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Hummingbird Cake Poke Cake

This Hummingbird Cake Poke Cake is a delicious riff on the famous Hummingbird Cake recipe. It’s a dessert that’s revered all through the South, filled with crushed pineapple, bananas and toasted pecans. It’s flavorful and moist to the very last crumb.



Easy Hummingbird Cake Poke Cake Recipe

This poke cake is a cake mix hack that makes it easy for bakers of all skill levels to make. Before I began this culinary journey online over a decade ago, I made cakes professionally for select clients, schools, birthdays, weddings and for friends and family. Trust me when I say, no-one will know you started with a cake mix for this cake. It’s one of those cakes that will become a family favorite when you’re planning a gathering of any sort whether it’s a holiday, office or church potluck party.




How to Make the BEST Hummingbird Poke Cake Recipe

Poke cakes are as popular as ever due to the easy prep and the fact they can be packed up and taken to the office, to family gatherings and backyard picnics. A few tips for your baking success:

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Hummingbird Poke Cake: French vanilla or butter flavored cake mix, chopped pecans, all purpose flour, light brown sugar, crushed pineapple, mashed banana, ground cinnamon and large eggs.
  • To make the filling you’ll need: Sweetened condensed milk, crushed pineapple and instant cheesecake pudding mix.
  • To make the frosting you’ll need: Softened Neufchatel cream cheese or plain cream cheese, thawed whipped topping (i.e. Cool Whip or similar) powdered sugar, vanilla extract and heavy cream.
  • Kitchen tools you’ll need: Stand mixer or hand mixer, measuring cups and spoons, sheet pan, large bowl, medium bowl, whisk and 13 x 9 inch cake pan or baking dish.
  • This cake begins with a cake mix. If you want to make the cake from scratch please see my recipe for classic Hummingbird Cake.
  • Don’t be intimadated by the ingredient list, all of the ingredients listed are simple to find at any grocery store.
  • If you are unable to find cheesecake flavored pudding, white chocolate will work.
  • When poking holes, be generous. Use a wooden spoon or similar to give the filling plenty of room to fill.
  • This cake can be baked and filled then chilled until frosting. It’s important for the cake to be completely chilled so the frosting won’t melt.
  • This is one of those cakes that seems to get better and better with each passing day. It can easily be made a couple of days in advance and kept chilled until serving.
  • In that instance, I recommend waiting and frosting it the day you plan on serving it.


More Southern Dessert Recipes to Make

Southern desserts are known for being sweet, full fat and full flavored. They’re also known for being unapologetic on all three counts. A few other desserts you may like to try:



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Hummingbird Cake Poke Cake

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Cooling time4 hours
Total Time5 hours 5 minutes
Course: Cake, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: hummingbird-cake-poke-cake, hummingbird-cake-recipe
Servings: 12 pieces
Calories: 490kcal


  • 1 cup chopped pecans, plus additional for garnishing toasted, divided use
  • 1 15.25 oz French vanilla or butter cake mix
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple well drained
  • 1/2 cup roughly mashed banana
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • Filling:
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple well drained
  • 1 3.4 oz instant cheesecake pudding mix
  • Frosting:
  • 1 8 oz block Neufchatel cheese softened
  • 1 8 oz whipped topping thawed
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream or milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with baking spray. Set aside.
  • Spread pecans on a baking sheet in a single layer. Toast for 6-8 minutes until fragrant. Set aside to cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl, use a whisk to sift together cake mix, flour and brown sugar. Add crushed pineapple, banana and pecans.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together oil and eggs. Add wet to dry ingredients. Mix using a large spatula or spoon by hand until fully moistened. Pour evenly into baking dish.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes back clean. Check at 30 minutes and lay foil on top if needed, to prevent over browning.
  • Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl whisk together sweetened condensed milk, pineapple and pudding mix. Whisk until the pudding mix has dissolved. Let rest to set and thicken.
  • Immediately upon removing cake from oven poke holes all over surface with a wooden spoon or similar. Pour filling over the cake gently pushing into holes. Let cake cool completely.
  • To frost: Using an electric mixer whip together cream cheese, cream, powdered sugar and vanilla for 2 minutes or until fluffy and smooth. Lower the speed of the mixer and whip in whipped topping.
  • Spread on cooled cake and decorate the top with additional pecans, if desired.
  • Store leftovers chilled.


Serving: 1piece | Calories: 490kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 504mg | Potassium: 123mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 50g | Vitamin A: 92IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!



  1. This sounds so delicious and simple, but I have a question. Can you make this recipe without the banana…I have a slight allergy? And I use sugar substitute, does that alter the cake? Thanks for your reply.

    1. Hi Annisette, both of those things would alter the cake, yes. In the instance of this one, I haven’t tested those two swaps to be able to tell you with certainty it would work. If you try it, let us know how it goes!

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