Red Velvet Poke Cake

Delicious Red Velvet Poke Cake with homemade Cream Cheese Frosting is oh so moist and velvety. It’s perfectly sweet for any occasion.

Red velvet poke cake is filled with chocolate and tang. For more divinely scrumptious red velvet treats try Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake, Red Velvet Milkshake, and Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Red Velvet Poke Cake covered in sprinkles on a white plate.

Homemade Red Velvet Cake

Natalie, from Life Made Simple is sharing this most festive dessert. Red velvet poke cake is sinfully delicious! Poke cake has always been a family favorite of ours!!

They’re typically so easy to make, especially if you make it starting with a box cake (like Banana Pudding Poke Cake and Boston Cream Poke Cake), but today’s recipe is a for a homemade red velvet poke cake that I think you will love.

This cake is thick, moist and topped with my favorite cream cheese frosting. Everything is made from scratch and ready to go in a little over an hour!

unfrosted cake filled with poke holes.

How to Make Red Velvet Poke Cake

PREP. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter/flour (or spray) a 9×13-inch baking pan, set aside.

WET INGREDIENTS. Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the red food coloring and vanilla extract, beat until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing just until incorporated.

DRY INGREDIENTS. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and buttermilk/vinegar by hand. Mix together with a wooden spoon just until combined, do not overmix.

BAKE. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, spread into an even layer. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove and poke holes into the cake with a fork. Pour the condensed milk over top (I only used half but you can use the whole can). Allow the cake to cool before frosting.

FROSTING. To make the frosting, beat the butter and cream cheese on high speed for 2-3 minutes, then reduce speed and add the powdered sugar. Add in the salt, vanilla extract and milk. Beat for an additional 2-3 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy. Spread across the cooled cake and decorate as desired.

Note: Poke cakes tend to get soggy after a while just because they have extra liquid incorporated. You can try to prevent it by making a really dry cake so that the extra liquid creates a moist cake.

 

Tips + Variations

We like to do things homemade when we can, but when we are in a rush we will definitely use a cake mix to make the process even quicker!

You can definitely used canned frosting for this poke cake, but again – homemade is best. When it comes to frosting, we just feel like you can’t beat a good and easy homemade version. 😉

 

Variations/Additions

  • Sprinkle crushed Oreos
  • Top with cool whip for a light frosting, instead of our cream cheese frosting
  • Make it a blue velvet cake by using blue food coloring

Red Velvet poke cake covered in white frosting and heart sprinkles.

SToring Tips

Because of the cream cheese frosting and sweetened condensed milk, we recommend covering and STORING this cake in the fridge. It should keep for up to 3-4 days in the fridge.

FREEZE before frosting for best results.  If it’s already frosted, you can FREEZE it if stored properly, but you will need to make sure it gets hardened first (so the frosting doesn’t stick) if you are wanting to freeze it for longer.

STORE leftover cake covered in the fridge.

The extra liquid needs some time to soak into the cake. So it is best if you make the poke cake ahead a couple of hours before serving and keep it in the fridge.

Red Velvet Poke Cake Recipe on white plate

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Red Velvet Poke Cake Recipe

4 from 1 vote
Delicious Red Velvet Poke Cake with homemade Cream Cheese Frosting is oh so moist and velvety. It's perfectly sweet for any occasion.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 622 kcal
Author Lil' Luna

Ingredients

Cake

  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup red liquid food coloring or 1 tsp if using gel: see notes
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 12 oz sweetened condensed milk (I only used half)

Frosting

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter room temperature
  • 8 oz cream cheese room temperature for 30 min
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp milk or heavy cream

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter/flour (or spray) a 9x13-inch baking pan, set aside.
  • Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the red food coloring and vanilla extract, beat until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing just until incorporated.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and buttermilk/vinegar by hand. Mix together with a wooden spoon just until combined, do not overmix.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, spread into an even layer. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove and poke holes into the cake with a fork. Pour the condensed milk over top (I only used half but you can use the whole can). Allow the cake to cool before frosting.
  • To make the frosting, beat the butter and cream cheese on high speed for 2-3 minutes, then reduce speed and add the powdered sugar. Add in the salt, vanilla extract and milk. Beat for an additional 2-3 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy. Spread across the cooled cake and decorate as desired.

Notes

If you are using gel instead of liquid food coloring, add an additional ⅓ c. of buttermilk to the recipe.
Cake recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

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Thanks again Kristyn for having me!

You can find more recipes & craft ideas here: Life Made Simple | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Instagram

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One word – YUM! For more great recipes from her be sure to head to Life Made Simple.

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About the Author

Natalie Dicks

I'm the food photographer and blogger behind Life Made Simple. I'm passionate about creating from scratch family-friendly recipes ranging from healthy to decadent.

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Comments:

  1. This looks really great! I love poke cakes and think this one should be added to my recipe box. I’m a new food blogger and love meeting others. I’ve followed your social sites and hope we can connect on those. I found you on a link party and I’m excited to read more of your blog! Becky

  2. 4 stars
    i made this yesterday for a church activity. I actually doubled the cake recipe since we were feeding a big crowd. I used one whole can of evaporated milk plus a small can of media crema (it’s a Mexican style canned milk) since that was all I had on hand. Can I tell you that this cake was a huge hit!!! It was so moist from the milk and the frosting was perfect. I usually don’t like frosting but this one was really good! I am going to be making this again. Oh and the frosting just has you had it was just enough to cover my huge sheet cake sized cake.
    Thanks for this. I would have never have thought to make a poke cake out of Red Velvet.

  3. I made this cake for my mom’s birthday last year. It was great! And it was so easy to make and definitely worth it. It finished the same day. With 4 people.
    Looking for another similarly amazing recipe for her birthday this year