Pumpkin Poke Cake is a perfectly-spiced cake drizzled with sweetened condensed milk and topped with a fluffy cream cheese topping and crunchy toffee pieces. It's a fall dessert your friends and family will rave about!Jump to Recipe
I've always been a huge fan of a good poke cake! What I love most is that you're guaranteed to NOT end up with a dry, crumbly cake. This poke cake has a moist pumpkin cake to start with and then gets a yummy drizzle into the holes. Then we bring in the classic cream cheese flavor as it's whipped into the Cool Whip for a fluffy, creamy topping.
- All-Purpose Flour
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Pumpkin Pie Spice - If you don't have any, you can swap this out for ground cinnamon.
- Vegetable Oil
- Pumpkin Puree - Don't confuse this with pumpkin pie filling - you want the pure pumpkin.
- Eggs - I use size large eggs.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk - If you don't have this, you could also use a jar of caramel topping! Either is a really nice filling!
- Cream Cheese - I recommend using the full-fat version for this application (rather than the ⅓ less fat).
- Powdered Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- Toffee Bits - You can use the kind with or without chocolate.
- Pecans - Optional, but a yummy addition!
How to Make Pumpkin Poke Cake
First, make the cake.
Get the oven preheated and prep the pan by spraying it with cooking spray. Then, you'll mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together. Then you'll add the remaining ingredients and stir (by hand or with an electric mixer on medium speed) until smooth.
This cake batter will be poured into the pan and baked until a toothpick pressed into the middle of the cake comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.
Add the drizzle.
When the cake is still warm, use the end of a wooden spoon or a straw to poke holes into the cake. Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the top of the cake slowly, allowing for it to soak into the cake. You can use a spoon to spread it out if needed.
Cool and top.
As the cake cools, you can work on the topping. First, you'll want to mix the cream cheese alone until it's smooth. This will ensure that you don't have chunks of cream cheese in your topping. Then, you'll add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Once that's well mixed, you'll add the whipped topping.
Spread that over the cooled cake and then sprinkle with crunchy toffee bits and pecans, if you're using them.
I recommend letting the cake set in the fridge for a few hours before serving. I find that it really helps the pumpkin flavor mesh with the topping and holds its shape better, too.
I recommend serving this cake refrigerated. If it sets out for awhile, it's still good, but I think the texture is better when refrigerated!
Place the cake in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Though I really prefer the taste and texture of the homemade pumpkin cake, you could use a cake mix and follow this recipe. A box cake mix will cut down on prep time a bit! (And you can use white cake mix OR spice cake mix).
Other Easy Pumpkin Desserts
Pumpkin Crisp - One of the most popular recipes on Dance Around the Kitchen! The smooth, perfectly spiced pumpkin filling and the crunchy topping is truly a match made in heaven!!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars - Another favorite on Dance Around the Kitchen! With layers of streusel, cheesecake filling and a swirl of pumpkin, they're gorgeous and so delicious!
Pumpkin Bars with Browned Butter Frosting - Everyone who tries this one absolutely raves about it! The frosting just makes it SO yummy!
Pumpkin Streusel Pie - Flavorful streusel topping makes an ordinary pumpkin pie super extraordinary!! Add a dollop of whipped cream and you'll be in pumpkin heaven!
Pumpkin Poke Cake
- One 9x13" pan
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- One 15 ounce can pureed pumpkin
- 4 eggs
Filling & Topping
- One 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- One 8 ounce package cream cheese softened
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- One 8 ounce tub whipped topping
- ½ cup toffee bits (with or without chocolate)
- ½ cup chopped pecans optional
Make the Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9x13" pan with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
- Add the oil, pumpkin and eggs and stir until the batter is smooth (you can mix by hand or with an electric mixer/stand mixer).
- Pour into the greased pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.
- Poke holes into the cake with the back of a wooden spoon or a straw.
- While the cake is still hot, drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the holes, giving it time to soak in; let the cake cool.
Make the Topping
- Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until smooth.
- Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix til combined.
- Add the whipped topping and stir until smooth.
- Spread the topping over the cooled cake.
- Sprinkle with toffee bits and pecans, if using.
- Let sit for 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator before enjoying.