The perfect poke cake! This dreamy pumpkin poke cake is soaked with rich caramel and topped with a fluffy whipped cream cheese frosting.
Thanksgiving Poke Cake
Pumpkin pie is a must for the Thanksgiving table, but our family get-togethers can be rather large, so we always have a couple additional desserts on hand. Whether its my husband’s famous Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake or his scrumptious Pumpkin Pie Bread Pudding, there’s always lots of pumpkin goodness to go around!
This Caramel Pumpkin Poke Cake is unbelievably moist — there’s real pumpkin baked right into the cake and then the whole thing is soaked through with caramel sauce. Finally, you top it all off with a luscious whipped cream cheese frosting. I’m practically in a sugar coma just talking about it…but the splurge is SO worth it!
Poke cakes make the perfect party desserts because they’re easy to make and they look beautiful when you cut into them. Our Red White and Blue Poke Cake is a show-stopper for the 4th of July, so of course a pumpkin version was in order for Fall and Thanksgiving!
How to Make a Pumpkin Poke Cake
A free printable copy of our Caramel Pumpkin Poke Cake is available at the bottom of the post. Keep reading for prep tips or scroll down for the printable recipe card. For your convenience in recreating our pumpkin poke cake recipe, I’ve included shop-able ad links for some of the products used; disclosure policy available here.
Kitchen Supplies Used:
Make it Gluten Free: We used a box cake shortcut here to save time, but you can also make this pumpkin poke cake using our homemade gluten free pumpkin spice cake recipe. This recipe page also contains a recipe for easy homemade caramel sauce.
Here’s a look at the photo step-by-step process to make this Pumpkin Poke Cake:
To Store Your Pumpkin Poke Cake: Keep covered and refrigerated. Best enjoyed within 2-3 days.
Make Cooking Fun (and Easy!)
Grab a Free Printable Copy of Our Caramel Pumpkin Poke Cake:
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Caramel Pumpkin Poke Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Topping
Pumpkin Poke Cake Ingredients
- 1 box spice cake mix
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup water
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup caramel sauce plus extra for decorating
Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 2 Tablespoons whole milk
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 8 ounces whipped topping (1 small container)
To Make the Caramel Pumpkin Poke Cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare a 9x13" baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a standing mixer, add spice cake mix, pumpkin, water, eggs, and oil and mix until combined.
- Pour the batter into prepared baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove cake from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Use the back of a wooden spoon to poke holes into the cake, about 1" apart.
- Heat up a 1/2 cup of caramel sauce for about 20-30 seconds, then pour warm caramel sauce into the holes in the cake.
- Allow the cake to cool completely.
To Make the Whipped Cream Cheese Topping
- Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, and milk just until it is smooth and creamy, using either a stand mixer or a hand mixer.
- Fold whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture.
To Frost & Decorate
- Spread whipped cream cheese topping to cover the entire cake, making sure to (gently) press the frosting into the holes of the cake.
- Pour remaining caramel sauce into a squeeze bottle and pipe lines across top of the cake. Then use a toothpick to drag lines through the sauce to create a zig zag effect.