My Caramel Apple Pie Poke Cake is the dessert that’s going to win fall! Full of sweet chunks of apple pie filling, caramel and a delicious cinnamon caramel cream cheese frosting, it’s a fall treat everyone will enjoy.
Poke Cakes have been around forever, but there popularity has increased significantly in the past year. I hadn’t cared too much for them until I made my Chocolate Coconut Cream Poke Cake last year. It’s safe to save I’m kind of addicted now.
In my opinion they are a little easier to make than a layer cake, although there are a few more steps. Bake the cake, pour the filling, chill, add the frosting. There are so many options and variations you can make though! My strawberry poke cake is a favorite too. My friend Jamie even has a Poke Cake Cookbook (affiliate) coming out in October with 75 different recipes in it! Now that’s impressive!
Anyway, back to this Caramel Apple Pie Poke Cake.
The cake itself is a boxed cake mix. They are just easier and actually lend themselves better to poke cakes because they tend to be a little less dense than from scratch cakes so they are ready to soak up that filling. I mean, that’s what makes these cakes so moist and delicious! You could certainly use your favorite recipe though.
Another shortcut I used was to buy canned apple pie filling (affiliate). Again, you could always make your own from scratch. I was simply going for simple and easy here. I used kitchen scissors to cut up the apples right in the can so they were in small chunks. Much easier than trying to cut them up on the cutting board. I folded the apple into the cake batter then caked the cake according to the package instructions. With the addition of the apples it did take a little longer to cook.
For the filling, I poked holes in the cake and spread Dulce de Leche Sweetened Condensed Milk (affiliate) over the cake. The milk really needs to be warmed in the microwave to thin it and make it pourable and spreadable. Then comes the waiting. Four hours at least in the fridge, or overnight if you can stand it.
The frosting was kind of trial and error then major success as it tastes kind of amazing. I was going for a caramel cream cheese frosting, but with the added caramel sauce it was too thin so I folded in some fresh whipped cream to thicken it up. So, so good!
The final step in my Caramel Apple Pie Poke Cake was to drizzle and swirl some more caramel sauce over the top. Sprinkle on some chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts are good options) or even toffee bits. Slice into squares and serve with a smile!
Caramel Apple Pie Poke Cake
- 1 box yellow cake mix plus ingredients called for on the package
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 21- ounce can apple pie filling roughly chopped
- 1 13- ounce can dulce de leche sweetened condensed milk
- 8- ounces cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 2-3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup caramel sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups whipped cream or cool whip or more as desired
- Caramel sauce
- Chopped pecans or toffee bits
- In a large mixing bowl, stir 1 teaspoon cinnamon into the dry cake mix, then add ingredients called for on the package. Beat for 2 minutes with an electric mixer. Gently fold in chopped apple pie filling (I just used kitchen scissors and cut the apples right in the can). Pour into a greased 13x9-inch baking dish and bake cake in a preheated oven according to package instructions.
- When the cake is done, remove from the oven and cool for 20 minutes.
- Gently poke holes into the cake with the end of a wooden spoon or with the tines of a fork. The cake is very moist, so do this gently to avoid pulling it apart.
- Pour the dulce de leche into a microwavable container and microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring each time, until thin enough to pour; about 1 minute.
- Pour the dulce de leche over the cake and spread gently in an even layer.
- Refrigerate cake for 4 hours or up to overnight.
- Meanwhile, make the frosting. Beat butter and cream cheese on high speed for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 cup caramel sauce. Beat for 1-2 minutes until smooth. Gently fold in whipped cream or cool whip. Add more as desired for a thicker consistency.
- Drizzle with remaining caramel and sprinkle with optional chopped pecans or toffee bits. Refrigerate until ready to serve, then cut into squares.
Here’s another favorite Poke Cake we love:
For even more delicious cakes, try these: