Pumpkin Poke Cake

If you haven’t tried pumpkin and chocolate together, I recommend it. This cake is a change from the normal pumpkin spice everything that autumn seems to produce. The hot fudge and the caramel help to keep the cake moist and the whipped topping is lighter (and less sweet) than icing would be. I’ve served this to people who don’t normally care for pumpkin and it was a hit. If you’re looking for a new take on an October favorite, give this a try.

  • 1 (15.25 oz) yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice


  • 1 (12 oz) jar hot fudge topping
  • 1 (8 oz) carton of frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 2/3 cup caramel topping
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease bottom only of a 13×9-inch pan; set aside.
  2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, pumpkin, water, oil, eggs, and pumpkin pie spice with an electric mixer on low speed until moistened.  Beat an additional 2 minutes on medium speed, scraping the bowl occasionally.  Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 26-33 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  3. While cake is still hot, poke every inch with the handle of a wooden spoon about halfway into the cake.  Allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
  4. Place the hot fudge topping in a piping bag with a small tip* (or use a resealable plastic bag with a tiny corner cut off).  Squeeze the hot fudge into each hole, repeating as needed to fill all of the holes.  Let cake cool completely.
  5. Once cake is cool, spread top with thawed whipped topping and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  6. Before serving, heat caramel sauce as directed and drizzle over the top of the cake.  Store cake, loosely covered, in refrigerator.

Serves 20.

*Alternately, heat hot fudge and carefully pour into the holes, filling as completely as possible, and spread any extra hot fudge over the top of the cake.