Easy Pumpkin Caramel Poke Cake Recipe

Easy Pumpkin Caramel Poke Cake Recipe – This superbly moist pumpkin spiced cake is so easy to make with the use of a revamped cake-mix. With its pockets of sweetened condensed milk, not-too-sweet caramel sauce, and clouds of caramel whipped cream and pecans, this cake is a sure hit with the crowd!

Servings: 12



1 (15.25oz/ 433g) box yellow or vanilla cake mix *(using exact weight is important; see note)
1 cup (8oz/ 227g) canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable or sunflower oil
4 eggs
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (reduce to 2 teaspoons if you don’t like a lot of spice; see not for substitution)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/4 cups (8 3/4oz/ 248g) packed dark brown sugar (light is fine)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (3 oz/ 85g) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1 (14 oz/ 397g) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
1 1/2 cup very cold heavy whipping cream or 1 (12oz) tub whipped topping
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted (optional)



Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350F/180C. Grease or spray the bottom of a 13×9-inch pan.

In a large bowl, beat cake mix, pumpkin puree, water, oil, eggs, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon with electric mixer on low speed until moistened. Increase speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally, until well combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 26 to 33 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Meanwhile make the caramel topping.


In a 2-quart saucepan, heat whipping cream, brown sugar and butter over medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 12 to 15 minutes (set a timer), stirring frequently, until thickened to the consistency of thick caramel sauce and deepens in color. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.

Measure out 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the caramel and set aside in a small bowl. Measure out another 2 tablespoons of the topping and set aside in another small bowl. Cover both bowls with plastic wrap and allow to cool to room temperature; they will later be used to make the whipped cream and to garnish the cake. Allow the remaining caramel topping in the saucepan to cool slightly, about 5 minutes before pouring over the cake.


Poke warm cake every inch, 3/4 of the way down, with the handle of a wooden spoon or the thick end of a chopstick. Slowly pour condensed milk all over cake. Let stand until milk has been absorbed into cake, about 5 minutes. Slowly drizzle the hot caramel topping, pressing slightly with a spatula into holes.

Allow the cake to cool completely before topping with the caramel whipped cream.

Spread the caramel whipped cream (recipe below) over the the cooled cake, sprinkle with the chopped pecans and drizzle with the reserved and cooled caramel topping. Warm the caramel slightly, if too stiff to work with,


For best whipping results, place the bowl of the electric mixer and the whisk attachment in the freezer for about 10 minutes to get them really cold before using.

In the chilled bowl, whip the cold heavy whipping cream with the chilled whisk attachment until foamy.

Add in the reserved, cooled *(see note below) 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons caramel topping. Whip together until the caramel is incorporated and stiff peaks form. Alternatively, if using ready-made whipped topping, simply fold in the caramel topping.

The caramel whipped cream, is now ready to use as directed in step 3 of ‘assembling the cake.’


I used both Pillsbury and Betty Crocker cake mixes with great results.

Make sure you use a (15.25oz) cake mix, as using a different size will alter the results. If a (12.7oz) cake-mix is all you can find as in some countries, then buy 2 boxes, use 1 whole box then add to it (2.5oz, 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons) from the other box. Save the remains of the second box for another use.

Pumpkin pie spice can be substituted with 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon all spice.

Make sure that the caramel topping is just at room temperature and NOT chilled before adding it to the whipped cream. Cold caramel topping will not dissolve well into the whipped cream and may create bits throughout.

Source: cleobuttera.com

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