Boston Cream Poke Cake


The Boston Cream Poke Cake is a delightful dessert that combines the richness of Boston cream pie with the convenience and moisture of a poke cake. One of the most frequent queries about this cake is about its key ingredients. Here’s a comprehensive breakdown:

  1. Cake Base: The foundation of this cake is typically a yellow butter cake. This can be easily achieved using a store-bought cake mix, making it a straightforward and time-efficient choice.
  2. Vanilla Pudding: The creamy vanilla pudding that seeps into the poked holes of the cake ensures every bite is moist and flavorful. It’s commonly made from instant vanilla pudding mix combined with whole milk and vanilla extract.
  3. Chocolate Ganache: The topping of the cake is a rich chocolate ganache, offering a delightful contrast to the creamy pudding and the fluffy cake. Semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips are often used in conjunction with heavy cream and a touch of vanilla to create this luscious topping.

For those who enjoy experimenting, there are numerous variations and substitutions possible. For instance, if you’re a fan of different creamy fillings, you might enjoy the quick Italian cream cake .

Golden-yellow Boston Cream Poke Cake topped with a glossy chocolate ganache and filled with creamy vanilla pudding.

How Can I Ensure the Perfect Ganache Consistency?

Ganache is a beautiful combination of chocolate and heavy cream. However, its simplicity can sometimes be deceptive. The right consistency is vital for that ideal glossy and smooth finish. Here’s a guide to achieving it:

  1. Temperature Matters: The temperature of the heavy cream is paramount. It should be hot enough (around 200°F) to melt the chocolate but not so hot that it scorches it.
  2. Stirring Technique: Slowly stir your mixture to combine the melted chocolate and cream. If you notice that the ganache appears grainy, a trick is to add a small amount of cold heavy cream and stir slowly until smooth.
  3. Patience in Cooling: Once your ganache is made, it’s tempting to use it immediately. However, it’s essential to let it cool to room temperature or slightly above. Rushing this step by cooling it in the refrigerator might result in a change in consistency.

For chocolate enthusiasts, you might find inspiration from other chocolate-rich recipes, such as the chocolate delight.

What Makes Boston Cream Poke Cake Different from Traditional Boston Cream Pie?

For many, Boston Cream Pie is a nostalgic dessert. However, the Boston Cream Poke Cake offers a fresh twist on this classic. So, what distinguishes the two?

  1. The Base: Traditional Boston Cream Pie utilizes a sponge cake as its base, while the poke cake typically employs a yellow butter cake. The latter is often easier and quicker to prepare, especially when using a box mix.
  2. Moisture Level: Due to the poking method and the pouring of vanilla pudding, the poke cake version guarantees more moisture in every bite.
  3. Ease of Making: The poke cake variation is generally considered more straightforward, primarily when you leverage instant mixes. It’s a great choice for those who want the taste of Boston cream pie without extensive baking steps.

For those with a passion for varying dessert flavors, don’t miss out on exploring other unique cake ideas like the Oreo ice cream cake.

How Do You Properly Store Boston Cream Poke Cake?

Storing your Boston Cream Poke Cake correctly ensures that its taste and texture remain intact. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Refrigeration: Given the pudding and ganache components, this cake should be stored in an airtight container and placed in the refrigerator. Here, it can last for up to a week.
  2. Freezing: If you wish to store it for longer periods, the freezer is your friend. You can keep your Boston Cream Poke Cake in a sealed container in the freezer for up to three months. Just remember to thaw it in the refrigerator before serving.

Why Should I Remove ½ Cup of the Pudding Mixture?

The texture of the cake plays a significant role in the overall experience of the dessert. Removing a specific amount of the pudding mixture is not arbitrary. By taking out ½ cup:

  1. Texture Maintenance: The cake retains a balanced moisture level. By ensuring you don’t use an excessive amount of pudding, the cake remains moist without becoming overly soggy.
  2. Flavor Balance: Too much of the pudding could overpower the cake’s base and the chocolate ganache on top. By limiting the pudding, all components of the cake can shine equally.
  3. Bonus Treat: Setting aside the ½ cup of pudding mixture means you have a delightful snack for later! It’s like a baker’s treat for all your hard work.

