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Carrot Cake Poke Cake

This stunning Carrot Cake Poke Cake begins with a simple cake mix and is guaranteed to end with your fork. Filled with cheesecake pudding and frosted with a sweet cream cheese frosting, it’s then sprinkled with toasted pecans for added crunch. Bakers of all skill levels can make this cake with success as it simplifies the classic carrot cake profile in the most delicious way.

Carrot Cake Poke Cake In Baking Dish

Carrot Cake Poke Cake for Bakers of All Skill Levels

Poke cakes are traditionally made using a boxed cake mix. I most often bake completely from scratch but, I dearly love the idea of poke cakes and enjoy making them, too. They make me feel warm and fuzzy inside, go figure?  Bakers of all skill levels can be successful making this type of cake and flavor combinations abound. Part of the reason they’re so beloved is due to the ease of preparation making them a perfect choice for potluck events or Holiday gatherings when you need to be able to accommodate a crowd. This carrot cake version just brings the classic cake to the forefront and gives it another way to be presented. If you need a loaf cake variation of carrot cake see my Cream Cheese Frosted Carrot Cake Loaf.

spreading cake with pudding

Helpful Tips for Making Carrot Cake Poke Cake

Carrot cake is often associated with Easter, but remains a year-round favorite for many cake lovers. Just a few pointers for your success:

  • When poking the holes in the cake be generous.
  • Use an offset icing spatula or similar to gently spread the pudding into the holes.
  • Poke cakes need to sit overnight so, the flavors of the cake and filling can marry.
  • Ideally this cake should be made the night before your special day.
  • If preferred, you can wait and frost the top the day you want to serve it to keep any special piping or decoration on the top from being damaged.
  • While I piped the whipped cream on top, you can frost this cake any way you like.

Carrot Cake Poke Cake plated

Other Poke Cake Recipes to Add to the Menu

When you’re in the mood to bake and want to make a special cake for the holidays with little fuss, this carrot cake poke cake is just the ticket. Other poke cake variations you may like to try:


decorated carrot cake sheet cake

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Helpful Kitchen Items:

Carrot Cake Poke Cake

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Chill Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 45 minutes
Course: Cake, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: carrot-cake-poke-cake, carrot-cake-recipes, poke-cake-recipes
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 372kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka


  • 1 15.25 oz box Carrot cake mix plus ingredients to prepare (eggs, oil, water]
  • 2 3.4 oz boxes instant cheesecake pudding mix
  • 3 cup cold whole milk or half & half
  • 2 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 16 oz frozen whipped topping thawed or 4 cup fresh sweetened whipped cream
  • 1 cup pecan or walnut pieces toasted


  • Prepare the cake per the instructions on the box in a 13 x 9 inch pan. Immediately after removing from the oven use the handle of a wooden spoon or similar to poke holes all over the cake.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whip together both boxes of cheesecake pudding mix with 3 cups of cold milk. Whip until thickened but still pourable. Spread over the cake and into the holes. Chill completely.
  • To frost, use a hand mixer to cream together 2 [8] oz softened cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla. Add the whipped topping or fresh whipped cream and beat until fluffy.
  • Spread over the cooled cake and garnish with toasted pecans. Store chilled.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 372kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 390mg | Potassium: 89mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 78IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!


  1. Hi Melissa on my page on Facebook there is solar of blueberry pound cake,could you please send me the recipe,because I go on it and it show a different recipe thanks

  2. I tried this, but the pudding thickened up too much to soak into the cake. I made another one without mixing the pudding quite as long to where it was thinner, but it still sat on top of the cake. Are there circumstances where 3 cups of milk isn’t enough to pour into the holes?

    1. It should go into the holes IF they were large enough. Also, there should be lots of holes poked in the cake and you have to coax the pudding into the cake you can’t just pour it and leave it, you should spread it.

  3. Where do you get the cheesecake pudding?I live in Canada and have not seen it. My sister in law lives in Arizona and can not find it either.

    1. Hi Trisha, I purchase it at our local Walmart and Harris Teeter. I’m certain the merchants who carry it are different from region to region. If you can find white chocolate pudding that would work or in a pinch try vanilla pudding.

  4. Beautiful cake, fabulous recipe. I want a piece right now!! You are one fabulous cook Melissa. Never made a poke cake and I will certainly give this recipe a try.

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