If you love coconut, Coconut Poke Cake is the cake for you! It’s made with boxed cake mix to make it extra easy.
Calling all coconut lovers! This Coconut Poke Cake is absolute dream—a moist and tender white cake with a creamy coconut sauce that melts into the cake, topped with whipped topping and coconut.
When I was testing this recipe, a friend remarked that it reminded her of tres leches cake. And it really is similar!
The cake starts with a boxed cake mix, which you bake and poke holes in with a drinking straw or skewer.
A mixture of cream of coconut and sweetened condensed milk is poured over the cake, and the cake soaks it up. Then it goes into the refrigerator and is topped with whipped topping and coconut.
The end result is a cake that’s cool and creamy, crunchy from the coconut, and packed with coconut flavor.
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- You’ll need a white cake mix, made according to package directions (mine called for water, eggs, and oil).
- A mixture of sweetened condensed milk and cream of coconut is poured over the top. Cream of coconut is NOT the same as coconut milk. Cream of coconut is sweetened, and you need the sweetness for this recipe. Make sure you are buying cream of coconut or “crema de coco” (Goya is one brand that makes it).
- Whipped topping goes on top (you can also use homemade whipped cream), then shredded coconut. You can use either sweetened or unsweetened coconut.
How to make coconut poke cake
Start by making a cake mix according to package directions.
Pour it into a greased 13×9 inch pan and bake according to the directions on the box.
While the cake is still warm from the oven, poke holes in the cake approximately one inch apart. You can use a drinking straw, a skewer, the handle of a wooden spoon, or a fork for this.
Whisk together the cream of coconut and the sweetened condensed milk. Pour the mixture over the cake, then refrigerate until the cake is cool (about 1–2 hours).
When the cake is cool, top with the whipped topping (I used a store brand of Cool-Whip).
You can also use homemade whipped cream if you prefer. See the “Frequently Asked Questions” section below for amounts if using homemade whipped cream.
Lastly, sprinkle the shredded coconut over the top. You can use either sweetened or unsweetened (I used unsweetened). Then, refrigerate the Coconut Poke Cake until completely chilled, about 3–4 hours or overnight.
Frequently Asked Questions: Coconut Poke Cake
Yes! Whip 2 cups of heavy cream with 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Spread over the cake in place of the whipped topping.
Coconut Poke Cake can be frozen, either whole or in slices. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil, then freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
Either works well for this recipe. I used unsweetened, as I found that the cake was sweet enough. However, sweetened will be really nice as well.
Store Coconut Poke Cake in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it. I highly recommend serving it straight from the refrigerator, as it’s really nice when cold.
Leftover cake will keep for 4–5 days in a covered container in the refrigerator.
You can also freeze Coconut Poke Cake either whole or in slices. If freezing a the whole cake, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil, and then freeze for up to two months. If you’re freezing slices, transfer them to a freezer safe dish and then freeze. Defrost the cake overnight in the refrigerator.
Coconut Poke Cake is best enjoyed straight from the refrigerator. It’s quite rich so small-ish slices are often enough. But don’t let me stop you from serving yourself a large slice, either! 🙂
It’s delicious with a steaming cup of coffee or tea.
More 13×9 inch cake recipes
I LOVE a good 13×9 inch cake! Here are a few others that are favorites, either on the blog or in my house:
- Old Fashioned Banana Cake (one of my very favorites)
- Turtle Cake (oh my gosh is this one GOOD!)
- Mississippi Mud Cake
- Cherry Dump Cake
- Banana Split Cake (this one’s a great summertime cake)
- Jell-O Poke Cake
- Ding Dong Cake (a blog reader favorite!)
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!
Coconut Poke Cake
- 1 box white cake mix made according to package directions
- 1 (15 oz) can cream of coconut
- 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 (8 oz) container whipped topping
- 1½ cups shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare cake according to package directions, and bake in a greased 13×9 inch baking dish.
- While the cake is baking, whisk together the cream of coconut and sweetened condensed milk.
- While the cake is still warm from the oven, use a skewer, drinking straw, or fork to poke holes in the cake about 1 inch apart.
- Pour the milk mixture over the top. Refrigerate until cool, about 1–2 hours.
- Spread whipped topping over the top and sprinkle with coconut. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Store cake in the refrigerator.