Pumpkin Poke Cake is a chilled cake with a pumpkin filling and whipped topping. This cake is made with boxed cake mix for an easy and fun recipe!
Poke Cake is a fun way to incorporate a filling. If you don’t care for cake filling, try my pumpkin sheet cake instead.
Pumpkin Poke Cake Ingredients
To make this pumpkin cake recipe, you will need the following ingredients (see the recipe card below for exact amounts):
- spice cake mix: I used Betty Crocker Delights Super Moist Spice Cake Mix that I found at Target.
- milk: I used 2% milk, but whole milk will work, too.
- eggs: Room temperature preferred.
- canola or vegetable oil
- instant vanilla pudding: I used JELL-O brand Instant Vanilla Pudding.
- pumpkin puree: I used Libby’s Pure Pumpkin Puree. You can also use fresh pumpkin puree.
- pumpkin pie spice: Make a homemade pumpkin spice with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon cloves.
- ground cinnamon
- heavy whipping cream: Make sure it’s heavy whipping cream and not half and half or regular whipping cream.
- vanilla extract
- confectioners sugar
- Caramel Sauce
- Pecan pieces
How to Make Pumpkin Spice Poke Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease the bottom of a 13×9 baking pan or dish with butter or shortening. Set aside.
- Bake the Cake: In a large bowl, combine the spice cake mix, milk, eggs, and oil. Stir or whisk until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, and bake for 30-35 minutes (25 minutes for a dark pan) or until a toothpick poked into the middle comes out clean.
- Using the round handle of a wooden spoon, a chopstick, or a straw, poke holes 1/2 an inch apart, about 1 inch deep, into the cake while it’s still warm. (Poke about 100 holes.) Set aside.
- Make the Pumpkin Filling: In a medium bowl, add the vanilla pudding mix and cold milk. Whisk until the pudding has just dissolved. Don’t let it get too thick.
- Add the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. Continue whisking until just combined. If the mix has gotten too thick to pour, add milk by the tablespoon until it has thinned slightly.
- Pour the filling over the cake, and spread it out with a spatula making sure it fills into the holes. Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
- Prepare the Whipped Cream Topping: Add the heaving whipping cream, vanilla extract, and confectioners sugar to a large bowl, and beat with an electric hand mixer at high speed until stiff peaks have formed, about 5 minutes.
- Carefully spread the whipped cream over the cake, and place the cake back into the refrigerator for another 2 hours, or until the whipped cream has set.
- Top with caramel topping and pecan pieces, if desired, and serve chilled.
- Before making the whipping cream, chill the bowl in the freezer for 20 minutes to speed up the whipping process.
- I don’t recommend following the baking times on the bake of the cake mix box. I find that they always suggest a time that’s too long. I start out baking the cake for 25 minutes, check the middle of the cake, and add more time if needed.
- I substitute the water in the cake mix for milk. I think it adds more flavor.
Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Store covered in plastic wrap and foil in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw before serving.
Yes! You can use Cool Whip instead of making it fresh.
More Pumpkin Desserts
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread
- Pumpkin Cannoli
- Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Pie Dip
- Pumpkin Muffins
- Pumpkin Truffles