This Amazing Rainbow Poke Cake is sure to make everyone excited and happy with its delicious flavor and gorgeous presentation! You’ll never guess how surprisingly simple this cake is to whip up!
Poke cakes are one of my favorite types of cakes.
I never had them growing up – we were never big potluck people (or maybe that’s because we were never invited to potlucks) so I didn’t really even know they existed to be honest. I only discovered them as a fresh-faced, brand-new food blogger and was like HOLD UP. Y’all put pudding in your cake?! GENIUS!
What I love about poke cakes are how versatile they are and how they can easily be customized to your flavor preferences. This one is simple – vanilla cake with vanilla pudding – but you could use lemon pudding with strawberry cake mix, coconut pudding with chocolate cake mix, cheesecake pudding with red velvet cake mix – the list goes on and on.
Lest you think vanilla on vanilla is kind of boring, let me remind you this is a rainbow poke cake. I dyed the cake batter in a swirl of rainbow colors to achieve this look and it is surprisingly easy to do, if not a little labor intensive.
Simply divide the cake batter evenly among 5 or 6 bowls and tint each bowl a different shade of the rainbow. I didn’t distribute my batter evenly enough so I skipped the color orange, but I had enough for red, yellow, green, blue, and purple. You could do this in pastels, primary colors, school colors for graduation, etc.
The key to an amazing Rainbow Poke Cake is to NOT swirl the cake batter colors together. I know it is tempting to get that marble-y effect, but trust me on this – swirling them creates a very muddied color and that’s definitely not what we want! So to achieve the perfect swirl, I like to layer the colors on top of one another at random which creates a cool pattern on its own without color blending or bleeding.
Bake it up, then wait for it to cool before poking holes all over it and filling the holes with pudding. Super simple! Cover and chill, then frost with whipped cream and voila! Super easy, so delicious and guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s faces!
Amazing Rainbow Poke Cake
- One box white or vanilla cake mix
- 3 large eggs
- ⅓ cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1 cup water or milk
- Two (3.4 oz each) boxes instant vanilla pudding mix
- 3 cups milk
- 1¼ cups heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup confectioners' sugar
- Rainbow sprinkles
- Assorted food coloring
- Preheat oven to 350° degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9 rectangular light metal baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together the cake mix, eggs, oil, and water with a handheld electric mixer until creamy and incorporated, about 2 minutes. Evenly divide the batter among 5 or 6 smaller bowls and tint each bowl a different color of the rainbow.
- Spoon the different colored batters randomly into the pan in no particular order until all of the batter has been added to the pan. Resist the urge to swirl with a knife; this will muddy the colors.
- Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist, but not wet, crumbs. Cool completely.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the pudding mix and milk until combined. Poke holes all over the surface of the cake using the handle of a wooden spoon, then pour the pudding mix over the holes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to set.
- Just before serving, make the whipped cream frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the heavy whipping cream and confectioners' sugar together with a whisk attachment on HIGH speed until stiff peaks form, about 5-7 minutes. Frost the cake with the whipped cream, then garnish with the rainbow sprinkles. Store any leftover cake covered in the refrigerator.
You guys are going to love this moist, easy, and flavorful cake!
Craving more poke cake goodness? Check out these recipes!
Have a super sweet day!
I NEED THAT FORK… did you buy this somewhere or have it custom made?
Hi Bailey, the fork is a set from Mud Pie!
How could Li d we put off these Poke Cskes Without Eggs Honey? I have allergy to them. Ty♡♡♡
Hi Diana, I have heard you can substitute eggs with applesauce, but I would Google what the measurements would be.
Paige Henley says
Made this with my 2.5yo son for a play date. So easy, and turned out perfect. Will definitely be making it again. So fun.
Yay, so happy your son and his friend enjoyed!
can you use cool whip instead of frosting? Can you frost the cake sooner then right before serving? I am looking for ideas to frost it as I will be bringing it to a dinner and won’t be able to frost it there, plus it has 1 hour car drive
Hi Jean, you could totally use Cool Whip as frosting and you can probably frost it a few hours ahead of time – just keep it covered in the fridge.
Christina Brooks says
I just poured the pudding over the holes and put it into the refrigerator. I’m nervous how this is going to “turn into” a thick pudding like in the picture. It feels like the cake just absorbed three cups of liquid and going to be a crumbly mess. Maybe I read the recipe wrong… I will update in two hours.