Cream of Coconut Poke Cake is a rich coconut flavored poke cake soaked in sweetened condensed milk and cream of coconut, topped with toasted coconut and cherries.
I have been making one version or another of this moist cake for so long now that I couldn’t even begin to tell you where or when the idea originated.
This is a fairly rich dessert. It’s similar to a tres-leches cake, except it uses cream of coconut as one of the components.
This one is also served right from the pan you baked it in, which can be a blessing for folks like me who can hardly get a small cake out of a pan in one piece.
You can use fat-free sweetened condensed milk and light cream of coconut to reduce some of the calories in this.
I don’t because it is dessert and if I were worried about calories I would probably be skipping Cream of Coconut as a dessert anyway.
I would use 2 teaspoons of coconut extract to one additional can of sweetened condensed milk.
This can also be made using a plain white cake made as directed on the box, just remember it will produce a much thinner and airier cake, so reduce the liquid you pour over the hot cake by about half, otherwise, your cake will be swimming.
There is also a good chance you will be eating it out of a bowl with a spoon if you do not reduce the liquid. It will taste good, but won’t be as pretty.
I use the recipe for the cake base from our White Wedding Cake recipe because it holds more liquid before it goes soggy.
You can also skip the cherries, I just use lots of them because they are the favorite part for the DH. I pick them off of my piece and put them on his plate.
For some holiday flair, you could use a combination of red and green cherries. Just be sure to drain your cherries well, on paper towels, prior to placing on the cake.
The largest holes I would poke in my cake would be the size of a chopstick. Any bigger and you will have soggy areas in the cake.
When pouring the milk mixture onto the hot cake start slowly and allow some of the milk to absorb before adding more.
It is best to avoid letting too much liquid run over the sides.
When too much liquid gets under the cake, the bottom becomes soggy.
There will be some liquid that escapes over the sides, and a little is OK, not a flood.
**A friend who does not care for whipped cream asked if it was OK to use a buttercream icing instead.
She tried it and reported back that it was a hit!
I might add some coconut extract rather than almond if you use the buttercream recipe attached to our wedding cake recipe.
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Cream of Coconut Cake
- 1 box white cake mix Pillsbury Traditional White is our preferred mix, 2 boxes of Jiffy mix is second
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 1/3 cup water
- 1 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
- 4 egg whites
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 teaspoons coconut extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 1 1/4 cups cream of coconut
- 16 ounces nondairy whipped topping thawed
- 1 1/2 cups toasted coconut
- 1 jar Maraschino cherries drained, optional
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Spray 9 X 13 baking pan with baking spray. Set aside.
- Place cake mix, four, and sugar into the bowl of stand mixer. Mix just until combined.
- Add water, yogurt, egg whites, oil, and extracts.
- Mix on low speed until combined.
- Turn mixer to medium speed and mix for 2 minutes.
- Pour into prepared pan and place in preheated 325 degrees F oven.
- Set time for 45 minutes. If you begin to smell the cake before the timer goes off, check the cake by sticking a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean or with just a few crumbs but no wet batter, the cake is done and it needs to be removed from the oven.
- While waiting for the cake to bake, mix together sweetened condensed milk and cream of coconut in a small bowl and set aside.
- Once the timer goes off, and you have not removed the cake already because it was done, check the cake for doneness by using the toothpick method.
- If the cake is not done after 35 minutes, continue cooking the cake and checking for doneness every 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how wet the toothpick was when testing the cake.
- Once done, remove from oven.
- Poke holes evenly over the cake using a fork, skewer or chopstick.
- Slowly drizzle milk and cream of coconut mixture over cake, adding more as it is absorbed into the warm cake.
- Once all of the liquid is added to the cake, place in refrigerator until completely cooled.
- Once the cake is cooled, cover with whipped topping, toasted coconut, and cherries.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
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