4.79 from 94 votes

Strawberry Poke Cake

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This Strawberry Poke Cake is made with tons of real strawberries and whipped topping with a delicious sweet center. Often referred to as a strawberry delight recipe, this divine dessert dish is truly one of the easiest recipes. 

The soft, pretty pink cake is poked, and delicious sweetened condensed milk is poured through the holes, making a creamy sweet taste in every bite.

Topped with more fresh strawberries and a spattering of whipped cream, this recipe is a sweet treat for any occasion. 

easy strawberry dessert.

Why you will love this Poke Cake Recipe

Looks Impressive: This easy strawberry poke cake is an incredibly delicious dessert cake and a fantastic presentation for large crowds. But the trick is that you only need premade mix and condensed milk – so it’s effortless but looks stunning. 

Holiday Recipe Worthy: This is also an excellent dessert for holidays. Try as is or change to Red Velvet as a Valentine’s Day Cake (because of its sweet and pink) and on July 4th, when strawberries are super popular. And while cooking up a holiday menu, make sure to add Ambrosia too!

Ingredients

  • Strawberry cake mix box – If you have never had strawberry cake, you are in for a delicious cake surprise. This is hands down one of the best-boxed cake mixes on the market. Follow the box instructions to make. 
  • Sweetened condensed milk – This ingredient comes in a can and is found in the baking aisle.
  • Unsweetened frozen whole strawberries – Frozen strawberries, once thawed, give you the right amount of softness for a cake and provide some essential extra strawberry juice. 
  • Whipped topping – Cool Whip topping is a perfect lightweight choice for the top cake layer. 

Variations

Box Cake Mix: While this poke cake recipe is all about a strawberry flavor, do not be afraid to mix it up. Yellow cake mix, white cake mix, or even chocolate cake mix is still an excellent base for this dessert.

Poke with: To make this version of a strawberry delight recipe requires sweetened condensed milk. But you can make a poke cake with jello (there are SO many kinds) or pour flavored pudding mix down the poked holes as well. Pudding options will always depend on the type of cake you attempt to make, but the most common is vanilla pudding. 

Topping options: Much of this depends on the kind of rich, delicious bite you want, but whipped topping (either canned or freshly homemade), caramel or chocolate sauce, strawberry sauce, cream cheese frosting. Try crushed graham crackers, OREO cookies, or buttery cookie crumbs to add a crunch. 

How to make Strawberry Poke Cake without Jello

  1. To get started on your strawberry poke cake recipe, bake cake according to package directions and let it stand 10 minutes once you remove it from the oven.
  2. Using a wooden spoon handle, poke holes into the warm baked cake.
  3. Pour sweetened condensed milk mixture onto the top of the moist cake, focusing on filling all the holes. The sweetened condensed milk will soak into the cake.
  4. Let stand until the entire cake is room temperature.
how to poke a poke cake.
  1. Pour thawed strawberries over the cake, including the juice from the bag. Extra strawberry juice makes this cake extra moist and sweet.
  2. Top strawberry mixture with whipped topping (see note on pipping whipped cream) and serve.
  3. If not ready to serve, refrigerate the baking dish, covered, until ready to serve. If you do not want to use a piping bag, a can of whipped topping works excellent.
strawberry poke cake recipe with whipped topping.

Fresh Strawberries vs. Frozen Strawberries

I use frozen but thawed-out strawberries. Frozen strawberries tend to be softer and are perfect for poke cakes.

You could likely use fresh strawberries if you softened them with sugar (like layered strawberry angel food cake recipe); however, that would make the cake super sweet. Additionally, if you use fresh, you will not have the same amount of juice that frozen strawberries tend to bring to the table.

Our opinion is that frozen strawberries work best for poke cake.

frozen strawberries thawed.

Cool Whip Topping

If the presentation is everything to you, decorating with a piping bag and frosting tip can help you turn your cool whip into a gorgeous design to serve! However, if you want to use a knife and spread it on top before serving, there is nothing wrong with that either.

