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Coconut Poke Cake

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Prep Time: 15 mins    Cook Time: 30 mins

5 from 3 votes

This coconut poke cake is moist, tender, and extremely easy to make! Tropical and nutty flavors shine through in every bite.

A bite of coconut poke cake on a plate with a fork.
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The coconut poke cake itself has a perfectly fluffy texture. As soon as it comes out of the oven, a cream of coconut is poured right on top. The poke cake soaks in all the syrup and turns out incredibly moist. The whipped topping is creamy while the coconut flakes add a nice chewy texture.

Coconut lovers will make this poke cake again and again! It’s delicious and only requires a handful of ingredients. It's the ultimate tropical spring or summer dessert.

This coconut strawberry cake or this coconut sorbet are two other wonderful options to enjoy the sweet coconutty flavor.

Main Ingredients

The ingredients to make coconut poke cake laid out on a table.

This recipe only requires a handful of ingredients! Add these key items to your shopping list:

  • Sweetened flaked coconut: For a nice tropical flavor and chewy texture.
  • Can of cream of coconut: For flavor, sweetness, and a moist cake texture.
  • White cake mix: Saves you time!
  • Cool whip or preferred whipped topping: For the easy, creamy frosting.

Instructions Overview

This might be the simplest dessert recipe of all time. Here’s all you need to do to make it.

First, start out by whipping up your batter. Simply follow the instructions on the packaging and then bake it.

When it’s finished, use a fork to poke holes in the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Pour your cream of coconut all over the top allowing it to soak in the flavors and moisture.

Let it cool, and then frost with thawed whipped topping. Add a generous sprinkling of flaked coconut and slice yourself a piece. Enjoy with a scoop of ice cream and fresh fruits!

Coconut poke cake on a plate with blueberries.

Common Questions

What's the best way to poke holes in a cake?

There are different ways to do this. You can use a fork for small holes or the handle of a wooden spoon or similar for larger ones. For recipes like this coconut poke cake where you're pouring something quite thin over the top, such as cream of coconut or un-thickened Jell-O, a fork will be fine. If you're adding a thicker ingredient to your poke cake, you might like to make the holes a little larger to improve penetration.

Do poke cakes get soggy?

This can happen with Jell-O poke cakes, but it shouldn't with this coconut poke cake. It's supposed to be a very moist cake by design, but if you measure out the ingredients carefully it should be moist rather than soggy. If you keep it for longer than a couple of days it might go a little soggy.

Is Cool Whip the same thing as whipped cream?

While the two are interchangeable, they aren't the same thing. You can either enjoy the convenience of Cool Whip or whip your own cream. Cool Whip has high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated vegetable oil, and a bunch of other chemicals and less-than-wholesome ingredients in there, which is why you might prefer to use an alternative. Reddi-Wip is a good alternative since the main ingredient is real cream and there's no whipping involved like with heavy whipping cream. The choice is, of course, all yours! I used Cool Whip for this coconut poke cake.

How do you store coconut poke cake?

Store inside an airtight container in the refrigerator and enjoy it within 3 days!

Is this recipe freezer-friendly?

You can definitely freeze it. You have a couple of options. Firstly, you could bake it and let it soak in all the cream of coconut. Once cooled, wrap it in plastic wrap and foil. Freeze it and enjoy it within 3 months. To thaw it, place it on the counter and then add the toppings.

The second option for freezing this recipe applies to any leftover slices. You can store them individually in airtight containers in the freezer. Enjoy within 3 months or sooner if your cool whip expiry date is earlier. Thaw on the counter when you’re ready to eat.

Can you make it ahead of time?

You could bake it a day ahead of time if you wish. However, it comes together so quickly and easily that it’s really one of the best last-minute dessert ideas.

What do I serve with it?

Serve it with fresh fruits like berries, mangoes, pineapples, or bananas. Add a scoop of ice cream on the side and top with a drizzle of caramel for extra sweetness.

Is cream of coconut the same as coconut cream?

It is simply sweetened coconut cream. It’s much syrupier in texture as a result of the added sugar.

Can you use coconut cream instead?

No, it would not be a great substitute. It’s much thicker and it’s unsweetened.

Can you use coconut milk instead?

No, because it's much runnier and waterier, so you risk ending up with a mushy, soggy cake.

How long does it take for it to cool?

Before you top it with whipped topping, you’ll want it to cool completely. It will take approximately 2 to 3 hours to fully cool.

Plates of coconut poke take with forks and blueberries on the side.

Chopnotch Tips

  • Use your favorite store-bought white cake mix to save a ton of time.
  • As soon as it is baked, you want to poke the holes and pour your cream of coconut right on top. This allows the cake to soak it all in for a perfectly moist texture.
  • Shake the can well before you pour it on top of the cake. The liquids can sometimes separate from the solids while the can sits in your pantry or on grocery store shelves.
Several pieces of coconut poke cake in a baking pan.

A slice of this sounds perfect right about now!

Let us know what you think! Give this recipe a rating in the comments section below.

Recipe

How to Make

Coconut Poke Cake

This cake is fluffy and tender. The tropical and nutty flavors of the coconut shine through in every bite. Coconut lovers, this one’s for you!
SCALE THIS RECIPE
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Servings: 12 slices

Ingredients

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 8 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
  • 8 ounces cool whip, thawed
  • 15 ounces cream of coconut
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Instructions

  • Prepare and bake white cake mix as per instructions mentioned on the package.
  • Once done, remove from the oven and poke holes by using a large fork all over the top.
  • Shake the can of cream of coconut, open, and pour over the warm cake evenly.
  • Once your cake is cooled, frost with whipping topping and top with flaked coconut. Enjoy!
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Notes

    • Use your favorite store-bought white cake mix to save a ton of time.
    • As soon as it is baked, you want to poke the holes and pour your cream of coconut right on top. This allows the cake to soak it all in for a perfectly moist texture.
    • Shake the can well before you pour it on top of the cake. The liquids can sometimes separate from the solids while the can sits in your pantry or on grocery store shelves.

    Nutrition Facts

    Calories: 384kcal (19%), Carbohydrates: 54g (18%), Protein: 3g (6%), Fat: 18g (28%), Saturated Fat: 14g (88%), Cholesterol: 15mg (5%), Sodium: 247mg (11%), Potassium: 178mg (5%), Fiber: 4g (17%), Sugar: 34g (38%), Vitamin A: 36IU (1%), Vitamin C: 1mg (1%), Calcium: 30mg (3%), Iron: 2mg (11%)
    Print Recipe
    course:
    Dessert
    cuisine:
    American

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