Turn that cake mix into a crowd pleasing dessert with just a few extra toppings. This Coconut Caramel Poke Cake is going to be the talk of the party!

I’m one of those people who makes almost everything from scratch because I enjoy it and it almost always tastes better.  The problem is that now that I have two children I can’t even eat a warm piece of toast. I no longer have the time or energy to cook up culinary masterpieces as often… and that’s why a cake mix comes in handy.

Coconut Caramel Poke Cake on a white plate with fork sticking out of it

The good thing about this Coconut Caramel Poke Cake is that it is saturated and covered in so much yummy goodness, no one will know you cheated! With the help of a few extra toppings, this plain ole vanilla cake is transformed into a heavenly addicting dessert that will leave you begging for seconds.

Right after pulling the cake out of the oven, you poke holes all over it. This allows the next couple of ingredients to really seep down into the cake (like this chocolate one!). The first ingredient drizzled over the cake is sweetened condensed milk. It fills the holes and is absorbed into the cake making it even more moist and sweet. Whoever discovered this amazing sweet caramel-like “milk” is heaven sent. I could just have a spoonful of it and be happy.Overhead shot of Coconut Caramel Poke Cake ina baking sheet with a few slices removed from it

But that’s not all folks! Then you layer on some rich caramel sauce followed by a refreshing layer of Cool Whip. And just when you thought this cake couldn’t get any better, you throw on some toasted coconut (like I did on these Samoa Cupcakes). Sure, you can leave the coconut untoasted, but why deprive yourself of the rich nutty flavor?!Coconut Caramel Poke Cake on a white plate with a fork next to it

And then there’s my favorite part—dry roasted macadamia nuts. They fit perfectly with the toasted coconut and the saltiness is a nice contract to the sweet caramel. Just be careful that you don’t feed this to someone who is allergic. But really, everyone will love this cake. Enjoy!

More Delicious Poke Cake Recipes

Slice of Coconut Caramel Poke Cake on a white plate with a baking dish of it in the background
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Coconut Caramel Poke Cake

A vanilla cake poked and filled with condensed milk, caramel sauce and topped with toasted coconut!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 20
Author Melanie
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  • 1 box vanilla cake mix prepared according to package
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounce)
  • 1 jar caramel sauce (17 ounce)
  • 1 container cool whip (8 ounce), thawed
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut shredded
  • ¾ cup macadamia nuts chopped


  • Prepare and bake vanilla cake in a 9x13 inch pan according to the directions on the box.
  • While cake is baking, spread coconut flakes onto a foil lined baking sheet. After cake is done cooking, toast the coconut in a 350 degree oven for 7-8 minutes until lightly browned, stirring halfway through.
  • When cake comes out of the oven, use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the top of the cake about 1 inch apart and 1 inch deep. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the warm cake, followed by the caramel sauce. Let the cake cool completely.
  • Spread room temperature cake with Cool Whip. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and macadamia nuts. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
5 from 3 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 232 | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 225mg | Potassium: 136mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 73IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 129mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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  1. This is CRAZY but I posted a Caramel Cream Poke Cake TODAY. We are ALWAYS on the same page! Your cake looks delish!

    1. LOL! We are definitely always on the same page!! Your cake looks fabulous too, the caramel and cream make these cakes amazing!!