Pumpkin Poke Cake
The ultimate Fall dessert, this Pumpkin Poke Cake is a deliciously spiced and ultra moist cake, loaded with a creamy, caramel topping. It is super simple to make, a family favorite, and every bite tastes like Fall. It is the cake version of your favorite pumpkin spice beverage! So if you are looking for an easy pumpkin dessert, look no further.
What Is Poke Cake?
If you aren’t already familiar with poke cakes, let me enlighten you…as the name suggests, it is a cake with holes poked in it after it bakes, and is then loaded down with something yummy. For example, pudding, whipped cream, condensed milk, etc. In this case it is a sweetened condensed milk, which personally I think is the best way to do it. Poke cakes are known for being decadent and super rich, and this pumpkin poke cake is no exception.
But it is even better, because instead of just a box mix for cake, it is a box mix with pumpkin, spices, and more. Which means it is even more moist, more flavorful, and more delicious. And yes, I said “moist”, but there is no other way to explain this one.
What I love about this particular poke cake is:
- It’s so easy to make. It starts with a boxed mix! If you can get your hands on a box of spice cake, a can of pumpkin puree, and some pumpkin pie spice, you can make this amazing cake.
- It’s totally decadent and moist. I know, I know, I said “moist” but pumpkin baked goods are known for being moist, and this cake is no exception, especially when you add the sweetened condensed milk! But what is fun is that it still had that satisfying cake texture.
- It tastes like Fall. The pumpkin caramel poke cake is finished with whipped topping, and caramel sauce. But the cake itself is spiced, and has that delicious pumpkin spice addition. This means you get that sweet, tender, spiced, melt in your mouth deliciousness, and it is so yummy. You can add chopped nuts, toffee bits, chocolate chips, etc. if you want to change it up, but we love it just the way it is.
What’s in Pumpkin Poke Cake?
Pumpkin Poke Cake is crazy easy to make, with simple ingredients.
For the Cake:
Pumpkin Puree vs. Pumpkin Pie Filling
Quick note: If you want to make this right, make sure you use the right pumpkin. Pumpkin Puree!
Make sure to the puree and NOT pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling is loaded with extra sugar, and it is thinner, runnier, and will not give your poke cake the right texture.
The pumpkin puree, on the other hand is dense, rich, and gives your cake the moist richness your cake deserves.
How to make Pumpkin Poke Cake
Want to know what I think makes it so great? It’s crazy easy to make.
- Prep Oven and Pan
2. Mix your Cake Together & Bake
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cake is set in the center. While your cake is still hot, remove from the oven and poke holes throughout the cake about one inch apart, or all over it. Do it how you want. You can use the end of a wooden spoon, a straw, a chopstick, or whatever you have on hand to get those holes just the way you like them.Then pour sweetened condensed milk over the cake, letting it seep down into the holes.
Tips for Making a Poke Cake
This recipe is so stinking easy to make, but there are a few things you can do to make it better, and make sure you get the best results every time:
- Use the right ingredients: this recipe calls for sweetened condensed milk and not evaporated milk. They’re different products. If you get evaporated milk, it will not be nearly as good. So get the sweetened condensed milk.
- Use pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. It will not bake correctly if you use the pumpkin pie filling.
- Poke Evenly: When poking the cake, use the end of a wooden spoon, and space the holes evenly so you get a nice distribution of the sweetened condensed milk all throughout the cake.
- Use the bottom of a wooden spoon to poke the holes, it is the perfect size for getting the right saturation of sweetened condensed milk.
- Make it Ahead: This cake needs to be refrigerated for the best results, so it is great to make it ahead. Perfect for parties.
- From Scratch: I love this recipe because it uses a box mix, but you can make your own homemade pumpkin cake recipe if you prefer to have it all from scratch.
- DO NOT make the cake mix, then add the other stuff, instead follow the directions in this recipe.
Other yummy recipes with Pumpkin:
- Pumpkin Pie (Classic)
- Pumpkin Almond Cookies
- Pumpkin Spice Protein Bars
- Roasted Pumpkin Spinach Linguine
- Muffin Tin Pumpkin Pies with Oatmeal Caramel Crumble
- Pumpkin Cookie Cheesecake
Pumpkin Poke Cake
For the Cake
- 1 16.5 oz box spice cake mix
- 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 TBS Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 1 12 oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk
For the Frosting:
- 1 8 oz block cream cheese room temp
- 1/2 c butter room temp
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- Dash of Salt
- 4 cups Powdered Sugar
- 1/4 c Heavy Whipping Cream
- Salted Caramel sauce whichever is your favorite
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
- Nonstick spray 9x13 inch pan.
- In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pumpkin puree, egg, oil, and pumpkin pie spice. Beat with a handheld electric mixer on high until well mixed.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cake is set in the center. Remove from the oven and poke holes throughout the cake about one inch apart from each other. Then pour sweetened condensed milk over the cake, letting it seep down into the holes.
- Let cool.
- Combine butter and cream cheese and mix well.
- Add vanilla extract and the salt.
- Add powdered sugar.
- In a separate bow mix the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks begin to form.
- stir the cream cheese mixture together with the heavy whipping cream.
- Spread Frosting over cake. Then Drizzle with caramel sauce.
Our recipe card software calculates these nutrition facts based on averages for the above ingredients, different brands, and quality of produce/meats may have different nutritional information, always calculate your own based on the specific products you use in order to achieve accurate macros for this recipe.