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!
- 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 9x13-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.
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.
Other Cakes to Try Next
Like This Recipe?
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- 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
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
- ⅛ 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 9x13-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 mix1 cup (227 g) water½ cup (100 g) vegetable oil3 large eggs2 tablespoons (42 g) unsulphured molasses1 teaspoon ground ginger1 teaspoon ground cinnamon⅛ teaspoon ground cloves⅛ teaspoon ground allspice⅛ 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 sauce8 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.