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Coconut Poke Cake

This Coconut Poke Cake is a coconut lovers dream! Soft, tender cake, with a sweet coconut glaze, and topped with fluffy, whipped coconut frosting is easy to make and absolutely delicious!

Why You’ll Love This Coconut Poke Cake

  • Flavor and Texture! This Coconut Poke Cake is an absolute favorite! The moist cake is topped with a sweet mixture of Cream of Coconut and Sweetened Condensed Milk and frosted with the most unbelievably fluffy whipped frosting! The texture of this cake is a lot like a Tres Leches Cake, but not quite as wet. It’s both fluffy and light, while still staying incredibly moist.
  • Ease of Prep! This cake recipe starts with a boxed cake, made with the ingredients listed on the box. It’s a beginner friendly recipe that is doctored up with some easy to find ingredients!
  • Perfect To Make Ahead! This cake is so great for entertaining or parties because you can make it a day ahead! The delicious sweetened condensed milk and cream of coconut absorb into the cake the longer it sits making it irresistible!

What Is A Poke Cake?

A poke cake is a sheet-style cake baked in a 9×13 baking pan that you literally poke holes into after it’s baked and then pour a filling on top to fill the holes. In this recipe I use a fork to poke the holes because the filling/glaze is thin enough that the small holes of a fork will work perfectly without creating mushy bits.

If you make a thicker filling like in my Chocolate Poke Cake, you will need to poke larger holes, using the back of a wooden spoon, as that is a much thicker mixture. A lot of poke cakes use a pudding-type filling that works great for the larger holes as well. But like I said, this is a thinner, more glaze-style topping, so small holes are great!

Coconut Cake in a 9x13 pan topped with coconut frosting, sweetened flaked coconut, and raspberries.

Cake Ingredients:

Make sure to scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full ingredient list and instructions.

  • 1 box white cake mix + ingredients on the box. You will be preparing the base cake recipe just like the box instructions indicate.
  • Coconut extract. This really amps up the coconut flavor. If you don’t have coconut extract you can also use vanilla extract.
  • Sweetened Flaked Coconut. You could also use unsweetened flaked coconut too if that’s what you prefer.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk. You’re going to use a whole can of this deliciousness.
  • Cream of Coconut. This is usually found down the “mixers” aisle of the supermarket. The bran Coco Lopez is most popular!
Fluffy Whipped Frosting in a silver mixing bowl with the whisk attachment in the frosting.

Frosting Ingredients:

Let me explain the magic of this frosting to you…you’re going to see cream cheese listed in the ingredients, but please note it doesn’t taste like cream cheese at all! It’s the lightest, fluffiest whipped frosting ever, and the cream cheese just adds stability! Silkier and richer than whipped cream, with a subtle sweetness that pairs well with this sweet cake!

  • Cream Cheese. Make sure the cream cheese is totally room temperature. If you try and mix up cold cream cheese you will end up with lumpy frosting.
  • Powdered sugar
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Coconut extract
  • Sweetened flaked coconut. This is used as a garnish on top of the cake after you frost it.

Other Variations:

This recipe can be played around with if you would like to get creative! Here are a few ideas:

  • Swap out the frosting for a less sweet option like whipped cream or Cool Whip.
  • Top this with chocolate frosting and sliced almonds to make an Almond Joy Poke Cake!
  • Try garnishing this with different kinds of fruit! Coconut pairs really well with so many berries!
  • Turn this into a Pina Colada Poke Cake by topping it with crushed pineapple before you frost it!

How To Store This Coconut Poke Cake?

This cake will need to be stored in the refrigerator. If you would like to serve it right after you make it, it will be fine at room temperature, but the longer this cake sits, the more moist it will become, so I like to chill it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving, so the cake has time to soak up all the delicious coconut glaze!

A slice of Coconut Poke Cake on a white plate

Can You Make This In Advance?

Yes, absolutely! This is a great cake to make a day in advance if you’re entertaining. Plus, it’s made in a 9×13 pan which is easy to store in your refrigerator!

More Coconut Recipes You Might Love

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Slice of Coconut Poke Cake on a plate topped with whipped frosting

Coconut Poke Cake

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  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: serves 10 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Dessert


This Coconut Poke Cake is absolutely delicious! It’s super moist with so much coconut flavor. The perfect springtime cake recipe!



Coconut Cake

  • 1 (15.25- ounce) box white cake mix
  • Ingredients on box to make the cake (oil, egg whites, water)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 (14- ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (15- ounce can) cream of coconut (like Coco Lopez)

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • optional garnish – 1/2 cup flaked coconut and/or fresh berries


  1. Cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9 x13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. Prepare the cake according to package directions, adding in 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract with the liquids.
  3. Fold in 1/2 cup of the flaked coconut and then spread the batter into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake the cake according to the package directions or until the center is set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. While the cake is baking, stir together the sweetened condensed milk and cream of coconut. Set aside.
  6. When the cake is done, poke holes evenly all over the top using a large fork while it is still hot. Immediately pour the sweetened condensed milk mixture evenly on top of the cake, and allow the cake to cool completely.
  7. Frosting: In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment mix the cream cheese and powdered sugar together until smooth. Add in the heavy cream and coconut extract and mix on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.
  8. Spread frosting onto the cooled cake and garnish with flaked coconut and berries if desired.
  9. Chill the cake for at least 2 hours before serving.


Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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