Rich chocolate cake with drizzles of cookies and cream pudding, topped with fluffy whipped cream and chopped Oreo cookies! This party favorite recipe is a natural make ahead dessert recipe too.
This Oreo Poke Cake is such a fun, easy dessert, and SO delicious! We love quick, make ahead desserts, like my Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream (no churn), and French Silk Pie Brownies. This is one of my Dessert recipes you’ll definitely want in your collection!
POKE CAKE RECIPE
I don’t know about you guys, but we’re big cookies and cream fans here. Oreo blizzards from DQ, Oreo cookies, and now, this Oreo poke cake!
It’s such a simple, easy to make recipe. Although it does require a little forethought, since the cake does have to cool before you add the whipped cream topping.
However, that’s true for any cake right? Frosting a warm cake will end up a gooey mess… trust me… been there before.
In fact, you can even make this cake completely ahead of time, and let it hang out in the refrigerator overnight. The flavors get deeper and more meshed together, and all you have to do on the day of serving is sprinkle some crushed Oreo cookies on top!
HOW TO MAKE OREO POKE CAKE
These steps correlate to the picture collage above!
- Prepare cake according to package directions and bake. Use your favorite brand of cake mix. Our favorites are Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker.
- Poke holes in warm cake. It’s best to do this while the cake is still warm so it will absorb the pudding mixture we add next.
- Combine milk and pudding mix. We only have whole milk on hand, but I’m sure 2% would work too.
- Pour all but 1/2 cup of the pudding mix over the cake. That reserved 1/2 cup will get used in another step.
- Spread the pudding mix around if you need to, as you want to make sure the holes get filled up with the pudding. Cover and refrigerate cake for 2 hours.
- Stir together the whipped topping and 1/2 cup pudding. Spread this all over the top of the cooled cake.
- Crush Oreo cookies. Alternately, you could chop them, or use your food processor.
- Spread cookie pieces on top of the cake. It’s best to do this before serving, so they don’t get soggy.
ADDITIONAL COOKING TIPS
- THE HOLES – you can use any utensil you’d like to poke the holes, I just find the end of a wooden spoon is handy. Whichever tool you use, just make sure you’re poking through to the bottom of the pan.
- THE INGREDIENTS – not into using cake mix and prepared whipped topping? No worries, you can absolutely use your own from-scratch recipes to make those and use them here. It’s a very versatile recipe!
VARIATIONS OF THIS RECIPE
- OTHER FLAVORS – think of this recipe as more of a method… as you can mix and match cake mix flavors and pudding flavors to create your own concoctions! Banana pudding and vanilla cake, caramel pudding and butter cake, candy cane pudding and chocolate cake… the possibilities go on and on!
- SUGAR-FREE – I haven’t specifically tested this, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Use sugar free cake mix, pudding mix and whipped topping for a sugar-free dessert!
- OTHER CAKE FLAVORS – I like to use chocolate because it goes so well with Oreo, and you can use any variety of chocolate cake. However, you can switch up the cake mix and use vanilla, or any other flavor you’d like.
- POKE CUPCAKES – instead of following the package directions to make a 9×13 cake, make cupcakes. Poke holes in the cupcakes and continue with the recipe.
MAKING POKE CAKE AHEAD OF TIME
This cake is a bit of a natural make ahead dessert, as the cake needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, not only to cool, but to allow for the pudding to soak into the cake.
However, this cake can be made completely, including the whipped cream topping, then covered and refrigerated a day or two. Just make sure not to add the chopped Oreo cookies until right before you serve, so they don’t get soggy.
Leftovers should be refrigerated and consumed within 3 days.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT FOR THIS RECIPE
- Baking Pan – you can use any 9×13″ baking pan or dish you want, this is just the one I always use.
- Pudding Mix – your grocery store will probably have a better price, I just wanted to show you what to look for.
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- 1 box chocolate cake mix (plus ingredients needed to make the cake - check box for directions)
- 4.2 oz Oreo cookies and cream instant pudding mix
- 2 cups milk I usually use whole milk
- 12 Oreo cookies
- 8 oz container frozen whipped topping thawed
- Prepare, and bake cake in a 9x13" baking pan, according to package directions.
- While cake is still warm, poke holes in the cake with the end of a wooden spoon.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together pudding mix and milk. Whisk for 1 minute, until pudding just starts to thicken up.
- Remove 1/2 cup of the pudding mixture and set aside. Pour remaining pudding evenly over the cake, spreading if necessary to make the pudding fill the holes in the cake. Cover cake with foil and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Fold the reserved pudding mixture (1/2 cup) into the thawed whipped topping, then cover and refrigerate.
- When cake is cooled, spread whipped topping mixture evenly over the entire top of the cake.
- Crush or coarsely chop Oreo cookies, then top cake with the cookie pieces right before serving.
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- You can make this cake (up to step 6) one or two days ahead. Just cover it after step 6 and refrigerate. In fact, the flavors really come together well when it sits overnight.
- Top with Oreos just before serving the cake. If you put them on too early they will get soggy.
- Any chocolate cake mix will work, devils food, German chocolate, or regular chocolate.