Double Pumpkin Poke Cake

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This Double Pumpkin Poke Cake is a homemade moist pumpkin cake soaked in pumpkin spice pudding and topped with the most amazing cinnamon maple whipped cream. Pumpkin spice lovers, be sure to try this cake!!

This is my favorite fall cake to make, by far! I am one of those pumpkin obsessed people, but not pumpkin evvvverything. I think it’s a bit overdone at this point. BUT a good pumpkin dessert will never go out of style.

A close up of a shot of slice of pumpkin cake with a blurred cinnamon sticks in the background

I first posted this recipe way back in 2013, but have since then, I’ve updated the recipe to include my favorite Moist Pumpkin cupcake recipe as the base recipe for this cake.  

If you still want the original cake mix version of this double pumpkin poke cake, don’t worry! I’ve included it below. But this version is a much more pumpkin-heavy recipe.

This Double Pumpkin Poke Cake is a homemade moist pumpkin cake soaked in pumpkin spice pudding and topped with a mouthwatering cinnamon maple whipped cream. It’s fall perfection.

A head on shot of a slice of pumpkin poke cake showing the layers of the cake, and a gold fork laying on the white plate

The pumpkin cake is actually super easy to make. It’s an oil-based recipe, so there’s no need to worry about creaming together butter and sugar. The oil-based cakes tend to be a more tender crumb and moister overall.

Pumpkin cakes are naturally a little “heavier”, so don’t be surprised if the cake doesn’t fully rise, it might be more of a flatter rise.

Once your cake is baked or cooled, poke the holes and fill it with the pudding mix. This is what makes it a poke cake recipe!

A pretty slice of pumpkin cake with a big bite missing, showing the inside of the cake.

The key to adding the pudding is to whisk it well and then immediately pour it over your cake before it sets. You can also use an angled spatula to brush the pudding back over the cake, as it tends to fill in the sides and corners. I just wipe it back into the center and fill up all those holes.

I always use instant pudding because once you pour it over the cake, you throw the cake in the fridge for 5-10 minutes to allow the pudding to set. Once your pudding is set, then you can add the cinnamon maple whipped cream topping.

You guyyyys, this whipped cream is AMAZING. It’s another older recipe of mine that I use time and time again.

A mason jar piped full of cinnamon whipped cream with a gorgeous swirl.

First of all, homemade whipped cream is so much tastier than Cool Whip, but no judgements if you prefer to use that instead. Some people are not as comfortable making whipped cream themselves, but I am here to help! I have a whole tutorial on how to make whipped cream.

For the cinnamon maple version, all we are doing it adding a touch of maple syrup and ground cinnamon. It’s easy to go overboard with the cinnamon. You can start small and always add a little more if you’d like.

A gold fork with a big bite of cake on it showing the 3 layers of cake, pudding and whipped cream.

I always like to finish off my cake with drizzle of caramel and some crushed toffee to add a little texture to the cake, but that’s entirely up to you. Just make sure you grab an extra large fork for this cake! 

More Pumpkin poke cakes:

Pumpkin Spice Latte poke cake

Pumpkin S’more Poke Cake

Where do I buy pumpkin spice pudding?

Most often I’ve found it at Walmart or Safeway brand grocery stores and I also order the pumpkin spice pudding from Amazon if I can’t find it locally. 

It is a seasonal release, it’s not available all year round. I’ve also had friends ship it to me because they know how much I love it!

An overhead shot of a slice of pumpkin cake showing the caramel drizzle and crushed toffee on top

What is the best substitute for pumpkin spice pudding?

When you simply can’t find pumpkin spice pudding in the store, I recommend using an instant vanilla or caramel pudding, and then add 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice into the pudding.

Add the pumpkin pie spice to the dry pudding mix, whisk together and then add the milk and whisk to combine.

Can I make this cake ahead of time?

Yes, poke cakes are so good for making ahead of time because the moisture of the pudding keeps the cake soft and fresh.

