Pumpkin Poke Cake Recipe

5 / 5 (1 review) 5 Comments

Try this super easy pumpkin recipe!

No one will ever guess that this pumpkin recipe is made with a cake mix! The cake is incredibly moist and dense – it is almost like a shortcut pumpkin Tres Leches and tastes almost like a pumpkin cheesecake. Gotta love poke cakes! They always seem to be easy, delicious, and full of flavor.

The ingredients are super simple. The batter consists of only the dry cake mix from a box, pure pumpkin, and the pumpkin pie spice. It is definitely a thick batter, but pumpkin naturally has enough moisture to make this work. Be sure to use the 100% pure pumpkin and not the canned pumpkin pie filling. 

A 3-ingredient cake with sweetened condensed milk poured over the top and frosted with whipped topping. Easy, right?! If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice around, you can make your own spice blend – pumpkin pie spice recipe.

I like to dress this cake up by turning it out onto a serving platter after it cools, but you can simply leave it in the pan if you want. Then poke holes all over the top – a round mixing spoon handle works well for this task.

Pour on the sweetness! Try to pour the sweetened condensed milk slowly so it has time to soak into the holes. Then let it soak in further while the cake refrigerates overnight, or at least for a few hours.

The light and fluffy whipped topping is a nice contrast to the dense cake. You can do just whipped topping, or mix in some cream cheese and powdered sugar. Either way it is delicious! If desired, you can add toffee bits and/or caramel sauce on top of that too.

nordic ware cake pan with lid 9x9

A 9×9 pan works well for this cake and is also perfect for baking a standard size brownie mix!

Pumpkin Poke Cake Recipe

5 / 5 (1 review)
Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 35-40 mins
Yield: 9x9 pan | Serves: 9 servings


  • Cake

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 15 ounces 100% pure pumpkin (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • Topping

  • 8 ounces whipped topping, thawed
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened (optional)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (optional)
  • toffee bits and/or caramel sauce (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x9 baking pan well.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the dry cake mix, pumpkin pie spice, and the pumpkin. The batter will be thick. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cake cool completely.
  4. Turn out onto a serving platter, if desired. Using the handle of a mixing spoon, poke holes all over the top of the cake. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the cake, aiming to fill the holes. Refrigerate for at least a few hours, but overnight is best.
  5. Spread an 8-ounce tub of whipped topping over the cake, or make the whipped cream cheese frosting by beating together the whipped topping, cream cheese, and powdered sugar until smooth. If desired, sprinkle toffee bits or caramel sauce, or both, over the top. Keep refrigerated.

Recipe Adapted From: Something Swanky

Ingredients: Cake Mix, Caramel, Cream Cheese, Pumpkin, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Sugar, Sweetened Condensed Milk, Whipped Topping
Meal Type: Desserts, Fall, Thanksgiving, Meatless
Categories: Cakes and Cupcakes, Oven

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