Home » Dessert Recipes » Boston Cream Poke Cake

Boston Cream Poke Cake

This Boston Cream Poke Cake tastes just like the pie but in cake form! Easily made with a boxed cake mix, pudding and chocolate frosting!

AN EASIER VERSION OF THE FAMOUS PIE

This is an easy and fun cake that everyone wants the recipe for. I have made this recipe more times than I can count for friends, family and co-workers. It’s requested for birthday cakes, celebration cakes and just because! It tastes just like a Boston Cream Pie but so much easier to make!

slice of Boston cream poke cake on a small round white plate with a bottle of milk in the background.

TIPS FOR MAKING BOSTON CREAM POKE CAKE:

  • You’ll need a large round wooden spoon handle or other similar sized object to poke the holes. You want fairly large-sized holes for the pudding to go into.
  • Don’t let the pudding set before pouring onto cake. Whisk the pudding well for a minute or two then start pouring straight into the holes of the cake.
  • When softening the frosting in the microwave (to make it pourable) make sure not to get it bubbling hot. Just microwave it for a few seconds at a time and stir after each time until it gets to a smooth, pourable consistency. The cake should be completely cooled before doing this.
  • I have tons of different poke cake ideas here on the blog. You can have a lot of fun with these cakes by switching out the cake, pudding and frosting flavors! One of my most popular poke cake recipes is this Banana Pudding Poke Cake
  • I do not recommend doing this as a layer cake. It just won’t hold up because of the pudding.
a spatula holding up a slice of Boston Cream Poke Cake over a cake pan.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)

  • yellow cake mix – you could use a butter cake mix but you will need to use the ingredients called for on the back of the box (butter instead of oil.) You could also use a vanilla cake mix or you can make a homemade yellow cake!
  • eggs, oil and water – you will be following the directions on the back of the cake mix box for a 9×13-inch cake.
  • instant vanilla or French vanilla pudding – it has to be instant – not cook and serve. It will never set up if you use the cook and serve.
  • chocolate frosting – use your favorite brand and it can either be the creamy kind or the whipped kind.
yellow cake mix, vanilla pudding, chocolate frosting, eggs, oil, water and milk.

HOW TO MAKE BOSTON CREAM POKE CAKE:

Make cake mix according to directions and bake in a well-greased 9×13 pan. When cake is finished, while still warm, poke holes all over cake (about 1-inch) intervals using a wooden spoon handle or other similar size object. You want the holes to be fairly big so that the pudding has plenty of room to get down in there. Be sure to poke right down to the bottom of the cake.

fully baked cake shown with holes poked in it.

In a bowl, add milk to pudding mixture and continue to whisk until most of the lumps are removed.

milk shown pouring on top of instant vanilla pudding mix in a clear bowl.

Pour pudding on top of warm cake. Taking care to pour straight into the holes in the cake. Take a spoon and spread it out. I like to very gently press down to ensure that pudding goes into the holes and spread it all the way to the sides.

pudding spread evenly on top of baked cake.

Put cake in fridge and allow to cool completely before adding the frosting (about 2 hours.) Remove the lid and foil covering from the tub of chocolate frosting. Pop it in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds. Stir with a spoon. It should still be thick but pourable – not bubbly hot. Pour chocolate frosting on top of pudding.

pouring chocolate frosting on top of vanilla pudding on top of cake.

Spread frosting to evenly cover cake. Start in the middle and gently spread to the sides.

fully frosted cake (overhead view).

Allow to cool on the counter for a few minutes, then put into the fridge to fully cool and set up. This cake needs to be kept refrigerated.This is one of those cakes that I think tastes better after it has sat in the fridge overnight. It really helps the pudding to settle in and blend all the flavors.

photo of Boston cream poke cake on a round white plate with a bottle of milk and a cake pan in the background.

CRAVING MORE POKE CAKE RECIPES?

Originally published: March 2012
Updated & republished: June 2023

Boston Cream Poke Cake recipe from The Country Cook.

