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Caramel Coconut Poke Cake

This salted Caramel Coconut Poke Cake features a buttery vanilla-coconut cake that’s soaked with caramel, then frosted with whipped cream. The top is sprinkled with toasted coconut, pecan pieces and a sprinkle of sea salt to finish. The only thing that trumps the simple preparation is the spectacular flavor combination of caramel, coconut and pecans with a hint of salt.



Salted Caramel Coconut Poke Cake Recipe

When it comes to poke cakes by nature they’re designed to be low stress and usually start with a cake mix. While I bake completely from scratch nine out of ten times, it’s perfectly acceptable in my opinion, to use a cake mix for making this dessert. My kitchen theory is that baking should be fun, and if someone is most comfortable baking with cake mix then why sweat it. It’s still going to be delicious.



Helpful Tips for Making Caramel Coconut Poke Cake

There are so many things to love about this cake, starting with the coconut laced cake, decadent caramel and whipped cream topped with toasted coconut, pecans and a light sprinkling of sea salt.  The combination makes each bite one worth taking. It’s one of those stunning desserts that remain delicious to the very last bite.

  • The base cake can be made from scratch using my Old Fashioned Butter Cake recipe or using a butter cake mix, either way it’s a stunner.
  • To keep things simple, you can use thawed whipped topping for the frosting on this cake. If you prefer to make your own whipped cream instead, you certainly can. Keep in mind, it won’t be as stable as whipped topping.
  • It’s well worth the small amount of effort it takes to toast the coconut for the depth of flavor that it adds.
  • You can skip the salt on top, if preferred.
  • Dulce de leche is often found on the Hispanics foods aisle of most grocery stores including Walmart and Target.



Other Poke Cake Flavors to Add to the Menu

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5 from 1 vote

Caramel Coconut Poke Cake

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Chill time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 45 minutes
Course: Cake, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: caramel-coconut-poke-cake, caramel-poke-cake-recipe
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 330kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka


  • 1 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut divided use
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans toasted
  • 1 15.25 oz box Butter Cake mix plus ingredients to prepare
  • 1 1/3 cup quality prepared caramel or dulce de leche divided
  • 1 16 oz container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 tsp kosher salt optional


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Spread the pecans and 1/2 cup coconut on a sheet pan in a single layer. Toast the nuts for 6 minutes, then remove to cool. Toast the coconut for 6-8 minutes total stirring periodically for even browning, Set aside to cool.
  • Prepare the butter cake per the package directions. After preparing the batter mix 1 cup flaked coconut into the batter by hand.
  • Spread the cake batter evenly into the pan. Bounce the pan a few times on the counter to remove any trapped air bubbles..
  • Bake for 25 minutes or per the package instructions until golden and a tester inserted into the center comes back clean.
  • Remove from the oven and immediately poke the cake generously using a fork.
  • Pour 1 cup caramel over the hot cake. Spread evenly gently pressing into the holes. Cool completely.
  • After cooling, frost the top with whipped cream. Drizzle with the remaining caramel and sprinkle with kosher salt. Top with toasted coconut and pecans.
  • Store leftovers chilled.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 330kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 282mg | Potassium: 59mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 19IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!



  1. 5 stars
    I made this and brought it into work today and everyone loves it. Coconut is my favorite so I am always looking for new recipes. This is definitely a keeper. Thanks for the Great recipe Melissa!

  2. Has anyone made this Carmel poke cake? What is better and what brand of Carmel . Or anyone one use the dulce de letche . Now are theses singly or half and half to pour on cake holes. Help!

    1. I typically use dulce de leche slightly warmed to make it pourable. You pour 1 cup into the holes of the cake and reserve the rest for drizzling on top. I use the brand found in the Hispanic foods section of most grocery stores made by Nestles.

      1. Thank you. I have a son who loves Carmel/ butterscotch taste since very young, now 52 years of age.

  3. What about substituting 1/2 the butter in the cake mix with coconut oil. So that would be 2oz. each butter and coconut oil. Just a thought, to boost coconut flavor. What do you think?

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