Boston Cream Poke Cake is a very easy and delicious twist on the classic Boston Cream Pie. This dessert starts with a buttery yellow cake base infused with pockets of French vanilla pudding and topped with a chocolate glaze. It is the perfect way to impress your family & guests with your effortless baking skills. I like to keep a box of yellow cake and pudding in my pantry just in case I need to throw this dessert together on the fly!
This Boston Cream Poke Cake recipe is my family go-to for picnics, holiday mornings, and special occasions. It pairs perfectly with hot coffee and cold milk.
My kids and I love the thought of eating this amazing cake not only for dessert but also for breakfast.
Ingredients You Will Need:
- Yellow cake mix: Use Betty Crocker Super Moist Yellow Cake mix, it holds the pudding filling the best
- Instant French vanilla pudding: I like to stick to the Jell-O name brand because it has the richest flavor.
- Milk: I use whole milk. Whole milk makes the creamiest and tastiest filling, but you can use 2%, skim, or lactose-free milk.
- Chocolate frosting: I use Rich & Creamy frosting by Betty Crocker – it tastes homemade.
How to make Boston Cream Poke Cake?
For the Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 F
- Prepare the cake batter according to the package instructions. Using a stand or a hand mixer on medium speed, beat together the cake mix, water, oil, and eggs in a bowl until smooth, or whisk vigorously for 2 minutes if you don’t have a mixer. Pour into a greased 9×13-inch pan.
- Bake as directed (28-33 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted in center
comes out with just a few crumbs.
- While the cake is still warm, poke holes in it using the other end of a wooden spoon.
For the Filling:
- Mix pudding powder with milk.
- Whisk until all lumps are gone, about 2 minutes. The pudding should be pourable but not thin.
- Pour pudding all over the cake gently pressing it into the holes.
- Place the cake in the refrigerator to cool for about 30 minutes.
For the Frosting
- Remove foil from frosting
- Microwave for 10-15 seconds and stir. Frosting should be warm enough just to make it pourable.
- Pour frosting over the cake and spread gently.
Tips for the BEST Boston Cream Poke Cake:
- Poke holes evenly all over the top of the cake so every bite is filled with delicious French vanilla pudding. Do this as soon as the cake is out of the oven.
- Pudding thickens quickly so when poking holes, use something significantly larger than a toothpick. I suggest using the round end of a wooden spoon to allow the pudding to settle evenly into the cake.
- Do not overcook your cake. Use the toothpick method – if a few crumbs are left on the toothpick, it is ready. If the toothpick comes out clean – pull out the cake immediately.
Prepare pudding after poking holes into the cake. If you prepare your pudding before poking the holes, (like you may be tempted to do) the pudding will be too thick to settle into them.
If you want your cake to have a more homemade flavor – substitute the water for milk.
If you don’t like store-bought chocolate frosting, try making homemade ganache – this recipe is the best! All you need is: two 4-ounce semi-sweet chocolate bars (chopped finely) & 1 cup of heavy cream or whipping cream.
- Place chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl.
- Heat cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it begins to simmer – stirring constantly.
- Pour cream over the chocolate.
- Stir with a rubber spatula until the chocolate has melted.
To make the French vanilla filling in your Boston Cream Poke Cake more flavorful, you could scrape the inside of a vanilla bean and add this to the pudding.
This Boston Cream Poke Cake should be stored in the refrigerator and covered with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying or taking on funny fridge smells. This cake will store for 2-3 days (if it lasts that long!) Do not freeze this cake – pudding does not freeze well.
Ingredients for the cake:
For the filling:
For the glaze:
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 434Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 535mgCarbohydrates: 78gFiber: 0.8gSugar: 57gProtein: 6g