Keep in mind that cool whip is susceptible to weather and melting. After all, it is dairy, so make sure the poke cake is kept cold before it’s time to serve.

You can also easily replace Cool whipped topping with frosting-like cream cheese if you prefer or serve as is with extra strawberries and a dusting of powdered sugar. There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to serving desserts.

strawberry angel delight recipe.

FAQs

Doesn’t poke cake usually have jello or pudding in it? 

Poke cake recipes are a refreshing dessert recipe that allows the inside to carry a ton of flavor. Pudding mixture or jello mixtures are quite popular to pour in over sweetened condensed milk.

And while strawberry jello and strawberry cake are a pretty display and taste great, much like a Leches cake, the creamy taste of the condensed milk and cake is the perfect dessert match. That is why it’s often called a Strawberry Delight!

Check out our Key Lime Jello Poke Cake Recipe or our Red, White, and Blue Poke Cake if you want to try jello.

What can you use to poke a cake? 

Aside from a wooden handle, a fork can also do the job. Just poke much closer and more often than the large deep holes that a handle provides. Here is an example of a poke cake that uses a fork. As long as the liquid can get inside the cake, it works!

How to freeze a poke cake. 

I am not a huge fan of freezing cake personally, but if you want to freeze any cake leftovers, follow the method I use for most bread recipes.

  1. Cool the cake completely. There cannot be any heat left, so be patient until you have a chilled cake.
  2. Wrap in plastic wrap twice and then wrap one more time in aluminum foil.
  3. Add cake to an airtight container or freezer bag, label, and place in the freezer for up to 2 months. 
slice of poke cake.
4.79 from 94 votes

Strawberry Poke Cake


Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Strawberry Poke Cake with Sweetened Condensed Milk and a generous layer of real strawberries topped with whipped cream is a truly delicious and flavorful poke cake recipe. Also called Strawberry Delight, this strawberry recipe is easy peasy.

Ingredients
 

  • 15.25 oz. Strawberry Cake and ingredients to make cake as box instructions say
  • 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
  • 16 oz. unsweetened frozen whole strawberries thawed
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip Topping thawed

Instructions

  • Bake cake according to package directions. You can use any Strawberry cake mix – Duncan Hines, Pillsbury and Betty Crocker all have Strawberry Cake Mixes.
  • Once cake is fully cooked, let stand on counter 10 minutes to slightly cool down before next steps.
  • Time to make the holes! Use a wooden handle spoon to poke little holes into the warm cake. A wooden spoon handle tends to work the best and is the perfect size.
  • Pour sweetened condensed milk onto the top layer of cake, focusing on filling the holes with the sweet milk. Do best to cover the entire cake.
  • The milk should soak into the cake.
  • Let stand until cake is room temperature before going on to next step.
  • Pour thawed strawberries over cake, including any strawberry juice from bag.
  • Top poke cake with whipped topping and serve. For a presentation that is more attractive, use a piping bag and frosting tip to make little stars on the cake. You can also do dollops with a spoon or use a can of spray whipped cream for ease.
  • Keep cake refrigerated and covered if not serving.
  • Makes 24 slices.

Notes

What can you use to poke a cake? 
Aside from a wooden handle, a fork can also do the job. Just poke much closer and more often than the large deep holes that a handle provides. As long as the liquid can get inside the cake, it works!
How to freeze a poke cake. 
I am not a huge fan of freezing cake personally, but if you want to freeze any cake leftovers, follow the method I use for most bread recipes.
  1. Cool the cake completely. There cannot be any heat left, so be patient until you have a chilled cake.
  2. Wrap in plastic wrap twice and then wrap one more time in aluminum foil.
  3. Add cake to an airtight container or freezer bag, label, and place in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 178kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 72mg | Sugar: 23g

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

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4.79 from 94 votes

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One Comment

  1. Absolutely delicious, and so simple to make.

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