Condensed Milk Is The Key To Perfectly Creamy Poke Cake

spooning condensed milk from a bowl
spooning condensed milk from a bowl - New Africa/Shutterstock

Flavor-soaked poke cake has been around for decades, so naturally, it's evolved over time. These days you can find countless unique variations of this dessert to try, whether you're making it from scratch or relying on a box of your favorite cake mix. We've come a long way from the classic, old-fashioned Jell-O poke cake, and now it's a free-for-all when it comes to choosing what ingredients to pour over it. One baking staple that Martha Stewart describes as "underrated but definitely not underused" is condensed milk, and topping your poke cake with it can infuse it with depth and extra richness.

Even Betty Crocker encourages this cake-poking technique, particularly when it comes to its boxed German chocolate cakes; the brand even calls this combination the "Better Than Almost Anything" cake. It's as indulgent as it gets, but entirely worth it, especially after patiently waiting for the cake to absorb all that condensed milk. After all, this thick, syrupy flavor enhancer is around 45% sugar. If that sounds a little too decadent for you, you might try easing up on the sugar content in your actual cake, letting the richness of the condensed milk take center stage. This isn't the only canned ingredient that can upgrade your cake recipe — there are other add-ins that can turn your poke cake into even more of a treat.

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Try Combining Sweetened Condensed Milk With Peanut Butter Or Nutella

poke cake topped with Reese's cups
poke cake topped with Reese's cups - Six Sisters' Stuff/YouTube

It doesn't matter if your poke cake's holes are small and uniform or made chaotically large using the end of a spoon. Either way, the holes are this bake's secret to great flavor distribution. That's why you should mix your condensed milk with a sweet ingredient that will complement the flavor of your cake. Peanut butter is always a winning choice for those who like a nuttier taste, and you could also add in some caramel for a salty-sweet sauce. If you've got a jar of Nutella in your pantry that you dip into often, you can mix that in too, while coconut lovers can reach for some cream of coconut to blend with their condensed milk.

These rich toppings work well for most chocolate-adjacent cake flavors, but what about when you want to bite into a dessert that's a bit lighter? White or vanilla cakes are great for when you want to incorporate mouthfuls of fruity tartness, and you can add ingredients like jams, homemade strawberry sauce, or even a dash of citrus juice if you've got key lime on the brain. Stirring some instant pudding into your condensed milk topping is another easy way to add some creative flavors to your poke cake. Letting it soak in the fridge overnight will give you the best-tasting results — provided you can wait that long.

Read the original article on Mashed.