Do you have childhood memories of Poke Cake? I used to make Poke Cake for my kids when they were small, mostly because it was easy and they loved it. Sometimes I made it with Jello, but mostly I made it with pudding and Cool Whip topping. My youngest (who just turned 20) does not ever remember me making a poke cake. He only remembers cupcakes.
My youngest just celebrated his birthday at the beginning of this month and he requested that I make Poke Cake. I was glad to oblige, because Poke Cakes are much easier to make than cupcakes and Angel Food Cake (which I made for my oldest son’s birthday in May.)
I searched around the internet for some interesting recipes for Poke Cake and they had the typical Jello Poke Cake, Pudding Poke Cake, Oreo topped Poke Cakes… Many of them looked quite interesting, but My Youngest wanted something with chocolate mint. He has always loved mint, especially chocolate mint ice cream. So, I found a recipe that he thought looked good with some adjustments to suit his particular idiosyncrasies. He is my pickiest eater and so I need to be careful what I serve. (His most peculiar dislike is fruit. He will not eat any type of fruit and he’s not crazy about veggies, but he would rather eat veggies than any type of fruit…or nuts. )
In case you don’t know what Poke Cake is (I can’t imagine anyone not knowing, but just in case…) here are some examples: Jello Poke Cakes. I’m pretty sure that Jello invented Poke Cakes, so I will give them creative credit here. You can find lots more creative Poke Cakes on Pinterest, etc.
Basically, Poke Cake uses a box cake mix. We have always made our Poke Cakes in a single layer glass baking pan. You can make them with regular two layer round cake pans, if you want to get fancy. Our family is a little more casual. After you make the cake and let it cool a bit, you take the end of a wooden spoon (rounded end) and poke holes throughout the top of the cake…about 20-25. Then you pour something delicious over the top of the cake, like unset jello or pudding, making sure the holes are filled in. Then, you cover it with a frosting, most often Cool Whip.
I’ve always used packaged cake mixes for Poke Cakes, because they are easy and they have a very light consistency, which is a good thing for soaking up anything you pour in the poked holes. The recipe I used from Something Swanky Desserts and Designs called for pouring Sweetened Condensed Milk over the cake, which I did. I might do it a little differently next time and use pudding instead of the condensed milk because the cake was quite sweet already with everything else that is added to it.
Here’s my adjusted recipe based on the above mentioned recipe.
Mrs. Y!C!’s Chocolate Mint Poke Cake with Andes chocolate Pieces
- 1 chocolate cake mix + water, oil, eggs as listed on the box
- 1 – 14.5 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 – 12.8 oz jar Hershey’s Special Hot Fudge Sauce
- 1/2 – 10 oz package Fudge Mint or Thin Mint cookies, chopped
- 1 – 16 oz container cool whip, refrigerated until soft
- 1/2 teaspoon Mint Extract (or to taste)
- 1 package Andes Mint and Chocolate Candies, chopped
- Prepare and bake the cake mix in a 9×13 baking dish. Allow to cool completely.
- Use the bottom of a wooden spoon to poke holes evenly across the entire cake (about 18-22 holes).
- Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk over the cake, filling the holes as much as possible.
- Heat the hot fudge sauce in a small bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds or so, just until it is soft.
- Place the chopped fudge mint cookies into the hot fudge sauce and mix.
- Spread the cookie/fudge sauce over the cake.
- In a large bowl, fold the Cool Whip and mint extract together.
- Spread the whipped topping over the fudge layer.
- Sprinkle the chopped Andes Candies over the top of the cake.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight
It is better if it is allowed to chill overnight, so put that info in the hopper when you decide to make this cake.
The family birthday party for Pat was a success, except that the older brother had to work so he and his girlfriend could not come. Pat’s sister (bride to be) brought her present in a pinata that looked like a gift. Pat took the opportunity to use a large metal chopping key that one of his friends had made for him, to hack the present open, much to the surprise of his girlfriend, sister and almost-brother-in-law. Aside from the Poke Cake, this was the highlight of his day. Inside the present, he got some
cute manly clothes and some silly string.
Yes!Chef! made ribs, potatoes and corn on the cob. It was quite delicious.
Then we served the cake. It was chocolately and minty without being overpowering in either the chocolate or the mint. The cake was moist, but not soggy.
The topping was slightly minty and the cookies and candy added a nice crunch.
You can see that you can be quite creative with a Poke Cake. My family loved this one more than any others I have ever made. And I must say, it was pretty delicious.
And most importantly, Pat loved the cake.
What else is there to say?
Happy Birthday, Pat, and many, many more.
Enjoy the cake!