boston cream poke cake featured image
Boston Cream Poke Cake is a buttery yellow cake base is poked and filled with creamy pudding mixture, then topped rich, thick chocolate glaze.
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Table of Contents
  1. About Boston Cream Pie Poke Cake
  2. Why We Love This Boston Cream Poke Cake Recipe
  3. Ingredients for Boston Cream Poke Cake
  4. Substitutions and Additions
  5. Recommended Tools
  6. How to Make Boston Cream Poke Cake
  7. How Will I Know When My Cake Is Done Baking?
  8. Tip For Making Boston Cream Pie Poke Cake
  9. How to Store a Poke Cake
  10. Frequently Asked Questions
  11. Other Easy Cake Recipes
  12. Boston Cream Poke Cake Recipe

Our Boston Cream Poke Cake is just like the famous custard-filled classic New England pie, but in a poke cake form!

Made with a buttery yellow cake mix, French vanilla pudding, and a simple chocolate ganache frosting, this hassle-free dessert tastes half the time and effort to cook as its cream pie counterpart.

Boston cream poke cake hero image

About Boston Cream Pie Poke Cake

Our recipe for Boston Cream Poke Cake uses a few simple shortcuts with an easy-to-make cake mix hack.

A soft, sweet sheet cake is quickly baked from a box of yellow butter cake mix, poked and infused with pockets of smooth and creamy french vanilla pudding, and then covered with a rich, thick chocolate ganache topping.

Although you could use a can of chocolate frosting to cover your Boston cream sheet cake, I prefer to make a homemade glaze by melting chocolate chips in hot heavy cream and then pouring the ganache on top.

With the perfect combination of moist cake, cool custard, and rich chocolate in each bite, these poked pieces have the best Boston cream poke cake flavors in every forkful.

Why We Love This Boston Cream Poke Cake Recipe

  • Quick and easy Boston cream cake recipe prepared poke style.
  • Uses simple kitchen staple ingredients.
  • Pudding poke cake recipes make the moistest desserts.
  • Can be made ahead and stored in the fridge until serving.
  • Perfect for birthdays, parties, potlucks, or holiday celebrations.

More Easy Poke Recipes

Boston Cream Poke Cake ingredients

Ingredients for Boston Cream Poke Cake

  • Yellow cake mix: You can make this recipe with white cake mix if you prefer.
  • Half and half: You can also make this recipe with whole milk or heavy cream. Be aware that the thickness of the pudding may change, depending on which one you use. 
  • Eggs
  • Salted butter: You can substitute vegetable oil instead but the cake may be a little dryer and not as rich.
  • French vanilla instant pudding or instant vanilla pudding
  • Heavy cream
  • Dark chocolate chips

Substitutions and Additions

  • Pick Your Pudding: You can substitute instant vanilla pudding or white chocolate pudding for the french vanilla flavor.
  • Choose Your Chip: You can use milk chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of dark chocolate chips.
eating boston cream poke cake
  • 9×13 inch baking dish
  • Spreading spatula
  • Microwave safe bowl
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How to Make Boston Cream Poke Cake

  1. Bake The Cake: Beat together the cake mix, half and half, eggs, and melted butter and pour the batter into the pan. Bake for at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes.
  2. Poke The Holes: Poke holes all over the cake.
    Pro Tip: Make sure that the holes are large.
  3. Prepare The Pudding: Whisk together the half and half and pudding powder and then pour the pudding mixture over the cake. Spread it evenly to cover. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
    Pro Tip: Don’t wait for the pudding to thicken before pouring it. 
  4. Make The Ganache: Microwave the heavy cream until hot and almost simmering. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and allow it to set for about 1 minute. Mix until the chocolate is melted and thick and then pour it over the cake. Spread into an even layer.
  5. Serve: Refrigerate the entire cake for at least 2 hours or overnight to set. Serve cold and enjoy!

How Will I Know When My Cake Is Done Baking?

To determine when your poke cake is done, follow the toothpick method.

Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake and if it comes out with a few crumbs on it, take it out of the oven. If it comes out with batter, the cake needs more time, and if it comes out clean, the cake needs to be removed immediately.

If you don’t have a toothpick you can tap the top, center of the cake with your finger. If it feels firm to the touch and bounces back it is done baking. If it wobbles at all or remains indented then the cake has not finished cooking and needs more time.

Tip For Making Boston Cream Pie Poke Cake

  • Be careful not to overbake your cake or it will turn out dry.
  • Make sure you use instant pudding mix and not the cook-and-serve kind.
  • Don’t make the pudding ahead of time or it will set up before the cake comes out of the oven and won’t fill your holes well.
  • It’s best to make the holes in the cake while it is still slightly warm because as it cools, the crust on top of the cake will crumble more easily.
  • To poke holes, I recommend using a large round wooden spoon handle or another similar-sized object so that the holes are fairly big and the pudding has plenty of room to seep down in between. Be sure to poke right down to the bottom of the cake.

