Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake

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This Strawberry Cheesecake Poke cake is similar to a tres leches cake. The vanilla cake is filled with sweetened condensed milk and it’s topped with a fresh strawberry sauce and cream cheese whipped cream. It a bite of heaven on a fork!

A close up shot of a white plate with a slice of strawberry filled cake on it

Today, let’s talk about this Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake. I have three words to describe this dessert. O-H M-Y G-O-D. When I set out to make this dessert, I knew I wanted a mix of a shortcake with fresh strawberries most importantly, a whipped cream topping.  

If you have never made a poke cake, you are in for a real treat with this dessert (no pun intended). A poke cake is a cake that you bake, and then poke holes all over the top, then drizzle some type of liquid over it like pudding, sweetened condensed milk, caramel; you get the idea. Then you finish it with some whipped cream and your favorite topping like fruit or candy.

A wide angle shot of a strawberry cake on a plate topped with whipped cream and sprinkles

This recipe for this Strawberry Poke Cake  is SUPER easy because I used a vanilla cake mix but if you’d like a homemade cake, I definitely suggest my homemade moist vanilla cake. I’ve used this recipe as a base for lots of other cakes you’ll find on my blog and it’s even better than a cake mix. 

This cake has a can of sweetened condensed milk poured over the top. I’m not really sorry about that either. One of my friends who tried this cake asked me if it was a tres leches cake. This is a total win in my book because I LOVE tres leches! It would also be good with vanilla pudding instead of the milk, but I just love how the milk makes the cake super moist. 

A container of fresh strawberries

Fresh Strawberry Sauce

For the topping, I made an easy strawberry sauce using fresh strawberries, It’s mixed with a little lemon juice and some sugar. It’s a basic sauce that I poured over top after I added the sweetened condensed milk. 

  • Chop the strawberries into quarters and then again in half. 
  • In a saucepan, combine the flour and sugar and then add the strawberries, toss to coat in the dry ingredients. 
  • Then add the lemon juice and water and bring the mixture to boil. Continue mixing until the strawberry soften and turns into sauce. Cool a bit before spreading over the cake. 

While I used fresh strawberries, you could certainly use frozen but I recommend buying them chopped so it will turn into a sauce a bit easier. 

A pretty slice of strawberry cake with a fork laying on the plate, the fork has a bite of cake on it

Cream Cheese Whipped Cream

After all that, I topped this cake with what I like the call, “the best thing ever”. It is a cream cheese whipped cream that is so versatile. I have used it to top cupcakes, cakes and even for a filling. It’s similar to whipped cream but sweeter and a bit thicker. 

  • The key to making the cream cheese whipped cream is to start with a COLD cream cheese and then whip the heck out of it until it is super smooth and creamy, otherwise you will end up with a lumping topping.
  • The second important part is to add the heavy whipping cream slowly to incorporate it into the cream cheese. 

Since you are adding a whipped cream topping to this cake, it is important that the cake is completely cooled before you spread it on. Usually I will bake the cake, let is cool for 15 minutes, fill it with the milk, and strawberry sauce, then pop it in the refrigerator to help it cool. 

A pretty slice of strawberry cake with a bite taken out of it

This poke cake recipe is very versatile and it’s perfect to make in advance. If you don’t love strawberries, try substituting your favorite fruit like blueberries, raspberries or even peaches! This is a great summer dessert for your potluck and BBQs!

 

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Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake

  • Author: Julianne Bayer
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 15 slices

Description

This Strawberry Cheesecake Poke cake is similar to a tres leches cake. The vanilla cake is filled with sweetened condensed milk and it’s topped with a fresh strawberry sauce and cream cheese whipped cream.

Ingredients

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

  • 1 pkg (8oz) full-fat cream cheese
  • 2 cups (473ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups (260g) Powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. While the cake is still warm, 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.
  4. For the strawberry sauce:  Rinse the strawberries and chop into quarters and again in half.
  5. In a medium-sized sauce pan, combine strawberries with the flour and sugar, toss to combine. Add the water and lemon juice; stir well.
  6. 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.
  7. For the topping: Place your mixing bowl in the freezer or fridge 5-10 minutes before starting. Beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until cream cheese is smooth and free of lumps. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  8. Slowly drizzle in the heavy whipping cream and continue beating until the cream cheese resembles a liquid mixture.
  9. Continue to add the remaining heavy whipping cream and beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
  10. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat until still peaks form. Use immediately and keep refrigerated.

Notes

Nutrition Information:
1 slice
504
53.5g
305.5mg
24.7g
15.6g
66.1g
0.6g
6.8g
82.7mg
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Poke Cake, Strawberry Poke Cake, Strawberry Cheesecake Cake

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Recipe from my friends you might like:

Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake from Life Love and Sugar

Mason Jar Shortcake Poke Cake from Wine and Glue

 

91 Responses
  1. Kim

    I just made this cake this afternoon and it is absolutely delicious! A perfect Mother’s Day dessert. It’s like fresh strawberry shortcake but with a very moist light cake texture. The whipped cream topping perfectly compliments the cake and fresh strawberries. It’s very smooth, light and not too sweet. My family loved it. In fact my fiancé is not much on sweets or cake, and he said he totally wants this for his birthday cake this year so that is really saying something. I think this is one of the best dessert recipes I have found on Pinterest and I have been baking from scratch for almost 50 years (started when I was 8). Delicious!

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Thank you so much Kim! I am so glad to hear that everyone enjoyed it! This is a personal favorite of mine as well!

  2. Theresa

    Hi there… In step 10, it says to add powdered sugar and vanilla extract. However, for the whipped cream ingredients, it doesn’t state how much vanilla extract to use. How much vanilla needs to be added to the whip cream? Thanks! So looking forward to making this!

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi DeeDee, yes! But I would probably make the topping the day of serving for the best results. It will definitely keep in the fridge, but this is what I prefer to do.

  3. Wendi

    This looks and sounds amazing! My son is not a tres leche fan, could I use 1/2 of the amount of condensed milk to keep it moist, but not quite tres leche style or should I just leave it out completely? Thank you

      1. Beyond Frosting

        I’ve never tried myself, it might be a little more watery, so you may need additional dry ingredients to balance it out.

  4. Katie

    Best thing EVER!! I have made this at least three times in the last few months. It’s incredible. My husband loves it, my kids love it, my friends love it. If you’re a visitor reading this – make this TODAY!!

  5. Angie

    I made this with a mix of blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries and reduced the powdered sugar by half and it was a hit!!! Also added fresh fruit on top; it was beatiful and delicious! Thanks for the recipe!!!

  6. Kari

    Omg….this cake was beyond delicious. My only change was making the white cake from scratch because I didn’t have a box mix on hand. This is definitely getting made again.

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