This time of year is always a big celebration season in my family; with Easter and a birthday often falling on the same weekend, and lots to celebrate in May we enjoy a bit of cake during these this four week stretch.
A family favorite is a simple pudding cake.
Traditionally this is a poke cake – bake the cake, poke holes in it, and pour sugar-free pudding (of your flavor choice) over it. Let the pudding set up, top with Cool Whip, and you got a tasty treat.
This year I tried to improve on a classic, and it didn’t work out as I had anticipated, but it turned out to be a tasty twist.
I baked the cake, poked the holes, and let it cool. I then mixed up the pudding package as directed, but with a cup of heavy whipping cream instead of milk…I thought it would be extra creamy (sorry for the obvious eyeroll there) and be really rich and decadent.
Alas, the result was seized up pudding that tore the top of the cake as I tried to spread it out. I scooped the pudding back into the mixing bowl and thinned it out with milk. I then replaced it atop the cake and spread it out into an even layer. I still topped it with Cool Whip and then added pistachios and some shaved chocolate and chocolate curls I made by simply using a vegetable peeler on a bar of Baker’s chocolate.
This twist ended up being more like a mousse cake or dessert lasagna. (Yum!)
Below is the recipe for the cake with notes about each option.
Chocolate Poke Cake Recipe
1 box cake mix (your choice of flavor)
1 can (12 oz) sugar free cream soda
1 box of sugar-free Jell-O pudding mix (your choice of flavor)
1 cup milk (for traditional moist poke cake version) or 1 cup heavy whipping cream and ½ cup milk (for the mousse cake version)
1 tub (8 oz) of Cool Whip
Nuts, sprinkles, chocolate shavings/curls, or just leave it plain
Combine the cake mix with one egg and the can of sugar-free cream soda, then pour into a lightly greased 9 X 13” pan.
Bake as directed on the box (temperature and time).
When a toothpick comes out cleanly, remove it from the oven and set on a cooling rack.
While the cake is still warm, poke holes in the cake every inch or so.
When the cake has cooled, mix the pudding packet with the milk or heavy whipping cream of your choice. If you go the milk route – pour the pudding over the cake while the pudding is still runny. Heavy Whipping cream option: after the cream and pudding pack are mixed, spread over the top of the cake with a spatula.
Top with the Cool Whip and additional toppings if desired.
Super easy, and really delicious!