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Best Pumpkin Poke Cake Recipe

Up close image of pumpkin poke cake with a bite taken from it

Looking for a delicious pumpkin poke cake? This pumpkin spice cake is poked to death, doused in sweetened condensed milk, and then covered in cream cheese frosting. This is the best pumpkin cream cheese cake.

pumpkin poke cake

If you’re a pumpkin fanatic like me, here’s one recipe that you NEED to make this fall-Pumpkin Poke Cake! I’ve adapted this recipe from one of my fall favorites-Pumpkin Bars. If you’ve never tried the Pumpkin Bars you really need to! It’s one of my absolute favorite pumpkin recipes!

This recipe starts with a super simple to make pumpkin cake. Right as the cake comes out of the oven, holes are poked in the top with the base of a wooden spoon. Sweetened condensed milk is then poured over the holes, which allows the liquid to seep into the cake and make it extra moist and flavorful. After the cake has cooled for a few hours and the sweetened condensed milk has been absorbed into the cake, it is topped with an incredible cream cheese frosting and toasted pecans.

The cake soaks up the sweetened condensed milk like a sponge and as the hours pass, the better it gets. Like most poke cakes, I recommend letting the cake sit in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours before you serve it. If you’ve got 24 hours that’s even better! Just place in the refrigerator overnight and frost in the morning!

With little pockets of cream cheese frosting scattered throughout each slice, I guarantee this will become your go-to pumpkin recipe.

Can I turn this into a pumpkin cream cheese cake?

If you wanted to make this into a pumpkin cream cheese cake you would swap the cream cheese mixture instead of using sweetened condensed milk. You can mix the cream cheese with many other things. You can use pudding with the cream cheese to give it different flavors or just add sugar to the cream cheese.

Can you freeze this pumpkin cake recipe?

This pumpkin cake recipe is a good cake to freeze when you have extra. Whenever I make this cake and I have some that do not get finished before it goes bad, I like to freeze it. Because this pumpkin poke cake already has the cream cheese frosting, you will want to freeze the cake before you wrap it. Place the slices of cake onto a cookie sheet or plate. Put it in the freezer until the frosting is frozen. Once it is frozen, you can move it to a freezer bag. This will prevent the frosting from sticking to the plastic. When you are ready to thaw the cake, remove it from the plastic bag first.

pumpkin poke cake

Ingredients for pumpkin spice cake

  • all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground allspice
  • ground ginger
  • eggs
  • granulated sugar
  • vegetable oil
  • pumpkin puree
  • sweetened condensed milk
  • butter
  • cream cheese
  • powdered sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • pecans

How to make a pumpkin poke cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and ginger.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Hand mix the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just combined. Do not overmix. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and immediately poke holes all over the top of the cake. You can use the end of a wooden spoon, a skewer, the tines of a fork, etc. Slowly pour the can of condensed milk all over the top of the cake, making sure to drizzle it evenly all over the top. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.

To make the Frosting: Place butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary.

Spread the frosting evenly over the top of the cake and sprinkle with toasted pecans. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

slices of pumpkin poke cake on a plateWant More Pumpkin Recipes

I love pumpkin. I seriously eat it all year long. If you love pumpkin and eat it all year or even just during the pumpkin spice season, you are going to want these other pumpkin recipes. Perfect for holiday or a weeknight dessert, these are my favorite pumpkin spice recipes.

  • Pumpkin Meringue Pie Recipe – Wait until you try this Pumpkin meringue pie With all the traditional flavors of pumpkin pie with even more pizzazz! This delicious pumpkin pie filling topped with a luscious meringue that will will leave you begging for more and is sure to leave a smile on your face.
  • Pumpkin Caramel Latte Cupcake – These pumpkin caramel latte cupcakes combine two of fall’s most popular flavors and taste phenomenal. You will be in food heaven when you bite into the moist cupcakes and taste the cinnamon frosting and caramel drizzle.
  • Instant Pot Pumpkin Cake Recipe -Looking for the best tasting Pumpkin Cake recipe? You have to try this Instant Pot Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Chips! It is so good and easy to make, you are going to make this recipe all through the pumpkin spice season.
  • Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake Recipe – This flavorful pumpkin spice coffee cake is a yummy treat just in time for all the fall weather that’s coming. Once you taste this pumpkin coffee cake, you will feel like you are living in food heaven. Every bite has an intense pumpkin flavor that is seriously out of this world.
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Up close image of pumpkin poke cake with a bite taken from it

Best Pumpkin Poke Cake Recipe


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  • Author: Laura
  • Yield: Serves 16 1x

Description

Looking for a pumpkin poke cake? This pumpkin spice cake is poked to death, doused in sweetened condensed milk, and then covered in cream cheese frosting.

Scale

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
4 large eggs
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

For the Drizzle:

1 (12-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

For the Frosting:

8 ounces butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup pecans, chopped finely and toasted


Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and ginger.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Hand mix the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just combined. Do not overmix. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and immediately poke holes all over the top of the cake. You can use the end of a wooden spoon, a skewer, the tines of a fork, etc. Slowly pour the can of condensed milk all over the top of the cake, making sure to drizzle it evenly all over the top. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.
  5. To make the Frosting: Place butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary.
  6. Spread the frosting evenly over the top of the cake and sprinkle with toasted pecans. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

Source: adapted from Pumpkin Bars

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