active time:30 minutes
total time:1 hour 10 minutes, with a cooling time of 2 hours
stakes:12 to 16
Traditionally, a poke cake calls for a store-bought white cake mix, a tub of Cool-Whip, and a can of Jell-O or candy (not surprisingly, in a Jell-O ad in the 1970s, Coke was first introduced to the American consumer ).
Bake the cake, while it is still warm, fold by the end of the handle of a wooden spoon. Next, mix Jell-O powder with hot water and pour into the holes created by the spoon (once sliced, these “holes” give the cake its distinctive—and arguably magical—”striped” appearance. The cake chills and generously topped with a Cool Whip before serving. Full disclosure, I made the poke cake just this way, with strawberry Jell-O, although the warm Jell-O liquid might give some downtime, this traditional poke cake is, in fact, a beautiful and delicious treat.
The perfect Tres Leach cake starts with this simple recipe
But here’s the thing: With a simple one-bowl vanilla cake, an easy soak from scratch and a dash of freshly whipped cream, a homemade buckeye cake can be equally delicious and delicious.
Here are 101 tips for assembling a poke bun, which, if followed, guarantee success every time.
Best soak: I love soaking the poke cakes with thick, yet tolerable fruit puree for great streaks of summer color and flavor. A blender will do the trick, but if you have a Vita-Mix, use it to quickly mash soft, slightly cooked fruit. I also dig a cake with a sweetened condensed milk soak. It doesn’t add much color, but the moisture, creamy taste, and glossy texture make it a great choice. Salted caramel sauce is also delicious, as is the alternative milk, such as coconut.
Why Delicate, Sweet, and Nostalgic American Buttercream Is Better Than Its Breeder Friends
Best cake: I love the yellow or white cake because the color of the soak shines through, but the chocolate cake with caramel soak would be great, as would the bright yellow lemon cake with mashed strawberry soak.
Best poking tool: The traditional (and ideal) pudding is the end of the handle of a wooden spoon, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter. Avoid a spoon with a rough or frayed end, which, when placed in a warm cake, is likely to stick to the crumb even after you pull the spoon out. A wooden spoon with smooth and painted ends, or a plastic or silicone spoon with a round handle, make the holes cleaner. And be sure not to use an ultra-thin perforator, such as a chopstick: the best soaking distribution is achieved through wider holes.
Best DC technology: In an ideal world, the top of the cake should be covered with holes, each about an inch apart. And soaking should fill holes from top to bottom of the cake, for beauty, maximum moisture, and flavour. To achieve this, and to avoid the dreaded half-drenched opening, you should sink the handle of the spoon into your cake until you feel it all touching the bottom of the pan. The cake should be warm for optimum soaking absorption, but this may mean that once you remove the spoon from the hole, the cake may start to lock up again. So, poking the cake a second time ensures that the soaking will properly fill each hole. If the cake sticks to the prick, use a damp cloth to wipe it after each poke.
Best way to soak: Once soaked and soaked, resting in the refrigerator for two hours and up to overnight is key to producing a cake with clear streaks of color and flavor. (Some say the cake is better on the second day.) If you pull the cake out of the refrigerator too early, the soaking may leak out when you cut it.
8 baking projects to free the baker in you
Best additions: The traditional poke cake calls for a plain Cole Whip, so I prefer mine with a slightly sweetened vanilla whipped cream. However, you can do this, and if you’d like a lemon whipped cream on top of your blueberry cake; or chocolate whipped cream on top of a caramel-soaked bouquet; Or whipped cream with malted milk on top of a sweetened pucky bun filled with condensed milk (yum), give it a try. However, I don’t recommend covering the cake with cream, because the cake has already been sweetened by soaking, and the sugary frosting may make it sweet.
How to install whipped cream to stop you and your candy from crying
Best way to cut: To display the lines of a poke cake in all their vibrant glory, I recommend cutting the cake through its rows of poke holes. Thus, before you put a layer of whipped cream on the cake, pay attention to where the holes are and maybe even leave some small marks on the sides with a paring knife. Then, once you have the cake on top, use the marks you made as a guide when slicing and voila: striped, moist cake for all.
Rolling the cake takes some time. The lancing device – ideally the end of a soft-handled wooden or silicone spoon with a diameter of 1/4 to 1/2 inch – should be round, not flat. It may tend to get a little sticky, prick after prick, so be sure to wipe your utensil between pokes and you’ll be fine. Also, use a utensil that is smooth and not too rough or worn (these are more likely to stick to the cake crumbs). The process can be a little messy, but this raspberry-infused cake is worth it.
