Strawberry Poke Cake, with a delicious sweet center, is made with with tons of real strawberries and whipped topping. Truly one of the easiest recipes to bring your cake from boring to WOAH, poke cakes are designed to be a potluck or picnics best friend.
Strawberry Poke Cake with Whipped Topping
This easy strawberry poke cake is an incredibly delicious dessert cake and an amazing presentation for large crowds. So easy to make with strawberry cake mix (like Duncan Hines is fine) and sweetened condensed milk, you will love every bite of this strawberries and cream cake. This is also a great cake for holidays like Valentines Day (because its sweet and pink) and July 4th, where strawberries are super popular.
Scroll to the bottom for a printable version of this post, including all measurements and instructions, so you can follow along in your kitchen without being on your phone.
Here is what you need to gather to get started:
- strawberry cake
- sweetened condensed milk
- unsweetened frozen whole strawberries
- whipped topping
Needed For this Recipe
- 1M Frosting Tip
- 18″ pastry bags
- 9 x 13 pan
Sweetened Strawberries vs Unsweetened Strawberries
I used unsweetened strawberries which was a nice contrast to the sweet cake and sweetened condensed milk. I also used unsweetened strawberries and the lightly sweetened cool whip for the top.
I think if you sweeten the berries, like the way you do for Strawberry short cake, the cake will be VERY sweet.
Fresh Strawberries vs Frozen Strawberries
I use frozen but thawed strawberries. They send to be softer and are perfect for poke cakes.
You could likely use fresh strawberries if you softened them with sugar, however that would make the cake super sweet. If simply use fresh but unsweetened strawberries, you would be missing out on the extra bit of juice.
Frozen strawberries work the best for this poke cake.
Strawberry Poke Cake Recipe
To get started on your strawberry poke cake recipe, bake cake according to package directions and let stand 10 minutes once you remove it from the oven.
Use a wooden handle spoon to poke holes into the warm cake.
Pour sweetened condensed milk onto top of cake, focusing on filling the holes.
The milk will soak into the cake.
Let stand until cake is room temperature.
Pour thawed strawberries over cake, including the juice from the bag.
Top cake with whipped topping (see note on pipping whipped topping) and serve.
If not ready to serve, refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.
Recipe makes 24 slices.
Cool Whipped Topping
If 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 just want to use a knife and spread it on top prior to serving, there is nothing wrong with that either.
Just keep in mind that cool whip is susceptible to weather and melting, it is dairy after all, so make sure the poke cake is kept cold before its time to serve.
You can also easily replace your cool whipped topping with a frosting like cream cheese if you prefer or really serve as is with extra strawberries.
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to serving desserts.
Make sure you print the recipe card below to help you baking in the kitchen.
Your opinion matters to me – so if you make this recipe and loved it or have improvements, please leave me a comment and let me know!
Strawberry Poke Cake with Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1 box - 15.25 oz, strawberry cake and ingredients to make cake
- 1 can - 14 oz, sweetened condensed milk
- 1 package - 16 oz, unsweetened frozen whole strawberries, thawed
- 1 tub - 8 oz, whipped topping, thawed
- 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 top layer of cake, focusing on filling the holes with the sweet milk.
- 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 presentation is more attractive to use a piping bag and frosting tip to make little stars on the cake, however, 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.