Looking for a fun, whimsical dessert to serve at your next gathering? Poke cakes have made a comeback in kitchens everywhere. Originally popular in the 1970s, today’s bakers are putting a modern spin on the old school classic. Poke cake recipes are easy to make and perfect to serve for any occasion. They’re delicious, moist and infused with flavour for a scrumptious dessert everyone will love.
What is a Poke Cake?
A poke cake is a cake that is baked, poked full of holes and filled with a liquid, cream or syrup to add an extra touch of flavour to the dessert. The liquid runs down the holes, settles and soaks to infuse lots of flavour, moisture and sweetness into the cake. You can bake any type of cake you like for a poke cake, from pumpkin to red velvet to chocolate or vanilla. While the original poke cake consisted of Jell-O insets for colourful appeal, today bakers are filling poke cakes with all sorts of clever fillings from velvety pastry creams to condensed milk, mousse, pudding, caramel, chocolate sauce, and more.
4 Tips for Baking the Perfect Poke Cake
1. The Set Up
When you’re lining your cake pan, extend the baking paper 2 cm above the sides to ensure the filling doesn’t spill over. The last thing you need is chocolate sauce all over your counters and floor. This will also make it easier to lift the cake out of the pan at the end.
2. Making the Holes
The best time to make holes in your poke cake is when the cake is still slightly warm. As it cools, the crust on top of the cake will crumble more easily, making it harder to poke suitable holes. You can use the handle of a wooden spoon or a thick chopstick to make large, deep holes about three-quarters of the way through the cake.
3. Pouring the Filling
To ensure your filling fills the holes completely, tap the pan on the bench top a few times when you’re pouring it into the holes. This will help get rid of any air bubbles so the holes are sufficiently filled. As the liquid sinks further and starts to set, you may notice the holes become visible again on the surface. Spoon a little more filling into the holes to top them up again.
4. Top It
Let your cake cool completely then top it with the frosting of your choice (the original poke cake uses whipped cream, but you can use anything from butter cream cheese to chocolate frosting to a lemon glaze). You can also decorate your poke cake with toppings like nuts, flaked chocolate, coconut shavings, sprinkles and cookie crumbles.
12 Easy Poke Cake Recipes for Beginners
1. Easy Chocolate Poke Cake | Beyond Frosting
2. Key Lime Poke Cake | The Recipe Critic
3. Strawberry Poke Cake | Life, Love and Sugar
4. Snickers Poke Cake | Real Housemoms
5. Red Velvet Poke Cake | Brown Eyed Baker
6. Strawberry Lemonade Poke Cake | I Should Be Mopping the Floor
7. Lemon Blueberry Poke Cake | Happy Foods Tube
8. Skinny Tres Leche Poke Cake | Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
9. Chocolate Mint Poke Cake | Crazy for Crust
10. Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake | Tidy Mom
11. Fruity Pebbles Poke Cake | Butter with a Side of Bread
12. Banana Pudding Poke Cake | Southern Living
12 Chocolate Poke Cake Recipes
1. Death by Chocolate Poke Cake | Love Bakes Good Cakes
2. Cookies and Cream Pudding Poke Cake | Beyond Frosting
3. Chocolate Turtle Poke Cake | Mom Loves Baking
4. Nutella Mocha Poke Cake | Delish
5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Poke Cake | Beyond Frosting
6. Peanut Butter Chocolate Poke Cake | Taste of Home
7. Chocolate Turtle Poke Cake | Averie Cooks
8. Oreo Poke Cake | Sugar and Soul
9. Brownie Batter Poke Cake | Beyond Frosting
10. Hot Cocoa Poke Cake | Delish
11. Guinness Chocolate Poke Cake | Life, Love and Sugar
12. Hot Chocolate Poke Cake | Beyond Frosting
12 Fruity Poke Cake Recipes
1. Lemon Raspberry Poke Cake | Beyond Frosting
2. Raspberry Zinger Poke Cake | Love Bakes Good Cakes
3. Caramel Apple Poke Cake | Delish
4. Strawberry Funfetti Poke Cake | Beyond Frosting
5. Berry Poke Cake | Completely Delicious
6. Berries and Cream Poke Cake | The Domestic Rebel
7. Strawberry Fudge Poke Cake | Inside Bru Crew Life
8. Fruit Cocktail Caramel Poke Cake | With a Blast
9. Raspberry Cream Jello Poke Cake | The Baking Chocolatess
10. Caramel Apple Poke Cake | The Best Dessert Recipes
11. Triple Berry Poke Cake | Woman’s World
12. Strawberry Milkshake Poke Cake | The Best Dessert Recipes
12 Pudding Filled Poke Cake Recipes
1. Banana Split Poke Cake | Home Made Interest
2. Chocolate Pudding Poke Cake | An Affair From The Heart
3. Banana Pudding Poke Cake | Delish
4. Oreo Pudding Poke Cake | Life in the Lofthouse
5. Pistachio Pudding Poke Cake | Amanda’s Cookin’
6. Homemade Funfetti Poke Cake | Beyond Frosting
7. Pineapple Pudding Poke Cake | The Country Cook
8. Banana Pudding Poke Cake | Tablespoon
9. Strawberry Pudding Poke Cake | Greens n Chocolate
10. Lemon Pudding Poke Cake | Small Town Woman
11. Pumpkin Pudding Poke Cake | Amanda’s Cookin’
12. Coconut Pudding Poke Cake | An Affair From the Heart
Poke cakes have made a comeback and these delicious variations are sure to be a hit for any special occasion!
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