Gingerbread Poke Cake

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Gingerbread Poke Cake is your ultimate holiday dessert recipe! This irresistible cake, filled with warm caramel sauce and topped with whipped cream and festive sprinkles, becomes the centerpiece of every holiday celebration. It’s a fun cake recipe the whole family will love!

Christmas sprinkles on a cake with whipped topping.

Don’t forget to check out some of our other amazing cake recipes like this tres leches cake, chocolate peanut butter cake, and strawberry lemonade cake.


  • Caramel sauce: Use your favorite variety of caramel sauce. Either homemade or store bought works. We like the jarred sauce that goes over ice cream because it’s so easy to heat and use.
  • Cake mix: If you can find a gingerbread cake mix that makes a 9×13-inch cake, use it! Just make sure to bake the cake as instructed on the box and omit the extra spices and molasses in this recipe.
  • Spoon or dowel: Use the end of a wooden spoon or dowel to make the holes in the cake, and don’t press all the way through. You want large holes for the caramel to seep into, so something small like a toothpick or skewer won’t work.
Bite taken out of holiday poke cake.


Refrigerator: Store leftover poke cake in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Freezer: Bake the cake and let it cool completely. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil then freeze for up to 1 week.

Thawing: When you’re ready to frost the cake, thaw it overnight in the fridge. Then, poke holes in the cake, pour on the caramel, and spread the top with whipped topping.

Make Ahead: This cake can be made ahead by preparing it up to a day in advance and storing it in the fridge. Wait to add the sprinkles just before serving.

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Close up view of two plates holding a piece of christmas cake with cool whip frosting.

Gingerbread Poke Cake

5 from 2 votes
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Author: Kimberly
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Chill Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 20 Servings


  • 15.25 ounce (432 g) box spice cake mix, or gingerbread cake mix (See note.)
  • 1 cup (227 g) water
  • ½ cup (100 g) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons (42 g) unsulphured molasses
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon ground cloves
  • teaspoon ground allspice
  • teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 14 ounces (396 g) caramel sauce, warmed
  • 8 ounces (226 g) whipped topping, similar to a tub of Cool Whip
  • Holiday sprinkles, for garnish
  • Caramel sauce, for garnish


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F, or whatever is listed on your box of cake mix, and lightly grease a 9×13-inch cake pan.
  • In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the cake mix, water, oil, eggs, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg.
    15.25 ounce (432 g) box spice cake mix
    1 cup (227 g) water
    ½ cup (100 g) vegetable oil
    3 large eggs
    2 tablespoons (42 g) unsulphured molasses
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
    ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
    ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 28-33 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • After the cake bakes, let it cool for 5-10 minutes then use the end of a wooden spoon to poke several holes in the cake about 1-2 inches apart. Don't press the spoon all the way to the bottom of the cake, only go about ⅔ of the way through.
  • Warm the caramel sauce, and pour it over the cake. Scoop the whipped topping onto the cake and smooth it in even layer.
    14 ounces (396 g) caramel sauce
    8 ounces (226 g) whipped topping
  • Add sprinkles and a drizzle of caramel sauce, and refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes to set.
  • See post for storage and make ahead instructions.

Suggested Equipment


*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 slice of cake. Actual calories will vary.
*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.
*Some stores don’t carry gingerbread cake mix, so that’s why we use spice cake mix for this recipe. If you can find gingerbread cake mix, it works great! You’ll need a box that makes enough for a 9×13-inch cake. If using gingerbread cake mix, omit the molasses, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg.
*Bake the cake as directed on the box. The amount of oil, water, and eggs you need may differ than what’s listed in our recipe.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 227kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 229mg | Potassium: 139mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 63IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition Disclaimer

Kim and John Vargo of Berly’s Kitchen and its affiliates are not dieticians or nutritionists. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If preferred, use your favorite online nutrition calculator to double check the amounts. Calories and other nutritional values can vary based on brand and serving size.

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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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