Something Swanky

Better Than Easter… Carrot Cake Poke Cake

Better Than #Easter... #Carrot #Cake #Poke Cake from | This is seriously SO yum!

For a woman who has spent 26 years and 6 months of her 26 years and 7 months of life really disliking carrot cake, I feel qualified to assure you that this cake is the best carrot cake you’ll ever taste. Because I SCARFED it. It reminded me a lot of the Caramel Carrot Cake & Cheesecake Trifle I made for Chris’s birthday last year, which was also incredibly delicious (that link has suggestions for a lightened up version, if you’re watching the cals!).

This is pretty much your run-of-the-mill BTS cake, but, you know… with carrot cake. Which obviously makes it seasonally appropriate for spring and Easter :) . The topping is a little special: it’s a sweet whipped combo of cream cheese, cool whip, and cool whip frosting. And it’s topped with caramel sauce and chopped pecans, like any decent carrot cake should be!

I think you’ll love this as much as I did! Be warned– make it when you’re expecting a crowd. This stuff goes down the hatch waaaaaaay too easily to make it when you’re home alone!

Better Than #Easter... #Carrot #Cake #Poke Cake from | This is seriously SO yum!


Better Than Easter… Carrot Cake Poke Cake


  • The 9x13 Carrot Cake recipe of your choice, baked and cooled (I used a box mix)
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 8 oz Cool Whip
  • 10.6 oz Cool Whip Vanilla Frosting (Cream Cheese flavor if your store carries it, mine doesn't)
  • 6 oz (half a tub) of whipped cream cheese (must be whipped)
  • Approx. 1/2 cup caramel sundae sauce (just pour on as much or as little as you'd like)
  • Approx. 1 cup chopped pecans (sprinkle on as much or as little as you'd like)


  1. Leave the cake in the dish it was baked in-- this is not a free standing cake.
  2. Poke approximately 20-25 holes, spread evenly, over the top of the cake with the bottom of a wooden spoon. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over top, trying to fill the holes as much as possible.
  3. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to beat together the cool whip, the cool whip frosting, and the whipped cream cheese until smooth. Spread over top of the cake.
  4. Pour the caramel sauce over top of the cake, and sprinkle with chopped pecans.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, really overnight is best.
  6. Cut into 12 squares to serve (you can cut more, 1/12 is a pretty large piece!).

Notes about this recipe:

  • Cool Whip Frosting is not the same as cool whip. But you can find it right beside the cool whip in the freezer section of your grocery store.
  • You will not be able to stop eating this. Just a fact.



Carrot Cake from Friends:


Follw me!


Ashton is the owner and author ofSomething Swanky. Although first and foremost a wife and mother, she considers herself an online entrepreneur, freelance writer and photographer, and brand ambassador.Her focus is in food styling, food photography and recipe development.
Follw me!

Latest posts by Ashton (see all)


67 Responses to “Better Than Easter… Carrot Cake Poke Cake”

  1. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust posted on February 27, 2013 at 8:51 pm (#)

    Oh, this would be dangerous for me. Probably because Mel wouldn’t touch it “too sweet” or “too creamy” and then I’d eat it all!

  2. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life posted on February 27, 2013 at 8:54 pm (#)

    I adore carrot cake too much already…and now it has caramel and cool whip frosting all slathered over it! I am dying over here!!! Thank you for sharing the carrot cake link love :-)

  3. avril posted on February 27, 2013 at 10:33 pm (#)

    Wow! I am completly WOWED!!!
    I must make this super soon….have to practice for Easter :-)

  4. Liz posted on February 27, 2013 at 11:21 pm (#)

    This sounds great Ashton! Adding all those extras to a plain ol’ carrot cake puts it WAY over the top! Love it :)

  5. Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke posted on February 28, 2013 at 12:53 am (#)

    genious, love the poke cakes, this sounds fab

  6. Aimee @ ShugarySweets posted on February 28, 2013 at 8:27 am (#)

    I love Carrot Cake, this is perfect. YUM.

  7. Sarah @ Miss CandiQuik posted on February 28, 2013 at 12:33 pm (#)

    yum, yum & yum! Love ‘poke’ cakes :)

  8. Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen posted on February 28, 2013 at 12:46 pm (#)

    I haven’t had a better than cake in a while and a carrot cake twist on it is amazing!

