Food & Drink

Poke cake: The dessert you couldn’t get enough of

Caramel Carrot Poke Cake
Caramel Carrot Poke Cake

It’s easy to see how 2015 could go down as the year of poke cakes. Chocolate, caramel, pumpkin, banana, it didn’t matter what flavor was dreamed up, readers couldn’t seem to get enough versions of the dessert.

And companies like Betty Crocker said you couldn’t bake them up fast enough.

Here are two offerings to try from Betty Crocker.

Caramel Carrot Poke Cake

Freshly grated carrots add a touch of color and a hint of sweetness to this cake.


4 cups Bisquick

2 cups shredded carrots

1 1/3 cups milk

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 eggs

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk


1 container whipped cream cheese frosting

1 cup whipped cream cheese

1 container (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

1/2 cup caramel topping

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom only of 13-by-9-inch pan.

2. In large bowl, mix Bisquick, carrots, milk, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and eggs with wooden spoon until just moistened. Pour batter into pan; spread to edges with spatula. Bake about 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

3. Place pan on cooling rack. Cool 30 minutes, then poke holes in top of cake with fork or end of wooden spoon. Pour condensed milk evenly over cake, filling holes. Cool completely.

4. In large bowl, beat frosting, whipped cream cheese and whipped topping just until combined. Use spatula to spread topping evenly over cooled cake. Drizzle evenly with caramel topping; sprinkle with chopped pecans. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours to set.

Tip: Add 1/2 cup raisins or chopped walnuts to cake batter if desired. Be sure to poke the cake at least 25 to 30 times; you want it to soak up all that sweetened condensed milk.

Peanut Butter- Chocolate Poke Cake

1 box chocolate fudge cake mix

Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box

1 cup chocolate-flavor syrup, at room temperature

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 container (8 ounces) whipped topping, thawed

25 peanut butter cup miniatures, unwrapped

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for dark or nonstick pans). Grease and lightly flour 13-by-9-inch pan. Make and bake cake as directed on box for 13-by-9-inch pan. Cool completely in pan.

2. Poke holes in cake using fork or skewer. Pour 3/4 cup of the chocolate syrup over cake; let stand until most of the syrup soaks into cake.

3. In large bowl, beat peanut butter and whipped topping with electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Spread over cake.

4. Using large chef’s knife, cut peanut butter cups into fourths. Scatter over frosting. Drizzle with remaining 1/4 cup chocolate syrup.

5. Cover and refrigerate cake, but bring to room temperature before serving. Cover and refrigerate any remaining cake.

Tips: Add more or less chopped peanut butter cups to your liking. Candy-coated peanut butter pieces would be an excellent addition to the cake batter.