Create a colorful Easter poke cake using vanilla cake mix, vanilla pudding, and food coloring. This chilled cake is both delicious and fun.
One of the best parts about cooking for holidays is making the food festive! This Easter poke cake with pudding is definitely festive! And it’s easy to create!
Make a poke cake this Easter for your family and friends to enjoy.
What Is a Poke Cake?
A poke cake is a cake with a filling poured over the top that incorporates into the cake. For the filling to incorporate, the cake is poked full of holes. Hence the name, poke cake.
Traditionally, poke cakes are made with Jell-O, pudding, or jam. But the possibilities are endless! Any liquid filling that solidifies in the refrigerator works for this kind of cake. This Easter cake contains vanilla pudding as the filling.
Ingredients Needed for Easter Poke Cake
- Box of white cake mix
- Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix
- Pink, purple, and blue food coloring
- Cool Whip
- Colorful sprinkles
How to Make a Pudding Poke Cake for Easter
If you can bake a cake, then you can make a poke cake! They are incredibly simple to make, but look so fun when served! I use box mixes because holidays are stressful enough without baking treats from scratch!
Bake the Cake
First, bake the cake. Use your favorite white cake recipe or box mix. Prepare the cake in a 9×13 pan according to the directions. The most important part of baking the cake is to properly line the pan. You don’t want the cake to stick at all! I used my trick for lining a brownie pan!
How to Line the Cake Pan
First, lightly spray the 9×13 baking pan with cooking oil. I like to use coconut oil, but whatever you prefer is fine. Then, cut two pieces of parchment paper into strips. Make one sheet of parchment paper 15×10.” Lay that piece of parchment paper inside the baking pan horizontally. Then cut a piece 10×12″ and lay it vertically. The parchment paper should form a cross shape and cover all four sides of the pan. This makes it easy to lift the cake out of the pan when it is finished.
Prepare the Pudding
While the cake bakes, prepare the pudding. Again, use your favorite pudding recipe or instant pudding mix. Separate the pudding into 3 different bowls when it is finished. Then add food coloring to each bowl. The colors make the cake look more festive when you cut into it! I used pink, blue, and purple for my Easter cake. The bright colors are perfect for the holiday.
Can I Use Jello Instead of Pudding?
Absolutely! Jello is an easy substitute for pudding. The only difference is the Jello flavors. The flavor of Jello will change the flavor of the cake. And it may be more difficult to use multiple colors/flavors together in one cake. But I think a lemon and mixed berry flavor would pair nicely together.
When the cake is finished baking, remove it from the oven. Use the round end of a wooden spoon to poke holes in the cake. The holes should only be a half inch to an inch apart.
Next, pour the puddings over the top of the cake. Pour the pudding over small sections of the cake and alternate the color. It needs to look similar to tie-dye when you’re finished. That ensures that different colors are in many of the cake pieces. Then smooth out the pudding on top with a rubber spatula.
Place the cake in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. This allows the cake to cool and gives the pudding time to set.
Once the cake is completely chilled, remove it from the refrigerator. Then, use the parchment paper to lift the cake out of the cake pan. Then it’s time to ice the cake! Since this is a cold cake, Cool Whip makes an excellent icing.
Should I Use Frosting or Cool Whip?
You can use either frosting or cool whip to ice the cake. With the pudding, this cake is incredibly rich. So Cool Whip is a lighter option.
Decorate the cake with colorful sprinkles or Easter candy. I used green sprinkles to create grass and added Peeps to a few pieces. On other pieces I used green sprinkles and Cadbury mini chocolate eggs. And then on a few I just used multicolor sprinkles.
*Kid Tip* Let the kids decorate their own piece of cake with some of their Easter goodies! It makes the cake more fun for them. And takes the decorating off your plate!
How to Store This Easter Poke Cake
This cake needs to remain chilled. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
Can I Make This Cake in Advance?
Absolutely! Since the cake cools in the refrigerator, you can leave it there for a day before serving. Simply cover the top with Saran wrap after two hours to keep it fresh. You can ice the cake ahead of time, or just before serving.
More Delicious Easter Snacks and Desserts
Easter Poke Cake
- 9×13 baking pan
- wooden spoon
- rubber spatula
- parchment paper
- 1 box white cake mix *and ingredients needed per instructions
- 1 box vanilla instant pudding mix *and ingredients needed per instructions
- pink, blue, and purple food coloring
- 10 oz Cool Whip
- Bake a white cake per the instructions on the box. Use a 9×13 baking pan.
- While the cake bakes, prepare a box of vanilla instant pudding per the instructions on the box.
- Separate the pudding into 3 bowls.
- Use food coloring to color each bowl of pudding a different color.
- Remove the cake from the oven. Use a wooden spoon handle to poke holes into the cake every 1/2 inch.
- Pour the puddings onto the cake in small sections alternating colors. The cake should have a tie-dye appearance when finished.
- Chill the cake in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator and ice using Cool Whip.
- Remove the cake from the pan, slice, and serve.
- Add toppings like sprinkles, Peeps, or Easter egg candies to each piece. Or to the entire cake before serving.