If you’d like to prepare the cake ahead of time, you can choose whether or not to add the pudding and refrigerate, or do that the day of serving. Once the pudding is added, it has to be refrigerated.

However, I always recommend, where possible to add the whipped cream the day of serving for the best results.

How to store this cake so it stays fresh

This cake has to stay refrigerated once the pudding and whipped cream have been added. The great thing about poke cakes is that they don’t dry out because they’re filled with pudding.

Since I use a 9×13-inch pan, I buy one that comes with a lid, which is great. Otherwise I cover it with tin foil.

A wide angle shot of a slice of pumpkin poke cake showing the layers of the cake. There's two slices blurred out in the background and some cinnamon sticks.

 

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A head on shot of a slice of pumpkin poke cake showing the layers of the cake, and a gold fork laying on the white plate

Double Pumpkin Poke Cake

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 16 Servings

Description

This Double Pumpkin Poke Cake is a homemade moist pumpkin cake soaked in pumpkin spice pudding and topped with the most amazing cinnamon maple whipped cream. Pumpkin spice lovers, be sure to try this cake!!

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1 ½ cups light brown sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup milk (I use nonfat)

For the pudding:

  • 1 pkg (3.4 oz) Instant pumpkin spice pudding
  • 1 ¾ cups milk

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 ¾  cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 12 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup Health Milk Chocolate Toffee bits

Instructions

  1. For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13-inch pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, maple syrup 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. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  3. Next mix in the pumpkin and beat until well combined.
  4. In a medium sized bowl, combine all remaining dry ingredients. Then, add half the dry ingredients to the batter followed half the milk and beat until it starts to combine.
  5. Finally add the remaining dry ingredients, mixing on low speed while pouring in the milk and beating until all of the ingredients are well combined.
  6. 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. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes. Test the cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done. Cool Completely.
  8. Take a wooden spoon or another round object and poke holes over the top of the cake.
  9. For the filling: In a small mixing bowl, combine the instant pudding with the milk and whisk together until the powdered mix is dissolved.
  10. Pour the liquid pudding mix over top of the cake, try to fill the holes with the pudding mix. Refrigerate the cake until the pudding is firm, about 10 minutes or so.
  11. For the topping: Place the mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to chill.
  12. Pour the heavy whipping cream into the chilled bowl and use an electric mixer to beat the heavy cream on medium-high speed until the cream thickens.
  13. Slowly add the powdered sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon and continue beating on high speed until stiff peaks start to form. Spread the whipped cream over the top of the cake. Prior to serving, top with caramel sauce and milk chocolate toffee bits. Serve immediately or keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Notes

  • If you’re looking for the original cake mix version: 1 box spice cake mix (15oz), 1 package instant pumpkin spice pudding (3.4oz), 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice, 3 large eggs, ½ cup vegetable oil, ¾ cup milk, ½ cup sour cream. Mix all ingredients together until well combined, bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes
  • When you simply can’t find pumpkin spice pudding in the store, I recommend using an instant vanilla or caramel pudding, and then add 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice into the pudding.
  • Category: Cake

Keywords: Cake, Pumpkin Cake, Poke Cake

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49 Responses
  1. Whitney

    I checked FOUR grocery stores and couldn’t find pumpkin spice pudding! And it’s October! Anyway, I used 3 packages of vanilla pudding instead. To the cake, I reduced the milk by 1/4 c. and replaced that with pumpkin pie mix (in a can). And for the layer of pudding I added 2 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice, 1 tsp of cinnamon, and did 3 c. of milk with 1/3.c of pumpkin pie mix.

    Turned out awesome!!

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Whitney! I have only ever seen it at Walmart. It sounds like your substitutions were awesome! I am glad you like it!

    2. Pam

      Thanks for this alternative way… I have scoured all the Walmarts in a 50 mile radius and only found one with the pumpkin spice pudding and bought all of them (11). I am stalking the other Walmarts on a daily basis hoping a shipment will come in. I have found the pudding on amazon and ebay selling anywhere from $2.00+ upwards to in excess of $8.00 per box. Not fair! I am a caterer and make this dessert for others, so it is disturbing to see people buy it just to sell it online.

