Can’t decide between cake and pike? Try this key lime poke cake! It has all the flavors of the classic key lime pie but in cake form! It’s perfect for spring, family gatherings and or just enjoying with a cup of coffee.
My husband loves key lime pie. If he had to pick one dessert for the rest of his life, it would be key lime pie. As much as I love key lime pie or key lime pie varieties like my slab pie, I can only eat is so often. I need to switch it up! That’s where I make this key lime poke cake when he’s craving traditional key lime pie. It’s a great compromise!
What is key lime poke cake?
A poke cake is normally a rectangle sheet cake that after cooked has holes poked into it to add a pudding. The pudding seeps into the holes and create a great flavor combination and texture to the cake. This key lime version starts as a regular cake and then has a key lime mixture drizzled in. It’s the perfect combination between cake and creamy key lime pie.
Key lime poke cake ingredients
There are 3 parts to this poke cake – the cake itself, the creamy filling and the topping. Most ingredients you probably have on hand and all are easy to find in any grocery store. To make this key lime pie poke cake you will need:
- all-purpose flour
- granulated sugar
- baking powder
- vanilla extract
- sweetened condensed milk
- unsweetened coconut milk
- key lime juice
- heavy whipping cream
Flour – All purpose flour works best for this cake. I have not tried this recipe with gluten-free flour, but I’m sure that a 1:1 blend would work.
Butter – Use unsalted butter or omit the salt if you use salted butter.
Sugar – White granulated sugar is what you need for the cake recipe.
Oil – Any type of oil will do. We like olive or avocado oil.
Coconut milk – This comes in a can in the Asian food aisle of most grocery stores.
Heavy cream – You will use this to make the whipped cream topping for the poke cake.
Want to a semi-homemade version? Use a vanilla cake mix, lime pudding mix and whipped cream! Follow the directions for each and then use my instructions on assembly.
How to make a key lime poke cake
Like the ingredients, making the cake comes in 3 steps. The cake itself, the cream filling and the topping.
Step 1 Cream the butter and sugar. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until pale yellow and fluffy. You want to make sure that your butter is softened before you start mixing it with the sugar.
Step 2 Beat in the eggs. Beat the eggs into the butter/sugar mixture one egg at a time. Make sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next.
Step 3 Add the other wet ingredients. Mix in the milk, oil and vanilla into the butter/sugar/egg mixture.
Step 4 Add in the dry ingredients. Add in the flour, baking powder and salt (if using unsalted butter) to the wet ingredients. Make sure to mix or beat until there are no lumps left in the batter.
Step 5 Pour and bake. Pour the batter into your prepared baking dish. Lightly tap the dish on the counter to bring up any air bubbles left in the batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Step 6 Make the cream filling. While the cake is baking, mix together the sweetened condensed milk, 1 cup of the coconut milk and the key lime juice until smooth.
Step 7 Poke the cake and add the filling. Once the cake is done baking and a toothpick comes out clean, use the end of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the cake. Pour the key lime cream mixture over the top of the cake, making sure it gets into the holes. Place in the fridge to chill and firm up.
Step 8 Make and frost the cake. Whip together the heavy whipped cream, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Spread it over the chilled cake and top with shredded coconut and lime zest. Serve and enjoy!
Does this poke cake taste like key lime pie? It does! The key lime flavor is in the cream filling so if you get a bit with the filling, it will taste just like the pie!
Do I have to use key lime juice? No, you can use regular lime juice if you can’t find key limes.
What size baking dish do I need? I used a 9×13 rectangle baking dish, which works really well.
How to store leftovers
Place cling wrap or foil over the top of the baking dish and put it in the fridge. It will stay fresh for 3 days and then start to get soggy from the cream filling.
Can I freeze it?
You sure can! You can freeze it after it cools from baking. I suggest not adding the key lime cream filling or the whipped topping before you freeze it though. Place foil over you cooled baking dish and place it in the freezer. It will keep for 3 months in the freezer. Allow to defrost in the fridge before adding the cream filling and topping.
- For the cake:
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- For the cream filling:
- 1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 (13.5 ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk, divided
- 10 tablespoons Key lime juice, fresh or bottled
- For the topping:
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- lime zest and flaked coconut for topping
More desserts to try
Like this easy dessert? Be sure to check out:
- Strawberry cake with lemon buttercream frosting
- Banoffee pie
- Salted caramel stuffed pretzel cookies
- Cherry fluff
- Espresso cookies
- Slow cooker Easter candy
Did you make this recipe? I’d love for you to leave a review in the recipe card above or the comments below. Want to make it later? Pin the image below to your favorite board.