#14 Skinny Pumpkin Poke Cake

OH MY GOSH. This cake is toooo good. This is definitely one of my favorites, if not my #1 favorite dessert I've made so far. And it's made from a BOX, people! Well, really, a box of cake mix and a box of instant pudding. It's super easy and super delicious.

This recipe is not only a healthier twist on pumpkin pie, but also a healthier twist on the original pumpkin poke cake made with sweetened condensed milk and Heath bits. (I know. Heath bits are my weakness, too. But don't be sad - it's terrific without them, I promise.)

I made this for a girl's night with some of my aunts and cousins. I was a little nervous to dish it out for everyone without knowing beforehand what it tasted like. But, no worries. It was a success! (Also, that's my excuse for some of the messy photos. No time to make them look pretty - I had to keep dishing pieces out!)

My parents actually surprised me and asked if we could have this instead of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.. Yeah, it's that good. And if it's not, it's darn close. I'm pretty partial to pumpkin pie, but I couldn't stop myself with this poke cake. Mrs. Smith's store-bought pumpkin pie has almost 100 more calories and 11 more grams of fat per serving!

This skinnier cake is so moist, I just love it. I attached a photo of the poked cake while I was pouring the pudding on it. I would even recommend more holes! So hurry and make this while it's still pumpkin season! Not that a change in the weather would stop me. I can easily see myself making this in the middle of summer, or pretty much whenever. Enjoy!

Skinny Pumpkin Poke Cake
Prep Time: 10 minutes. Cook time: 30 minutes. Total time: 40 minutes.
Yields: 9x13" pan; about 15 pieces of cake


15.25 box yellow cake mix, dry mix only
15 oz. can pure pumpkin (such as Libby's)
1/2 cup water
1 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5.1 oz. box vanilla instant pudding mix (Sugar Free if possible)
2 1/2 cups skim milk
8 oz. container Cool Whip (I recommend Sugar Free or Light)


1. Preheat oven 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13" pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, blend on medium speed the dry cake mix, pumpkin, water, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon for 2-3 minutes until batter is lump-free and fluffy.

3. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until edges are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

4. Let cake cool about 5 minutes. While cake is cooling, whisk pudding mix, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice and 2 1/2 cups milk for about 2 minutes. The pudding will start to thicken, but it should not be set up.

5. After cake has cooled 5 minutes, use the end of a wooden spoon and generously poke holes throughout the cake, being careful to not poke all the way through. 

6. Immediately pour pudding evenly over the cake, making sure to fill in all holes.

6. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. The longer it chills, the better (overnight would be the best). When ready to serve, evenly top and spread with Cool Whip.

*Note: Nutrition facts may vary due to brand of products.

Recipe adapted from 

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