Pineapple poke cake is a quick and simple dessert with big results. Light white cake mix is drenched with sweet pineapple juice, then topped with a light and fluffy whipped cream cheese topping and crunchy chopped pecans.
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From time to time, I enjoy flipping through old cookbooks. I’m talking about cookbooks from 30, 40 and 50 years ago.
Not that 30, 40, or 50 years should be considered old (ahem). These days, a 20-year-old car is considered antique. Sheesh.
I digress. But, have you ever noticed …
Cooking comes in fads, much like fashion.
There are some trends that should just be left alone. Like in the early 1990’s when my girlfriends and I used to tease our bangs so high they rivaled the height of a nuclear mushroom cloud.
And tomato aspic. Apparently very popular in the 1950’s. But for the life of me I can’t fathom how tomato flavored gelatin could possibly be delicious.
Then there are the fads that deserve a comeback – like poke cake.
What is Poke Cake?
Poke cake became all the rage in the 1970’s. The concept is simple. Prepare a boxed cake mix. Once the cake is baked and cooled, you poke holes in it. The trend was to then pour fruit flavored gelatin over the top, allowing the liquid to seep into and throughout the cake. Supposedly it not only made the cake more moist, but it added some fun color.
Today’s poke cakes don’t require fruit flavored gelatin. Recipes use anything from warm chocolate to condensed milk. Or in the case of this cake, fruit juice.
Simple Dessert. Big Results.
Anything that starts with a boxed cake mix spells E-A-S-Y in my book. You can bake this in a 9 x 12 x 2 metal sheet cake pan, or in a similarly sized casserole dish like I did. While the cake is baking, combine pineapple juice with a bit of sugar. Boil just until the sugar is dissolved and allow to cool.
Once the cake is cooled, I like to use a big chopstick to poke holes all over the cake. Some people use a fork. Pour the pineapple juice mixture all over the cake. Don’t worry, your cake won’t turn out soggy.
While this pineapple poke cake is light and fluffy, the whipped cream cheese topping is rich and creamy.
Elvis Was a Fan.
Yes, that Elvis. Several months ago, I was researching Elvis’s favorite foods for a food assignment. My research turned up the obvious, well-known results such as peanut butter and banana sandwiches. But I also came across several articles which claimed pineapple poke cake was among his all-time favorite desserts.
Obviously, I have no way of substantiating that claim. But, the day I made this cake, I sent some home with my parents. The next time I talked to my mother, she asked, “What was that cake you gave us? It was delicious!”
Who am I to argue with The King or my mother? Add this recipe to your arsenal the next time you need a quick and simple dessert. Your friends and family will be asking for the recipe.
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Pineapple Poke Cake
- 1 15 ounce box white cake mix
- 1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups chopped pecans divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare cake mix according to package directions using a prepared 9 x 13 dish. Allow cake to cool after baking.
Combine pineapple with juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until sugar is dissolved.
Using a chop stick or something similar, poke holes throughout the cake. Pour the pineapple mixture over the cake.
Mix together the cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar until combined. Stir in the vanilla extract and 1 ½ cups of the chopped pecans. Evenly spread the icing over the cake. Top with the remaining ½ cup of chopped pecans.