Strawberry Pudding Poke Cake is an easy dessert recipe made with strawberry cake mix, instant vanilla pudding, and Cool Whip! This pudding poke cake recipe takes 15 minutes of prep time and is a great make-ahead dessert.
Over New Years we went to the cabin for a bunch of skiing, relaxing, sauna-ing, and family time. Oh, and eating. Lots of eating! I always like to make a fun dessert when we are at the cabin and this time, it was called Death by Chocolate Pudding Poke Cake. Um, yeah. YUM! After finishing off the pan (it, sadly, didn't take long), I couldn't stop thinking about all of the different flavor varieties I could make of pudding poke cake. First up - Strawberry Pudding Poke Cake!
Strawberry Cake Mix - The cake is simply a prepared boxed strawberry cake mix. In this recipe, I used strawberry cake mix for the strawberry flavor. You will likely need eggs, oil, and water to make the cake, but be sure to look at the specific brand instructions.
Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix - this is the pudding part of this pudding poke cake. Vanilla pudding adds a great neutral flavor and adds moisture to the cake texture. Be sure you grab instant pudding, not cook and serve!
Milk - the pudding mix is combined with milk before pouring it over the baked cake.
Cool Whip - I use Cool Whip for the frosting of this cake, which I love for ease and flavor.
Sprinkles - for decorating!
Make the cake. To start, you'll make the strawberry cake mix. Simply follow the directions on the box! It doesn't get much easier than that.
Poke the cake. Once the cake is baked, poke the warm cake with the end of a wooden spoon 30-40 times. This will help the pudding soak into the cake.
Mix the pudding and milk. In a large bowl, mix together one of the pudding mixes with 2 cups of the milk. Immediately pour this milk and pudding mixture all over the cake. Note: it's important to do this immediately, before the pudding has time to set up. Otherwise it won't soak into the cake very well.
Make the whipped frosting. Mix together the remaining 2 cups of milk with the remaining pudding mix and Cool Whip. Spread it all over the cake to ice the cake.
Decorate. Lastly, decorate with sprinkles, and then refrigerate. I like adding some sliced strawberries, too!
Chill. This pudding poke cake needs a couple of hours to chill and set up completely, so don't get too antsy. Once it sets up, cut into slices and enjoy!
It's safe to say, this pudding poke cake dessert was thoroughly enjoyed! The pudding mixture poked into the cake makes it super moist and also really flavorful. I loved the combination of the strawberry and vanilla flavors. I can't wait to dream up another pudding poke cake flavor combination!
Can you make pudding poke cake ahead of time?
Yes. In fact, this cake is best made ahead of time, as it needs a couple of hours to chill and set up. You can make this cake up to one day in advance.
Can you use other flavors of cake and pudding?
Definitely. I have made numerous combinations of pudding poke cakes including Pumpkin Pudding Poke Cake, and Caramel Banana Pudding Poke Cake.
Hello, I can't find where the poked cake should be cool before applying the whipped frosting. It's clear to poke the cake while still warm, but there's no mention of cooling the cake before frosting. Wouldn't the frosting melt on a warm cake? Shouldn't step 5. be cool cake before frosting? Common sense may dictate one cools a cake prior to frosting, but when writing a recipe, even the obvious must be stated. Thank you for a yummy sounding recipe. I look forward to trying it! I'll be cooling my cake before frosting 😉
That's a great point and I will add that step to the instructions! Thanks for pointing it out 🙂