Halloween Poke Cake

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  • And it is officially fall. Food blogs are filled with anything and everything pumpkin and ghoulish.

    angle overhead of oreo poke cake

    Halloween Desserts

    Truth be told, I like Halloween, but I like the cutesy side, not the Zombies and spiders side, so my Halloween treats are generally simple, kid friendly and colorful.

    This year I made a Halloween Oreo Poke Cake. Using boxed cake mix and instant pudding with America’s favorite cookie, you will have a crowd pleasing dessert that will feed up to 20 people, all for about $10.

    slice of pudding cake on a white plate

    I have several other fun desserts for your spread. No Bake ghost cookies always please, caramel apples, candy corn cookies and of course, my Halloween Rice Krispie Cake!

    How to Make a Poke Cake

    There are several elements to make a poke cake. First, you’ll need the ingredients which are easily customized to your liking. The basic are:

    chocolate cake batter
    • Cake– I used a chocolate cake mix
    • Pudding or filling– I used vanilla with orange food coloring
    • Topping- I like a crunchy topping, so I used crushed chocolate and vanilla Oreo cookies

    The trick to any poke cake is to generously poke it with large holes. The pudding seeps on through, keeping the cake moist and flavorful for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

    chopstick poking holes in a chocolate cake

    Poke your cake generously and make sure the holes are large enough for pudding. I use a chopstick or the round end of a wooden spoon.

    When using instant pudding, it sets mighty fast. In order to get it to sink into the holes, it needs to be poured before it starts to thicken. Making sure the cake is still warm also assists to seeping into easing into every nook and cranny.

    pouring pudding over poked cake

    After filling with pudding, tap it several times on the counter to really help it sink down in. The cover and refrigerate to set.

    PRO TIP: Don’t add topping until you are ready to serve. Cookies will lose their crunch if they sit for more than 4-5 hours.

    After it sets, add your topping, gently pressing into the pudding to stick. Mine is black and white which is a blend of classic and golden Oreos. I also add festive sprinkles.

    coarsely chopped Oreo cookies


    You can use any flavor of cake mix you’d like. Funfetti is always great and white cake with Halloween sprinkles is even more fun!

    Pudding can also be customized. I wanted this bright orange color so I needed something white (or cream). Chocolate is a standard option, you can even do peach.

    spooning Oreos onto poke cake

    Or if you plan to make something like a dirt cake with a graveyard, pick mint or pistachio for green “grass”.

    The topping on this bad boy is Oreo, but Nilla Wafers and any other crunchy cookie work. I prefer a course chip so I place mine in a plastic bag and then whack it a few times. A food processor can be used for a finer crumb.

    fork digging into poke cake

    Alternatively, some people like whipped cream. You can’t really do a traditional frosting because the texture of the pudding is impossible to spread evenly over.

    Sprinkles are always a fun addition!

    overhead of halloween poke cake with sprinkles

    Make Ahead & Storage

    This cake can be made up to a day in advance. Like any baked good, it is best sooner to be baked. Wait to add cookies until you are ready to serve. While it will still taste good, they lose their crunchy appeal pretty fast.

    side view of halloween poke cake

    However, poke cakes (or pudding cakes) are unique because the pudding helps keep it moist and fresh. Store, covered, in the fridge for 3-5 days. If it lasts that long…

    I do not recommend freezing this cake.

    poke cake for pinterest

    Check out these other easy Halloween desserts!

    Halloween Dunkaroo Dip
    Halloween Dunkaroo Dip is a quick and easy cake batter dip that will become one of your go-to recipes for Halloween parties. #dunkaroodip #cakebatterdip www.savoryexperiments.com
    This Halloween Dunkaroo Dip is a festive and easy cake batter dip that's perfect for Halloween parties. With just a few ingredients and no baking involved, it'll become one of your go-to Halloween desserts.
    Halloween Bark
    Halloween Bark is a sweet and salty bark. The easiest no bake, make in ahead and in large quantities Halloween dessert out there! #halloweendesserts #howtomakebark www.savoryexperiments.com
    Halloween Bark is a sweet and salty bark. The easiest no bake, make ahead and in large quantities Halloween dessert out there!
    Candied Apples
    The classic candied apple is a beautifully colorful, glassy red apple. A lollipop candy coating with lush and slightly sour crunchy apple inside. #candiedapples www.savoryexperiments.com
    The classic candied apple is a beautifully colorful, glassy red apple. A lollipop candy coating with lush and slightly sour crunchy apple inside.
    close up of halloween poke cake

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    easy halloween cake
    Print Recipe
    5 from 4 votes

    Easy Halloween Cake

    Easy Halloween Cake is a pudding poke cake made with cake mix, chocolate pudding and Halloween colored Oreo cookies. An easy and delicious Halloween dessert!
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time20 mins
    Total Time30 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: easy halloween cake, poke cake recipe
    Servings: 16
    Calories: 177kcal
    Author: Jessica Formicola



    • Prepare cake according to package directions. Spread into a 9×13 glass baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake for least amount of suggested time.
    • Remove from the oven and poke generously with the end of a wooden spoon or a straw. Make many holes. The more holes, the more space for the delicious pudding to hide.
      chocolate poke cake
    • Although the cake to cool slightly. Meanwhile whisk together pudding mix with skim milk and food coloring. Mix until blended, but BEFORE it starts to thicken and set. I should still be a little runny.
      orange pudding
    • Pour pudding mix over cake, patting down into the holes. Tap the whole dish several times to allow the pudding to settle into the cake.
      pudding pouring over cake
    • Put Oreo cookies into a large freezer bag and crush with a rolling pin. Or place cookies into a food processor and pulse until cookies are crumbled.
    • Cover and allow to set in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
    • Spread Oreo crumbles over pudding layer and pat down, top with festive sprinkles. Don't top until you are ready to serve so cookies stay crunchy.
      oreos on poke cake
    • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings.


    Calories: 177kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 200mg | Potassium: 108mg | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 60IU | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 2.5mg
    image of jessica formicola

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