Home » Dessert Recipes » Carrot Poke Cake (+Video)

Carrot Poke Cake (+Video)

Carrot Poke Cake starts with a boxed carrot cake mix that is then poked with a cheesecake pudding, topped with whipped cream, and sprinkled with graham crackers!

A FUN AND EASY TWIST ON CARROT CAKE

This Carrot Poke Cake is here just in time for Easter and spring time. If you’ve been around a while, you know my love for poke cakes. They’re easy, fun to customize, and literally oozing with flavor. This Carrot Pudding Poke Cake checks all those boxes and is a fun twist to make when you’re tired of the normal springtime desserts.

A Carrot Poke Cake in a baking dish with a large piece missing.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Can I use a different cake mix?

Certainly! I think a spice cake mix could be used and you could add some shredded carrots to it. It obviously won’t taste exactly the same as a carrot cake but it’s comparable.

Can I make this Carrot Pudding Poke Cake ahead of time?

This cake gets even better the day after it is made. So it makes for a perfect cake to make the day before you actually need it.

What other flavored poke cakes can I try?

I have experimented with so many other flavors. One of my first was banana pudding poke cake which uses yellow cake mix and banana pudding (Banana Pudding Poke Cake) and I’ve also made an Oreo Pudding Poke Cake and a Red Velvet Poke Cake. The possibilities are endless! I have even more on my site, just click the search button and type in “Poke Cake” and check out all the different varieties.

What else can I add to this poke cake?

To bring even more carrot cake flavor to this poke cake recipe, try adding some cream cheese to the Cool Whip layer and mix it well together. It will bring even more cream cheese frosting flavors to your delicious poke cake.

How to store leftover cake?

When not actively eating this cake, it needs to be refrigerated. Leftover Carrot Pudding Poke Cake should be kept in the fridge covered or in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days. The longer it sits, the more the texture will change because of the ingredients used. It’ll get soggy pretty easily. It’s best enjoyed within the first day or two of making it.

A white dessert plate with a serving of Carrot Pudding poke Cake.

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

  • carrot cake mix – see my FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) above for substitutions.
  • ingredients needed to make cake– eggs, oil & water. The quantities you need me very depending on your cake mix brand. Be sure to follow the recipe ingredients on your specific boxed cake mix.
  • instant cheesecake pudding– do not grab the cook and serve version you must use the instant pudding mix or it will not set up. You can also use vanilla pudding.
  • milk – the milk needs to be cold to help the instant pudding set up.
  • whipped topping – like Cool Whip or you can make a homemade whipped cream.
  • cinnamon graham crackers – optional, but I really like the texture it brings to the cake.
Carrot cake mix, oil, water, eggs, cheesecake pudding mix, milk, whipped topping, and graham crackers.

HOW TO MAKE CARROT PUDDING POKE CAKE:

Prepare cake mix according to package directions for a 9×13 cake. Once cake comes out of the oven, allow it to cool for just a couple of minutes. Then, with a wooden spoon handle, a spatula handle, or some other similarly-sized object, begin poking holes in the cake. You want the holes to be 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.

A baked Carrot Cake in a glass baking dish.A baked Carrot Cake with holes in it.

In a bowl, whisk together instant pudding mix with 4 cups milk.

Stir until all 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.

A whisk in a bowl of cheesecake pudding. Cheesecake pudding spread over a carrot cake with holes.

Put the cake into the fridge to set and cool (about 2 hours). Once your cake has completely cooled, spread on whipped topping. If you haven’t done so already, crush your cinnamon graham crackers. I just place mine in a ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Leave some of the pieces big. It’s nice to have a bit of a crunch when you eat the cake. Sprinkle crushed graham crackers onto the top of the cake. You can do this part immediately before serving the cake if you like. This will ensure the crackers are crunchy when you serve it.

Whipped topping over a layered pudding and cake cake in a glass baking dish. Graham crackers sprinkled on top of a Carrot Poke Cake.

And serve! Keep cake refrigerated.

A big slice of Carrot Poke Cake on a dessert plate.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES?

Originally published: March 2013
Updated photos & republished: February 2024

A large slice of Carrot Poke Cake with a bite missing.

