This Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake recipe is so simple to make using my favorite shortcuts to save time and an easy cake mix hack.

Our strawberry cake is baked from a box, poked and infused with pockets of cheesecake pudding, covered with Cool Whip, then topped with fresh sliced strawberries before serving.

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Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake

Our Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake is so easy to make using only a cake mix (plus ingredients called for on the box), milk, packets of instant pudding, whipped topping, and chopped strawberries to spread on top.

This strawberry poke cake recipe starts by baking a simple sheet cake from a box, then it’s poked with a wooden spoon handle, piped with creamy pudding that sinks into holes, and then covered with Cool Whip, so that each poked piece is filled with my favorite strawberries and cream flavors in every forkful.

It’s always fun to see the pockets of pudding surrounded by the pretty pink cake; it makes the softest and most flavorful combination of strawberry cake and cheesecake fused into one delicious dessert.

A strawberry poke cake with cheesecake pudding is the perfect mix of moist cake and creamy filling; it’s a hassle-free treat that takes half the time and effort to cook as its strawberry cheesecake counterpart.

Why We Love Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake

  • Quick and easy to make using a box of cake mix as the base.
  • Uses only 4 ingredients plus what’s called for on the box.
  • Moist cake, creamy filling, fluffy topping, and fresh fruity flavor in every berry-filled bite.
  • Pudding poke cake recipes make the moistest and delicious desserts.
  • Perfect for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, birthday parties, potlucks, or holiday celebrations.
Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake ingredients

Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake Ingredients

  • Strawberry cake mix
  • Water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Eggs
  • Instant cheesecake pudding
  • Whole milk
  • Cool Whip frozen whipped topping
  • Fresh strawberries

Substitutions and Additions

  • Swap The Strawberries: You can substitute pink sprinkles, pink nonpareils, a drizzle of strawberry sauce, or crushed strawberry cookies for the fresh chopped strawberries.
  • Box Mix Brand: I used Duncan Hines Perfectly Moist Strawberry Supreme cake mix but feel free to use a Betty Crocker or Pillsbury cake mix or any other brand you prefer.
  • Tasty Toppings: For more texture and additional sweet taste, you can top your poke cake with graham cracker crumbs, crushed Nilla Wafers, or shortbread cookie crumbles.
  • Pick Another Poke Cake: Poke cake dessert recipes can be customized with your favorite flavors of cake mix and filling. For other fun flavor combinations, try my Banana Pudding Poke Cake, Boston Cream Poke Cake, Eggnog Poke Cake, Oreo Poke Cake, Rainbow Poke Cake, and more.
Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake sliced on a plate
  • 9×13 baking dish
  • Baker’s spray (Baker’s Joy or generic version)
  • Wooden spoon
  • Handheld mixer
  • Whisk or hand-mixer
  • Piping bag fitted with a large 1A decorator’s tip
  • Offset spatula

How to Make Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake

  1. Bake The Cake: Mix together the cake mix, water, and oil, then add the eggs, one at a time. Pour the batter into the baking dish and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-28 minutes.
  2. Poke: Poke holes in the cake, about 1-1½ inches apart. Allow the cake to cool completely. 
  3. Prepare The Pudding: Mix together the instant pudding mixes and milk until the pudding begins to thicken. Pipe the pudding into each hole, and smooth any leftover pudding over the top of the cake.
  4. Chill: Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  5. Slice and Serve: Spread the whipped topping over the pudding layer and sprinkle with strawberries. Slice and keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Tips For Making the Best Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake

  • You can also use a long filling tip instead of the 1A decorator’s tip to fill the poke holes. It is a matter of preference. 
  • Once the cake is completely cooled, you can go back and re-poke the cake holes with the end of the spoon. That way, if the crumbs of the cake refill in, you will have a cleaner hole for the pudding.
  • You can add 1-2 drops of red food coloring if your cake batter is a bit too light in color.

How to Store Poke Cake

  • To Store: Store any leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To Freeze: You can freeze the cake after you have added the pudding for up to 1 month. Allow the cake to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before topping it with the thawed whipped topping and strawberries.
Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake on spatula

More Poke Cake Recipes

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a poke cake?

A poke cake is a freshly baked cake, either from a box or from scratch, poked with holes and filled with a liquid or creamy filling to infuse flavor. Popular fillings include condensed milk, pureed fruit, chocolate cream, caramel or chocolate sauce, or pudding, like in this recipe.

Can I use homemade whipped cream in this recipe?

If you prefer to use a homemade whipped cream, you can absolutely make your own whipped topping. Homemade whipped cream often doesn’t stay stabilized for long though, so it won’t hold up as well as Cool Whip or a store-bought whipped topping.

top shot of Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake with toppings

Other Easy Cake Recipes

5 from 19 votes
Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake featured image

Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake

Serves — 12
Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake is easy to make by baking a cake mix from a box, poking it with holes, filling them with pudding, and covering it with Cool Whip and sliced strawberries.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 28 minutes
Rest and Chill Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 13 minutes

Ingredients
  

Strawberry Cake

  • 15.25 ounce box of strawberry cake mix
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs room temperature

Cheesecake pudding

  • 7 ounces (2 3.5-ounce) boxes of cheesecake instant pudding
  • cups cold whole milk
  • 8 ounce container of whipped topping thawed
  • 1 cup strawberries washed, dried, capped, hulled, and chopped strawberries (optional garnish)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with baker’s spray (Baker’s Joy or generic version)
  • Add the cake mix, water, and oil to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Use a handheld mixer on medium speed to mix the ingredients together until well combined.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each egg until incorporated and no yellow streaks are visible.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 25-28 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes away clean.
  • Allow the cake to cool slightly. Use the handle of a wooden mixing spoon to poke holes in the cake about 1-1½ inches apart. Allow the cake to cool completely.
  • Add both packages of instant pudding mix to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the cold milk and use a handheld mixer on medium speed to mix for about 1 minute until the pudding begins to thicken.
  • Add 1½ cups to a disposable piping bag fitted with a large 1A decorator’s tip or a quart-size ziplock bag with a corner snipped off.
  • Pipe the pudding into each hole, filling the holes up completely. (If you have any leftover pudding, add it to the remaining pudding for topping.)
  • Use an offset spatula to smooth the remaining pudding over the top of the cake.
  • Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  • Evenly spread the thawed whipped topping over the pudding layer. Sprinkle with the chopped strawberries. Slice and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Jenn’s Notes

Storage:
  • To Store: Store any leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To Freeze: You can freeze the cake after you have added the pudding for up to 1 month. Allow the cake to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before topping it with the thawed whipped topping and strawberries.
Tips:
  • You can also use a long filling tip instead of the 1A decorator’s tip to fill the poke holes. It is a matter of preference.
  • Once the cake is completely cooled, you can go back and re-poke the cake holes with the end of the spoon. That way, if the crumbs of the cake refill in, you will have a cleaner hole for the pudding.
  • You can add 1-2 drops of red food coloring if your cake batter is a bit too light in color.

Nutrition Info

Calories: 319kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.004g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 529mg | Potassium: 159mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 190IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 177mg | Iron: 1mg

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this for a party. It was super simple and amazing. It all got ate up in one day, no leftovers!

      1. I made cupcakes with this recipe. I just poked one larger whole in the middle of the cupcake. Then spread a small amount of the cheesecake filling on top. After chilling, I used the Dream Whip to make my own whipped topping and topped off with 1 strawberry.