Beginner, Cake Recipes, Dessert Recipes, Easter

Pineapple Poke Cake

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.

overhead shot of Pineapple Poke Cake in a pyrex dish on a blue and white towel

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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.

close up shot of a spoon after serving a slice of Pineapple Poke Cake in a pyrex dish on a blue and white towel

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.

slice of Pineapple Poke Cake on a white China plate

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Pineapple Poke Cake
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4.60 from 15 votes

Pineapple Poke Cake

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.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Cook Time 28 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 376kcal
Author Lisa B.


  • 1 (15 ounce) box white cake mix
  • 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 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 the undrained pineapple 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.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 376kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 2.5g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 72mg | Potassium: 70mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 190IU | Vitamin C: 3.3mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1.1mg


  1. 5 stars
    Damm this was so delicious that I caught the Mrs. having a bite before we had our breakfast. Little does she know I did the same as I was up first. Definitely a KEEPER

  2. Ha!! That’s great, Krista. Glad the hubs approved and thanks for coming back and leaving a comment.

  3. 5 stars
    Amazing recipe! My husband requested “not chocolate, maybe something with pineapple” and this was absolutely perfect.

  4. Hi Laurie! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you so much for coming back and leaving a comment.

  5. 5 stars
    I made this for a funeral reception that I hosted. I omitted the 3 cups of powdered sugar by accident and it was delicious. I only had a 20 oz can of pineapple and so I used it all. This was amazing. A favorite for sure.

  6. 5 stars
    Love your description of ‘comebacks’ . So glad the poke cake is back and not the hair. Your pineapple poke cake recipe is fantastic!

  7. 5 stars

    This is making me wish it was summertime!

  8. 5 stars

    I loved reading about the Poke cake, which I’d never heard of. (Honestly, when I first read the title, I thought it was a savory cake of some sort with ahi tuna – ha ha!) THIS sound much better — super yummy, in fact.

  9. 5 stars

    Oh my yum! This looks amazing. I’ve actually never had a poke cake, but this looks like a great first recipe to try!

  10. 5 stars
    I would have to have at least two helpings of this! It looks so good!

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