Who loves poke cake? I sure do. If you haven’t made one before, poke cake gets its name because you poke the cake all over which allows the frosting or jello or filling (or whatever wonderful thing it is you’ve put on top) to sink down into the holes and lend extra flavor to every bite. It always provides for a moist and extremely tasty cake and this Eggnog Poke Cake is all those things, but it’s festive too. (And a little boozy, if you so desire.)
Like most poke cakes, this one starts with a box of cake mix, which keeps things really easy. Rather than just the requisite eggs and oil that usually go along with a mix, we’ve added some egg nog to the batter too.
You pour the batter into a 9×13-inch baking dish and bake it until it’s a nice golden brown.
Once it’s out of the oven, you poke holes all over the cake. The end of a wooden spoon works great because it creates large enough holes for the flavor to really get down into the sponge, but it doesn’t decimate the crumb entirely.
The filling gets poured over the top and it works its way down into all those holes.
You might have guessed this already, but the filling involves eggnog. It also involves some instant vanilla pudding and brandy to thicken and liven things up.
Now, if you don’t want brandy in your filling, you can opt to leave it out. It doesn’t get cooked out and a half cup does go a pretty long way, so if you’re sharing this with the kiddos you might want to forgo it. Just use a bit of extra eggnog in its place. It’s still just as festive, and it’s a creamy, moist, delicious winter treat!
Eggnog Poke Cake
45 minutes to prepare serves 10-12
- For the cake:
- 1 box white cake mix
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup eggnog
- For the filling:
- 1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla pudding
- 1/2 cup brandy (optional, see note)
- 1 1/2 cups eggnog
- 3 cups whipped topping
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9x13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the cake mix, eggs, oil, and eggnog. Pour into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes.
- Once cake has cooled, poke holes all over cake using the end of a wooden spoon.
- In a large bowl, whisk together pudding, brandy (if using), and eggnog. Before pudding has a chance to thicken, pour evenly over the cake. Place in refrigerator to chill for at least 15 minutes, but ideally one hour.
- Gently stir cinnamon and nutmeg into whipped topping and spread evenly over the top. Slice, serve, and enjoy!
- Note: If you don't want to use brandy, use the equivalent amount of eggnog instead.
Recipe adapted from A Few Shortcuts.