Chocolate cake with pockets of sweet cherry syrup is topped with cherry whipped cream and crunchy pistachios! This Spumoni poke cake is a simple crowd pleaser!
This spumoni poke recipe may seem fancy but I assure you it is easy! It is loosely based on my spumoni cupcakes. These were such a hit, I knew a poke would be well received! A little background on spumoni.
Spumoni is a molded Italian ice cream that is layered with fruits and nuts. The traditional flavors in this ice cream are chocolate, pistachios, and cherries. How does this translate into a poke cake? Well, let’s break it down.
What is a Poke Cake?
The base is a chocolate cake, that’s obvious. It is a simple boxed cake that is poked with holes after it has had the chance to cool. Then a syrup-type mixture is poured over the top of the cake to seep into those holes. I combined sweetened condensed milk and maraschino cherry juice and poured this sweet nectar over the cake so that each hole was filled with that tasty cherry juice.
Since one can never have enough chocolate, I spread chocolate syrup over the top of the filled cake. The chocolate topped off each hole and puddled on top. After allowing the poke cake to sit, the chocolate seeped into the cake and made the cake taste especially moist.
The topping is a two-ingredient wonder; Cool Whip and maraschino cherries. That is it! You will want to add some cherry juice for color and for additional sweetness. Adjust the amount of syrup to suit your own tastes. Sprinkle pistachio nuts on top and you have yourself a cake worthy of its Italian namesake!
Ingredients you’ll need for Spumoni Poke Cake:
For the cake, you will need:
- Devil’s Food Cake Mix
For the syrup, you will need:
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Maraschino cherry juice
- Chocolate syrup
- Maraschino cherries
For the topping, you will need:
- Chopped maraschino cherries
- Maraschino cherry juice
- Cool Whip
- Coarsely chopped pistachios
For the exact amounts needed, please see the recipe card below.
How to Make Spumoni Poke Cake
- Prepare the cake mix according to the package instructions using a 9×13 baking dish.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes.
- Use the handle of a wooden spoon to gently poke holes into the cake.
- In a small bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk and 1/2 cup of maraschino cherry juice.
- Slowly pour the syrup over the top of the cake, filling up the holes as much as possible.
- Carefully spread the chocolate syrup over the cake. Allow it to cool completely.
- In another bowl combine the cherries, cherry juice, and whipped topping.
- Spread over the top of the cooled cake and sprinkle with chopped pistachios.
- Serve immediately.
- Keep stored in the fridge.
- Make sure that you allow this cake to cool slightly before poking the holes into the cake. This will prevent the cake from breaking apart too much as you make the holes.
- After filling the holes with the syrup, let the cake cool down completely. This will give the cake time to absorb all of the liquid.
- Do not apply the whipped topping until the cake has cooled completely or else you will risk having a runny melted mess on your hands.
- This cake will do best if kept in the fridge between steps as it will help it to cool more quickly and evenly.
What do I use to poke holes in a cake?
You can use the handle of a wooden kitchen spoon or large skewers to make the holes in a cake. A wooden spoon is a more preferred way to do it as the holes will be larger and the spoons are usually easier to grip. I personally, enjoy using my spoon because it means I have to make fewer holes.
How to store poke cake
Keep this cake well covered and stored in the fridge for up to a day or two. This will allow you some time to enjoy it or make it in advance or a party.
Do poke cakes get soggy?
Your cake should be moist but it shouldn’t become a soggy mess. the texture of the cake will be similar to a tres leches cake in how wet and moist it is while still maintaining its cake-like qualities.
Here are some more poke cake recipes you’re sure to enjoy:
- Holiday Jello Poke Cake
- Toffee Banana Poke Cake
- Mint Julep Poke Cake
- Pumpkin Roll Poke Cake
- Hot Chocolate Poke Cake Recipe
- Snickerdoodle Poke Cake
- 1 18.25 oz box Devil's Food Cake
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 water
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/3 cup maraschino cherry juice
- 1/3 cup chocolate syrup
- 1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries
- 2 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice
- 1 8 oz tub Cool Whip
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pistachios
- Prepare cake according to package directions, using a 9 x13 size pan. Remove from oven and allow cake to cool for about 10 minutes.
- Using the handle of a wooden spoon, gently poke holes into cake.
- In a small bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk and 1/2 cup maraschino cherry juice. Slowly pour mixture over surface of cake, filling up the holes as much as possible. Carefully spread chocolate syrup over cake. Allow cake to cool completely.
- Combine chopped cherries, cherry juice and whipped topping. Spread topping over cooled cake and sprinkle with chopped pistachios.
- Serve immediately. Refrigerate cake after serving.
Amount Per Serving Calories 154Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 37mgSodium 66mgCarbohydrates 19gFiber 1gSugar 16gProtein 3g