Boxed cake mix is dressed up with a sweet cream of coconut filling and frosted with whipped topping and shredded coconut. This easy Coconut Poke Cake is a delicious dessert that makes enough to feed a crowd.
At first bite, you’d never guess this moist, delicious Coconut Poke Cake starts with a boxed cake mix.
This easy cake recipe is baked in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish and makes enough to feed a crowd. And, I guarantee you, they are going to LOVE it!
Whipped topping and shredded coconut give the cake an angelic look that’s perfect for a spring or summer gathering. But, I wouldn’t hesitate to bake this cake anytime of year for any reason at all.
This cake is a coconut lovers dream!
Table of contents
- White cake mix – I use Betty Crocker Super Moist White Cake Mix. You’ll also need the items listed on the box to prepare the cake – eggs, water, and vegetable oil.
- Cream of coconut – Cream of coconut should not be confused with unsweetened coconut cream or coconut milk. This sweet, syrupy stuff is what adds coconut flavor to Pina Coladas so look for it in the alcohol section where they stock the mixers. If you don’t find it at the grocery store, liquor stores should have it.
- Sweetened condensed milk – A can of sweetened condensed milk is combined with the cream of coconut and a little sour cream for the poke cake filling.
- Sour cream – Either light or full fat sour cream with both work equally well. Use what you have!
- Frozen whipped topping – Like Cool Whip, fully thawed overnight in the refrigerator.
- Sweetened shredded coconut – You’ll find shredded coconut in the baking section. Be sure to pick up the sweetened version.
FAQ and Valerie’s Tips
Yes. But the benefit of using frozen whipped topping, like Cool Whip, is that it doesn’t melt as easily. It holds up well for a longer time, making the leftovers last longer. This is exactly the type of dessert where Cool Whip shines. With all of that said, you can substitute 3 cups of freshly whipped cream for an 8 ounce container of frozen whipped topping, if you’d like.
Any brand of cake mix that makes enough to bake in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish will work just fine. Just be sure to use the ingredients and follow the instructions listed on the box when baking your cake.
Yes! This cake is also delicious with yellow cake mix. However, I really like the angelic look of white cake mix with the white topping and shredded coconut.
Nope! Cream of coconut is just coconut cream that has been sweetened. It doesn’t contain any alcohol but is commonly used to make tropical drinks.
How to Make Coconut Poke Cake
- Bake the Cake – Prepare and bake the cake according to the package directions.
- Prepare the Filling – While it’s in the oven, combine the cream of coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and sour cream in a small bowl.
- Poke – Remove the cake from the oven. Using a wooden skewer, pierce all over the top of the cake to within 1-inch of the edge.
- Fill and Chill – Spoon the cream of coconut mixture evenly over the cake, spreading it gently with the back of a spoon to fill the holes. Cool completely. At this point, the cake can be covered and refrigerated overnight, if desired.
- Frost and Garnish – When ready to serve, spread the whipped topping over the cake and sprinkle with the shredded coconut.
The Best Way to Poke a Poke Cake
People use everything from the tines of a fork, to a wooden kabob skewer, or even the handle of a wooden spoon to poke holes in the cake.
I’ve tried them all and found that my favorite way to make holes in a poke cake is with the thick end of a chopstick. They’re the perfect size to create holes that allow the filling to easily seep inside, without them being too large that they ruin the integrity of the cake.
I recommend making this cake a day in advance and refrigerating it overnight before frosting. As it chills, the cake base will absorb the coconut cream filling and take on a wonderful texture.
When ready to serve, frost with the whipped topping and garnish the cake with the shredded coconut.
This Coconut Poke Cake recipe contains dairy and should be refrigerated as soon as it cools to room temperature, either before or after frosting. Refrigerate leftovers, covered with plastic wrap, for four to five days.
More Easy Cake Recipes You’ll Love
- One Bowl Chocolate Cake
- Black Russian Cake
- Butterscotch Poppy Seed Bundt Cake
- Banana Cake with Chocolate Walnut Glaze
Coconut Poke Cake
- 16.25 ounce package white cake mix, like Betty Crocker Super Moist White Cake Mix
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup vegetable oil
For the Coconut Cream Topping
- 15 ounces cream of coconut
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup sour cream, light or regular
For the Whipped Topping Layer
- 8 ounces frozen whipped topping, like Cool Whip, thawed
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 13- x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Prepare the cake as instructed on the box mix using whole eggs (not egg whites), water, and vegetable oil. Bake in the prepared baking dish for 28 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the cream of coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and sour cream.
- Remove the cake from the oven. Using a wooden skewer, pierce all over the top of the cake to within 1-inch of the edge. Spoon the cream of coconut mixture evenly over the cake, spreading it gently with the back of a spoon to fill the holes. Cool completely. At this point, the cake can be covered and refrigerated overnight, if desired.
- When ready to serve, spread whipped topping over the cake and sprinkle with the shredded coconut.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.