How to Make a Poke-and-Pour Cake for an Easy, Flavor-Filled Dessert

Poke cakes hide dreamy fillings beneath a layer of frosting, making them even tastier than regular cake. Here's how to make a poke cake using our top recipe.

No more dry, crumbly cakes for you. Poke-and-pour cake is luscious, moist, and always delicious. Since they're literally filled with rich ingredients (think chocolate, caramel, pudding, fruit sauce, and even boozy fillings), you get a flavor burst in every bite. Here, we'll show you how to make poke cake step-by-step.

Bonus: Many poke cake recipes (including ours) start with a boxed cake mix, so it's an easy dessert you can whip up at a moment's notice. 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-and-Pour Cake?

Poke-and-pour cake (also called poke cake) is a cake recipe that calls for holes to be 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 cake holes. Poke-and-pour cakes are known for being incredibly moist (thanks to the liquid) and delicious (because of the extra filling).

How to Make a Poke and Pour Cake

Blueberry Lemonade Poke Cake
Jacob Fox

Start by choosing your cake recipe. When choosing a recipe, consider taking inspiration from your favorite desserts. For example, if you love peanut butter cups, try a chocolate poke cake with a melted peanut butter filling. Need inspiration? We highly recommend our delicious Blueberry Lemonade Poke Cake. It utilizes a boxed cake mix, saving you a little time to concentrate on the filling and the frosting.

Step 1: Mix Batter and Bake Your Poke Cake

Start by mixing the cake batter and baking the cake in a 13x9-inch baking pan. Follow the instructions for the poke cake recipe you've chosen or your boxed cake mix. Once your toothpick comes out clean, remove the cake from the oven and cool for 5 minutes.

Step 2: Prepare Your Filling

You can start 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.

Step 3: Poke Holes and Add Filling

poke cake wooden spoon poking holes how-to

Using the handle of a wooden spoon ($8, Walmart), 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 cake, pour the filling on top.

Step 4: Frost and Serve

After you've added the filling to your cake, frost as desired and serve. You can use canned frosting to speed the process or stir together homemade frosting. Then get creative with additional sprinkles and toppings. For example, if you made peanut butter and chocolate poke cake, top things off with chocolate-peanut butter candies or crushed peanuts.

There you have it! You can now make homemade poke cake for friends and family whenever you need a quick and easy dessert. If you don't need a whole 9 x 13 dessert, try making our smaller caramel apple poke cake in loaf pans. And once fall weather hits, enjoy this delicious candy corn poke cake.

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