  9. Sue {munchkin munchies} posted on February 28, 2013 at 1:26 pm (#)

    Oh my GOODNESS, this cake looks delicious, and I already love carrot cake!

  10. Emily ~SoDomesticated~ posted on February 28, 2013 at 3:47 pm (#)

    Oh my word… I would love to dig right in!

  11. rachel posted on February 28, 2013 at 7:54 pm (#)

    I want to make this but what is whipped cream cheese? I have never heard of it. Also do you pour this over the cake while it is warm?

    • Ashton posted on March 1, 2013 at 7:26 pm (#)

      Nope, you do it after it’s cooled. The cooling step is actually listed in the first ingredient instead of in the directions. And you should be able to find whipped cream cheese at any grocery store– it’s super common. It’ll be in a tub, alongside the other cream cheeses :)

  12. Nicole @ youngbrokeandhungry posted on February 28, 2013 at 10:00 pm (#)

    I would be all over this like white on rice!

  13. Kathy posted on March 1, 2013 at 11:32 am (#)

    Oh my goodness! This sounds fabulous. I love poke cakes and cannot wait to make this one.

  14. sally @ sallys baking addiction posted on March 1, 2013 at 4:16 pm (#)

    I LOVE CARROT CAKE!!!!!!!!!! That is all. I love you too Ashton!!

  15. Erin @ Making Memories posted on March 1, 2013 at 5:48 pm (#)

    I’m not a big carrot cake fan either but this sounds wonderful! And I love the name!

  16. Shiloh Barkley posted on March 3, 2013 at 11:06 pm (#)

    Got your email. Thanks for the response…I do want borders on my blog…having the most problems withe size of my header though. I wasn’t as specific as I thought…anyways…I made this today. Great recipe. Love that cool whips frosting and my store had cream cheese flavor!

  17. Colleen @ What's Baking in the Barbershop?! posted on March 8, 2013 at 11:22 am (#)

    Just found your blog through Deborah over at Taste and Tell, and I love it! My oh my, does this cake look fantastic! Great for the Easter holiday right around the corner :)

  18. Renee @ Tortillas and Honey posted on March 11, 2013 at 3:42 pm (#)

    I love the twist you did with the name, so cute! I’ve never noticed Cool Whip frosting, I’m going to have to make sure to look for it. Carrot cake is also one of my favorites, I think I’ll have to make this to take to my Easter lunch and dinner!

  19. Amy posted on March 18, 2013 at 10:51 pm (#)

    Would it be possible to leave out the whipped cream and just use the Cool Whip and Cool Whip frosting if I’m in a pinch?

    • Ashton posted on March 18, 2013 at 11:08 pm (#)

      Yes! There is no whipped cream, just cool whip and cool whip frosting :)

  20. Jody posted on March 22, 2013 at 8:59 pm (#)

    What is cool whip frosting?
    Where can you buy it?

  21. Patty posted on March 23, 2013 at 10:07 pm (#)

    I’ve never heard of Cool Whip frosting. Is this something new? Is it found in the refrigerated section?

    • Ashton posted on March 26, 2013 at 9:51 am (#)

      It’s right by the cool whip :) It’s AWESOME!

  22. Michelle posted on March 26, 2013 at 2:41 pm (#)

    i can’t wait to make this!! but i am curious as to what leaving the regular cool whip out would do. it seems like a lot of similar things for the icing.

    • Ashton posted on March 27, 2013 at 11:46 pm (#)

      You just have to trust me on this… or don’t I guess :) But it just works. The frosting needs more volume than what you get in the frosting tub of cool whip frosting, but using two would be WAY too overwhelmingly sweet. The regular cool whip evens out the taste, fluffs up the texture.

  23. lorelei posted on March 27, 2013 at 1:05 pm (#)

    I’m so making this for Easter! Quick question: I already have a tub of the cool whip cream cheese frosting in my freezer….do i still need to get the regular cool whip to mix with that one, or do i for-go that whole step and just use the tub of the cream cheese cool whip?

    • Ashton posted on March 27, 2013 at 11:41 pm (#)

      I like to mix the two– I think it makes for a better texture and flavor :) Plus… there’s MORE of it!

