This Pumpkin Poke Cake is the perfect fall dessert! Packed with flavor from pumpkin spiced cake, a rich cream cheese filling, and a drizzle of homemade caramel sauce.
In this Article:
Whip up this pumpkin poke cake for an impressive (but super easy) fall dessert. It's perfectly moist, filled with pumpkin flavor, and topped with a nice creamy caramel sauce. One of my favorite easy pumpkin desserts - and one I make every single year.
My pumpkin poke cake is made completely from scratch. It doesn't use yellow cake mix, spice cake mix or pumpkin pie filling like many of the other poke cake recipes out there.
This is a great cake for all you Fall celebrations, birthdays, or even for Thanksgiving dessert!
Why Is It Called A Poke Cake?
After you bake the cake, you literally poke holes in it! You'll use the back of a spoon to poke holes all over the cake. Then you pour over a delicious caramel sauce, which soaks into all those holes, making the cake moist and delicious.
There are two things that are going to make your poke cake baking life a whole lot easier:
A wooden spoon with a round handle - like the ones in this set. This will make it infinitely easier to poke all those holes without making a big mess.
And a cake server. You need something like this that can grab that cake from the bottom. This is a moist, kind of messy cake. That's part of the charm.
How to Store Pumpkin Poke Cake
You will want to store this leftover poke cake in the refrigerator - it can't be left out at room temperature. I like to bake mine in this 9x13 baking dish that comes with a lid - so I can just pop the lid back on for the fridge.
It tastes amazing served chilled, so just slice and serve right from the fridge!
How Many Holes Do You Need To Poke In A Poke Cake?
I use the back end of a big spoon and poke 6 or so holes in a line, and then work my way down the cake. Try to evenly space out the holes as best you can, but it doesn't have to be perfect.
The holes are what the filling and caramel sauce are going to soak into, giving it that creamy and moist texture you know and love in a poke cake.
Once I pour the sauce over the cake, I like to take a spatula and spread any remaining sauce over the top. The goal here is to push it into any holes it might have missed and get that extra flavor in!
Can I Used Boxed Cake Mix Instead of Homemade Pumpkin Cake?
Sure! I love the flavor of this homemade pumpkin spice cake, but we all need shortcuts sometimes. I'm a fan of this Perfectly Pumpkin Cake Mix!
Is It Hard to Make Homemade Caramel Sauce?
No, I promise it's very easy. To make the caramel sauce in this recipe, simply combine brown sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla in a saucepan and stir until it caramelizes. You can use a packaged caramel sauce if you prefer, but the homemade version will knock your socks off!
More Tasty Desserts
If you love this pumpkin poke cake, be sure to check out these other delicious poke cakes and dessert ideas:
- My Full Poke Cake Recipe Collection
- Copycat Cheesecake Factory Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Easy Pumpkin Bars
- 25 Incredible Pumpkin Desserts
Easy Pumpkin Poke Cake
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 15 ounces pumpkin puree canned
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 16 ounces cream cheese
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 8 ounces whipped topping frozen
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine first 5 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir until combined.
- Add remaining cake ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix until just incorporated, being careful not to over-mix.
- Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray, and then pour batter into the cake pan.
- Bake cake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove cake from oven and let cool on a cooling rack.
- Add brown sugar, unsalted butter, and milk to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat to make the caramel sauce, frequently stirring until thickened. Remove the pan from the burner, and add vanilla.
- Let the caramel sauce cool.
- Poke holes in the cake with the end of a rounded wooden spoon.
- Pour caramel sauce over the cake and push into the holes, making sure to reserve some sauce for the top of the cake.
- Beat the cream cheese until smooth and then mix in the heavy cream, and vanilla. Fold in the whipped topping, and then spread the cream cheese mixture over the top of the cake.
- Decorate the top of the cake with drizzles of caramel and chopped pecans.
Will it be ok to make cake caramel and toppling the night before and assemble the next day?
Certainly. That would be a time saver for the day you're planning to serve it. 😉
Lisa Ryan l
I made this it was wonderful
I'm so glad to hear you liked it!
Where's the recipe????
It's at the bottom of the blog post. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks!
It says powdered sugar is in icing but not listed in recipes ingredients. How much powdered sugar and is it 16oz of cream cheese. I'm confused and already made my cake.
This has been updated. Sorry, there is no powdered sugar in the recipe.
Hello. Step 11 mentions powdered sugar for the topping, but I'm not seeing it in the list of ingredients. How much should I be using? Thanks. Always enjoy when pumpkin bar season rolls around.
There is no powdered sugar. The instructions have been updated!
The topping directions say powdered sugar should be added however the ingredients list doesn’t list powered sugar. How much powered sugar should be added?
No powdered sugar in the recipe. It's been updated.