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Better Than Easter… Carrot Cake Poke Cake

Moist carrot cake, creamy whipped topping, and caramel on top. What’s not to love?
Better Than #Easter... #Carrot #Cake #Poke Cake from www.somethingswanky.com | This is seriously SO yum!

NOTE: this recipe was originally published in 2013! I wish I had found the time to update these photos and the recipe for you this year, but sadly I think I’ll have to put it off another year. I still wanted to re-share this recipe in time for Easter, it’s always a big hit and perfect for your family get-togethers this weekend! Enjoy :) 

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 www.somethingswanky.com | 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:


Ashton Swank

Ashton is the owner and author of Something 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.

67 comments on “Better Than Easter… Carrot Cake Poke Cake”

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

  2. 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!

  3. 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 :-)

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

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

  6. genious, love the poke cakes, this sounds fab

  7. I love Carrot Cake, this is perfect. YUM.

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

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

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

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

  12. 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?

    • 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 :)

  13. I would be all over this like white on rice!

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

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

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

  17. 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!

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

  19. 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 :)

  20. 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!

  21. 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?

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

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

  25. 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.

    • 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.

  26. 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?

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

    • 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

  28. 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.

  29. 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. :)

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

    • 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

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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!

    • 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 :)

  34. 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?

    • 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! :)

  35. 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!

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

  37. 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!

    • 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.

  38. 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

    • 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 :)

  39. 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.

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  42. Best carrot cake ever!

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

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

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

  46. 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!!!! ;)

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

  48. 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?!

  49. 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!

  50. 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

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

  52. 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.

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