Hawaiian Poke Cake

Delight in Tropical Bliss: Hawaiian Poke Cake Recipe

Transport yourself to the sandy shores of Hawaii with our indulgent Hawaiian Poke Cake. This dessert is a delightful fusion of flavors, featuring layers of moist vanilla cake infused with coconut and pineapple, creamy coconut pudding, and a fluffy whipped topping. Topped with sweetened shredded coconut and toasted macadamia nuts, each bite is a taste of paradise. Whether you’re hosting a luau-themed party or simply craving a taste of the tropics, this Hawaiian Poke Cake is sure to impress. Get ready to embark on a culinary journey to the islands with this irresistible dessert!


  • 1 (16.25 oz) box French Vanilla cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 (3.4 oz) coconut instant pudding mix
  • 1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple, juices reserved
  • 4 cups half-and-half
  • 1 (16 oz) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 (7 oz) package sweetened shredded coconut
  • Optional: 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, toasted and roughly chopped


  1. Prepare Cake: Preheat your oven to the temperature indicated on the cake mix box. Grease and flour a 9×13-inch baking pan.
  2. Mix Cake Batter: In a large mixing bowl, combine the French Vanilla cake mix, eggs, vegetable oil, and water. Mix until well combined and smooth.
  3. Bake Cake: Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan and bake according to the package instructions. Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly.
  4. Prepare Pudding Mixture: In another bowl, whisk together the coconut instant pudding mix, reserved pineapple juice, and half-and-half until smooth and well combined.
  5. Poke Holes: Once the cake has cooled slightly, use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the surface of the cake.
  6. Pour Pudding Mixture: Pour the prepared pudding mixture over the top of the cake, making sure to fill the holes and cover the entire surface.
  7. Chill: Place the cake in the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours, or until the pudding mixture has set.
  8. Top with Topping: Spread the thawed whipped topping evenly over the chilled cake.
  9. Garnish: Sprinkle the sweetened shredded coconut over the whipped topping. If desired, sprinkle toasted and chopped macadamia nuts over the coconut for added crunch and flavor.
  10. Serve: Slice the Hawaiian Poke Cake into squares and serve chilled. Enjoy the tropical flavors!

Cook Notes and Variations

  • Add Pineapple Chunks: For an extra burst of pineapple flavor and texture, fold in drained pineapple chunks into the whipped topping before spreading it over the cake.
  • Coconut Cream Variation: Instead of using half-and-half for the pudding mixture, you can use coconut cream for a richer coconut flavor.
  • Almond Topping: Swap out the macadamia nuts for toasted sliced almonds for a different nutty flavor profile.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions

For those following a keto or low-carb lifestyle, consider the following modifications:

  • Keto Cake Mix: Use a low-carb or keto-friendly cake mix as the base for the cake batter.
  • Sugar-Free Pudding Mix: Look for sugar-free or low-carb instant pudding mix options and use unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk instead of half-and-half.
  • Whipped Cream Topping: Instead of using frozen whipped topping, whip heavy cream with a keto-friendly sweetener such as erythritol or stevia until stiff peaks form, and use it as the topping.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use a different flavor of cake mix? A: Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with different cake mix flavors such as pineapple, coconut, or yellow cake mix to customize the flavor of your Hawaiian Poke Cake.

Q: How far in advance can I make this cake? A: You can make the cake up to 24 hours in advance. Simply cover it tightly with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Q: Can I freeze leftovers of this cake? A: Yes, you can freeze leftover slices of Hawaiian Poke Cake. Wrap each slice tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then place them in a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

In conclusion, Hawaiian Poke Cake is a delightful dessert that brings the flavors of the tropics right to your table. With its moist cake layers, creamy pudding filling, and tropical toppings, this dessert is a true crowd-pleaser. Whether you’re hosting a summer barbecue or simply craving a taste of the islands, this Hawaiian Poke Cake is sure to transport you to paradise with every bite. So whip up a batch, chill out, and enjoy the sweet taste of summer with this irresistible dessert!

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