This post has been sponsored by Eagle Brand®. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make A Latte Food possible!
This easy Pumpkin Pie Poke Cake begins with white cake mix, pumpkin puree, pumpkin spices and is finished with a pumpkin cream filling, Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk and a homemade cream cheese frosting. It’s an easy poke cake recipe that’s full of fall flavors!
If you haven’t tried a poke cake yet, this Pumpkin Pie Poke Cake 100% needs to happen! It’s incredibly easy to make, but tastes like you put a ton of effort into the recipe. It’s a win/win for sure!
Happy National Pumpkin Day!
It’s fitting National Pumpkin Day is right in the heart of the fall season (despite the fact pumpkin has been filtering into the fall season since mid-August or so), and I have the best recipe to celebrate all season long!
It’s kind of what I like to call the ‘trifecta’ of recipes.
1. It’s ridiculously simple.
2. It’s rich and full of flavor without being overpowering or too sweet.
3. Lastly, it can feed quite a few people.
If those three reasons don’t get you excited, then I don’t know what to tell you except you all need to trust me and make this recipe. Stat.
You’re only regret will be that you didn’t make this sooner. (Yes, I love this recipe so much that I am obnoxiously confident about it. 😉)
First things first, what is a poke cake?
A poke cake is a sheet cake (usually from a cake mix, although you can make a homemade cake) that has holes poked into it after the baking process.
Those holes are filled with, more often than not, sweetened condensed milk, a creamy filling/pudding mixture, whipped cream, etc.
The holes in the cake help the cake absorb the extra liquid/filling, making the cake incredibly moist, rich and ultra decadent.
Let’s break down this Pumpkin Pie Poke Cake. In essence, there are three parts to this pumpkin cake, but each step is extremely straight forward and simple.
The first step is the pumpkin sheet cake. The cake begins with a white cake mix. The cake is made with all ingredients on the back of the box, plus the addition of pumpkin puree, pumpkin spices and a couple extra ingredients to ensure the cake is rich, moist and perfectly spiced.
The second step is the filling after you have created holes in the cake. The filling is a two-step process. The first step is pouring sweetened condensed milk over the cake and the holes. The second step is making a creamy pumpkin filling to spread on top.
The final step is making a whipped cream cheese frosting. I happen to love cream cheese and pumpkin together, and I feel like the cream cheese frosting completes the cake.
Truly, what pulls this cake all together is the sweetened condensed milk. Most poke cakes (and even tres leche cakes) call for sweetened condensed milk, as it’s the right consistency and sweetness to both enhance the flavor of the poke cake and keep it incredibly moist without turning it into a liquid-y hot mess.
In addition to pouring the sweetened condensed milk directly over the cake, a couple of tablespoons are reserved and mixed into the pumpkin cream filling. The thickness and sweetness makes the cream the right texture and flavor.
Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk is always in my pantry, and it’s super easy to find at your local grocery store. If you’re store is anything like mine, it can be found in the baking aisle and in the seasonal baking section (and probably on an end cap of an aisle—it’s hard to miss!😂).
Pumpkin Pie Poke Cake Tips & Tricks:
- I like to use the back of a wooden spoon to poke holes into the cake. You want the holes to be big enough to hold filling, but not so big the cake falls apart.
- Wait 10 minutes before making holes in the cake. If you poke holes right away, the cake kind of turns into a mush. If you wait too long, the cake can be too hard.
- This cake does need to be refrigerated before serving, at least 2-4 hours.
- I love to add some crushed nuts and/or gingersnaps on top of the cake to give it a little added texture, but feel free to omit if you’re not a fan.
- While there are three parts to this recipe, most of the ingredients are used in each part. The filling and the frosting use the same base whipped cream as well.
- Finally, make sure you are using Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk, not Evaporated Milk. They are very different and cannot be interchanged in this recipe.
Ready to get baking??
- 1 box white cake mix (15.25 oz)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or canola oil)
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice (optional)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 14oz can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 3-4 Tbsp pumpkin puree (depends upon how much pumpkin flavor you want)
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups whipped cream (reserved from the pumpkin cream filling)
- 8 oz cream cheese, cubed and at room temperature
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13x9 baking dish.
In a bowl, mix white cake mix, vegetable oil, water, and eggs together.
Once combined, add in pumpkin puree, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, allspice and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish, spreading in an even layer.
Bake for 25-28 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Using the back of a wooden spoon, poke holes into your cake, only poking about half way down.
Reserve 2 Tbsp of Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk (you will use this in the pumpkin cream filling).
Pour the remaining Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk all over the holes of the cake. Set the cake aside.
With a standing mixer or a hand mixer, whip heavy whipping cream on medium speed until soft peaks form.
Add in powdered sugar and vanilla extract, whipping until it is the consistency of whipped cream.
Spoon half of the whipped cream into a separate bowl. (Reserve the remaining whipped cream for the Cream Cheese Whipped Cream Frosting.)
Fold pumpkin puree, Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk and pumpkin pie spice into the whipped cream.
Once combined, spread the filling over the cake and into the holes.
Using your standing mixer or hand mixer again, whip the remaining whipped cream and the powdered sugar with the cubed cream cheese (putting the cream cheese cubes in a little at a time, whipping after each addition).
Once everything is combined together, spread the cream cheese frosting over the pumpkin filling.
Sprinkle with chopped pecans, if desired.
Place in the fridge for at least 2-4 hours before serving.
Enjoy! Store leftovers in the fridge.
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