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closeup of a slice of peppermint poke cake on a plate drizzled with fudge

Candy Cane Poke Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 1 from 1 review
  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12-15 slices
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American


This Candy Cane Poke Cake is an easy-to-make, festive dessert you don’t want to miss. Made-from-scratch cake is soaked with sweetened condensed milk, then topped with whipped cream, hot fudge drizzle, and Andes Peppermint Crunch candy.


For the Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups (285g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (118 ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) sour cream
  • 2 ½ cups (350g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (7.5g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) salt
  • 1 1/3 cup (315ml) buttermilk or milk
  • Red food gel 

For the Filling & Topping

  • 1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 ½ cups (354ml) heavy whipping cream
  • ¾ cups (98g) powdered sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract
  • Hot fudge sauce for garnish (optional)
  • Andes Peppermint Crunch for garnish (optional)


For the Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, butter, eggs, egg yolks, peppermint extract, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until the eggs and oil are well incorporated and the batter is lighter in color (about 2 minutes.)
  3. Scrape down the bowl as needed, then mix in the sour cream. Mix until well-combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
  5. Alternate adding half the dry ingredients and half the buttermilk at a time. Mix until the flour is just incorporated. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
  6. Remove 1/2-cup of the batter and place in a separate bowl. Add in food coloring and mix until it is bright red.
  7. Pour the un-dyed cake batter into a 9×13-inch cake pan, then pour the red cake batter on top. Use a knife to gently swirl the batters together.
  8. Bake at 350ºF for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

For the Topping

  1. Place a mixing bowl into the freezer to chill for 5-10 minutes. Pour in the heavy whipping cream, then use an electric mixer to beat the heavy cream at medium-high speed until it thickens to soft peaks.
  2. Slowly add in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.

To Assemble

  1. Use the handle end of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the top of the cake.
  2. Drizzle on sweetened condensed milk and allow it to soak in.
  3. Top with prepared whipped cream, hot fudge sauce, and Andes Peppermint Crunch candy.


  • Don’t swirl too much. Swirl the un-dyed batter and dyed batter together just enough to create contrast but not too much. If you over-mix the two, you’ll just end up with a red cake.
  • Use a wooden spoon to poke holes. I recommend using the handle end of a wooden spoon to poke holes so they’re large enough for the sweetened condensed milk to really soak in.
  • Use sweetened condensed milk. Make sure you use sweetened condensed milk, not evaporated milk, for the topping. Evaporated milk is thick and creamy but has no added sugar. Sweetened condensed milk is much sweeter and more syrup-y which is exactly what you need to create the best texture and flavor.
  • Don’t skip the toppings. The whipped cream, hot fudge sauce, and Andes Peppermint Crunch are optional but highly recommended. Seriously. Don’t leave em out!


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 437
  • Sugar: 36.1g
  • Sodium: 358mg
  • Fat: 20.8g
  • Carbohydrates: 57.6g
  • Fiber: 0.7g
  • Protein: 6.4g
  • Cholesterol: 91.2mg