Carrot Cake Poke Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Carrot Cake Poke Cake is an incredibly easy and delicious cake made using cake mix, topped with a thick layer of mascarpone cream cheese frosting.
Carrot Cake Poke Cake has been declared the cake of the week in my house. This cake was an absolute success, being so easy to make and so packed with flavor. I used a Carrot Cake Mix, and I will be the first in line to tell you, that taking shortcuts in the kitchen is ok. Using the cake mix makes the whole process so much easier as you don’t have to measure any ingredients, or worry that you are missing some spices. This is my favorite Carrot Cake Mix and it comes with carrots and raisins as well. The Carrot Cake Poke Cake is very tender, as it has been soaked in a sweet white chocolate plus condensed milk mixture. Topped with mascarpone cream cheese frosting and ground walnuts this cake is addicting!
Why You’ll Love This Carrot Cake Poke Cake Recipe:
- Very easy to make, this is a one layer cake that is basically fool proof made using a cake mix
- The cake is very, very tender and packed with flavors
- The cake is topped with a vey think mascarpone cream cheese frosting layer, because we all know that the more frosting the merrier
- Can be made 1 or 2 days in advance so you don’t have to worry about a last minute dessert
- The cake combines different textures: the tender carrot cake poke cake layer, the chewy raisins, the crunchy walnuts and the creamy frosting
Tips and Tricks to Make the Best Carrot Cake Poke Cake:
- Using a cake mix will reduce the prep time, feel free to use your favorite Carrot Cake Mix and follow the instructions on the box, however, my all time favorite Carrot Cake Mix is this one
- Clean the knife after each cut, otherwise the slices will be messier, since the frosting may stick to the knife
- Let the cake absorb the white chocolate mixture for at least 8 hours before serving, this will make the cake extra tender, soft and flavorful
- You can either pipe the frosting on top of the cake, or just spread it evenly with a spatula, I choose to just spread it in one layer, so it looks thicker and rich and also that saved me some time
- If you don’t have mascarpone on hand you can replace it with cream cheese
- The walnuts add a nice crunch, you can also top the cake with whole walnuts, I prefer ground texture wise
- Keep the cake refrigerated as the frosting will soften if kept at room temperature for too long
- If you are looking for less frosting, skip the mascarpone and just add one extra brick of cream cheese
Tools/Ingredients I used to make this Carrot Cake Poke Cake Recipe:
- Non Stick Baking Pan – I use this 9×13 pan for many recipes, brownies, fudge and blondies, the quality is great and it will last you a long time
- Duncan Hines Carrot Cake Mix – delicious flavor and it comes with a pouch of real carrots and raisins, I love using this mix
- Vanilla Extract – love this vanilla extract, the flavor is great, I always have some on hand
- White Chocolate Chips – I use these all the time, they taste great in cookies and are perfect to melt with condensed milk
Check out my Blueberry Zucchini Poke Cake:
- Carrot Cake:
- Duncan Hines Carrot Cake Mix (or any other Carrot Cake Mix)
- 3 eggs
- 1¼ cups hot water
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- Chocolate Mixture:
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
- 1½ cups white chocolate chips
- 2 (8 oz.) bricks cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup (2 sticks/226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 lb. mascarpone, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 cups powdered sugar (more if needed to thicken)
- 1 cup ground walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place oven rack in the middle of the oven.
- Spray a 9x13 inch cake pan with non-stick baking spray and set aside.
- Prepare the carrot cake by following the instructions on the package. If using a Duncan Hines Carrot Cake mix, you will have to soak the carrots and raisins in hot water, and whisk all the ingredients listed into the cake mix.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-32 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs. I baked mine for exactly 30 minutes.
- Remove cake from oven. Using the end of a spatula or a large straw, even a pen will work if you don't have anything on hand, poke holes all over the cake.
- Chocolate Mixture:
- In a medium, microwave safe bowl, combine white chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk. Heat in the microwave until hot for about 1 minute, stir and heat 30 seconds or more if needed. Whisk until fully combined, smooth and shiny.
- Pour the chocolate mixture all over the cake and using a spatula spread it evenly into the holes.
- You can sprinkle a few ground walnuts onto the cake now, so they get into the poked holes.
- Using an electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream together cream cheese, mascarpone and butter on medium speed until smooth with no lumps, about 1 minute. Stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula.
- Add in vanilla extract and salt, and continue mixing until combined.
- With the mixer speed on medium-low, gradually add in the powdered sugar. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat until combined. Stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula.
- If frosting is too thick, you can add in one or two teaspoons of milk. If frosting is too thin, you can add in more powdered sugar, ⅓ cup at a time, but make sure you first taste it, so you don't make it too sweet. Also, consider that the frosting may look thin, but it will harden/settle once chilled.
- Sprinkle ground walnuts on top of the cake.
- Refrigerate cake for at least 6-8 hours before serving.
If you like poke cakes, you will love this Chocolate Baileys Poke Cake:
and this German Chocolate Poke Cake: