When I am in hurry and need to make a quick dessert for our summer bbqs, this Easy Boston Cream Poke Cake is perfect. The recipe is so super simple and uses a boxed cake mix, pudding, and store bought frosting. SUPER simple.
Boston Cream Poke Cake
My hubby is a huge fan of cream filled baked goods. He loves our Homemade Eclairs recipe best. Before we made the homemade eclairs, this super simple Boston Cream Poke Cake was his favorite dessert that I have made.
The recipe is so super simple but tastes out of this world amazing. The flavor combinations taste just like a high end Boston Cream cake.
Poke cakes are always a hit at our summer bbqs. I make our Oreo Poke Cake often but this is another one of my “go to” cake recipes when I am pressed for time.
This cake is so simple because it uses a store bought cake mix, boxed pudding and store bought frosting. It’s so simple I can have my teens make it for me when needed.
1 box Yellow Cake Mix (plus box ingredients)
2 small boxes (3.4 oz) Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
4 cup Milk
1 container Chocolate Frosting
Prepare cake in 13×9″ pan according to box directions.
Allow to cool until just slightly warm.
Use spoon handle to poke holes evenly across cake.
Combine milk and pudding mix and whisk until well blended.
Pour pudding over cake making sure it gets down into holes.
Refrigerate cake for several hours to allow pudding to settle and set up.
Open frosting container and remove foil seal.
Microwave for 15 seconds and stir. Repeat this until frosting is pourable.
Pour over pudding layer and spread with spatula to cover completely.
Refrigerate for at least several more hours.
Do you have a favorite summer bbq dessert recipe that you like to make?
This cake is always one of the first desserts that everyone at our bbqs finishes off. Most everyone is always amazed at how simple the recipe is. I like to keep it refrigerated up until I serve it so the layers are perfect. If I am transporting, I will freeze it ahead of time so it stays chilled.
Boston Cream Poke Cake
- 1 box Yellow Cake Mix plus box ingredients
- 2 small boxes 3.4 oz Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
- 4 cup Milk
- 1 container Chocolate Frosting
- Prepare cake in 13x9" pan according to box directions.
- Allow to cool until just slightly warm.
- Use spoon handle to poke holes evenly across cake.
- Combine milk and pudding mix and whisk until well blended.
- Pour pudding over cake making sure it gets down into holes.
- Refrigerate cake for several hours to allow pudding to settle and set up.
- Open frosting container and remove foil seal.
- Microwave for 15 seconds and stir. Repeat this until frosting is pourable.
- Pour over pudding layer and spread with spatula to cover completely.
- Refrigerate for at least several more hours.
Looking for other great dessert recipes? Be sure to see some of these other ideas that I have shared…
My entire family loves this cake. My granddaughters love to help make it so it’s an easy, fun, family affair. And I have caught all of them eating the remnants the next morning.
I love your recipes. I’ve tried many and they turned out well. I will continue subscribing. Thank you for sharing all that you have far!!
Hi, My frosting stayed runny and never did set up with refrigeration. I did not think I microwaved it too much but perhaps that was the problem. Any idea why this happened> It made cutting it a mess. Thanks!
I’m wondering how chocolate ganache would work on the cake?
My family loved it. I had couple slice left from. 9 people eating.
I did have to get it ready in an hour. So I did half of pudding and half of cream cheese for the filling and refrigerated for half an hour and it turns out delicious.
Everyone was asking what the filing was. Another plus, we kinda not like too much sweet so I omitted the icing but shredded some lemon pell Instead for the top.
Great Recip e. . Thanks, I used Pillsbury Sugar Free Yellow Cake mix, sugar free pudding and sugar free frosting and it was delish ! Thanks
Thanks! Exactly why I came to the comments.
Great Recip . . Thanks, I used Pillsbury Sugar Free Yellow Cake mix, sugar free pudding and sugar free frosting and it was relish ! Thanks
Can you use cooked jello pudding mix iinstead of instant? I really lIke the cooked flavor better.
Ijust finished making this cake after reading the reviews. The instructions were clear but I want to send a special thank you out to Wendy. Her idea of using a large syringe to insert the pudding into the holes was genius. And also to mix the pudding for 2 min. So after our done filling the holes the pudding has set up enough to easily spread on cake. Make sure cake has cooled completely.i also followed her advise to only zap frosting till it was just pour able not runny. For my micro this was only 2 sets of 15 seconds, stirring completely in between. It came out beautifully and was a huge success with my family. Thank you so much for this great,easy but delicious recipie! It is just my kind ofbaking!
