Coconut Cream Poke Cake

This Coconut Cream Poke Cake is a coconut lover’s heaven! White cake is soaked with coconut cream, then topped with cool whip and shredded coconut in this easy poke cake recipe. Perfect for those summer potlucks!

I never get sick of poke cakes. It’s impossible to choose a favorite, but this Coconut Poke Cake is at the top of my list, along with Lemon Poke Cake and Banana Split Poke Cake.

Slice of coconut cream poke cake on a white plate with fork.

Why This Coconut Cake is Best

A lot of my coconut desserts pair coconut with another flavor. For instance this lemon coconut cake or our homemade mounds candy (with chocolate).

But sometimes you just want that rich, sweet coconut flavor without all the distractions. And while making our homemade coconut cake recipe is awesome, there are times where you want something easier.

Enter: Coconut Cream Poke Cake!

  • Starts with a box of white cake mix.
  • Cream of coconut saturates the cake with moisture and richness.
  • Covered in whipped topping and sweet coconut flakes!
  • A delicious chilled dessert for summer!

If you love coconut desserts, this poke cake recipe is a must-try. For another easy dessert, be sure to try our Jello Pie next!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make coconut poke cake.
  • White cake mix – This is the basis for our coconut cream cake! You will beat it with milk, butter and eggs to form a smooth batter. You could also make our easy homemade white cake.
  • Cream of coconut – A sweet syrupy coconut cream we pour over the poked cake for the best decadent flavor and moisture. You can often find cream of coconut near the cocktail mixers at your grocery store.
  • Whipped topping – We use this as a “frosting” for the poke cake. You can use a tub of store bought Cool Whip or try our homemade cool whip. Homemade whipped cream is also delicious on top.
  • Shredded sweetened coconut – You can add it to the cake straight from the package or toast the coconut first.

Easy Instructions

Step by step photos showibng how to make coconut poke cake.

This Coconut Cream Poke Cake is one of the least fussy cake recipes you can make.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Make a white cake.
  2. Poke it all over to create holes.
  3. Pour cream of coconut over the whole thing.
  4. Chill for four hours.
  5. Top with whipped topping and coconut flakes.

Then you’re ready to slice it, serve it and bask in the praise you’ll get from your dinner guests when you serve them this cake!

Tips and Tricks

  • I use the handle of a wooden spoon to create holes in my poke cakes. A skewer or the tines of a fork work, too!
  • Use a spatula to help spread the cream of coconut evenly across the top of the cake. You want every nook and cranny to absorb that syrupy coconut goodness.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator covered with foil or in an airtight container. This cake tastes best when its nice and cold.
Slice of coconut cake with a bite taken out.

Recipe FAQs

Are cream of coconut and coconut cream the same?

No, they are not. Coconut cream is a product made from the fat solids of coconut milk. As coconut milk sits, the solids rise to the top, creating a thick substance similar to dairy cream! Cream of coconut is coconut cream that’s been sweetened and thickened even more. It’s similar to sweetened condensed milk but with a real coconut flavor. Make sure to use cream of coconut in this recipe. NOT coconut cream, or you’ll get a very different result.

Can I make this recipe with a white cake made from scratch?

Absolutely! Your favorite from-scratch white cake recipe will work beautifully here, as long as you bake it in a 9 x 13 pan.
I happen to love the results when I used a boxed mix. Not to mention the convenience!

Can I use fresh whipped cream instead?

You could use fresh whipped cream, but it would get runny over time. The stabilized whipped cream holds its shape, which makes it better for using as a frosting on cakes and cupcakes.

More Easy Cake Recipes

Coconut Cream Poke Cake

4.66 from 44 votes
By: Aimee
This Coconut Cream Poke Cake is a coconut lover's heaven! White cake is soaked with coconut cream, then topped with cool whip and shredded coconut in this easy poke cake recipe. Perfect for those summer potlucks!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 55 minutes
Servings: 16 servings

Ingredients 

For the Cake:

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 can cream of coconut 15 ounce
  • 16 ounce frozen whipped topping thawed
  • 2 cups shredded sweetened coconut toasted optional
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Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Spray a glass 13×9 baking dish with baking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat cake mix with milk, butter and eggs on low speed until moistened. Beat for 2-3 minutes on medium speed until well blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Pour cake batter into prepared baking dish. Bake for 36-40 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately poke holes all over the cake, using a wooden skewer (or fork, or handle of a wooden spoon).
  • Pour can of cream of coconut slowly over the top of the warm cake, using a spatula to spread it evenly as it falls into the poked holes. Cover with foil and refrigerate for 4 hours, until completely chilled.
  • Top cake with thawed whipped topping. Sprinkle coconut generously over the top. Cut into slices and enjoy!

Notes

  • I use the handle of a wooden spoon to create holes in my poke cakes. A skewer or the tines of a fork work, too!
  • Use a spatula to help spread the cream of coconut evenly across the top of the cake. You want every nook and cranny to absorb that syrupy coconut goodness.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator covered with foil or in an airtight container. This cake tastes best when its nice and cold.
  • Are cream of coconut and coconut cream the same? No, they are not. Coconut cream is a product made from the fat solids of coconut milk. As coconut milk sits, the solids rise to the top, creating a thick substance similar to dairy cream! Cream of coconut is coconut cream that's been sweetened and thickened even more. It's similar to sweetened condensed milk but with a real coconut flavor. Make sure to use cream of coconut in this recipe. NOT coconut milk or coconut cream, or you'll get a very different result.
  • You can often find cream of coconut near the cocktail mixers at your grocery store.
  • Nutrition

    Serving: 1slice, Calories: 202kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 41mg, Sodium: 71mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 12g
    Course: Cake
    Cuisine: American
    Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

    Coconut lovers will fall head over heels for this incredible Coconut Cream Poke Cake!

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    About Aimee

    Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

    Learn more about Aimee.

    Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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    Posted on July 2, 2022

    Comments & Reviews

    1. Interested in the coconut cream poke cake w/Cool Whip as I can’t use coconut milk or condensed milk. Couldn’t access that recipe. Thank you.

    2. Hi Aimee I want to make this today…However I wasn’t able to find the Pillsbury pure simple white cake mix so I just bought duncan Hines classic white cake mix will that work and do I mix it the same way as recipe or as directed on box…I love me some coconut cream cake.

    3. Add 8 ounces of cream of coconut (shake vigorously after sweetened condensed milk) The cream if coconut is usually found in the bar items i.e. Cosmopolitan mix, Margarita mix etc. I have never made it without cream of coconut.

    4. Hi Aimee! I am going to make this today, but can you please please give us a recipe for some shredded sweetened coconut and  sweetened condensed milk. Thank so much!

    5. Saw the picture…fell in love. My birthday is Oct 10th and am going to be making this to take to work for a treat. I’ll let you know how it went over! I’m sure it will be a home run!  

    6. I’m with Christine. The cream of coconut mixed with the condensed milk is divine. Also try whipped cream sweetened with coconut extract for the topping. It’s the perfect combo.

    7. I’ve made a similar cake but add 1 can of cream of coconut (not coconut milk) to the condensed milk before pouring over the cake. Adds a wonderful flavor to the cake.

    8. Seriously in love with this poke cake! And congrats on your site design. I don’t think I told you yet home much I love it 🙂 

    9. Coconut cakes are one of my weaknesses, and there’s just something about poke cakes that really gets me drooling! Looks delish, girl! And now I want cake, so congrats on making me hungry, lol!

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