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This Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake is a vanilla cake is filled with sweetened condensed milk and topped with fresh strawberry sauce and cream cheese whipped cream. It a bite of heaven on a fork!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Strawberry Poke Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Well, this Strawberry Cheesecake Poke cake may just…take the cake. (Pun very much intended.)
I have three words to describe this dessert: 1) OH, 2) MY, 3) GOD. When I set out to make this cake, I knew I wanted a strawberry shortcake vibe with fresh strawberries and fresh whipped cream. Well, I think I nailed it.
It’s made with a vanilla cake base filled with sweetened condensed milk and homemade strawberry sauce. It’s finished off with whipped cream cheese frosting and sprinkles.
It’s simple to make and insanely delicious! If you’re looking to make a layer cake version of this cake, try this Vanilla Strawberry Mascarpone Cake. It’s a similar concept but without the sweetened condensed milk.
Why You’ll Love This
There are a few reasons that you’re going to absolutely love this strawberry cheesecake cake:
- Low Effort and Impressive: If you read through the hundreds of comments, you’ll see just how much people love this cake. You have options to make this from scratch or with a boxed cake mix.
- Easy Cake Options: You can keep it super convenient with a boxed vanilla cake OR whip up my Easy Vanilla Cake recipe. Either is delicious!
- Fresh Strawberry Sauce: For the topping, I made an easy strawberry sauce made with fresh strawberries, a little lemon juice, and some sugar. If you’d prefer you can use a premade fruity topping.
- The most incredible frosting: Skip the traditional whipped cream because this frosting is insanely rich and creamy. It’s similar to whipped cream but sweeter and thicker.
How to Make Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake
This poke cake is made up of three simple components that come together super easily! Here’s how you’ll make this fruity dessert filled with sweetened condensed milk.
Make the Cake
Here’s the cake mix option, but there’s a link to my easy vanilla cake in the recipe card notes.
- Mix: Combine the cake mix according to package instructions, then pour the batter into a 9×13″ baking dish.
- Bake: Bake at 350ºF for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes.
- Poke the holes: Once the cake has cooled, use the handle end of a wooden spoon or something similar to poke holes all over the top of the cake.
- Fill the cake: Pour a can of sweetened condensed milk over the top and spread gently so it fills the holes. Chill the cake.
Make the Strawberry Sauce
- Chop the strawberries and combine: Rinse and chop the strawberries, then add them to a saucepan along with flour and sugar. Stir to combine, then add in water and lemon juice. Stir well.
- Cook: Cook the mixture over medium-high heat until boiling. Gently smash the strawberries and continue cooking until thickened.
- Add to the cake: Cool the sauce for 15 minutes, then pour it over the cake. Refrigerate until cooled.
Make the Topping
- Chill the bowl: Place a mixing bowl in the freezer or fridge for a few minutes to chill.
- Prepare the cream cheese: Bea the cream cheese until it’s free of lumps, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Slowly add in the heavy whipping cream, about 1/4- 1/2 cup and allow the cream cheese to reach a liquid consistency.
- Add the rest of the cream: Then add the remaining heavy cream and increase the mixing speed to high. Beating constantly, until soft peaks form.
- Add the sugar: Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until stiff peaks form. Use immediately.
What’s the Best Way to Poke Holes in a Cake?
I find the easiest tool to use to poke a cake is the handle end of a wooden spoon. It makes holes that are just the right size to absorb all of that delicious moisture from the sweetened condensed milk.
Simply hold the spoon and poke holes all over the cake, just deep enough to infuse the inside of the cake with moisture and flavor. Don’t forget to do this while the cake is still warm!
If you don’t have a wooden spoon, you can use a fork and makes lots of holes in the top of the cake.
Recipe Tips and Notes
- To prevent a lumpy frosting, First beat the cream cheese until it’s smooth and free of lumps. Slowly adding the cream, allowing the cream cheese to reach a liquid consistency will prevent a lumpy frosting.
- Let the cake cool completely before adding the topping. If it’s still at all warm, the topping will melt. I let it cool for 15 minutes, fill it with milk and strawberry sauce, then pop it in the fridge to speed up the cooling process.
- Fresh vs frozen strawberries: While I usually use fresh strawberries, you can certainly use frozen as well. I recommend buying them already chopped so they cook more quickly in the sauce.
- Try another fruit sauce. This strawberry sauce recipe works great with other fruit as well. Try blueberries, raspberries, or even peaches!
How Far in Advance Can I Make This?
Poke cakes are one of the best desserts to prepare ahead of time, because they just get better as they sit. You can bake, poke, fill, and top the cake and store it in the fridge for up to 2 days before serving.
Another option is to bake the cake 2 days ahead of time and store it on the counter. On the day you plan to serve, add the filling and topping, then let it chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.
