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Strawberry Milkshake Poke Cake

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This Strawberry Milkshake Poke Cake is a chocolate cake soaked in sweetened condensed milk and topped with a strawberry whipped cream. It’s the perfect amount of sweet to satisfy your cravings.

This post is sponsored by American Dairy Association Mideast. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

A close up of a slice of Chocolate Strawberry Cake

Chocolate Poke Cake with Strawberry Whipped Cream

Poke cakes are one of my favorites to make, but they are just so dang good and there are so many flavor combinations, I just can’t stop myself. They always seem to be popular.

This time I am serving up a Strawberry Milkshake Poke Cake made with my homemade chocolate cake soaked in sweetened condensed milk and covered with a strawberry whipped cream. When it’s time to serve you can dress it up with hot fudge and sprinkles, or garnish with more strawberries.

If you love the combination of strawberries and chocolate, this is one dessert you’ll have to try.

This year, I’ll be working with my friends over at the American Dairy Association Mideast (ADA) to bring you moo-licous desserts, including this poke cake. Milk is a huge part of our diet serving up 13 essential nutrients.

Dairy farmers never cease to amaze me. Those cows don’t take vacations, so it’s a 365 days a year-type job to manage their health and care. During my visit, I had the pleasure of meeting Frank and his family, who has nearly 700 cows on his farm, and I loved hearing their story. It takes a village to care for all those cows.

A slice of Chocolate Strawberry Milkshake Cake on a rimmed plate garnished with sprinkles, fudge and fresh strawberries

What You’ll Need

I opted to make my poke cake from scratch, but if you’re looking for a shortcut, feel free to use your favorite chocolate cake mix instead.

Chocolate Cake Ingredients

  • Wet Ingredients: vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla extract, sour cream, hot brewed coffee
  • Dry ingredients: granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt.


  • Sour cream can be substituted with Greek or Plain yogurt but it adds moisture and texture to the cake, so don’t skip it.
  • Brewed coffee helps bloom the cocoa, you won’t notice the coffee flavor, it simply enhances the chocolate flavor. If you have to, you can substitute it with milk.

Strawberry Whipped Cream

  • Heavy Whipping Cream– make sure it’s chilled
  • Powdered Sugar– sifted to remove any clumps
  • Vanilla Malted Milk Powder– malted milk gives this topping the milkshake flavor
  • Freeze-dried strawberries- these will be ground into a fine crumb and that is what gives it the strawberry flavor. If you don’t have these, the best option would be to use strawberry jello. See the recipe card for more details.

What is Malted Milk Powder?

It’s a powdered ingredient made with wheat, barley malt, and dry powdered milk to add that classic malt flavor to things like milkshakes, smoothies, and other desserts.

Ingredients for strawberry whipped cream in bowls: heavy cream, powdered strawberries, malt powder and powered sugar

Let’s Make Strawberry Poke Cake

Poke cakes are great because they’re relatively easy to throw together. First, you’ll make the cake and once it’s cooled you can add the filling and the topping.

Prepare the Chocolate Cake

  1. Combine the wet ingredients and sugar: First beat the sugar with the eggs, oil, and vanilla extract together until combined then mix in the sour cream.
  2. Combined dry ingredients: Sifting together the remaining dry ingredients because it will be easier for them to combine into the batter. I use a mesh sieve.
  3. Alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients: To the mixing bowl, add half the dry ingredients and half the coffee and mix until combined. Repeat again. Once all the ingredients are well combined, stir with a spatula. Pour the batter into a 9×13 inch pan.
  4. Bake: This is baked in a 350°F oven for 26 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool it completely before adding the toppings.

Prepare the Topping and Filling

1. Poke and fill. Start by poke holes all over the cake using the end of a wooden spoon. This cake is quite moist, so it’s helpful to clean the spoon with a paper towel. Then pour the can of sweetened condensed milk over top, and gently spread with a spatula.

2. Make the whipped cream. Start by chilling the bowl first, which helps the cream stay cold. Then whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Next, you’ll add all the dry ingredients together (I also recommend sifting these). Beat the whipped cream again until the dry ingredients are combined.

3. Decorate and chill. Spread the whipped cream over the cooled cake and then chill for at least an hour or two, which allows the cake to soak up that extra moisture. You can add the toppings to this when you’re ready to serve it.

Recipe Tips

  • Sifted ingredients: The recipe calls for ingredients to be sifted in both the cake and topping. This is the best way for achieving smooth and lump-free batters and toppings. I use a mesh strainer.
  • Can’t find malted milk powder? You’ll usually find this near the dry milk or hot chocolate powder in the store. If you can’t find it, swap it out for additional powdered sugar in the topping.
  • Freeze-dried strawberries vs strawberry jello: Sometimes it can be difficult to find freeze-dried strawberries, so the best alternative is strawberry jello. The freeze-dried berries will have a more tart strawberry flavor whereas the jello will be sweeter. You may find the jello also make the topping more of a mousse texture than whipped cream, due to the gelatin in the jello.
A chocolate poke cake with strawberry whipped topping, garnished with fresh strawberries, has a few minutes missing

How to Store

Once the filling and topping are added, this should be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. However, I do think the topping is best on the day it’s prepared.

If you need to prepare this in advance, you can make the cake up to 2 days earlier then add the filling and toppings a couple of hours before serving.