  2. Pam

    I am going to make this and I have a couple of questions. I am confused by the instructions. Do I mix one package of pudding mix into the cake mix or do I bake the cake and then drizzle one package of pudding into the poked holes? Next, do I then take 2 packages of pudding and make them and then top the cake? Because if I go through the entire list of ingredients, there is one (1) package called for in the cake “ingredients” and two (2) packages called for in the pudding “ingredients”. However, in the directions it never specifically says where to put the pudding in the “cake” other than in steps 6 – 8 and I am assuming that is the 2 packages that are called for in the “pudding” portion of the recipe. And last question, out in California our stores don’t carry pumpkin pudding. I have found another recipe that uses vanilla pudding to make pumpkin pudding by adding pumpkin puree and spices to it. However, if the one box of pudding that is listed in the cake ingredients is added as a dry mix, can I add pumpkin puree to make it pumpkin flavor or will this mess the cake up? (This is why I don’t bake much, because baking is more exacting than cooking. :D) Please let me know. I am not a baker so I get confused easily.

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Pam! No problem. If you have further question, shoot me an email: beyondfrosting@gmail.com and I can help with anything! Yes, this recipe needs requires 3 packages of Pumpkin Spice pudding mix. You mix on package in the cake mix first. Then in the second step, you make the 2 packets of pumpkin pudding and drizzle that over the top of the cake. I actually live in Southern California and I buy my pumpkin spice pudding at Walmart! They always have a great selection of baking products! As far as replacing the pumpkin spice pudding mix in the cake with your pureed version, I think it would greatly effect the actual recipe, because the package of pudding mix that is added to the cake mix, is the DRY mix only. So I would omit this from the recipe and add a little extra pumpkin spice seasoning to the actual cake mix. Then you can make your pumpkin spice pudding to drizzle over the top of the cake after you poke the hole. Good luck!

      1. Pam

        Thanks for the tip for finding the pumpkin pudding. I’m going to get some this morning as I want to serve this for dessert for guests tonight. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

      2. Pam

        I made the cake and it was beyond great! I found the pumpkin pudding at Walmart. However, I didn’t have my shopping brain in gear and did not have enough milk for the cake and the pudding, so I used egg nog for the cake and 1/2 milk and 1/2 egg nog for the pudding. I didn’t realize how fast the pudding sets, so I took it too far so that it didn’t ooze in the holes I poked in the cake. Didn’t make a bit of difference though as the cake was super dense (in a good way) and moist! I also did not have enough heavy cream for the whipped cream layer as I used too much on my mashed potatoes that I served for dinner, so I just whipped the cream and dolloped it on like I would on a pie. I’m not a fan of maple syrup so I omitted the maple syrup and cinnamon and used spiced rum and it was like dying and going to heaven!!! I like this MUCH better than plain old pumpkin pie as it has cake, soft pudding, creamy whipped cream and the toffee bits give it great crunch. Thanks for such a great recipe!

          1. Pam

            I think the egg nog added another great note of spice. You could taste it but it wasn’t overpowering. I’ve got visitors coming tonight and I still have 1/2 a cake left, so you KNOW what we’re having for dessert! Thanks again!

  3. Shari @ Shari Blogs

    I just want to grab a fork and dig into these right now!!! can’t wait to try it! I shared it in my Pumpkin Round Up on my blog today! 🙂

  4. Meredith

    What size cake pan did you use? Sorry if you’ve already posted it and I just missed it. I’ve got all the ingredients ready and am so excited to make this cake!

  5. Meredith

    What size cake pan did you use? Sorry if you’ve already posted it and I just didn’t see. I’ve got all the ingredients ready to go and am so excited to make this cake!

  6. Julie @ This Gal Cooks

    Wowza! This looks amazing, Julianne! I gotta make this one day soon! Pinning and sharing on social media. Thanks for sharing at Marvelous Mondays!

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