Eggnog Poke Cake

Eggnog Poke Cake is a decadent, festive dessert that perfectly captures the essence of the holiday season, blending the rich, creamy flavors of traditional eggnog with the moist, fluffy texture of cake. This dessert starts with a base of golden, buttery cake, often made from a convenient box mix or from scratch using ingredients like flour, sugar, eggs, and butter. The choice of cake base, typically vanilla or yellow cake, is crucial as it provides a neutral canvas that complements the eggnog’s nutmeg and vanilla notes.

After the cake is baked to perfection, it’s then cooled slightly before the signature step that gives poke cakes their name: the poking. Using the handle of a wooden spoon or a similar utensil, holes are meticulously created over the top of the cake. These holes are not just for show; they’re a critical component of the cake’s design, allowing the eggnog mixture to seep into the cake, infusing it with moisture and flavor.

The eggnog mixture, often made by whisking together eggnog, a splash of rum or bourbon (to mimic the alcoholic kick found in traditional eggnog), sweetened condensed milk, and a pinch of ground nutmeg, is then poured over the cake. This mixture gradually fills the holes and soaks into the cake, ensuring every bite is rich with holiday spirit. The alcohol is optional, and a non-alcoholic version can be just as flavorful, making the cake suitable for all ages.

Once the cake has absorbed the eggnog mixture, it’s topped with a layer of whipped topping or homemade whipped cream, further enhancing its creamy texture. A final dusting of ground nutmeg or cinnamon, and sometimes a sprinkle of crushed candy canes or a drizzle of caramel, adds the finishing touches, making the cake as visually appealing as it is delicious.

Eggnog Poke Cake is often chilled for several hours or overnight, which allows the flavors to meld and the cake to fully absorb the eggnog mixture, resulting in a dessert that is moist, flavorful, and irresistibly creamy. It’s a popular choice for holiday gatherings, offering a unique twist on traditional eggnog and a festive centerpiece for the dessert table.

The beauty of Eggnog Poke Cake lies not just in its delightful flavor combination but also in its adaptability. It can be customized with different cake bases, mix-ins, or toppings, making it a versatile option for holiday baking. Whether served at a casual family dinner or a formal holiday party, Eggnog Poke Cake promises to bring a touch of joy and indulgence to the occasion.


For the Cake:

1 box white cake mix

2 large eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup eggnog

For the Filling:

1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla pudding

1/2 cup brandy (optional; can replace with additional eggnog)

1 1/2 cups eggnog

3 cups whipped topping

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg


Preheat Oven:

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray.

Mix and Bake Cake:

In a medium bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, oil, and eggnog. Mix well.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Poke Holes:

Once the cake has cooled, use the end of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the cake.

Prepare Filling:

In a large bowl, whisk together the vanilla pudding, brandy (if using), and eggnog.

Before the pudding thickens, pour it evenly over the cake.

Chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes, preferably an hour.

Add Topping:

Stir cinnamon and nutmeg into the whipped topping.

Spread this mixture evenly over the chilled cake.


Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Note: If you prefer not to use brandy, simply substitute it with an equivalent amount of eggnog.

This Eggnog Poke Cake is a delightful twist on the classic dessert, combining the joy of poke cakes with the festive flavor of eggnog. Whether you make it boozy or keep it non-alcoholic, it’s sure to be a hit at your holiday gatherings!

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