: Frost and Serve
Once you’ve added the filling to your cake, frost as desired and serve. You can use canned frosting to make the process a little speedier or stir together a homemade frosting. Then get creative with additional sprinkles and toppings. For example, if you made a peanut butter and chocolate poke cake, top things off with chocolate-peanut butter candies or crushed peanuts.
For our Blueberry Lemonade Poke Cake, stir a small amount of the whipped topping into the lemon curd in a large bowl to lighten. Fold in the remaining whipped topping. Spread over the cake. If desired, top each serving with a lemon slice. Cover and store the leftovers in the refrigerator up to 24 hours.