Pumpkin Poke Cake — Easy and the BEST PUMPKIN CAKE ever!! Two kinds of CARAMEL sauce, TOFFEE bits, CHOCOLATE CHIPS, whipped topping and more!! A total WINNER you must make!!
Easy Poke Cake Recipe
Welcome to pumpkin season! I’ve got quite the showstopper of a pumpkin cake for all you pumpkin fiends.
It’s a ridiculously easy cake that starts with a boxed mix of spice cake, a can of pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spice. If you need an easy pumpkin dessert, look no farther than this cake. I wish I had put it in my pumpkin cookbook. Everyone who tried it loved it.
I originally posted this cake in 2016 on the same date ironically, the 26th of August, and it’s been a reader favorite ever since!
Poke cakes get their name because after baking, you poke holes over the surface of the cake and flood it with a sweet mixture. Here it’s a mixture of sweetened condensed milk and caramel sundae topping.
Pumpkin baked goods are notoriously moist and tender. Between the pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, and caramel sundae sauce, it’s one of the moistest cakes you’ll ever eat.
The pumpkin caramel poke cake is finished with whipped topping, toffee bits, mini chocolate chips, and salted caramel sauce. The salted caramel adds a salty-sweet element, the toffee bits and chocolate chips add texture and contrast to the fluffy whipped topping and uber soft, melt-in-your-mouth cake.
What’s in Pumpkin Poke Cake?
To make this poke cake with sweetened condensed milk, you’ll need:
- Spice cake mix
- Pumpkin puree
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Caramel sundae topping
- Whipped topping
- Toffee bits
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Salted caramel sauce (homemade or store-bought)
How to Make Pumpkin Caramel Poke Cake
Mix together the cake mix, pumpkin puree, egg, oil, and pumpkin pie spice. Turn into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish and bake until done.
Remove cake from the oven when it’s done and use the blunt end of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the cake. Whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and caramel sundae topping, then evenly pour over the cake.
Refrigerate cake for about 15 minutes, then evenly spread the whipped topping over the surface, sprinkle with toffee bits, chocolate chips, and evenly drizzle with salted caramel sauce. Return to refrigerator for another 2 hours before serving.
How to Store Poke Cakes
Store this pumpkin poke cake in the fridge (covered) for up to 5 days. It actually gets better with age as the sweetened condensed milk and caramel sauce oozes into the cake.
Tips for Making a Poke Cake
Note that this recipe calls for sweetened condensed milk and not evaporated milk. They’re two different products.
When poking the cake with the end of a wooden spoon, be sure to evenly space out the holes and to poke the cake all over.
You want the caramel sauce and sweetened condensed milk to seep into all parts of the cake.
Because this cake needs to be refrigerated before slicing into it, it’s great for making the day before a party or family gathering.
Please note that this is a heavier, denser, practically dripping wet cake. If you are looking for a light and airy cake or pumpkin dessert, this is not the one. It’s also pretty sweet.
For me super moist and sweet cakes always will have a place in my heart – or stomach!
Pin This Recipe
Pumpkin Caramel Poke Cake
- one 16.50-ounce box spice cake mix
- one 15-ounce can pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie mix
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup canola or vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- one 12-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- one 12-ounce jar caramel sundae topping
- one 8-ounce container whipped topping, thawed (I used fat free)
- ½ cup toffee bits
- ½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ⅓ cup salted caramel sauce (storebought or homemade
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×13-inch pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- To a large bowl, add the cake mix, pumpkin puree, egg, oil, pumpkin pie spice, and beat with a handheld electric mixer on high until smooth and combined, about 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Bake for about 27 to 30 minutes, or until cake is set in the center, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs but no batter.
- While the cake bakes combine the sweetened condensed milk, caramel sundae topping, and whisk to combine; set aside.
- Remove cake from the oven when it’s done and use the blunt end of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the cake. I didn’t count but I estimate I poked the cake in about 60 places, evenly spaced over the surface.
- Slowly pour the sweetened condensed milk and caramel mixture over the cake, taking your time to evenly distribute it.
- Place cake in the fridge for about 15 minutes to cool slightly before adding the whipped topping so it doesn’t melt.
- Remove cake from the fridge, evenly spread the whipped topping over the surface, evenly sprinkle with toffee bits, chocolate chips, and evenly drizzle with salted caramel sauce.
- Cover cake and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (overnight is best) before slicing and serving.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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More Easy Pumpkin Desserts:
50+ Pumpkin Recipes on my blog including sweet, savory, breakfast, desserts and more!
Cooking With Pumpkin: Recipes That Go Beyond the Pie is my second cookbook and was released October, 2014. There’s over 50 pumpkin recipes including sweets, savory, drinks, and a photo for nearly every recipe. I’d be super grateful if you headed over to Amazon!
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Originally posted August 26, 2016 and reposted August 26, 2022 with updated text.