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This Eggnog Poke Cake is a must-try dessert for the holiday season, blending the classic flavors of eggnog with the comfort of cake. Its moist, creamy eggnog pudding layer and fluffy topping make it the perfect sweet indulgence to spread festive cheer and satisfy your cravings during the winter festivities.

Eggnog poke cake with layers of eggnog pudding sliced and served on a white plate.

The holiday season brings families together like no other time of the year, and what better way to celebrate those cherished moments than with a slice of eggnog poke cake. Gathering around the table to enjoy this creamy treat can spark conversations about cherished memories, creating a warm and festive atmosphere.

Every bite carries the essence of holiday gatherings. It’s a reminder of laughter, stories, and the joy of being surrounded by loved ones. As you savor this delightful dessert, you’re not just enjoying a treat; you’re savoring the sweetness of family and the spirit of the season.

Ingredient Notes

Labeled ingredients needed to make eggnog poke cake.
  • Vanilla Box Cake Mix: You’ll be using a box of vanilla cake mix as the base for your cake. You can choose your preferred brand or type, whether it’s a regular or a premium mix. I used Better Crocker; if you use another brand, just check the box for any specific instructions or variations.
  • Cinnamon and Nutmeg: These aromatic spices will add warmth and holiday flavor to your cake. Adjust the quantities to suit your taste, but be mindful not to overpower the eggnog flavor.
  • Eggnog: Eggnog is the star ingredient that gives this cake its distinctive holiday taste. You’ll need eggnog for both the cake batter and the pudding mixture. Use quality eggnog for the best flavor.
  • Oil: Vegetable oil or canola oil works well for this recipe. It helps keep the cake moist, and both are neutral in flavor.
  • Eggs: Eggs provide structure and moisture to the cake. Ensure they’re at room temperature for even mixing.
  • Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix: You’ll use instant vanilla pudding mix to create a creamy and luscious topping for the cake. Skip the box instructions; we use eggnog instead of the milk.
  • Whipped Topping: A tub of whipped topping, like Cool Whip, finishes the cake with a light and airy layer. You can choose regular, light, or extra creamy whipped topping based on your preference.

How To Make Eggnog Poke Cake Recipe

Be sure to see the recipe card below for exact ingredients and full recipe instructions!

Step 1 | Prep Pan & Prepare Eggnog Poke Cake Batter

Let’s whip up this delicious eggnog poke cake! First, preheat your oven to 350℉, and don’t forget to give your 9×13-inch cake pan a good spritz with baking spray. Set it aside while we work our magic.

Now, grab a roomy mixing bowl or your trusty stand mixer. In there, whisk together the cake mix, some cinnamon, and nutmeg until they become best buddies.

A white bowl with dry ingredients mixed.

Then, pour in 1 cup of eggnog, oil, and eggs. Beat this merry crew until they’re all well-acquainted.

Adding wet ingredients to dry ingredients and combining.

Step 2 | Bake Cake & Let Cool

Pour batter into your prepped cake pan and pop it into the oven. Let it bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.

Once done, allow the warm cake to cool down to room temperature.

Eggnog Poke Cake batter added to a 9x13 dish and baked.

Step 3 | Prepare Eggnog Pudding

Now, let’s make some creamy magic. In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 3 cups of eggnog and your vanilla pudding mixture. Keep whisking until it thickens up nicely.

Adding eggnog to pudding mix in a bowl and combining.

Step 4 | Poke Holes in Cake and Add Pudding

Here comes the fun part! Take that cake and give it some love by poking holes about an inch apart all over its surface. You can use the round handle of a wooden spoon or a big smoothie straw for this.

Now, pour that luscious pudding over the cake, making sure it gets down into those inviting holes.

Holes poked into cooled cake and pudding added to the top.

Step 5 | Top with Whipped Topping and Garnish

To finish off our masterpiece, top the cake with a fluffy layer of whipped topping.

Now, be patient and pop it into the fridge for at least two hours to let all those wonderful flavors mingle and dance together.

Adding whipped cream to eggnog Poke cake pudding layer.

When it’s time to serve, you can sprinkle a little extra joy on top with a dusting of cinnamon or ground nutmeg if you’d like.

Enjoy your delicious eggnog poke cake!

Garnish top of eggnog cake with a dusting of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Tips

  • Pudding: Be sure to use instant pudding mix, not cook-and-serve kind.
  • Use cold eggnog when making the pudding layer. This will help the pudding thicken quickly.
  • Proper Poking: Create evenly spaced holes in the cake, aiming for approximately one-inch intervals. If they’re too close, it may weaken the cake’s structure, while if they are too far apart, you won’t ensure that delicious pudding seeps into every bite. Also, don’t poke the holes to the bottom. Go about halfway down into the cake.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Cake Mix: While the recipe calls for a vanilla cake mix, you have the option to substitute it with yellow, white, or spice cake mix. I recommend enhancing the cake batter with 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract when opting for a white cake mix. If you choose a spice cake mix, omit the ground cinnamon and nutmeg from the recipe.
  • Homemade Whipped Cream: Instead of store-bought whipped topping, you can make your own homemade whipped cream using heavy cream and a bit of sugar.
  • Garnishes: Get creative with garnishes. Try crushed ginger snaps, chopped nuts, or a drizzle of caramel sauce or chocolate sauce on top for added texture and flavor. Or try these Taylor Swift Chai Cookies as a garnish topping.
  • Eggnog Flavors: Try different eggnog flavors, such as rum or bourbon-infused eggnog, for a twist on the classic. You can also add rum extract or liqueurs to the eggnog.
A lice of cake being served with a spatula.

