Coconut Pudding Poke Cake is so moist and perfectly sweet because you “poke” holes into the cake to enable the homemade coconut pudding to be in each bite.
I had never heard of poke cake until right before I made this. I actually had to look it up on wikipedia. The explanation is simple – you poke the cake to let something wonderful fill the holes. No one likes a dry cake, so here’s how you make the ultimate moist cake. This was one of my favorite cakes I’ve ever made. Don’t get me wrong – I love to make homemade cakes from scratch. But we don’t always have the time nor the desire to do so. the next best option, in my opinion, are the Trader Joe’s cake mixes. In true TJ’s fashion, they don’t offer a ton of options, but their vanilla cake mix is out of this world delicious… and easy.
Just look at those beautiful specs of vanilla bean. You know I’m a lover of all things vanilla.
A wooden spoon works great, but all of my wooden spoons have rectangular handles instead of round, and I’m such a freak in the kitchen I couldn’t handle odd shaped holes in my cake, so I found my silicon brush and it worked perfectly. My OCD almost got in the way of me poking that first whole in this beautiful cake, but once the first one went in, my destructive side had fun and went to down with the whole poking. I actually wish I had put twice as many wholes as I did below so that there would be even more pudding in each bite of the cake.
For you to be able to enjoy this recipe like I did, you must make a batch of homemade coconut pudding. Sure you could use any kind of store bought pudding, but then you wouldn’t feel the sheer and utter joy I did. And believe me, you’ll want to.
After I spread the coconut pudding filled with tiny little specs of sweetened toasted coconut into all the holes, I topped with even more sweetened toasted coconut. Wouldn’t you want to do the same thing? I thought yes, so I did.
In my opinion, frosting can either make or break a cake. More times than not, it is too sweet and/or fatty and you end up feeling sick after devouring a piece. That’s why I fell in love with this cake. The pudding combined with the cake was the perfect balance of sweet and creamy. My kids freaking loved it too (shocking, I know).
So the next time you get signed up to bring a dessert to a summer potluck because your last name starts with M-Z, make everyone happy by bringing this Coconut Pudding Poke Cake!
This recipe uses pure vanilla extract. Did you know you can make your own homemade vanilla extract? It makes the perfect gift too. Watch how in the video below.
- Trader Joe's Vanilla Cake mix (plus the below ingredients required from the cake mix)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 stick melted butter (1/2 cup)
- 1 cup cold milk
- follow directions from the homemade coconut pudding post
- To bake the cake, follow the directions on the box. You can substitute any other cake mix, but be aware that the Trader Joe's brand makes an 8x8x2 cake, where as big brand cake mixes often make a 9x13x2, so you will either have extra cake batter or you will have less pudding to cake ratio.
- Make homemade coconut pudding according to the post instructions. Mix half of the toasted coconut into the cooled pudding and reserve the other half.
- Using the handle of a wooden spoon (or something similar), poke holes that are about an inch apart in your cooled cake. Spread cooled pudding over cake. Top with remaining toasted coconut. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Cut into 9 squares while in pan and serve.