  24. Molly posted on March 28, 2013 at 10:16 pm (#)

    I want to make this for Easter dessert. I can’t find cool whip frosting anywhere. Can I use regular frosting?

    • Ashton posted on April 3, 2013 at 6:57 pm (#)

      No, but you can use 2 containers of regular cool whip with the full container of whipped cream cheese. Just make sure the whipped cream cheese is at room temp

  25. Lisa posted on March 29, 2013 at 3:55 pm (#)

    MY grocery store – a terrible store, trust me, has never heard of Cool Whip Frosting. Can I make it with two things of Cool Whip and the Whipped Cream Cheese? I pretty much think I have to at this point.

    • Ashton posted on April 3, 2013 at 6:56 pm (#)

      I’m pretty sure it would be just fine :)

  26. Kimberly posted on March 29, 2013 at 5:53 pm (#)

    Making this right now only I’m going to boil 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk, 1 for the carmel topping, and the 2nd will go in the holes instead of the milk called for. :)

  27. Jodie posted on March 30, 2013 at 11:22 am (#)

    This sounds great!! If my store does have the cream cheese flavored frosting do I need to get the whipped cream cheese as well??

    • Ashton posted on March 30, 2013 at 9:38 pm (#)

      Yes! Whipped Cream Cheese + Cool Whip Frosting :) And you could use the vanilla cool whip frosting– I just like the cream cheese one for this cake. But it’s not a requirement

  28. Hailie posted on March 30, 2013 at 2:04 pm (#)

    So my store doesn’t have cool chip frosting, is it still good to make with out it? Im hoping to make this tomorrow for Easter but wont have the time to hunt down the cool whip frosting.

    • Ashton posted on March 30, 2013 at 9:38 pm (#)

      That’s ok! It’ll be ok without at– but I’d maybe add a little extra cool whip (like, maybe half of another tub)

  29. Jhounna posted on March 30, 2013 at 2:23 pm (#)

    I made this cake today for Easter Sunday. I couldnt wait to try it so I went ahead just now and a piece. It was AWESOME!!!!! I love it! Its a keeper for sure. Cant wait til the family try it tomorrow.

  30. Janice posted on March 30, 2013 at 4:03 pm (#)

    I bought the cream cheese flavor cool whip frosting. Do I still need the whipped cream cheese? Also, the size of the cool whip frosting is 10.6 ounces. Is the size listed in the recipe a mistake? Thanks! Can’t wait to make this!

    • Ashton posted on March 30, 2013 at 9:37 pm (#)

      Yes! Use both the whipped cream cheese and the cool whip frosting :) And yes, the size of the cool whip frosting is a typo– thanks for catching that! Will change ASAP :)

  31. Amanda posted on March 30, 2013 at 6:57 pm (#)

    How would this cake taste without the sweetened condensed milk, I am making this right now and am having reservations, I just don’t want it to be TOO sweet. Any suggestions?

    • Ashton posted on March 30, 2013 at 9:34 pm (#)

      It would be ok without the sweetened condensed milk– it just wouldn’t taste like a BTS cake, which is what it’s supposed to mimic. Or, maybe just use half a can if you don’t think you’d like the entire can in there! :)

  32. Jordan posted on March 30, 2013 at 10:27 pm (#)

    Hi! Making this for Easter sunday! Does the cool whip and cool whip frosting have to be completely thawed, or should I keep it in the freezer until ready? Excited to try it!

    • Ashton posted on April 2, 2013 at 10:53 pm (#)

      Sorry I missed this! I was out of town for Easter myself! But for future reference, everything needs to be thawed.

  33. Brittney Larsen posted on March 30, 2013 at 11:21 pm (#)

    Could you please take a picture of all the ingredients in this cake so we know what to be buying, I think we’re all getting mixed up with the cool whip frosting I was thinking it was frosting by the cake mixes but now I’m reading the comments and it sounds like its in the freezer section…a picture would be great for all the ingredients:) thank you!!! Can’t wait to try this!

    • Ashton posted on April 2, 2013 at 10:52 pm (#)

      Yep– it’s the cool whip frosting in the freezer section :) It’s just a new product, that’s why it’s confusing. And this recipe does call for 2 different Cool Whip products. Cool Whip (normal) AND Cool Whip Frosting.

