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How to Make Party-Worthy Poke Cakes

Say hello to poke cake--the easiest party cake you'll ever make. How easy is it? It often starts with boxed cake mix, which slashes prep work. And why is it called poke cake? Because you literally poke holes in it, pour a flavorful liquid over it, and let it soak up the moist deliciousness. No more dried out cakes, even days after you make it. (If it lasts that long.) Then you frost it or glaze it, and you've just made a crowd-pleasing poke cake like it's no big deal. We'll share simple tips to make the best poke cakes, and share 10 recipes you'll want for your next party.

Top Tips to Make the Best Poke Cakes

  • For best results, cake should be warm but not hot to the touch when you pour the liquid over.
  • If the liquid you're pouring is thick, you can poke larger holes with skewers, chopsticks, or the handle of a wooden spoon.
  • Get creative with cake, pour-over mixture, and frosting colors to go with special holiday themes.
  • Most poke cakes are even better if you let them chill in the fridge overnight before serving.

10 Party-Worthy Poke Cakes

1. Triple Berry Cheesecake Poke Cake

A yellow cake is drenched with a berrylicious filling and topped with no-bake cheesecake before resting in the fridge overnight to let the flavors come together. Reviewers agree it's the overnight soak that really makes the difference, so be patient.


2. Lemon Poke Cake II

The recipe calls for yellow cake mix and lemon pudding, but some reviewers amped up the lemony flavor by using lemon cake mix and a full cup of lemon juice in the glaze.


Lemon Poke Cake II

Photo by MomTo6

3. Tiramisu Poke Cake

Inspired by the classic Italian dessert, this poke cake starts with white cake mix and gets soaked with a heady concoction of coffee-flavored liqueuer, cocoa powder, and espresso powder. It then gets a creamy topping before chilling out in the fridge. Mmmmm so good.

Tiramisu Poke Cake

Tiramisu Poke Cake | Photo by Allrecipes

4. Coconut Poke Cake

"This cake was absolutely delicious! I was nervous about using everything out of a can/box/tub, but it turned out great. Coconut cake is my hubs favorite, so I made it for his birthday and he can't stop raving about it." -- rjordan77

5. Banana Pudding Poke Cake

"Folks, it doesn't get any easier than this. And talk about a CROWD PLEASER! I've made this one several times since finding it 8 months ago and have done different variations now. The two favorites have been lemon and oreo with chocolate cake. Thanks for posting, this is now my go-to!" -- The Dutch Girl


Banana Pudding Poke Cake

Photo by cbailey

6. Holy Cow Cake

German chocolate cake gets soaked with condensed milk and caramel sauce, and finished with whipped topping and crushed toffee.


Holy Cow Cake

Photo by Amy Lawler

7. How to Make Tres Leches Cake

Let Chef John show you how to make this classic moist and delicious poke cake.

8. Chocolate Tres Leches Cake

"I've made this for dinner parties three times and twice for my family. It's a delicious hit! Our friends and grandchildren beg for this divine cake (our daughters are always dieting, but they always have a piece anyway)." -- DeniseKantner


Chocolate Tres Leches Cake

Photo by remmus89

9. Pumpkin Caramel Bourbon Poke Cake

Homemade pumpkin cake goes for a warm and cozy soak with a caramel sauce spiked with bourbon. (Wouldn't you?) Then real whipped cream goes over the top along with a drizzle of caramel sauce. How is this possible? Watch the video.

10. Strawberry Delight Cake

This super easy and very pretty dessert is simply strawberry cake, strawberries (fresh or frozen), and whipped topping.

Strawberry Delight Cake

Strawberry Delight Cake | Photo by Paula


Love dessert? (What a question.) Get more sweet inspiration on Allrecipes Sweet Life.

About Vanessa Greaves

Good food, friends, and fun are always on the menu. Find me as foodelicious on Allrecipes and vanny.gee on Instagram (but only if you don't mind cat pics and cocktails).