Pumpkin Poke Cake

Author: Rachel

Published Date: October 31, 2021

If you think you’ve had enough of pumpkin and fall flavors this season, then you have yet to try this scrumptious Pumpkin Poke Cake! It’s an overload of moist and delicious spiced pumpkin cake topped with layers of fluffy whipped cream, crunchy toffee bits, and gooey caramel sauce. This chilled dessert is a heavenly piece of fall perfection in a cake form. Just seeing it is not enough; you’ve definitely got to try it!

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The Best Fall Cake Recipe Ever!

Oh .My. Goodness!!! You’re going to LOVE this! I’ve had a decent amount of pumpkin treats this season and shared my favorite pumpkin recipes like Pumpkin Brownies and Pumpkin Fluff. I adore both of them, and they were such a big hit with my family and friends. And then, I made THIS! It’s like having both my brownies and my fluff in one glorious treat! It is made of a soft and moist pumpkin-infused cake base layered with cool whip and topped with Skor bits and caramel sauce. It involves some idle time while it bakes and chills, so be prepared to wait. But this pumpkin spice poke cake is absolutely worth it for sure!

What is a Poke Cake?

The term literally describes this baked cake recipe. It is made by creating holes in the cake after baking and filling it with different kinds of thick liquid mixture. The purpose of this is to infuse more flavor and moisture into the cake. Classic poke cake recipes use pudding and jello as fillings, too. 

Pumpkin Poke Cake s
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Why This Recipe Works?

  • It is so easy to make! Using a dry cake mix reduces the time and effort but not the quality. You just have to make the batter, bake, chill, then layer it with all the good stuff!
  • Make this easy pumpkin dessert ahead of time, and you have a delightful poke cake waiting for you the next day.
  • Using simple ingredients that are easy to find this time of year, this pumpkin caramel poke cake is the best way to celebrate the pumpkin season.
  • This recipe makes enough for a small family, with plenty left to look forward to the next few days. However, if you are making this for a larger group, it is easy enough to double the recipe to make two or three pans instead.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Pumpkin puree
  • Yellow cake mix
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Frozen whipped topping
  • Caramel sauce
  • Skor bits
Pumpkin Poke Cake Ingredients
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Kitchen Tools You’ll Need

  • 9X13 baking dish
  • Stand mixer or hand mixer
  • Wooden spoon

Make this Pumpkin Poke Cake


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray a 9X13 inch baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • Thaw the frozen whipping topping.


  1. Using a large mixing bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, yellow cake mix, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger until smooth and well incorporated.
  2. Pour batter into the prepared pan and spread the mixture evenly using a spatula.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Then place the pan on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes.
  4. Poke holes on the surface of the cake using the end of the handle of a wooden spoon or spatula.
  5. Pour the condensed milk on top of cake and fill the holes. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  6. Once the cake cools, layer it evenly with cool whip, sprinkle Skor bits on the surface, and drizzle with caramel sauce.
  7. Chill in the fridge for a minimum of three hours to overnight. Serve and enjoy!
Pumpkin Poke Cake Process
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Tips when making Pumpkin Poke Cake

  • Do not overmix the batter, or you will have a dry and dense cake. Mix only until no dry ingredients are visibly lumped together. Small lumps on your cake batter are okay.
  • Check if the cake is done by poking a toothpick in the center of cake. It has to be clean of sticky batter when you pull it out.
  • Make sure to poke holes an inch apart from each other. Too many holes will make the cake soggy. On the other hand, too few of them will rob you of that super moist texture.
  • Do not poke all the way to the bottom. This might cause the condensed milk to pool at the base instead of evenly distributed in the whole cake.
  • Tap the baking pan on the counter after filling the holes with condensed milk. This is to ensure you get rid of any air pockets within the cake.
  • Be patient with the chilling time! This gooey caramel pumpkin cake needs to be appropriately set for a few hours. Serving it prematurely will result in a messy gloppy mess.

Storage Notes

Store this cake covered in the fridge for up to 5 days. If you are going to freeze this dessert, do not put on the frozen whipped topping, caramel sauce, and Skor bits until you take the cake out of the freezer. Take the cake out of the freezer the day before you are going to use it. Put on the frozen whipped topping, caramel sauce, and Skor bits. Then put it into the fridge at least overnight.

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Frequently Asked Questions for Pumpkin Poke Cake

Can I use white sugar instead of brown?

 Yes, just use the same amount.

I can’t find Skor bits – what else could I use?

Heath toffee bits will work just the same if it is available at your local grocery stores. Or you could use 2 Skor or Heath bars and just chop them up.

Could I use whipped cream instead of whipped topping?

Yes! You will want to whip the cream until the peaks are stiff. Make sure that the cake is thoroughly cooled before you spread on the whipped cream. I just find that the cool whip topping lasts longer than homemade whipped cream.

Could I just use pumpkin spice instead of mixing in the cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg?

That will work just as well. Use 1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice.

Could I use pumpkin pie filling instead of pureed pumpkin?

Sure- in this case, you could leave out the pumpkin pie spice.

I don’t have sweetened condensed milk – can I just use condensed or evaporated milk? 

No, these are very different. The sweetened condensed milk is not only sweeter but much thicker as well. 

Can I use chocolate sauce instead?

If you prefer it, then go ahead. You can also use a combination of both.

Is this the same as the BTS Pumpkin Cake recipe?

Yes, it is. I just used a more internet-friendly title for my page. 

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If you’ve tried these PUMPKIN POKE CAKE or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how they turned out. We love hearing from you! You can also follow along with me on FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM to see more colorful recipes!

Pumpkin Poke Cake
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Pumpkin Poke Cake

3.67 from 6 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Cooling Time 4 hours
Servings 12 servings
Calories 335 kcal
If you think you have had enough of pumpkin and fall flavors this season, then you have yet to try this scrumptious Pumpkin Poke Cake! It's an overload of moist and delicious spiced pumpkin cake topped with layers of fluffy whipped cream, crunchy toffee bits, and gooey caramel sauce.


  • 1 can pumpkin puree, 15 ounce
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 14 ounce
  • 1 tub of frozen whipped topping, 8 ounce, thawed
  • 1 cup caramel sauce, ounce
  • ½ bag of toffee bits, 8 ounce


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9X13 inch baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • Mix the pumpkin puree, yellow cake mix, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a large bowl. (Feel free to use a stand or hand mixer for this step.)
  • When the batter is fully combined and smooth, pour it into the prepared baking dish. The batter is a bit thicker consistently so use a spatula to spread it evenly.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes. A toothpick inserted should come out clean.
  • Allow the cake to cool (in the pan, on a wire rack) for 15 minutes.
  • Use the round end of a wooden spoon or spatula to poke holes about every inch on the top of the cake (you don’t need to poke all the way to the bottom).
  • Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the cake, allowing it to fill all of the holes. It will soak into the cake.
  • Place the cake in the fridge for at least ½ an hour.
  • When you remove the cake from the fridge, spread the cool whip all over the top.
  • Sprinkle the skor bits over the top. Finish off by drizzling on the caramel sauce.
  • Then place the cake back in the fridge and allow it to sit for a minimum of 3 hours. (It is best made the day ahead and left in the fridge overnight.)


Calories: 335kcalCarbohydrates: 71gProtein: 5gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 424mgPotassium: 235mgFiber: 2gSugar: 40gVitamin A: 5624IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 207mgIron: 2mg
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Tried this recipe?Mention @sweettea_and_sprinkles or tag #sweetteaandsprinkles

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