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Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake

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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!

overhead of a slice of cake on a plate with milk and strawberries in the background

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
a slice of strawberry poke cake on a plate with a fork and strawberries in the background

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.
a carton of strawberries from the side

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!
a slice of strawberry cake with a bite taken out on a plate

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
closeup of a slice of strawberry poke cake on a plate

Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake

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

Description

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!

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 topping

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

Instructions

For the cake:

  1. 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. 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:

  1. Rinse the strawberries and chop into quarters and again in half.
  2. In a medium-sized sauce pan, combine strawberries with the flour and sugar, toss to combine. Add the water and lemon juice; stir well.
  3. 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:

  1. lace the mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to chill.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Notes

  • 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. 
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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Leave a Comment

Recipe rating

106 Responses
  1. Jeanne Pratt

    I made this a couple weeks ago using huckleberries instead of strawberries. It was delicious. It was for a birthday, everyone loved the gooey. Another day I will use strawberries. Today I am using this wonderful topping to frost my huckleberry cake for another granddaughters birthday. If you can’t tell, I live in north Idaho and have abundant huckleberries. Thank you for a terrific recipe. ❤

  2. Elizabeth

    My sister made this for my birthday, and it was delicious! She requested it for her birthday too. 🙂

  3. Susan

    Oh my, this dessert is amazing! I added fresh blueberries on top of the strawberries for the 4th. Will make it many times more I’m sure. Also, handed out the recipe to the group, including your blog info. I’m sure you’re going to be getting some new subscribers.

    1. Beyond Frosting

      OMG Susan, thank you for sharing this and for sending it to your friends. I am so grateful for your support. I hope you enjoyed your 4th.

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Absolutely yes- there’s a small note about this in the recipe card with a link to the vanilla cake recipe.

  4. 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!

  5. 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 Theresa- up to 1 teaspoons, it’s optional though. Thank you for pointing this out so I can correct it!

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