Remember, the primary objective is to strike a balance between moisture and flavor. Adhering to this step ensures the cake remains rich and flavorful without compromising its structure.

Can You Experiment with Different Frostings for Boston Cream Poke Cake?

Close-up view of a slice of Boston Cream Poke Cake, showcasing its moist layers and rich chocolate topping.

While the classic Boston Cream Poke Cake features a decadent chocolate ganache as its topping, the versatility of this cake means you can certainly get creative with the frosting. Here are some insights into experimenting with different frostings:

  1. Understanding the Base: The key flavor profiles of the Boston Cream Poke Cake include the buttery cake and the creamy vanilla pudding. Any frosting you choose should complement these flavors and not overshadow them.
  2. Alternative Chocolate Frostings: Instead of a ganache, you can opt for a lighter chocolate whipped cream or a richer chocolate buttercream. Another option is to use a ready-made tub of chocolate frosting for convenience.
  3. Fruity Twists: A berry compote or a fruit-flavored glaze can add a refreshing twist to the cake. Imagine a raspberry drizzle that brings a touch of tartness to balance the sweet.
  4. Nutty Additions: Consider frostings infused with nut flavors like almond, hazelnut, or peanut butter. These can offer a delightful contrast to the creamy filling of the cake.
  5. Caramel or Butterscotch: For those who love a rich, buttery finish, caramel or butterscotch drizzles can be an excellent choice. It lends a sticky sweetness to the cake.
  6. Texture Considerations: Remember that the Boston Cream Poke Cake is inherently moist due to the pudding. Hence, any frosting you opt for should not make the cake too wet or overly sweet.

In conclusion, while the chocolate ganache is a classic choice for Boston Cream Poke Cake, the world of frostings is vast and allows for a multitude of delightful variations. The most important aspect is to ensure that whatever frosting or topping you select complements the primary flavors of the cake. And for those who love the interplay of textures and flavors in desserts, exploring recipes like the Oreo ice cream cake can offer more inspiration.

Boston Cream Poke Cake

This scrumptious dessert offers a harmonious blend of creamy vanilla pudding and rich chocolate ganache. With its simple steps and rewarding flavor, it’s no wonder why Boston Cream Poke Cake is a favorite for many!
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Boston Cream Poke Cake Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 495kcal


For the Cake

  • 1 box butter yellow cake mix along with ingredients mentioned on the package: vegetable oil, eggs, water
  • 6.8 ounces 2 x 3.4-ounce boxes instant vanilla pudding (note: you won’t use the entire second box of pudding)
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Ganache


  • Start by preparing the yellow butter cake mix according to the package’s directions. Pour the batter into a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish. Bake according to the temperature and time guidelines on the cake box.
  • Once baked, take out the cake and let it cool. When cooled, use a wooden spoon’s handle to poke holes throughout the cake, spacing them roughly an inch and a half apart.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the instant vanilla pudding, milk, and vanilla extract.
  • Remember to set aside ½ cup of the pudding mixture. Then, promptly pour the remaining pudding over the cake.
  • Chill the cake in the refrigerator for an hour.
  • For the ganache, mix the butter, both types of chocolate chips, heavy cream, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until the chocolate is fully melted and combined.
  • Gently spread the ganache over the cake. For best results, refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or even overnight.


  • It’s easier to poke the cake while it’s still a bit warm; if it cools down entirely, the crust may crumble.
  • Ensure you pour the pudding onto the cake swiftly to prevent it from setting prematurely.
  • Tapping the pan on a counter can help release air bubbles when adding the cream, ensuring it fills the holes entirely.
  • That ½ cup of pudding you set aside? It’s for a reason. The cake’s texture is at its prime when you do so, plus you get a treat for later!


Calories: 495kcal


  1. Jane San Filippo

    5 stars

  2. Jane San Filippo

    5 stars

  3. Karon Wilson

    5 stars
    These’s recipes are easy and taste’s remarkable .Freeze your left
    Over and eat at another time.

    Thank You !!!
    Karon Renee Wilson

Comments are now closed.