I was really excited to make this! And then I messed it up. Apparently you should let the pudding settle a little before pouring over the cake. I am sure it will still turn out somewhat though, just a little disappointed that I didn’t think about that and that it wasn’t mentioned to do so in the instructions! Oh well, you live and you learn! Great idea though, always another day!
I decided to give this Boston poke cake a try but I put a slight twist on it. I used chocolate morsels and melted them and put those on top instead. Use the semi-sweet morsels and use any type of condensed milk or regular milk to melt your morsels. You can even try using Reeses morsels to add a bit of flare.
One possible problem with the pudding frosting may be the amount of milk used. I used the large 6 oz size. You DONT DOUBLE the amount of milk as in the small box. Use 3 cups of milk for the large box.
I put a little twist on my version. First, I toasted 2 big handfuls of chopped walnuts. I didn’t have frosting on hand, so I melted some mini chocolate chips in the micro and thinned it with a bit of water. Estimate I used 1/3 bag of mini chips. I whisked the pudding for the full 2 mins and it partially thickened. Spread it over warm, not hot, cake (unlike gelatin poke cake), sprinkled the walnuts over top, and finished with chocolate drizzle. I was thinking that I could have stopped after spreading the pudding and completely cooled it in the fridge, then topped with whipped cream, walnuts, and chocolate drizzle. This, obviously, is a deviation from the Boston Creme style. I’m taking this to potluck tomorrow. It looks pretty!
Thanks, Jen, for a great idea and a useful blog!
I love this recipe and would have no problem with making it! Some people get impatient with cooking but it’s an art! Thanks for linking up with delicious dishes recipe party!
Can’t wait to try this ! Yummmmmmmm!
This is the most awesome cake ever!!
This is so delicious.. But even better if you add a tablespoon of vanilla extract in the vanilla pudding!!
I have to say, I was a little unnerved by all the comments from people who said the icing was slipping off the top, or the pudding made the cake too soggy, but I had already purchased the ingredients and needed to bring a dessert to a potluck this evening, so I went ahead and made it. I have to say, I don’t know what happened to all those people who had a problem, this cake turned out just like the pictures showed! I completely cooled the cake before pouring the pudding over it, used a large syringe to fill the holes first, by then the pudding was thick enough to spread. I put it in the fridge for two hrs, nuked the frosting until it was not liquified but spreadable and piu it back in the fridge for three hours. Each slice came out firmly and the frosting stayed in place.. Everyone loved it!! Thank you SO much for posting this recipe!!!
Has anyone tried this in a bundt pan?would it work?
This is my kind of cake! Thanks for linking up with What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!
Leah @ Love and Blues
Yummmm. I love this cake. I found this recipe a while back and my husband made it for me when I was having a bad day. It turned around really quickly ;) This is definitely one of my favorite cake recipes! Thank you for sharing it!
Don’t know why folks are having trouble with this recipe. Follow the directions and it comes out great. I’ve made it several times for my kids and they love it. I’m a single Dad and not a great cook.
This recipe was a mess for me! The cake was runny and watery as the pudding never set. The frosting just slide right off when you try to cut it. I followed the directions perfectly and used instant pudding mix.
My pudding was like water.I used instant pudding with 4 cups of milk right? ?
This cake looks amazing! Thanks for linking up with What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!
What an easy recipe! I was a bit surprised at the short list of ingredients! This would be great for those parties you forget to make something for until last minute. Thanks for linking up with Delicious Dishes Recipe Party!
I made this with instant pudding and it is extremely thin and runny. As the cake naturally domes slightly in the middle, it all ran to the edges. There is barely any pudding in the center of the cake (aside from the amount in the holes) – such a thin layer that it is see through. My next problem is the icing. The pudding is up to the rim of the 13×9 cake pan. There is no lip to catch the icing. I do think know why my cake appears to have risen so much more than everyone else, but I don’t see anyone else saying that this was a problem they faced. I wish I had trimmed the middle of the cake down so that it was fla or possibly allowed the pudding to set up for a minute or two before applying it so that it had not pooled to the edges. I suppose I will be frosting one piece at a time as it is cut.
When I bake a cake that mound in the center, I use another pan, the same size, and while the cake is still warm, I press it on the cake to flatten it out. Works every time and I learned to do it while working in a bakery. You get a nice flat top and don’t hurt thick at all.
Thx for the tip!
Wow, that poke cake looks so good!