How to Store Finished Strawberry Poke Cake
A fully assembled poke cake will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days.Print
Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: 15 slices
This Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake is a vanilla cake filled with sweetened condensed milk and topped with fresh strawberry sauce and cream cheese whipped cream. It’s a bite of heaven on a fork!
For the Cake
- 1 box White or vanilla cake mix (15 oz)
- Ingredients listed on the box (water, oil, eggs, etc)
- 1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
For the Strawberry Sauce
- 1 lb Strawberries (16 oz), rinsed
- ¼ cup (48g) sugar
- 1 tablespoon (8g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (59ml) water
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) lemon juice
For the whipped cream topping
- 1 pkg (8oz) full-fat cream cheese
- 2 cups (473ml) heavy whipping cream
- 2 cups (260g) Powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the cake mix according to the ingredients on the box. Beat on medium speed until well combined.
- Bake cake in a 9×13” pan for 20-22 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the middle of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, you cake is done. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Once the cake has cooled, take the end of a wooden spoon or another round object and poke holes all over the top of your cake. Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk all over top of the cake and spread gently. Chill until the strawberry sauce is ready.
For the Strawberry Sauce:
- Rinse the strawberries and chop into quarters and again in half.
- In a medium-sized sauce pan, combine strawberries with the flour and sugar, toss to combine. Add the water and lemon juice; stir well.
- Cook over medium-high heat until mixture starts to boil and strawberries are softened, gently smash strawberries to create a sauce. Once boiling, continue cooking for about 10 minutes to thicken. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Pour strawberries sauce over top of the cake and refrigerate until cake and toppings are completely cooled.
For the Topping:
- lace the mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to chill.
- Spoon the cold cream cream into the bowl and beat on a medium-low speed (speed 3 on your stand mixer). Slowly pour in the heavy cream, about 1/4-1/2 cup, allowing the cream cheese to turn to a liquid consistency. Then adding the remaining heavy cream. Increase the mixing speed to high (speed 8-10) and beat it until soft peaks form.
- Next, add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, beating on low until sugar is incorporated. Then continue beating at a high speed until stiff peaks form. Use immediately and keep refrigerated.
- If you’d like to make a homemade cake, try my Vanilla Cake Recipe
- Storage instructions: A fully assembled poke cake will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days.
- How to prepare in advance: The baked, unfilled cake can be made up to 2 days in advance and kept in an airtight container. Add the filling and topping and chill for 2 hours.
- Category: Cake
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Poke Cake, Strawberry Poke Cake, Strawberry Cheesecake Cake
More Strawberry Filled Desserts
- Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Frosting
- Strawberry Rosé Cupcakes
- Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Filling
- Strawberry Margarita Cake
This cake was easy to make and very delicious. Thank you.
Wonderful! Thank you so much!
This sounds great going to try it thanks
I made this recipe for a going away party and then tried again to make in a cupcakes format! As the recipe goes it was a hit both ways. I was wondering if you had a similar recipe for cupcakes so i wasnt so aggressively winging it! My daughter likes the recipe so much shes requested it for her own bday 2 years in a row now!
Hi Alexandra! This makes me so happy, thank you so much! So you could make my vanilla cupcakes and then hollow out the center of the cupcakes and fill them with the strawberry filling. Then top them with a cream cheese whipped cream. The only part that is missing would be the sweetened condensed milk. You could drizzle some in the cupcakes with the strawberry filling but I wouldn’t add too much at the risk of causing the cupcakes to crumble or be too wet.
Had trouble with the cream cheese, whipped cream topping, did not set up. Measurements were precise and instructions were followed. Can you please let me know what the problem might be.
Hi Darlene, did you use a block of full-fat cream cheese? And did you have a stand mixer or hand mixer? A stand mixer is very helpful I do think sometime people tend to undermix this, so it doesn’t set properly.
Can you use strawberry filling for this recipe.
What do you mean by strawberry filling? Like a premade pie filling? Yes a pie filling would work
This is not a recipe if it starts with open a box cake.
You must have missed the part where I suggest a homemade vanilla cake instead of a cake mix but thanks!
😉 You’ve got class.
I love pointless negative reviews. I made this recipe last year for the first time (with a boxed cake *gasp*) for my mom’s birthday, who has always made everything from scratch. This was such an incredible hit that both of my sisters and 2 of my nieces asked for it for their birthday’s as well. Even 6 months later they still couldn’t wait for this cake! Absolutely delicious. The words “This is the best cake I have ever had!” came out of both my brother-in-laws mouths. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Hi Rachel! Thank you so much for sharing. This is amazing and I have to agree with their reviews 🙂
This recipe is amazing I made it for my Mom’s 78th Birthday and she loved it. Thank you for sharing!
That’s amazing! Thank you Priscilla! Happy birthday to your mom!