Poke cakes hide creamy, dreamy fillings beneath a layer of frosting, making them even tastier than regular cake. We'll show you how to make a poke cake using our top recipe so you can make your own easy dessert for any celebration.
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No more dry, crumbly cakes for you. Poke cakes are 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.

Blueberry Lemonade Poke Cake
Credit: Jacob Fox
Get Our Blueberry Lemonade Poke Cake Recipe

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).

How to Make a Poke Cake

Start by choosing your poke cake recipe.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. Need inspiration? We highly recommend our delicious Blueberry Lemonade Poke Cake. It utilizes a boxed cake mix, which saves you a little bit of time so you can 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 ($10, Target). Follow the instructions for the poke cake recipe you’ve chosen, or the instructions for 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 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.

poke cake wooden spoon poking holes how-to

Step 3: Poke Holes and Add Filling

Using the handle of a wooden spoon ($5, 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 entire cake, pour the filling on top.

Step 4: 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.

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 full 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.

Comments (3)

Better Homes & Gardens Member
February 3, 2021
OMG this was so good. We raise Meyer Lemons indoors here in MN dont ya know, so we had 3 and pulped them out. No changes needed to recipe, except my 8 yo daughter came to help and now we need to gut/renovate the entire kitchen. You can’t get blueberry out of anything, not even granite go figure. But hey! Thanks for the great idea!
Better Homes & Gardens Member
February 3, 2021
OMG this was so good. We raise Meyer Lemons indoors here in MN dont ya know, so we had 3 and pulped them out. No changes needed to recipe, except my 8 yo daughter came to help and now we need to gut/renovate the entire kitchen. You can’t get blueberry out of anything, not even granite go figure. But hey! Thanks for the great idea!
Better Homes & Gardens Member
June 28, 2022
Better Homes & Gardens Member
September 17, 2018
These are sooo easy and really quick to make. I cut down on the sugar by Not Frosting them. There is really no need.