How to Store a Poke Cake

This cake should be stored in the refrigerator and, if stored for longer than a few hours, covered loosely with plastic wrap so that it doesn’t take on any odors in the refrigerator. It will store well for 2-3 days and then you may see the pudding begin to separate and the cake may start to get soggy.
I do not recommend freezing this cake as the pudding does not freeze and thaw well.

boston cream poke cake with chocolate ganache

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I poke my holes?

Make large, deep holes in the cake with a large round wooden spoon handle as soon as it comes out of the oven. Normally a few small pokes are enough if you’re pouring a liquid on a cake, however, this pudding sets up quickly and is very thick.
Don’t be afraid to really make holes in the cake. You can even use a cupcake corer if you have one, to cut out holes for your pudding to go into.
Also, be sure to get quite a few holes all over the cake so that the pudding can be enjoyed in every piece. 

Can I make my pudding while my cake is in the oven?

Don’t make the pudding ahead of time! It is easy to be tempted to whisk together the pudding before the cake comes out of the oven but if you do so it will set up before the cake comes out and won’t fill your holes well.
You may also end up with some lumps or lumpy areas on your cake if you pre-make the pudding. Make it after you’ve baked the cake and poked the holes and then pour it on the cake while it is still liquidy and not thick. 

What is the best way to make my ganache?

Make sure to heat the cream for the ganache so that it’s very hot without scalding it. You should be able to heat it for 1 minute without any problems but be sure to stir it well at that point and then test the temperature. You will likely need to heat it more but I would reduce the time to about 30 seconds and be sure to stir it well after each microwave session so that you don’t end up with areas that are scalded. 

boston cream poke cake on a plate

Other Easy Cake Recipes

5 from 3 votes
boston cream poke cake featured image

Boston Cream Poke Cake

Serves — 15
Boston Cream Poke Cake is a buttery yellow cake base is poked and filled with creamy pudding mixture, then topped rich, thick chocolate glaze.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Chill Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 5 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 15.25 ounces box yellow cake mix
  • 5 cups half and half divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted
  • 6.8 ounces (2 3.4-ounce) boxes instant French vanilla pudding mix
  • cup heavy cream
  • 10 ounces package dark chocolate chips

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 and spray a 9×13 inch baking pan with non-stick spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat together the yellow cake mix, 1 cup half and half, eggs and the melted butter until well combined, about 2 minutes.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  • Use the back of a wooden spoon or other round tool to poke holes all over the cake. You want to make sure that the holes are rather large so really make a hole with whatever you are using.
  • Pour the remaining 4 cups of half and half in a bowl and then whisk in the two boxes of french vanilla pudding mix until combined.
  • Pour the pudding mixture over the cake and then gently spread it out evenly on the cake. Don’t wait for the pudding to thicken before pouring it.
  • Refrigerate the cake with the pudding for twenty minutes.
  • To make the ganache, place the heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes or until hot and almost simmering. It doesn’t need to boil but it does need to be very, very hot.
  • While the cream is heating, place the dark chocolate chips in a medium sized mixing bowl. Pour the hot cream over the dark chocolate chips and allow it to set for about 1 minute.
  • Mix together the chocolate chips and cream with a fork, until the chocolate is melted and thick, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Pour the ganache all over the cake and spread into an even layer with a spreading spatula.
  • Refrigerate the entire cake for at least 2 hours or overnight so everything can set. Serve cold.

Jenn’s Notes

Storage:
  • To Store: Store your poke cake covered in plastic wrap in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Tips:
  • Be careful not to over bake your cake or it will turn out dry.
  • Make sure you use instant pudding mix and not the cook and serve kind.
  • Don’t make the pudding ahead of time or it will set up before the cake comes out of the oven and won’t fill your holes well.
  • It’s best to make the holes in the cake while it is still slightly warm because as it cools, the crust on top of the cake will crumble more easily.
  • To poke holes, I recommend using a large round wooden spoon handle or other similar sized object so that the holes are fairly big and the pudding has plenty of room to seep down in between. Be sure to poke right down to the bottom of the cake.

Nutrition Info

Calories: 498kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 429mg | Potassium: 277mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 822IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 226mg | Iron: 1mg
Jennifer Fishkind

About Jenn

Jenn is a mom to three beautiful boys, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer and blogger. I love all things easy recipes, easy crafts, all things hacks, traveling EVERYWHERE and feeding my Pinterest addiction!

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