More Poke Cake Recipes You’ll Love

I have dozens of poke cake recipes, all of which you can find here, but I’ve listed a few favorites below.

A slice of Chocolate Strawberry Milkshake Cake on a rimmed plate with 2 gold fork

For recipes, information, dairy nutrition and to meet Ohio and West Virginia dairy farmers, visit, and follow the American Dairy Association Mideast on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

A slice of Chocolate Strawberry Milkshake Cake on a rimmed plate

Strawberry Milkshake Poke Cake

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 27 minutes
  • Total Time: 57 minutes
  • Yield: 12-15 slices


This Strawberry Milkshake Poke Cake is a chocolate cake soaked in sweetened condensed milk and topped with a strawberry milk whipped cream. It’s the perfect amount of sweet to satisfy your cravings.


For the Cake

  • 1 ½ cups (285g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (118 ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (118 ml) sour cream
  • 2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ½ cup (55 g) cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 ½ teaspoons (9 g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (2 g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
  • 1 ¼ cup (296 ml) hot brewed coffee

For the Topping and Filling

  • 1 can (14oz) Sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups (354ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup (about a 1oz bag) freeze-dried strawberries
  • ½ cup (65g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons (21g) malted milk powder, sifted


For the Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until the eggs and oil are well incorporated and the batter is lighter in color. Next mix in the sour cream and beat until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Then add half the dry ingredients followed by half of the coffee and mix just until the flour starts to incorporate. Then add the remaining dry ingredients and coffee. Beat until all of the ingredients are well combined. 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.
  4. Pour the batter into a 9×13-inch pan and bake at 350°F for 26-28 minutes. Test the cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cake is done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

For the Filling

  1. 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.
  2. Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk all over top of the cake and spread gently.

For the Topping

  1. Use a food processor the grind the strawberries into a fine powder. Sift before adding the whipped cream.
  2. Place metal bowl and whisk in freezer for about 5-10 minutes until chilled. Pour the heavy cream into mixing bowl and beat on high until soft peaks form.
  3. Add the powdered sugar, malt powder and freeze-dried strawberries and mix on low speed just until incorporated and then increase speed to high and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
  4. Spread the whipped cream over the top of the cake and garnish with fresh strawberries, sprinkles or hot fudge sauce.



  • Sour cream can be substituted with Greek or Plain yogurt but it adds moisture and texture to the cake, so don’t skip it.
  • Brewed coffee helps bloom the cocoa, you won’t notice the coffee flavor, I’m simply enhances the chocolate flavor. If you have to, you can substitute it with milk.
  • Freeze-dried strawberries can be substituted with 1-2 tablespoons instant strawberry jello
Nutrition Information:
1 Slice
29.1 g
237.7 mg
19 g
45.2 g
1.5 g
5.9 g
68.1 mg
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Chocolate Poke Cake, Easy Poke Cake, Chocolate Strawberry Cake

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating

18 Responses
  1. Rossy

    Hello I have a question I want to bake this cake but can I make it in layers? this is a good option?

    by the way I made the no bake Oreo cheesecake for my daughter’s birthday it was delicious.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Because the cake is soaked in liquid, I usually don’t recommend it as a layer cake. Unless you pan ahead with your serving dish in which case it would be similar to tres leches.

  2. Bunny

    This sounds like a great recipe since I love strawberries in anything. My one comment would be regarding combining wet and dry ingredients alternately. You should always start and end with dry, so I suggest 3 additions of dry and 2 of wet. I use homemade cake mixes for most of my cakes, except Champagne Cakes and Tropical Carrot Cakes – our 2 signature cakes. I will give your chocolate cake recipe a try.

  3. Annie

    I love your recipe I thank you. I can’t wait to try your poke cake. My mom passed her version down to me and for the poke she would use jello strawberry and strawberry pop and for the frosting it was jello instant pudding vanilla and cool whip. Sometime we would change the pudding flavor and pop flavor Depending who wanted it.
    Thanks again

  4. Sandra Brighouse

    Dear Julianne,
    This strawberry milkshake poke cake is FANTASTIC!!!!!!! I purchased your book “No Bake Treats” from QVC and I have made everyone of your recipes. You are absolutely amazing. Your recipes are out of this world!!!! I have been a baker all of my life and I currently bake for my husband’s bridge club. You have a real talent and are extremely gifted. Thank you so much for sharing your baking knowledge and DELICIOUS recipes with us!!!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Sandra, that is AMAZING! Thank you so much for sharing! I can’t thank you enough for your support.

  5. Erin@WellPlated

    I heart those cows!! Also strawberry and chocolate milkshakes are my favorite. I love that now I can have both flavors in 1 (BIG) slice of cake!

  6. Linda Nickles

    I love the strawberry flavored foods, ice cream and sundaes ( but I always ask that they do not put pieces of strawberries on my sundaes. ( don’t like the sogginess of the strawberries )
    I was wondering if you ever tried making the ” strawberry milkshake poke cake ” with whip cream and strawberry Jell-O mix? ( I don’t drink used nestle quick; I drink organic rice milk ) I would love to make the ” Strawberry milkshake poke cake ” but with a slight substitution.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Linda, thank you for your comment. I think that if you substitute strawberry Jell-o mix it should work out just fine. Add the powdered Jell-o mix once your whipped cream starts to thicken. I believe this will be much thicker than mine, but it should taste good!

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