Carrot Poke Cake (+Video)

Carrot Poke Cake starts with a boxed carrot cake mix that is then poked with a cheesecake pudding, topped with whipped cream, and sprinkled with graham crackers!
4.97 from 33 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 box carrot cake mix
  • ingredients needed to make cake: eggs, oil and water
  • 2 (3.4 ounce) boxes instant cheesecake pudding
  • 4 cups cold milk
  • 8 ounce tub whipped topping thawed (Cool Whip)
  • 3-4 cinnamon graham crackers, crushed (optional)

Instructions

  • Prepare 1 box carrot cake mix with ingredients needed to make cake: eggs, oil and water according to package directions for a 9×13-inch cake. Bake then allow it to cool for just a few minutes.
    A baked Carrot Cake in a glass baking dish.
  • Then, with a wooden spoon handle, a spatula handle, or some other similarly-sized object, begin poking holes in the cake.
    A baked Carrot Cake with holes in it.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together 2 (3.4 ounce) boxes instant cheesecake pudding with 4 cups cold milk. Whisk until all the lumps are gone.
    A whisk in a bowl of cheesecake pudding.
  • Pour pudding over cake. Taking care to pour it right into the holes as much as possible.
  • Spread it all out using the back of the spoon, gently push pudding down into the holes.
    Cheesecake pudding spread over a carrot cake with holes.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and put the cake into the fridge to set and cool (about 2 hours). This will allow the pudding to set up.
  • Once the cake has completely cooled, spread on 8 ounce tub whipped topping.
    Whipped topping over a layered pudding and cake cake in a glass baking dish.
  • Sprinkle 3-4 cinnamon graham crackers, crushed onto the top of the cake. Slice and serve!
    Graham crackers sprinkled on top of a Carrot Poke Cake.

Video

Notes

  • Please refer to my FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 352kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 520mg | Sugar: 43g

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.

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Recipe Rating




25 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this for Easter Sunday lunch and it was a big hit. I've made several of your poke cake recipes and love them! Thanks for sharing.

  2. 5 stars
    Just made this cake for Easter and everyone loved it.It was so easy to make!The pudding does set up pretty fast so you can’t wait too long to pour it in the holes.I didn’t have Graham crackers,so I used chopped walnuts instead.Will make this again!

  3. Love these recipes!! Easy, delicious, what more can one ask!! Even us wanna be bakers can be successful!!! Thank you!!

  4. 5 stars
    could you put cream cheese frosting instead of the cool whip? and do you know any good homemade carrot cake recipe? I love all your stuff I made the fresh strawberry cake last week before the heat wave here in Michigan took over and that was really good… Randy Church Michigan

  5. 5 stars
    I love your poke cakes. I wanted to share what I have been doing when I make the poke cakes for just the two of us empty nesters. I make the cake in an eight or nine inch square and then use the remainder for cupcakes. I then half the icing ingredients for the smaller cake and freeze the cupcakes. The smaller cake is consummed before it gets soggy with just the two of us.

  6. Brandie—thanks for the shout out! Your version of a carrot cake poke cake looks even better (and more delish) than the one I sent you. Can't wait to try it! Thanks for all you do, and I wish you a very happy Mother's Day—hope it is fabulous!

  7. 5 stars
    Brandie,

    I made a poke cake over the weekend and it did not turn out as well as yours. I need some advice! The holes I poked were not as clean as yours. The cake seemed to spring back into the vacated hole when I lifted the spoon!! I think maybe I did not wait enough for it to cool? Help please!

  8. 5 stars
    Great minds think alike! I was thinking about your poke cakes and decided to try a carrot cake one, then I get online and you have a recipe for one on here!!! Yours looks amazing 🙂 I added some extra carrots for flavor and moistness. I cooked 1 1/2 cups frozen crinkle carrots with a little water and cinnamon, then puree'd them in my ninja. Let them cool and mix with 1 tsp. baking soda. I used the Sugar Free/Fat Free Cheesecake instant pudding. I also lowered the baking temp to 325 and baked for 36 minutes.

  9. I am surprised at how many different poke cakes you can come up with . I strain my brain attempting to think of a good combo and next thing I know YOU have a new one . I love them ….. Keep'em coming please.

  10. 5 stars
    Love your poke cakes! Your are the poke cake queen and you come up with the best combinations. They are so easy and everyone seems to love them! This one looks perfect for Easter/spring time!

  11. Sweet! I do believe this just solved the issue of what I am bringing to Easter dinner! This is gonna be such a treat for everyone!

  12. 5 stars
    You have the best poke cake recipes of all times. Another good one for me to make. All of your recipes are to die for. I get really good compliments when I make your dishes.
    Keep them coming.
    Elizabeth

  13. 5 stars
    Looks fabulous. Love the idea of using cheesecake pudding and the crushed grahams on top – you are the Master of Poke Cakes!! =)

  14. 5 stars
    Oh my! Saying this looks great would be a complete understatement!! Good thing I ain't planning to start a diet anytime soon, 'cause these recipes would mess it up quick! 🙂

  15. 5 stars
    This one looks delish!! I'm a new poke cake fan, and I would love to try out this recipe sometime!
    Blessings,
    Leslie

  16. 5 stars
    Brandie,
    Love all of your poke cakes, and this carrot cake version looks so good, especially since I haven't had breakfast, Yum!

    Have a great Easter weekend