Vanilla Pudding Poke Cake

Yesterday afternoon, because I obviously thought I didn’t have enough to do with the laundry and housework and toddler wrangling and meal preparing and Christmas present making, I decided to bake a cake.

I’ve seen this kind of recipe popping up all over various blogs and Pinterest, and although by this point I’m a little late in joining the party I thought I’d give it a whirl.

Side note: if anyone from the UK is reading this, do you know where to find pudding mix? I’ve looked everywhere. I have access to all the Angel Delight I could ever eat, but cannot find one single pudding packet. The one I used in this recipe I brought back from America when we visited last October. My suitcase was stuffed with American grocery products, I’m sure Shaun and my parents thought I’d gone crazy. But the stuff keeps forever and I like to use pudding to add to cake mixes, although I’m now down to my last packet!

Vanilla Poke CakeI digress. Oh wait – actually. I’m going to digress a little further. The cake mix I used was a Duncan Hines “Butter Golden” – I’ve never used Duncan Hines before (we only usually get Betty Crocker over here, this one particular box was on clearance at my local JK Maxx), and noticed this little tidbit on the back, underneath the various cooking times.

Who knew that “Bundt” was a registered trademark? Am I the only ignorant person that just thought it was the name of a type of cake pan? You learn something new every day!

Anyway. This cake. I love this cake. What’s not to love? It’s pudding, it’s cake, it’s buttercream frosting and just because this is a fun kind of cake I added sprinkles, too!

And I don’t know whether it was the type of cake mix, or the fact that there was pudding in there too (maybe a bit of both?), but this cake is so unbelievably moist. And light. And sweet. Oh, and it’s incredibly addictive.

I literally had to remove myself from the room to stop myself eating it. I couldn’t resist a little piece, but unfortunately for me gestational diabetes and a truckload of pudding cake do not mix. So the husband and the kid are going be disposing of most of this for me.

I’m sure they won’t mind!

Vanilla Pudding Poke Cake


For cake:

1 boxed cake mix – any white/yellow/butter variety will do fine

Whatever your box mix says you need to make it – mine was 7 tbsp butter, 3 eggs and ½ cup water.

For pudding:

1 packet vanilla pudding mix

2 cups milk – to mix

For buttercream frosting:

6 tbsp butter

1 tsp vanilla

1¾ cups powdered sugar

⅛ tsp salt

1 tbsp water


Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Grease a 9″ square cake pan (or something of equivalent volume) with butter.

Prepare box mix according to directions and scrape batter into pan, evening the top before baking.

Bake for between 25-35 minutes until lightly golden brown on top or a wooden toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean (mine was perfect at 30 minutes). Make sure you have a large bowl and electric whisk or mixer on standby with your pudding mix and milk for when the cake is done.

As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, grab the stick end of a wooden spoon and poke holes into the top, going almost all of the way through to the bottom (I spaced mine around 1½” apart). Then, quickly mix your pudding milk together on high until the mixture just starts to thicken a little – you are looking for a thick syrupy consistency.

Pour the pudding on top of the cake (it should still be hot), making sure all the holes get filled. Spread any excess evenly across the top of the cake, and then put in the fridge to chill for a couple of hours.

To make the buttercream frosting:

In a stand mixer or using an electric hand mixer, combine butter, water and vanilla until well mixed.

Add salt and sugar, and mix on low until combined. Turn mixer to the highest speed and beat for around 5 minutes (or longer, if you have the patience! The longer you beat the frosting, the fluffier it will be!).

Take the cake from the fridge, spread the frosting evenly over the top and then if the mood strikes, add sprinkles, nonpareils, Oreo crumbs or any other form of fun, pretty little decoration.

Slice, and enjoy!

A cake this size will serve around 10-12 people depending on your appetite – I find you only need a little as it is quite sweet!

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