Red Velvet Poke Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting — If you like red velvet, you’re going to LOVE this EASY red velvet cake recipe!! Super soft, moist, topped with luscious cream cheese frosting and chocolate chips! Perfect for holidays and special events!!

Red Velvet Poke Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting - If you like red velvet, you're going to LOVE this EASY cake!! Super soft, moist, topped with luscious cream cheese frosting and chocolate chips! Perfect for holidays and special events!!

Easy Red Velvet Cake Recipe

I usually only make a red velvet dessert about once a year, usually for Christmas or Valentine’s Day, but this easy red velvet cake recipe reminded me that I need to do it more often. It’s fast, easy, and it’s a poke cake so it’s automatically super soft and moist which is the only way I want my cake.

Poke cakes get their name because after baking you poke holes in the cake and drizzle in sweetened condensed milk and sometimes caramel sauce, but with this one I just used sweetened condensed milk. I’ve made plenty of others including chocolate, peanut butter, caramel, pumpkin, s’mores, turtle, and more.

Any time a cake is infused with sweetened condensed milk, it’s going to be moist and tender and this one definitely is.

The tangy cream cheese frosting perfectly complements the red velvet flavor, as do the mini chocolate chips.

A bit of food trivia is that scratch red velvet cake starts out similar to a chocolate cake in that you add cocoa powder (not as much as a chocolate cake has) plus red food coloring. Since there’s already a subtle chocolate vibe in red velvet, the chocolate chips enhance it. The chips also add a perfect amount of texture to this otherwise soft, decadent, and very easy cake.

Everyone will be stuffing their faces with this moist red velvet cake. It’s perfect for holidays, parties, and special events.

Red Velvet Poke Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting - If you like red velvet, you're going to LOVE this EASY cake!! Super soft, moist, topped with luscious cream cheese frosting and chocolate chips! Perfect for holidays and special events!!

What’s in This Easy Red Velvet Cake Recipe? 

To make this moist red velvet poke cake, you’ll need: 

  • Red velvet cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Cream cheese
  • Unsalted butter
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Red Velvet Poke Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting - If you like red velvet, you're going to LOVE this EASY cake!! Super soft, moist, topped with luscious cream cheese frosting and chocolate chips! Perfect for holidays and special events!!

How to Make Red Velvet Poke Cake

To make this easy red velvet cake recipe, you first need to make the boxed red velvet cake mix as instructed on its packaging (you’ll likely need to add oil, eggs, and water). 

Once baked, poke the cake all over with the end of a wooden spoon and drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over top. Pop the red velvet cake into the fridge to cool a bit before spreading the homemade cream cheese frosting on top.

Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips, then return to the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours.

Can I Make Homemade Red Velvet Cake Instead?  

Yes, you’re welcome to make the red velvet cake from scratch using your favorite recipe. You might be able to double this Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe and bake it as a cake instead of cupcakes as well, but I can’t say for sure if this method will yield the same results. 

Can I Use Store-Bought Frosting? 

Of course! You can make scratch cream cheese frosting or to save time use store-bought cream cheese frosting in a tub. It’s okay, really it is, there’s no baking judgment here.

Red Velvet Poke Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting - If you like red velvet, you're going to LOVE this EASY cake!! Super soft, moist, topped with luscious cream cheese frosting and chocolate chips! Perfect for holidays and special events!!

Tips for Making This Easy Red Velvet Cake

When making this red velvet poke cake, it’s essential that you evenly distribute the sweetened condensed milk among all the holes you poked into the cake. It may not look like enough sweetened condensed milk, but remember that it’s incredibly strong and sweet. One can is the perfect amount! 

For the homemade cream cheese frosting, be sure to use brick-style cream cheese and not the kind that comes in a tub. Brick-style cream cheese makes for the richest, creamiest frosting. 

Lastly, this red velvet poke cake recipe can easily be prepped in advance. I actually think it tastes better when you let it sit in the fridge overnight! 

Red Velvet Poke Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: 16

Red Velvet Poke Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Cooling Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 35 minutes

This easy red velvet cake recipe is super moist and topped with cream cheese frosting and chocolate chips! Perfect for holidays and special events!!

Ingredients

Red Velvet Cake

  • one 16.25-ounce box red velvet cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
  • one 14-ounce can sweetend condensed milk

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces brick-style cream cheese, softened (lite okay)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (half of 1 stick)
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (I prefer mini but regular size may be substituted)

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×13-inch pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
    2. Make cake according to package directions (likely adding 3 eggs, water, and oil) and bake as directed (likely about 25 to 28 minutes).
    3. Remove cake from the oven when it’s done, allow it to cool for about 5 minutes, and then using the blunt end of a wooden spoon, poke holes over the surface of the cake. I didn’t count but I estimate I poked about 60 holes, evenly spaced over the surface.
    4. Slowly pour the sweetened condensed milk mixture over the holes, taking your time to evenly distribute it so that all the holes receive some.
    5. Place cake in fridge to cool for at least 10 minutes while you make the frosting or before adding canned frosting so it doesn’t melt.
    6. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large bowl and handheld electric mixer) add the cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, salt, and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add additional confectioners’ sugar if necessary for consistency.
    7. Turn frosting out onto cake and spread into a smooth, even, flat layer using a spatula or knife.
    8. Evenly sprinkle with chocolate chips.
    9. Refrigerate cake for at least 4 hours, or overnight, before serving.

Notes

  • If you'd rather make homemade red velvet cake, you can probably double this red velvet cupcake recipe, although I haven’t tested it.
  • You can use store-bought cream cheese frosting, if desired. You'd likely need to use one-and-a-half to two 14-ounce tubs whipped cream cheese frosting.
  • Cake will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 392Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 244mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 1gSugar: 47gProtein: 5g

More Valentine’s Day Recipes:

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Valentine’s Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars – Sugar cookie bars are so much FASTER AND EASIER than making sugar cookies!! The sprinkles and tangy cream cheese frosting help to make the bars a PERFECT Valentine’s Day treat!!

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