  34. Brittney Larsen posted on March 30, 2013 at 11:31 pm (#)

    Another thing in your instructions it says 8 oz cool whip…do we use cool whip?? Or is it just whipped cream cheese and the cool whip frosting?? Your instructions are a bit confusing

    • Ashton posted on April 2, 2013 at 10:51 pm (#)

      I think it’s just confusing because there are two different Cool Whip brand ingredients– but yes, you use the 8 oz Cool Whip too :)

  35. Kolleen posted on March 31, 2013 at 5:58 pm (#)

    I made this yesterday for us to eat today at our Easter meal. I’d suggest a few things: 1) don’t add the caramel till just before serving 2) don’t use the entire can of sweetened condensed milk. The cake was way too “wet” for my taste. I’m familiar with the BTS cake (chocolate version), but cutting back on the milk to maybe half of what is called for would help. Don’t get me wrong, everyone loved the cake. It could just be fine tuned a bit more.

  36. Fay posted on April 4, 2013 at 4:04 pm (#)

    Best carrot cake ever!

  37. Jackie Hammond posted on April 13, 2013 at 2:54 pm (#)

    This something my daughter Hope would love because Carrot Cake is her favorite cake. I would love it too. Am going to have to adapt it for two to four people.

  38. glreag posted on April 19, 2013 at 2:02 am (#)

    This was the best cake ever!!! My husband doesn’t even care for carrot cake, but he ate half of this cake!!! It was so rich and delicious and really not all that hard to make.

  39. mrsblocko posted on October 29, 2013 at 3:22 pm (#)

    I made this for a family gathering and it was huge hit. Thanks for the recipe! (Wrote about here)

    ps that cool whip frosting is super evil!!!! ;)

  40. Denise posted on November 15, 2013 at 10:43 pm (#)

    Oh, how I love Carrot Cake. I’d love to make this, but too many carbs for us diabetics. Darn!!

  41. Lorie posted on March 29, 2014 at 7:00 pm (#)

    This is truely the best carrot cake ever!! I made it for my husband for our anniversary and he is still raving about it!! I am curious though is it really 1600 calories per piece?!

  42. Katie posted on April 5, 2014 at 10:58 am (#)

    I must admit, this cake sounds very delicious. Even the ‘traditional’ Carrot Cakes made from ‘scratch’, & topped w/ homemade Cream Cheese Frosting aren’t t the ‘healthiest’ of desserts….but this one (w/the addition of Sweetened Condensed Milk, Canned Frosting, and Caramel Sauce) is truly a ‘Gut Buster’! I definately wouldn’t serve this cake to a diabetic, or to anyone who has heart problems, nor to anyone who is trying to watch their weight. Go for it, if you dare! Anyways, it does sound very tempting!

  43. Nicole posted on April 14, 2014 at 3:22 pm (#)

    If I am able to find the cream cheese cool while frosting, do I still need to add the 6oz of whipped cream cheese? Or do you only add that if you have vanilla cool whip frosting

  44. veronica melo posted on April 18, 2014 at 10:53 am (#)

    If I get the cream cheese forsting a have to put the whipped ceam cheese too

  45. Bonnie posted on April 30, 2014 at 10:26 pm (#)

    I made this poke cake for a dinner at church tonight and let me tell you everyone loved it even some men that I thought didn’t eat sweets. I am now hooked on poke cake. Can’t wait to try mt next one. Thank you so much.

  46. missy posted on April 19, 2014 at 4:50 pm (#)

    I just made this cake for easter!!!!!!!!! I really enjoyed making this cake and am hoping that my family really likes it also!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Pingback: Carrot Cake Brownies - Crazy for Crust | Crazy for Crust

  2. Pingback: Week 17: Friday Favorites | The Cookin' Chemist

  3. Pingback: Carrot Cake Monkey Bread - Something Swanky

  4. Pingback: Carrot (Poke) Cake | Pamcakes & Coffee

  5. Pingback: WIAW: Easter Successes | For The Sake of Cake

  6. Pingback: Better Than Presents… Rainbow Birthday Poke Cake | The Domestic Rebel

  7. Pingback: My Favorite Picmonkey Fonts and How I Use Them - Something Swanky