Boston Cream Poke Cake (+Video)

This Boston Cream Poke Cake tastes just like the pie but in cake form! Easily made with a boxed cake mix, pudding and chocolate frosting!
4.85 from 115 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 15.25 ounce box yellow cake mix
  • ingredients needed to make cake; eggs, oil and water
  • 2 (3.4 ounce) boxes INSTANT vanilla or French vanilla pudding
  • 4 cups milk
  • 16 ounce tub chocolate frosting

Instructions

  • Make cake mix according to directions and bake in a well-greased 9 x13-inch pan.
  • When cake is finished, while still warm, poke holes all over cake (about 1-inch) intervals using a wooden spoon handle or other similar size object.
  • You want the holes to be fairly big so that the pudding has plenty of room to get down in there. Be sure to poke right down to the bottom of the cake.
  • In a bowl, prepare pudding. Whisk together instant pudding mix with 4 cups milk. Whisk for about a minute until most of the lumps are gone.
  • Pour pudding over cake. Taking care to pour it right into the holes as much as possible. Spread it all out and using the back of the spoon, gently push pudding down into the holes.
  • Put the cake into the refrigerator to set and cool (about 2 hours).
  • After age has cooled, remove the lid and foil covering from the tub of chocolate frosting. Put it in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds.
  • Stir with a spoon. It should still be a little thick but pourable – not bubbly hot.
  • Pour chocolate frosting on top of pudding layer of cooled cake. Spread frosting evenly over cake starting in the center then spreading it towards the sides.
  • Allow to cool on the counter for a few minutes, then put into the refrigerator to fully cool and set up.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • This cake needs to be kept refrigerated. This cake tastes even better after it has sat in the fridge overnight.
  • For a more homemade cake flavor, try substituting the water in the cake mix recipe with milk.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 434kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 11g | Sodium: 535mg | Sugar: 57g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

Did you make this recipe?Share it on Instagram @thecountrycook and mention us #thecountrycook!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




173 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    In the process of making this right now bc the store didn’t have my eclairs that I practically live on lol…I’m sure this will be amazing & I don’t know if I can wait 2 hours til it cools lol! Thank you!

  2. Hi there – I have made this in the past but forgot I used instant pudding mix and I bought cook and serve. My question is – should I let the pudding cool after making, pour it on cake while it’s warm, or thin it down so it’s more pourable by adding extra milk? Thanks in advance!

  3. 5 stars
    I made this and it was perfect. It taste just like a Boston Cream Donut. The family loved it. It is not too sweet it is perfect. So easy I will be making for pot lucks from now on.

  4. 5 stars
    I used Sherrif pudding and pie mix and it was an unmitigated disaster. The pudding mix didn’t get fluffy, only liquid, which ended up with golden cake soup when I poured it on. Undaunted, I remade the cake and used Jello vanilla pudding mix the second time. Bingo! It was a beautiful creation, devoured by my family.

  5. I have made this before but used a ganache in lieu of the chocolate icing in a tub?? This sounds easier still ha gonna make later this day..

  6. 5 stars
    I made this last night and covered it with a plastic cover in the fridge. Today when I took the cover off– the frosting was wet and runny. It ran right off the pudding. It tasted wonderfully, but what did I do wrong? Should I not have covered it? I cooled it for at least 2 hours, but I still got condensation under the cover and I it dripped onto the frosting making it runny. It is fluid and did not harden. That’s the only thing I can think of. Does any one have any suggestions?

    1. Hi Dolores, yes, it sounds like it was covered when everything wasn’t totally cooled. Heat is the only thing that would cause condensation on the plastic wrap. There is no need to cover it while in the fridge until you’ve already sliced it. I am so happy you enjoyed it though!! 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    I was searching Google in the middle of the night for a easy, pudding dessert. I saw this recipe come up . I knew I had found the one! Thanks to online grocery ordering and
    pick-up I had all the ingredients for dinner and dessert by 9::30 am. The cake is in the refrigerator chilling but I don’t think it’ll make it till tomorrow for my Husband and I to taste test. I garnished my cake with fresh strawberries it looks scrumptious!

  8. Made this again tonight 2nd time in 3 weeks. My kids LOVED it. Lets see this time if it passes my niece’s family test!

  9. 5 stars
    My husband absolutely loves this version of poke cake Above All Others!
    I make it alot, and so many many more of Your Awesome recipes as well!
    THANKS SO MUCH BRANDIE!! ????

  10. I’m not sure what I did wrong when making the pudding. It was very watery. I followed all directions and still put the frosting on it. .

  11. 5 stars
    Hi Brandie–

    I purchased Duncan Hines Whipped Chocolate Frosting by accident instead of the usual “thick” frosting. Will melting the whipped chocolate frosting work?

  12. My packet of pudding says to cook for few minutes… My question is do I have to cook n thn pour or I should skip cooking the pudding?

  13. HI I MAKE HOMEMADE CAKES SO I WAS WONDERING CAN I MAKE MY BUTTER CAKE N CUSTARD INSTEAD OF THE CAKE MIX N PUDDING WILL IT WORK ???

  14. 5 stars
    I have made this cake twice now, and I have also made your Oreo poke cake as well!! As soon as we finish one of these cakes my boyfriend is always asking for another! Thank you so much for your recipes and for your dedication! 🙂