Delicious Poke Cakes: 80 Super Simple Desserts with an Extra Flavor Punch in Each Bite

In their book, Delicious Poke Cakes: 80 Super Simple Desserts with an Extra Flavor Punch in Each Bite, authors Roxanne Wyss and Kathy Moore show us how easy it is to make poke cakes. And what is a poke cake? It’s basically a cake where you poke holes in the baked cake and add some extra ingredients.

How easy is that? Super easy.

About the Authors

Roxanne Wyss with Kathy Moore, The Electrified Cooks, are cookbook authors, food consultants, food writers, cooking teachers, and food bloggers, who share their test-kitchen expertise through creative recipes and tips that make cooking easier and more fun. This is their sixteenth cookbook, previous titles include Rice Cooker Revival and The Easy Air Fryer Cookbook for The American Diabetes AssociationThey teach cooking classes, consult with food and appliance companies, write feature articles and appear on television, including appearances on QVC. Their professional careers in food, spanning over thirty years, now include a popular blog, PluggedintoCooking.com.

Tequila Sunrise Poke Cake

Sunrise paints a graduated array of colors as the deep orange and red fade into yellow. That beautiful view is what gave this historic drink its name. While the drink is as old as the Prohibition era, it became popular in the 1970s when a bar in Sausalito, near San Francisco, reinvented it and traveling musicians from famous rock bands tasted it and helped seal its place in pop culture. The current drink is made of orange juice, grenadine, and tequila—and this cake captures those wonder[1]ful flavors and the striking colors.

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 (15.25- to 18-ounce) box yellow cake mix
  • Eggs, oil, and water as directed on the cake mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (3-ounce) box orange gelatin
  • ¼ cup tequila
  • 3 tablespoons grenadine syrup
  • 1 (8-ounce) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish

with nonstick cooking spray.

Prepare and bake the cake according to the package directions for a 9 x 13-inch cake. Place cake on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.

Poke holes evenly over the baked cake using the tines of a fork.

Place the water in a 4-cup microwave-safe glass bowl. Microwave on High (100%) power for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the water comes to a boil. Stir the gelatin into the water until it is dissolved. Stir in the tequila. Pour the gelatin mixture evenly over the cake.

Slowly and evenly drizzle the cake with the grenadine, making a striped design across the cake. Cover and refrigerate the cake for 1 hour. Frost the cake with the whipped topping. Cover and refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour or up overnight before serving.

Variations

If you prefer to omit the tequila, prepare the gelatin as directed. Stir in ¼ cup cold water and proceed as the recipe directs. If desired, instead of using all water to prepare the cake mix, substitute ¼ cup tequila and ½ cup orange juice for part of the water. Add water, as needed, to equal the required amount of liquid specified on the cake mix box. Proceed as the recipe directs.

Tips

Grenadine is a sweet, red syrup that is often used to flavor cocktails. While it is not a liquor, you will often find it in the grocery store shelved with mixers and supplies for cocktails.

Chocolate and Vanilla Poke ’n’ Tote Cakes

Neat and portable, these luscious chocolate cakes are ready to take to the park, soccer field, or office, or any time you want a dessert to go. They are a winner, and the chocolate cake, topped with a creamy vanilla pudding and then a chocolate glaze, just may remind you of a cream-filled snack cake!

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 1⁄3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2½ cups whole milk
  • 1⁄3 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 (3.4-ounce) box vanilla instant pudding mix

CHOCOLATE GLAZE

  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1⁄3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2½ tablespoons whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Spray 12 (8-ounce) canning jars with nonstick cooking spray. Set the lids and rings aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the boiling water and cocoa powder until smooth; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking pow[1]der, baking soda, and salt. Using a handheld mixer on low speed, beat in the egg, ½ cup of the milk, the oil, vanilla, and cocoa mixture.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl well and beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Spoon about ¼ cup of the batter into each prepared jar. Do not cover.

Arrange the jars in a shallow baking pan, leaving about 1 inch between the jars.

Bake for 24 to 28 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. (Do not overbake.)

Place the baking pan with the jars in it on a wire rack and let the cakes cool completely. Poke holes evenly over the baked cakes in the jars using a drinking straw.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the pudding mix and the remaining 2 cups of milk until the pudding is blended. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the pudding over each cake.

Seal each jar with its lid and ring and refrigerate the cakes for 1 hour.

MAKE THE CHOCOLATE GLAZE: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Stir in the cocoa powder. Remove from the heat.

