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Red Velvet Poke Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting



I usually only make a red velvet dessert about once a year, usually for Christmas or Valentine’s Day, but this cake reminded me that I need to do it more often.

It’s fast, easy, and it’s a poke cake so it’s automatically super soft and moist which is the only way I want my cake.

Red Velvet Poke Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting - If you like red velvet, you're going to LOVE this EASY cake!! Super soft, moist, topped with luscious cream cheese frosting and chocolate chips! Perfect for holidays and special events!!

Poke cakes get their name because after baking you poke holes in the cake and drizzle in sweetened condensed milk and sometimes caramel sauce, but with this one I just used sweetened condensed milk. I’ve made plenty of others including chocolate, peanut butter, caramel, pumpkin, smores, turtle, and more.

Anytime a cake is infused with sweetened condensed milk, it’s going to be juicy and tender and this one definitely is.

Red Velvet Poke Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting - If you like red velvet, you're going to LOVE this EASY cake!! Super soft, moist, topped with luscious cream cheese frosting and chocolate chips! Perfect for holidays and special events!!

The tangy cream cheese frosting perfectly complements the red velvet flavor as do the mini chocolate chips.

A bit of food trivia is that scratch red velvet cake starts out similar to a chocolate cake in that you add cocoa powder (not as much as a chocolate cake has) plus red food coloring. Since there’s already a subtle chocolate vibe in red velvet, the chocolate chips enhance it. The chips also add a perfect amount of texture to this otherwise soft, decadent, and very easy cake.

Red Velvet Poke Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting - If you like red velvet, you're going to LOVE this EASY cake!! Super soft, moist, topped with luscious cream cheese frosting and chocolate chips! Perfect for holidays and special events!!

You can make scratch cream cheese frosting or to save time use storebought cream cheese frosting in a tub. It’s okay, really it is, there’s no baking judgment here.

Everyone will be stuffing their faces with this cake regardless. It’s perfect for holidays, parties, and special events.

Red Velvet Poke Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting - If you like red velvet, you're going to LOVE this EASY cake!! Super soft, moist, topped with luscious cream cheese frosting and chocolate chips! Perfect for holidays and special events!!

Print Recipe

Red Velvet Poke Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

The cake is fast, easy, and it’s a poke cake so it’s automatically super soft and moist. After baking poke holes in the cake and drizzle in sweetened condensed milk. The tangy cream cheese frosting perfectly complements the red velvet flavor as do the mini chocolate chips and they add a perfect amount of texture to this otherwise soft, decadent, and very easy cake. You can make scratch cream cheese frosting or to save time use storebought cream cheese frosting in a tub.

Yield: one 9×13-inch cake

Prep Time:10 minutes

Cook Time:about 25 to 28 minutes

Total Time:about 5+ hours, for chilling

Ingredients:

  • one 16.25-ounce box red velvet cake mix (I used Duncan Hines but you can probably double this cupcake recipe although I haven’t tested it)
  • one 14-ounce can sweetend condensed milk
  • one-and-a-half to two 14-ounce tubs whipped cream cheese frosting OR make scratch frosting using the ingredients below
  • 8 ounces brick-style cream cheese, softened (lite okay)
  • 1/4 cup (half of 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • about 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (I prefer mini but regular size may be substituted)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×13-inch pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Make cake according to package directions (likely adding 3 eggs, water, and oil) and bake as directed (likely about 25 to 28 minutes).
  3. Remove cake from the oven when it’s done, allow it to cool for about 5 minutes, and then using the blunt end of a wooden spoon, poke holes over the surface of the cake. I didn’t count but I estimate I poked about 60 holes, evenly spaced over the surface.
  4. Slowly pour the sweetened condensed milk mixture over the holes, taking your time to evenly distribute it so that all the holes receive some; place cake in fridge to cool for at least 10 minutes while you make the frosting or before adding canned frosting so it doesn’t melt.
  5. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large bowl and handheld electric mixer) add the cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, salt, and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add additional confectioners’ sugar if necessary for consistency.
  6. Turn frosting out onto cake and spread into a smooth, even, flat layer using a spatula or knife.
  7. Evenly sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  8. Refrigerate cake for at least 4 hours, or overnight, before serving. Cake will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 1 week.

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