Raise your hand if you’ve made a poke cake before. They’re delicious, right? I have to admit that the first time I saw how a poke cake was made, I was really skeptical. I wasn’t sure I wanted a bunch of liquid poured onto (or into) a cake. To me, it seemed as if doing something like that would ruin it completely. How would you even cut a mushy cake, right?
Well, to my surprise, I found out that poke cakes are anything but mushy. They’re so incredibly moist and flavorful. What you pour onto a poke cake soaks right into the cake. The result isn’t wet and heavy, it’s actually fluffy and moist.
The Coconut Poke Cake I’m sharing today is SO EASY to make. Of course I cheated a little and used a boxed cake mix, because like you, I’m busy, and I’m always looking for simple, BUT delicious desserts.
The beauty of a poke cake is what’s inside. I used a wooden skewer to poke holes into the cake after I baked it and then I poured a combination of Cream of Coconut and sweetened condensed milk over the top. Here’s where you need to gauge whether or not you want to pour ALL of the coconut mixture onto the cake. I normally pour 1/2 – 3/4 of the mixture onto the cake, just to ensure that it doesn’t get too heavy. You don’t want the cake to be overly moist at the bottom of the pan.
Now, if you’ve never purchased Cream of Coconut before, you can usually find it by the alcoholic mixers. It’s used in drinks like Pina Coladas. We took a trip to the Dominican Republic early this year and became great friends. 🙂
Just for fun, I put together a little video for you of the pouring step. The coconut mixture will soak into the entire cake within minutes. This is my second favorite part about making a poke cake. My first, is eating it.
So, after the coconut mixture has soaked into the cake, it’s time for the frosting.
You never want a heavy frosting on a poke cake. You want to keep it light and fluffy. So, for this cake, I made a light and airy cream cheese frosting that goes together in minutes. We want to keep this simple, right? From cake to frosting, there’s nothing difficult about this dessert. I love that.
Now, if you have a light and fluffy frosting recipe of your own, by all means, you can use that, too. Just keep it light. No heavy buttercream.
Alright, take some sweetened coconut and sprinkle it over the top of the cake. This is the finishing touch, and what gives the cake a little more coconut flavor.
Just to set expectations, even if you have someone in the family who isn’t crazy about coconut, they’ll still love this cake. The coconut taste is actually very subtle. If you find you want to amp up the coconut flavor a bit, you could always add a little coconut extract to the cake mix before you bake it as well.
Can I let you in on one more secret? Don’t serve this cake immediately. Get it in the refrigerator and let it set for a few hours, preferably overnight. The flavor gets even better. Truth. So, again, if you’ve never made a poke cake, you should. And this simple recipe would be a perfect place to start!
- Boxed white cake mix (with ingredients to prepare as directed)
- 15 oz. cream of coconut (found in the aisle by the alcoholic mixers)
- 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
- 12 oz. sweetened coconut
- FOR THE FROSTING
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup sugar
- Prepare boxed cake as directed and remove from oven.
- While still warm, poke holes into the cake (I used a wooden skewer).
- In a bowl, mix together Cream of Coconut and sweetened condensed milk.
- Pour the coconut mixture over the warm cake.
- Allow to cool.
- Frost when cooled and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours.
- FOR THE FROSTING
- Mix together the cream cheese and sugar.
- Add the heavy cream and mix on high until thickened.
- Mix in the vanilla extract.