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Pumpkin Poke Cake

Pumpkin Cider Poke Cake

  • Author: A Family Feast
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 large squares or 24 smaller squares
  • Category: cake
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: American


Cider Poke Filling

½ gallon of fresh apple cider

½ cup butter

½ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice


Butter to grease a 9×13-inch pan or glass dish

4 eggs

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 15-ounce can 100% pure pumpkin

1 cup canola oil

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice


8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

½ cup butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8th teaspoon salt

3 cups confectioner’s sugar


Before you start the cake, pour ½ gallon of cider into a 4-quart non-stick pot and bring to a boil. Boil until reduced to one cup, about 45-50 minutes. When it gets down to the one cup, it will be thick and syrupy.

Once it is reduced to one cup, stir in butter, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Remove from heat and set aside.

While cider is cooking down, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan or casserole dish.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whip attachment, beat eggs until pale in color, about a minute or two. Add sugar and again, beat until light in color, about another minute or two.

Add vanilla, pumpkin and oil and beat until combined, scraping sides and mixing again.

In a medium bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice then hand whisk to combine.

With mixer running, slowly add the flour mixture. Scrape bowl and whisk one last time.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes. (The batter cooks up so moist that the tooth pick test doesn’t work. The cake needs the whole 35 minutes, rotated about half way through).

Just before the cake comes out of the oven, reheat the filling.

Remove the cake from the oven and with the handle of a wooden spoon (skinny handle), poke a few dozen holes in the cake then pour over the hot filling. Most will seep into the cake and some will sit on top.

Cool then refrigerate to cool completely.

Once completely cooled, make the frosting by placing the cream cheese and butter into the bowl of a mixer and with paddle attachment, beat to incorporate the two together.

Mix in vanilla and salt then with mixer running on low, slowly add in the confectioner’s sugar. Scrape the bowl and mix again until completely creamy and smooth.

Spoon all of the frosting onto the cooled cake and smooth with an offset spatula. Cut into 12, 18 or 24 pieces.

Cake can be served or refrigerated until ready.

Keywords: pumpkin poke cake