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Caramel Cream Cheese Poke Cake

Coconut-Caramel Poke Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Serves: 12

Hands On Time: 

Total Time: 


3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (150 grams) packed brown sugar
9 tablespoons (125 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 large eggs
3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons (200 ml) coconut milk
1 3/4 ounces (50 grams) dark chocolate, melted
3/4 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons (130 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (40 grams) dried unsweetened coconut flakes
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda

4 tablespoons (50 grams) unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups (400 ml) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 tsp salt

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
1 1/2 (8-ounce) packages (350 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
5 tablespoons coconut cream
4 tablespoons (50 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (50 ml) maple syrup
3 tablespoons (30 grams) dried unsweetened coconut flakes, plus more, toasted, for garnish


To make the cake: Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9- by 13-inch cake pan with nonstick oil spray.

In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, butter and eggs until smooth. Stir in the coconut milk and melted chocolate. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, coconut, cocoa powder and baking soda. Gradually whisk the flour mixture into the sugar mixture.

Bake just until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 20 to 30 minutes. Be careful not to overbake the cake. You don’t want it to be dry. Let the cake cool completely in the pan.

The fun begins now as you poke holes into the cake. You can use any round tool, such as a pen or a wooden spoon handle. Be careful, however, not to poke holes all the way through the cake.

To make the caramel: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, stir in the condensed milk and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened and golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Pour the caramel over the poked cake and let cool for about an hour.

To make the cream cheese frosting: In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, coconut cream, butter, maple syrup and coconut flakes. Chill for 30 minutes, then frost the cake evenly with the cold mixture. Sprinkle the toasted coconut flakes across the top and serve. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Photo: Callum Mundine

About the recipe

The '70s are fondly remembered for bold fashion style and the disco movement. But our palates also owe one to the decade, for it birthed the delectable poke cake. As its name suggests, you poke holes on the cake after baking it. You then pour yummy fillings into the holes. Revive the delicious taste of the poke cake in your kitchen with this caramel and coconut-filled recipe.

This recipe was developed by Callum Mundine, the head of content at cheesecurds.com.au, an Australia-based dairy product manufacturer that specializes in the B2B market. When he is not creating content online, he’s in the kitchen experimenting with different flavors and food combinations.