Recipe FAQs

What can I substitute for eggnog if I don’t have any?

You can make a homemade eggnog if you don’t have any on hand or if it is out of season. A mixture of milk, cream, sugar, and a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon will also mimic the flavor. You could also pick up eggnog creamer as a substitute.

Can I use homemade cake instead of a cake mix?

Yes, you can make a homemade cake from scratch instead of using a cake mix. However, ensure that the homemade cake is of a similar size and consistency as the mix to maintain the desired texture.

How can I prevent the cake from becoming soggy?

To prevent the cake from becoming overly soggy, ensure that the pudding mixture is adequately thickened before pouring it over the cake. Also, avoid poking the holes too deeply, as this can lead to the mixture going to the bottom of your pan.

Storage

Storage: This Eggnog Cake needs to be kept in the refrigerator when not serving. You can store leftover cake covered with plastic wrap or foil or in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Freeze: This can be frozen for up to two months. I don’t really recommend it as it may change the pudding consistency.

A fork with a bite of eggnog poke cake removed and sat on the plate.

What to Serve with Eggnog Poke Cake

Eggnog poke cake is a great dessert on its own, but if you want to kick it up a notch, try pairing it with some tasty extras. Here are some suggestions:

  • Whipped Cream: A dollop of freshly whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream alongside the cake adds a creamy contrast and extra indulgence.
  • Fresh Berries: A side of fresh berries, such as strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries, provides a refreshing, fruity balance to the richness of the cake.
  • Hot Beverages: Pairing eggnog poke cake with hot beverages like coffee, tea, a biscoff latte, or hot chocolate is a classic choice, especially during the winter months. The warmth of the drink complements the dessert’s cozy flavors.
  • Eggnog: For an ultimate eggnog experience, serve the cake with a glass of chilled eggnog. We especially love to serve ours in a Christmas Vacation Moose Glass.

Other Poke Cake Recipes

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A slice of eggnog poke cake with a cinnamon stick garnish.
Recipe
4.80 from 5 votes

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Eggnog Poke Cake Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 15 servings
Author: Nikki Lee
This Eggnog Poke Cake is a must-try dessert for the holiday season, blending the classic flavors of eggnog with the comfort of cake. Its moist, creamy eggnog pudding layer and fluffy topping make it the perfect sweet indulgence to spread festive cheer and satisfy your cravings.
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Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 1 box vanilla cake mix, 15.25 ounces
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 cups eggnog, divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 boxes instant vanilla pudding, (3.4 ounce)
  • 8 ounces frozen whipped topping, thawed

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350℉. Spray a 9×13-inch cake pan with baking spray and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the cake mix, cinnamon, and nutmeg until well combined. Add 1 cup of eggnog, oil, and eggs and beat until well combined.
  • Next, pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. Allow the cake to cool to room temperature.
  • Poke holes in rows about 1 inch apart over the surface of the cake, using the rounded handle of a wooden spoon or a large smoothie straw.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 3 cups of eggnog and vanilla pudding mixture until it thickens.
  • Once thickened, pour the pudding over the cake and spread evenly over the cake gently pressing it down into the holes as you go.
  • Top the cake with whipped topping and refrigerate for at least two hours to allow the flavors to meld.
  • Garnish with a dusting of cinnamon or ground nutmeg before serving if desired.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1slice Calories: 274kcal (14%) Carbohydrates: 49g (16%) Protein: 6g (12%) Fat: 6g (9%) Saturated Fat: 3g (19%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0.2g Cholesterol: 80mg (27%) Sodium: 382mg (17%) Potassium: 166mg (5%) Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 33g (37%) Vitamin A: 220IU (4%) Vitamin C: 1mg (1%) Calcium: 187mg (19%) Iron: 1mg (6%)

Nutritional Disclaimer

Soulfully Made is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

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10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    It’s incredibly moist, full of rich eggnog flavor, and oh-so-decadent. The combination of the fluffy cake and creamy filling is pure bliss. It’s a holiday dessert must-have!

  2. The deliciousness of this recipe left everyone asking for seconds. I’ll be sharing this gem with everyone I know

  3. 5 stars
    What a fun cake recipe for the holidays!! Can’t wait to make this when we host our family for Christmas – I’m sure they will love it!