Boston Cream Poke Cake

Cool and creamy, this Boston Cream Poke Cake makes a great potluck cake for picnics and dinners. You’ll love the chocolate ganache topping.

My husband LOVES pudding. He’d eat it every night of the week if he could. It never fails that if a dessert calls for pudding, he’s all in.

I grew up with Jello poke cakes. Matt grew up with pudding poke cakes. So when I needed a dessert for a family gathering, this was what he requested.

a piece of boston cream poke cake with a bite out

Why you’ll love this cake:

  • starts with a box cake mix & pudding mix for simplicity
  • 3 layers of deliciousness: fluffy yellow cake, creamy vanilla pudding, chocolate ganache
  • cool and refreshing for summer
  • make ahead and refrigerate overnight until serving

How to Make Boston Cream Poke Cake

Make the cake:

  • Mix the cake according to the box instructions. *Note: If you want more of a homemade flavor from a box cake mix, switch out the water and add milk instead. Then switch out the oil for melted butter. And you can add an extra egg if you’d like.*
  • Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the center of the cake springs back when you touch it.
  • Allow the cake to cool for 1 hour. With a straw or the narrow end of a wooden spoon, poke holes throughout the cake.

Want a homemade yellow cake? Try this one.

Make the vanilla pudding:

  • In a bowl mix the dry pudding mix and add 3 cups of cold milk.
  • Whisk until you have a smooth texture pudding.
  • Slowly pour half of the pudding over the cooled cake. Spread evenly. Then pour the remaining half and spread again.
  • Place the cake in the fridge to set while making the ganache.

Want a homemade vanilla pudding? Try this one.

Make the chocolate ganache:

  • Pour the cream into a microwave safe bowl. Heat the cream in the microwave until it is hot and steaming, but not boiling.
  • Add the chocolate chips to the heavy cream. Place a plate or lid overtop the bowl. Allow the chips to sit in the hot cream for 5 minutes so that they melt.
  • After the chips sit in the milk for 5 minutes, take the plate off and stir the melted chips into the cream. Mix constantly until the two are completely combined and smooth.
  • Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
  • Gently pour the ganache over the cake. Spread evenly.
  • Place the cake back into the refrigerator to set for about 2 hours.
  • Keep the cake refrigerated until serving.

Don’t want to make ganache? Use store bought chocolate frosting. Heat it just for a few seconds so that it gets soft and can pour over the cake.

Recipe Variations:

  • You can choose the cake mix of your choice. I choose the Duncan Hines as it has the perfect buttery taste. You can even use gluten free or lower sugar cake mixes if you’d like.
  • I chose the 5.1 oz vanilla Jello pudding box because I like the thickness and richness it brings to the cake. If you want less, you can always use a 3.4 oz box, I would add the same amount of milk (3 cups). It will be a thinner custard but as delicious.
  • Use sugar free pudding and skim milk if you’d like to lower the calories.

You may also love our eclair cake.

a piece of boston cream cake on a plate
a piece of boston cream cake on a plate

Boston Cream Poke Cake

5 from 1 vote
Cool and creamy, this Boston Cream Poke Cake makes a great potluck cake for picnics and dinners. You'll love the chocolate ganache topping.
Servings 15
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Chill Time 3 hours

Ingredients
 

  • 1 box yellow cake mix (plus ingredients on back of box to make it) 15.25 ounces
  • 5.1 ounces vanilla Jello pudding mix
  • 3 cups 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 ½ cup heavy cream

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit.
  • Butter a 9×13" baking pan. Set aside.

Make the cake:

  • Mix the cake according to the box instructions.
  • Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the center of the cake springs back when you touch it.
  • Allow the cake to cool for 1 hour.
  • With a straw or the narrow end of a wooden spoon, poke holes throughout the cake.

Make the vanilla pudding:

  • In a bowl mix the dry pudding mix and add 3 cups of cold milk.
  • Whisk until you have a smooth texture pudding.
  • Slowly pour half of the pudding over the cooled cake. Spread evenly. Then pour the remaining half and spread again.
  • Place the cake in the fridge to set while making the ganache.

Make the chocolate ganache:

  • Pour the cream into a microwave safe bowl. Heat the cream in the microwave until it is hot and steaming, but not boiling.
  • Add the chocolate chips to the heavy cream. Place a plate or lid overtop the bowl. Allow the chips to sit in the hot cream for 5 minutes so that they melt.
  • After the chips sit in the milk for 5 minutes, take the plate off and stir the melted chips into the cream. Mix constantly until the two are completely combined and smooth.
  • Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
  • Gently pour the ganache over the cake. Spread evenly.
  • Place the cake back into the refrigerator to set for about 2 hours.
  • Keep the cake refrigerated until serving.

Notes

The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 15 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**

Nutrition

Calories: 456kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 360mg | Potassium: 273mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 460IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 164mg | Iron: 3mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 456
Keyword picnic, pudding cake

Other Poke Cake Recipes to Love

Poke cakes are perfect for any season! Here you’ll find everything from pumpkin poke cakes to tiramisu to tropical jello poke cakes.

About Julie Clark

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