Morgan @ Morgan Manages Mommyhood
Ahh I can’t wait to make this! I made my brother a Boston Cream Cake before he moved to Boston, so when he comes back to visit I usually do another for him. Thanks for sharing, pinned and stumbled!
Trisha @ Home Sweet Homemade
Looks awesome! We just made a banana version of this! Pinned!
This looks amazing! Thanks for sharing :)
Can you use regular pudding instead of instant?
I live in Ireland, no problem with buying the cake mix and chocolate topping but I have no idea what a pudding mix is unless it’s the same as making a vanilla custard? Ant ideas.
It’s the small packages of Jell-o Instant Pudding mix. You just mix the dry pudding with 2 cups of milk and it soft-sets in about 5 minutes. Don’t know if you are familiar with Jell-o in Ireland. They sell it everywhere here in the states.
I’m in this process of making this. I just mixed the pudding mix and milk, and it’s very runny, just like other commenters have said. It doesn’t look like your pudding mix in the pictures. I am also worried about the frosting being too thin as well. Are there details that you are leaving out? Why are so many of us having problems?
I think I found the problem with the pudding! There are some puddings that you have to cook first, and that’s what I got because it’s not specified in the recipe. But I looked closer at the picture and it is clearly instant pudding. Maybe you can add that to your ingredient list for those of us that don’t stare at picture to figure out exactly what to get.
Oops. I doubled check the ingredients and it does say instant! I guess we aren’t paying close enough attention, sorry. :)
It says to mix the milk and pudding until it’s basically combined, but I went ahead and whisked till it was sorta thick and then poured it on worked great, as I poured I used a spatula to get it down in the holes then spread it all over so far looks just like the picture I just put in fridge and will check it after the time it states, then do the frosting part and put in fridge again for several hours. Will inform all on how mine turned out or if I had a problem with frosting. Looking forward to the finished product decided to try it because of its simplicity.
I’m really worried about the frosting comments I’ve been reading. I have a potluck this Saturday night and I want to bring this cake, but I see no resolve to the frosting problems. Is there one????
I was very disappointed as I made this and was excited to try it. Non like the others, my issue with the cake was not the frosting, but the pudding. When I cut the cake, it was VERY soupy. Not good at all. I let it sit in the fridge over night so not sure where I went wrong, unless I needed to put some type of cover over it, such as aluminum foil or something. Help???
How long for this process total? I am thinking of making the cake but only have 5 hours from start to finish. Enough?
The printable recipe does not give the size for the vanilla pudding. It does show online but not when you print it. Just wanted to let you know. I am baking my cake now. Can’t wait to try it.
This looks amazing and I’m making one right now, but am using butterscotch pudding, white cake and vanilla icing! I’m sure it will taste fantastic. I’ll be making another one tomorrow for a retirement brunch and plan to use banana pudding with chocolate cake!
I tried your boston creme poke cake and found it to be very tasty. The only think I wasn’t happy with is the frosting that was suggested since after refrigerating it for several hours the frosting was too drippy and would just roll off the cake when trying to cut a piece of cake. In the picture the frosting depicts a firmly set frosting. I followed everything to the T.
I had the same problem. The frosting became a soupy mess and really destroyed the look of the whole cake. Not to mention, after a piece was cut, the frosting would slide into the space like an invading ooze. Sure was tasty though.. would be better to just serve this with a large spoon rather than try to slice it into pieces.
I noticed that the recipe says “yellow” cake mix but the picture shows “butter yellow”. Any feedback on which one it should be and which would taste better? Thank you!!!
i used the
white choc olate pudding mix an it was so good . i was out of vanilla but i think this is much better. try it
Me and my husband are both diabetic. I’ve found sugar free cake mix, frosting and pudding. I’m definately making this for us. ?
I’m making the sugar free version as well!
HELP! I just made this and the pudding set up before I could get it all poured. I made two cakes – poked the holes in the cake before doing the pudding but still didn’t get in into all the holes. Love the recipe but should I have used 4 1/2 cups milk?
I’m assuming you let the pudding settle a little before pouring it on the cake? Otherwise it is runny
Making it right now! How long did you let it cool before you added the pudding?
I just made this cake and the flavor is delicious! The only issue I have with this recipe is when I cut a piece of it to serve the chocolate frosting just slides off. I did have it in the refrigerator for several hours as the recipe indicated! Even on the second day I tried to cover the cake in the pan and all of the frosting is sticking to the Press n’ Seal.
