October 25, 2023Review Recipe
Table of Contents
Our coconut poke cake brings visions of a tropical island with its incredible flavors and moist texture. The cream of coconut adds another layer of flavor along with a light, fluffy Cool Whip topping, and with only 4 ingredients, this sweet cake comes together in a snap to create a deliciously impressive dessert.
Coconut Poke Cake Ingredients
- 1 box yellow cake mix with pudding
- 2 cups shredded coconut
- 1 (15-ounce) can cream of coconut
- 16 ounces Cool Whip whipped topping
Make sure you buy cream of coconut and not coconut milk. Cream of coconut is thicker and richer than coconut milk and is the sweetened version of coconut cream! You can usually find the cream of coconut in the alcohol aisle of the grocery store near the margarita mixes.
SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS
CAKE MIX: We used yellow cake mix in this recipe, but other recipes call for white cake mix, which would work just as well. There are plenty of different cake mixes you can get at the store. Try one of those if you find a box of cake mix that works well with the coconut flavor. Just try to pick one that is a cake and pudding mix combined.
CRUSHED PINEAPPLE: For even more flavor, you could add crushed pineapple to make a piña colada poke cake. Add maraschino cherries as well for a fun topper.
COCONUT: For this recipe, we are calling for shredded coconut. While this is not the same as coconut flakes, you can substitute them for shredded coconut. The flakes are slightly larger, but will still work if that is all you have available.
COCONUT MILK: Using coconut milk in place of the cream of coconut will not work in this recipe. Coconut milk has a much thinner consistency. And don’t mix up the cream of coconut with coconut cream, which is the unsweetened version. You want Cream of Coconut for this recipe. Confusing, right?
CREAM OF COCONUT: If you can’t find the cream of coconut in the stores, many poke cakes use sweetened condensed milk, and that would work fine in a pinch here as well.
WHIPPED TOPPING: If you would rather make your own whipped cream, you are more than welcome to. Try our recipe for homemade whipped cream as a perfect choice.
How To Make This Coconut Poke Cake Recipe
STEP ONE: Make the cake batter according to the directions on the cake mix package.
STEP TWO: Add 1 cup of shredded coconut to the cake batter, then stir together.
STEP THREE: Bake the boxed cake mix in a 9×13-inch pan according to the box directions.
STEP FOUR: Remove the cake from the oven. Using either a fork or the handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes in the warm cake, spacing them 1 inch apart.
OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS
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.
STEP FIVE: Pour the cream of coconut across the top of the cake so it seeps down into the poked holes. Allow the cake to cool.
When you’re pouring the cream into the holes, tap the pan on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles and make sure the cream fills the holes completely.
STEP SIX: Mix the remaining cup of shredded coconut with the 16 ounces of Cool Whip and use it to frost the cake.
How To Serve
Since it’s so easy to make, this is an ideal dessert to serve to guests that pop over or to take along to a summertime potluck. It is a true crowd-pleaser. It would also be a tasty dessert at home or for an evening snack with a cup of coffee, tea, or latte.
IN THE FRIDGE: If you are able to practice self-control and not devour every last morsel of this coconut cream poke cake immediately, you’ll want to store it covered in the fridge until you’re ready to serve again.
IN THE FREEZER: You can also freeze this coconut poke cake recipe. Tightly cover with plastic wrap and then cover with aluminum foil for up to 3 months. Allow the cake to thaw in the refrigerator before serving.
I’m confident you’ll agree that this moist coconut poke cake will be a new favorite. Coconut desserts bring images of island getaways, and I guarantee you, this one, with so much coconut flavor, will have you dreaming of the tropics.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
It’s an easy cake that you poke holes into while it’s still hot after baking. The holes are then filled with a liquid or filling — like condensed milk, pureed fruit, chocolate cream, or pudding. It makes a moist and delicious cake.
You can make this easy coconut poke cake a day or two in advance. Since the cake should chill overnight to give it time for all the liquids to soak in, it is best to make it the day before.
The end of a wooden spoon is the best size to poke holes in the cake.
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Coconut Poke Cake
- 1 box yellow cake mix with pudding
- 2 cups coconut, shredded
- 15 ounces cream of coconut
- 16 ounces Cool Whip
- Make cake batter according to the directions on the cake mix package.
- Add 1 cup of shredded coconut to the cake mix, then stir together.
- Bake the cake mix according to box directions.
- Remove from the oven and while it's still warm, use a large meat fork or wooden spoon to poke holes evenly throughout the cake.
- Pour the cream of coconut across the cake, so it seeps down into the holes. Allow cake to cool.
- Mix the remaining cup of shredded coconut with the 16 ounces of Cool Whip and use to frost the cake.
- Make sure you buy cream of coconut and not coconut milk. Cream of coconut is thicker and richer than coconut milk and is the sweetened version of coconut cream! You can usually find the cream of coconut in the alcohol aisle of the grocery store near the margarita mixes.
- 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.
- When you’re pouring the cream into the holes, tap the pan on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles and make sure the cream fills the holes completely.