Creamy pudding and warm spices take this Pumpkin Poke Cake to the next level. It's easy to make and will be a hit with everyone at your next fall event.
Poke cakes are one of the easiest and most delicious desserts to make. Nothing beats the satisfaction of digging into a moist cake on a warm day. A couple of our favorite cakes that we make year-round are chocolate coconut cake and dreamsicle cake.
It's officially pumpkin season, which is the perfect time to share all things pumpkin. As the weather cools down and leaves turn orange and red, I'm excited to share my recipe for pumpkin poke cake. It is a simple yet elegant way to enjoy a delicious autumn dessert as we transition to fall.
Why You Will Love This Pumpkin Poke Cake Recipe
If you're looking for an easy pumpkin dessert, this pudding poke cake is your answer. It's poked with holes and filled with smooth pudding for flavor.
- Easy to make. This dessert is incredibly easy to make, even for beginning bakers. Using a cake mix and instant pudding simplifies the process, making it easy for anyone to create a fantastic cake.
- It tastes like Fall. The combination of pumpkin, spices, and vanilla cake makes this dessert taste so good.
- Fun to Customize. While the recipe is delicious, just as it is, try other toppings for extra flavor. Add a drizzle of caramel, chopped nuts, and crunchy toffee bits for the ultimate fall dessert.
What is a Poke Cake?
To make a poke cake, you need to bake a cake. After baking the cake, use the handle of a wooden spoon or fork to poke holes in it. Finally, fill the holes with pudding or sweetened condensed milk.
This poke cake recipe uses simple ingredients found in local grocery stores.
- White Cake Mix - A box mix saves time in the kitchen.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice - This blend of spices adds a warm and rich fall flavor.
- Vanilla Pudding - Using instant pudding is the key to a pudding cake. This will set up quickly, filling in the holes.
- Milk - Use 2% or whole milk for the best pudding texture.
- Pumpkin Puree - Make sure you buy pure pumpkin puree, not the pumpkin pie mix. My favorite is Libby's because it is thick and tastes great.
- Cool Whip - One 8-ounce container of whipped topping will cover the cake. You can also make homemade whipped cream if you like.
How To Make Pumpkin Poke Cake
You will love how easy this pumpkin spice cake is to make.
- Bake the cake. Prepare the vanilla cake mix according to the instructions on the back of the box. Pour the cake batter into a greased baking pan and bake.
- Poke holes. Once your vanilla cake is out of the oven and slightly cooled, use the end of a wooden spoon handle and poke holes all over the cake.
- Prepare the pumpkin pudding. Combine the instant pudding mix, cold milk, and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Add the pumpkin puree and mix again until smooth.
- Assemble and chill. Pour the pumpkin pie filling over the cake and into the holes. Use the back of a wooden spoon to push and smooth it into the holes of the cake. Cover it with plastic wrap, then place it in the fridge for several hours.
BruCrew Tip: When you're ready to serve the moist cake, use a rubber spatula to add swirls of spiced whipped cream to the surface of the cake.
This pumpkin spice poke cake needs to be refrigerated because of the pudding. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Tips and Variations
This easy recipe is simple to follow, but here are a few tips to ensure success every time.
- Use any flavor of cake mix. A few of our favorites are white, spice, and chocolate cake.
- Poke evenly. Space the holes in the cake so the pudding stripes are not too close together.
- Let it chill. Please do not add the whipped cream to the top of the cake until it is thoroughly chilled.
- Add toppings. Chopped Butterfingers, Heath bars, or nuts add crunch to the cake.
- Drizzle with syrup. Caramel sauce, butterscotch, or hot fudge taste amazing on a moist pumpkin cake.
- Try a different frosting. A cream cheese frosting would be delicious.
- Make it ahead. This cake needs to be refrigerated for the best results, so it's a great recipe to make ahead of time.
Feel free to use a yellow, white, pumpkin, or spice cake mix. The pumpkin pie spice is what gives the cake mix the fall flavor.
Certainly! If you prefer homemade pudding, you can use it. Just make sure it's thick enough to stay in the holes when you pour it over the cake.
To make homemade whipped cream, beat heavy whipping cream with powdered sugar and a splash of vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to over-whip.
More Pumpkin Recipes
- Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Pumpkin Fluff
- Pumpkin Sheet Cake
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites
- Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake
Do you love a recipe you tried from Inside BruCrew Life?
Please leave a 5-star ⭐️ rating and a review in the comments section below.
*This post was first published in September 2015. It was updated and then republished in October 2023.