Stir in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Add the milk and vanilla and stir until smooth. The glaze should be thin enough to drizzle off the tip of a spoon.

Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the Chocolate Glaze over the pudding in each jar. Gently, using the back of a spoon, spread the glaze to cover the pudding completely.

Seal each jar again and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight before serving.

Variations

Poke Cupcakes: Line muffin pans with paper liners. Prepare the batter as directed and spoon it into the pre[1]pared pan, filling each cup about halfway full. Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.

Proceed as the recipe di[1]rects, poking the cakes with a drinking straw, topping with pudding, and spreading the pudding to the edge of the cupcakes. Top with the glaze, gently covering the pudding. Individual Poke Cakes: Instead of canning jars, prepare the individual poke cakes in 8-ounce ovenproof ramekins. Spray the ramekins with nonstick cooking spray, then spoon in the batter, filling ramekins about halfway. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Proceed as the recipe di[1]rects, poking the cakes with a drinking straw, topping with pudding, and spreading the pudding to the edge of the cakes. Top with the glaze, gently covering the pudding.

Crunchy Toffee Poke Cake

Do you need to bring a dessert to the office party, potluck, or bunko night? No wor[1]ries! Bake Crunchy Toffee Poke Cake the day ahead, and you’ve got it covered. This will make the gathering memorable to many, and there won’t be one piece left to carry home. That’s a good thing, right?

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 (15.25- to 18-ounce) German chocolate cake mix
  • 1 (3.9-ounce) box chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2⁄3 cup water
  • ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 (12.25-ounce) jar caramel ice cream topping
  • 1 (8-ounce) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 4 (1.4-ounce) milk chocolate English toffee candy bars

      Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish  with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl using a handheld mixer on low speed, beat together the cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, water, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl well and beat for 2 minutes on medium speed.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Place the cake on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Poke holes evenly over the baked cake using the handle of a wooden spoon. Let the cake cool completely.

Drizzle three-quarters of the caramel topping into the holes on the cake.

Frost the cake with the whipped topping.

Place the candy bars in a zip-top bag and coarsely crush with a rolling pin or mallet. Sprinkle the candy bars evenly over the cake.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, drizzle the top of the cake with the remaining caramel topping.

Variations

You can substitute caramels and milk for the caramel ice-cream topping.

Combine 1 (14-ounce) package caramels, unwrapped, and ¼ cup whole milk in a microwave-safe glass bowl. Microwave on High (100%) power in 30-second intervals, stirring well after each, until the caramels are melted and the mixture is smooth, making sure not to overcook the caramels.

Pour three-quarters of the caramel mixture into the poked holes in the cake.

Warm the remaining caramel mixture in the microwave on high power for 10 to 15 seconds or until warm.

Drizzle over the cake just before serving.

TIP

If you want to reduce the amount of chocolate, use a white or yellow cake mix in place of the German chocolate cake mix.

Author: Jane Simon Ammeson

Jane Simon Ammeson is a freelance writer who specializes in travel, food and personalities. She writes frequently for The Times of Northwest Indiana, Kentucky Living magazine, Edible Michiana, Lakeland Boating, Experience Michigan magazine, Indiana Monthly, Cleveland Magazine, Long Weekends Magazine, Food, Wine, Travel magazine and the Herald Palladium where she has a weekly food column. Her TouchScreenTravels include Indiana's Best. She also writes a weekly book review column for The Times of Northwest Indiana as well as food and travel, has authored 16 books including Lincoln Road Trip: The Back-road Guide to America's Favorite President was the winner of the Lowell Thomas Journalism Award in Travel Books, Third Place and also a Finalist for the 2019 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards in the Travel category. Her latest books are America's Femme Fatale: The Story of Serial Killer Belle Gunness and Classic Restaurants of Northwest Indiana. Her other books include How to Murder Your Wealthy Lovers and Get Away with It, A Jazz Age Murder in Northwest Indiana and Murders That Made Headlines: Crimes of Indiana, all historic true crime as well Hauntings of the Underground Railroad: Ghosts of the Midwest, Brown County, Indiana and East Chicago. Jane’s base camp is Stevensville, Michigan on the shores of Lake Michigan. Follow Jane at facebook.com/janesimonammeson; twitter.com/hpammeson; https://twitter.com/janeammeson1; twitter.com/travelfoodin, instagram.com/janeammeson/ and on her travel and food blog janeammeson.com and book blog: shelflife.blog/

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