Try spraying your foil or plastic before covering. That should prevent the icing from sticking. ;)
Mine ended up the same way. Chocolate icing never hardened up. You try to cut the cake and the icing just rolls right off. Followed directions exactly. Used Betty Crocker chocolate frosting, so I didn’t go cheap. What happened? And, how do I fix it?
OMGosh…that Boston Creme Cake looks sooooooo Delish! I live by myself and don’t generally make things like this….but I’m gonna make this cake and eat the whole thing by myself!! And gain 20 pounds! I will try freezing some of it in serving size portions, just to see how it holds up. YUM….I can’t wait!!!
You can get personal tins at $tree pack of three that way just make 3 cakes eat 1 freeze 2. Just watch the baking time they also might have round cake pans there to that are 4 per pack that are personal size.
Do you let the cake cool before pouring the pudding on top
The recipe says you are supposed to wait till it’s warm so let it cool a little bit but not completely.
I just finished baking the cake and pouRed the pudding on top. The pudding was VERY liquidy anD went straight to the bottom of the cake. Any suggestion so? I’m afraid the pudding won’t set.
I let the pudding get slightly thicker before I put it in on the cake and it worked out just fine.
The same thing happened to me… it’s in the fridge now. Not sure how this will turn out!
Do you let the cake cool completely before adding the pudding?
Do you wait until the cake cools afterbaking before you poke holes and spread the pudding? Or do you poke holes while cake is still hot and then cool before spreading pudding? Not clear from the recipe.
recipe tells you to wait til semi cool.
I’m going to make this with gluten free cake mix for my sister. My grandmother always made it for her and I think it would be nice to make it for her in my grandmother’s memory. Thank you for sharing this super easy recipe.
How long does it take for the Boston Cream cake to unthaw? Will definitely make it for our next church dinner. Thank you for the recipe!
How long does the Boston Cream cake take to unthaw?
Sure looks good and I plan to make it for our next church dinner!
Thanks for making something so delicious so easy!
It looks like 3.4 oz pkg on the pictures…
Thank you for sharing this..I will defenitely try it out :)
What size boxes of pudding did you use, the recipe didn’t say.
I zoomed in on the picture and it appears to be the 4 serving size/small boxes.
The recipe says 2 boxes of 3.4 instant vanilla pudding
I agree. Make two smaller pans. It says you can freeze these so you should be ok. I always devide my large batches of food and save one for another time
How long will this cake keep? Thinking of splitting into 2 8×8 pans but need one 5 days before the other. Would it keep for that long?
Nikki – She mentions she freezes it if she’s going to take it somewhere so that it will stay chilled, so I wold imagine you could make both at the same time (8×8) and freeze one until you need it. I wouldn’t see why not. Let us know how that turns out if you decide to do it.
thank you for the flashback! I haven’t seen/thought of this cake since I used to make them when I was a little girl! Now I can make it with my little girl! Thank you!! From This Is How We Roll
this looks yummy! Silly question but do you heat the frosting so it will pour on the cake like in the photo?
She said to microwave it in 15 second incriments until it’s pourable.
Yes, it is heated in the Microwave. She shows in the instructions/directions just how long to heat it so it will pour!
YES. In the microwave, take the top paper off the frosting first and then microwave for fifteen seconds!
This looks so good, can’t wait to try making it!
Ok wow – that looks so good! I love a good Boston Cream type dessert. And the recipe looks so easy! I will definitely have to try it out for our next BBQ
Thanks for sharing with us at the #HomeMattersParty Can’t wait to see what you share next!
How is this Boston Cream??? You used vanilla puidding. Vanilla pudding and Boston Cream have to different tastes. this recipe needs to be corrected. I love a Boston Cream, and there is definately a difference in taste.
It’s a mock boston creme that’s easy to make in a pinch, and I’ve made this numerous times, and the taste is NOT that different. Stop being such a negative person. If you don’t like it, then don’t make it. Save your negative comments to yourself
Gosh. If you don’t like the recipe, then don’t make it…I personally don’t think that gives anyone the right to forget manners or be rude…just move on to the next recipe.
if you are going to be so pedantic about it, don’t make it
Carla- Why be so nasty ? No one says you have to make this cake…..turn that frown upside down.
Well make it your way.i think this taste very much like Boston cream donuts.
Michele @ Alwayzbakin
Oh my goodness! I need to make this cake TODAY. This sounds SO good! ;)
Oh, my heavens! That Boston Cream Poke Cake is calling my name. With such easy ingredients and steps, this one will be going to the next pot luck or party I go to! Thanks for sharing!
*Found you on the Flamingo Toes Linky Party!