Note: All-purpose blueberry puree can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. It’s also great in smoothies and cocktails, or can be eaten on top of ice cream, yogurt, pancakes, or French toast.
Storage notes: Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Unfrozen cake can be frozen for up to a week.
Want to save this recipe? Click the bookmark icon under Serving Size at the top of this page, then go to My Reading List in your user profile at washingtonpost.com.
Expand this recipe and get an easy-to-print desktop version here.
- 3 cups (420 grams) of fresh or frozen blueberries, plus a handful of fresh berries for garnish, if desired
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) water
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Cooking spray or softened butter for greasing the skillet
- 1 2/3 cups (333 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups (420 ml) curd, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 2 2/3 cups (308 grams) cake flour
- 2 cups (480 ml) heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
Prepare blueberry puree: In a medium saucepan over high heat, mix together berries, water, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high and simmer until puree thickens and berries begin to break up, about 15 minutes, adjusting heat as needed to maintain a slight boil. Remove from heat and let it cool for 5 minutes.
Transfer the puree to a blender and blend on medium to high speed until thick and easy to use. Pour the puree into a two-spout measuring cup, if you have one, or a jug with a spout, and mix it with the lemon juice. Set aside 3 to 4 tablespoons of the purée in a small bowl.
Prepare the cake: Place rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan with cooking spray or butter. Lay a large overhanging parchment paper tray on the long sides.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, butter, and vanilla until mixture is thick, glossy, and well mixed, about 30 seconds. Beat the eggs and yolks, one at a time, making sure to incorporate each one before adding the other. Whisk in the buttermilk, followed by the baking powder, baking soda and salt, one at a time, whisking vigorously after each addition. Using a sieve or fine mesh strainer, sift the flour over the bowl and whisk until almost smooth; Some small lumps are fine.
Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan, and gently drop the pan onto the counter a few times to pop any air bubbles. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway, until a cake tester comes out with moist crumbs or two, the cake bounces back when lightly pressed with your finger and is just beginning to pop out from the sides of the pan.
Transfer the cake pan to a wire rack and immediately begin tamping the cake with the end of a wooden (or silicone) spatula (see key note). The holes should be about 1 inch apart and should cover the top of the cake evenly. Press the handle of the spoon into the cake until it feels like you’ve hit the bottom of the pan. Depending on the prick utensil, you may need to wipe the end with a damp cloth after making each hole, as cake crumbs may stick to it. If some (or all) of the holes look like they have closed after a few taps, gently re-pierce them. Pour the puree with the spoon or sprinkle into the holes, filling each one. Cake mashes quickly, so refill the holes with the mixture until it runs out or until the cake looks full enough. (see note)
Refrigerate the cake, still in the pan and on the cooling rack, for about 2 hours or until the bottom of the pan is cool. Or, if you’re feeling impatient, freeze for 30 to 45 minutes.
Make the whipping cream: When ready to serve, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment—or if using a hand mixer, in a large bowl—mix the cream, sugar, and vanilla and beat on medium to medium-high speed until medium to stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes .
Run a butter knife around the short ends of the pan (those without an overhanging layer of parchment) and lift the cake from the pan, sticking to a portion of the parchment.
Place the cake on a rectangular serving plate or cutting board. Because it’s a good idea to cut the cake across rows of holes, for best viewing of the berries, eyeball where the holes are (or make very small marks with a paring knife) before generously frosting the top of the cake with the whipped cream, leaving the sides bare. Drizzle some of the reserved puree over the whipped cream and drag the spoon through to make streaks. Your goal is white whipped cream with swirls of purple berries
Sprinkle a few blueberries over the cake, if desired, cut along the rows of holes and serve.
Per serving (2 x 3 inch slice of cake) based on 16
Calories: 292 Total Fat: 25g; saturated fat: 12 g; cholesterol: 93 mg; Sodium: 314 mg; carbohydrates: 40 g; Dietary fiber: 1 g; sugar: 33 g; Protein: 4 grams
This analysis is an estimate based on the ingredients available and this preparation. It should not replace the advice of a dietician or dietician.
from a food writer Jesse Sheehan.
Tested by Debi Suchman; Email questions to email@example.com.
Expand this recipe and get an easy-to-print desktop version here.
Browse our Recipe Finder for 9,700+ post-tested recipes.
Did you make this recipe? take a picture and Tag us on Instagram With #eatvoraciously.