Eggnog poke cake is a delicious, moist spice cake that is poked with holes and filled with a sweet eggnog pudding. Topped with fluffy whipped topping and sprinkled with cinnamon, this cake is the perfect balance of warm spices and sweet eggnog. Sprinkled with ground cinnamon and topped with sugared cranberries, this cake is the perfect holiday and Christmas dessert.
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What is Eggnog Poke Cake?
An eggnog poke cake is a moist spice cake that has been poked with holes, filled with eggnog pudding, and topped with fluffy cream.
This cake is a delicious balance of warm spices and sweet eggnog. This spiced poke cake is perfect for the holiday season and makes an excellent Christmas dessert.
We love to decorate this cake with a sprinkle of cinnamon and some sugared cranberries to make it extra festive, and the sour cranberries are a nice balance to the rest of the sweet flavours.
We love poke cakes because they have a lot of flavour, are super moist, and are easy to prepare.
Because they are made in a 9×13 pan, they are easy to transport, cut, and serve, and one cake will make anywhere from 12 to 16 servings, which makes them ideal for serving a crowd.
This poke cake is made with a simple boxed cake mix, but if you have a favourite spice cake recipe, you can use that instead.
For a full list of ingredients and measurements, see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Spice Cake Mix (and ingredients to make cake) – You will need 1 box of spice cake mix to make a 9×13 cake. If you’d rather make your own from scratch you can use yor favourite spice cake recipe.
- Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix – You need one box of instant vanilla pudding. When mixed with the eggnog it creates a delicous eggnog pudding that will form the filling for the cake.
- Eggnog – You can use store-bought or homemade eggnog. This will be mixed with the vanilla pudding to make the eggnog pudding filling.
- Frozen Whipped Topping – This creates the creamy frosting. If you prefer, you can use fresh, prepared whipped cream instead.
- Ground Cinnamon – This is optional, but adds a nice finishing touch to the top of the cake.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1 – Bake the cake according to package directions and allow it to cool. Once it is cool, use the end of a wooden spoon or the wide end of a chopstick to poke holes all over the cake. You want the holes to be about ¼ inch in diameter; otherwise, the thick pudding won’t be able to fill the holes.
Step 2 – In a medium size bowl, whisk the vanilla pudding and eggnog together just until it thickens. Spoon the pudding over the cake paying special attention to filling the holes, then spread the remaining pudding over the top of the cake.
Using a piping bag with a small tip is a great way to fill the cake with pudding and will ensure the holes are fully filled.
Pro-Tip: Space the holes ½ to 1 inch apart and make sure you press the end of the spoon all the way to the bottom. This will ensure the cake is evenly filled with the pudding.
Step 3 -Spoon the whipped topping over the cake and spread it evenly. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon, if desired, to decorate.
Place the cake in the refrigerator for a minimum of one hour to allow the topping and filling to set before serving.
Pro-Tip: It is important to let this cake rest in the fridge before serving as it allows the filling and topping to set and will make it easier to cut. This cake should rest for at least an hour but can be prepared up to a day in advance.
Substitutions & Variations
There are a few ways you can customize this eggnog poke cake if you need to.
- Cake – You can use any spice cake mix to make your cake or your favourite 9×13 spice cake recipe if you want to make homemade. If you don’t love spice cake then you can use your favourite white, yellow, or French vanilla cake instead.
- Frozen whipped topping – If you don’t want to use frozen whipped topping you can make fresh whipped cream to top the cake. If you would rather have a thicker frosting you could use a store-bought tub of vanilla frosting, or make your favourite cream cheese frosting.
Decorations and Toppings
We love to decorate this cake with a dusting of ground cinnamon. Then we add some sugared cranberries to add a pop of colour. The sour cranberries are also a nice complement to the sweet and spicy cake.
Instead of cinnamon you could dust the cake with pumpkin spice, or apple pie spice. It would also be delicious, and pretty, served with candied nuts, crushed gingerbread cookies, or a drizzle of caramel.
This poke cake can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for about five days.
This cake can also be covered and stored in the freezer for several months.
Top Tips & FAQS
Poke cake will keep for about five days when covered and stored in the refrigerator.
You can easily make this cake gluten-free by using your favourite gluten-free cake mix or homemade recipe. You will just want to ensure all the other ingredients you use, such as filling and topping, are also gluten-free.
More Poke Cake Recipes
Eggnog Poke Cake
- 1 (15.25 oz) box spice cake mix plus ingredients to make it
- 1 (3.5 oz) box vanilla instant pudding
- 1 ½ cups eggnog
- 4 cups frozen whipped topping thawed
- ground cinnamon
- sugared cranberries
- candied nuts
- Bake the cake according to package directions, or bake your favourite 9×13 spice cake and let it cool completely.
- Using the end of a wooden spoon or chopstick, poke holes approximately ¼ inch in diameter all over the cake. About ½ inch spacing will allow for a nice amount of filling.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the pudding and eggnog until it begins to thicken. Then spoon the pudding over the cake paying special attention to filling the holes. Then spread the remaining pudding over the cake.
- Spread the thawed whipped topping over the cake in an even layer.
- Dust the top of the cake with ground cinnamon or other toppings as desired.
- Chill the cake for 1 hour before serving to allow the pudding and topping to set.
- Serve the cake with sugared cranberries, candied nuts, or other garnish as desired.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.
Saturday 17th of December 2022
Very good but was too thick to get into the holes. Think I’ll add 1/2 cup milk with the nog next time to thin it out. I’ve never needed a piping bag for a “poke” cake. Great flavor though!
Thursday 17th of November 2022
This is so good for the holidays! My entire family devoured it. I love that the flavor of eggnog was definitely there but it wasn't overpowering. It turned out perfect and I will definitely be serving as an option at Thanksgiving!