Indulge in a heavenly delight with our Caramel Carrot Cake Poke Cake, masterfully crafted with carrot cake mix, vanilla pudding, sweetened condensed milk, and a splash of salted caramel sauce. It’s not just a cake; it’s an experience!
Growing up, the idea of combining caramel and carrots would’ve seemed as bizarre to me as wearing socks with sandals (something my dear dad still does – bless his heart!). But on a curious whim during one of our yearly family bake-offs, we decided to take a bold step. We had an extra jar of salted caramel sauce, and well, a carrot cake in the oven. And, what started as a fun experiment turned into an iconic family favorite. Every bite of this Caramel Carrot Cake Poke Cake takes me back to that day – the laughter, the camaraderie, and my uncle’s reaction, which was akin to a toddler tasting candy for the first time!
Why You’ll Love Caramel Carrot Cake Poke Cake:
Let’s get down to the carrotty (or nitty-gritty, if you will) of why this cake stands out! First, it marries two delectable worlds: the earthy goodness of carrot cake and the dreamy sweetness of caramel. The poke technique ensures every inch gets drenched in sweetened condensed milk, offering a moist bite every time. Lastly, the unique frosting, infused with a hint of cheesecake flavor, adds a luscious creaminess that’ll make your taste buds dance. And, hey, there’s a touch of pecan crunch to seal the deal!
Ingredients Notes For Caramel Carrot Cake Poke Cake:
Before diving spatula-first into this recipe, let’s deconstruct our ingredients. Opt for a quality carrot cake mix – trust me, it’s the foundation and you want it sturdy and flavorful. The instant vanilla pudding mix will infuse moisture into the cake, ensuring it’s far from your typical dry carrot dessert. The choice of using chopped pecans is optional but highly recommended. It adds a rustic texture and nutty undertone. And, for the love of all things creamy, please don’t skimp on the sweetened condensed milk; it’s the golden river that runs through this cake paradise!
Detailed Steps For Caramel Carrot Cake Poke Cake:
Step 1: Begin by setting the mood – preheat that oven to a toasty 350 degrees F, and generously grease your 9×13-inch baking pan. Consider this the canvas for your masterpiece.
Step 2: Dive into the cake mix! But don’t go all in just yet. Hold off on the sweetened condensed milk. Once you’ve achieved a smooth batter, pour it into your pan and let the oven work its magic for around 40 to 45 minutes. Patience, my friend!
Step 3: Once your cake has cooled (and you’ve stopped salivating), it’s poking time! Take a skewer and create holes all over – think of it as the cake’s little tunnels of joy.
Step 4: Here comes the river! Gently pour the sweetened condensed milk, ensuring it flows into those holes. Let the cake soak in the milky goodness for an hour or if you have the patience, overnight!
Step 5: Frosting time! Whip your frosting ingredients until they’re light and fluffy, then generously spread it over the cake. This is where the cake gets its chic look.
Step 6: It’s drizzle o’clock! Lavishly pour that salted caramel sauce over the frosting and sprinkle it with pecans. Slice, serve, and watch the magic unfold.
Cake leftovers? Sounds mythical, but just in case, you can cover your cake with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, ensuring it’s sealed well. Slide it into the fridge where it can chill (literally) for up to 2 days. Though, between you and me, I doubt it’ll last that long without sneaky midnight snacking!
Variations and Substitutions:
Feeling adventurous or missing an ingredient? No worries! You can replace the carrot cake mix with a spiced cake mix for an added kick. Not a fan of pecans? Walnuts or almonds are excellent understudies. If you’re seeking a lighter frosting, consider using Greek yogurt with a touch of honey. And if you’re out of salted caramel sauce, a blend of maple syrup and a pinch of salt can make a delightful substitute!
Happy Baking, dear reader! And remember, this cake isn’t just about eating; it’s about relishing a story, one bite at a time!
Caramel Carrot Cake Poke Cake
- 1 package of premium carrot cake mix
- 1 package 3.4 oz of instant vanilla pudding mix (unprepared)
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 1/2 cup of whole milk
- 1 cup of sour cream
- 3/4 cup of vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups of pecans finely chopped (optional inclusion)
- 14 ounces of sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups of heavy cream
- 1/3 cup of instant cheesecake pudding mix unprepared
- 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
- 12 ounces of salted caramel sauce
- 1/2 cup of pecans finely chopped
- Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Proceed to grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with a suitable non-stick cooking spray. Once prepared, set it aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the carrot cake mix, instant vanilla pudding mix, eggs, whole milk, sour cream, vegetable oil, and chopped pecans (if desired). Mix the ingredients thoroughly until a consistent batter is achieved. Transfer the batter to the previously prepared baking pan and smooth the surface for even baking.
- Place the baking pan in the preheated oven and bake the mixture for approximately 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- After baking, remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature within the pan. Once adequately cooled, use a skewer or a similar instrument to create uniformly spaced holes throughout the entirety of the cake’s surface.
- Gradually pour the sweetened condensed milk over the cake, ensuring it is evenly distributed and adequately seeps into the holes. Leave the cake to absorb the milk for a minimum of 1 hour. If feasible, allowing it to sit overnight is recommended for optimal absorption.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine the heavy cream, instant cheesecake pudding mix, and powdered sugar. Whisk these ingredients together until a light and airy frosting consistency is achieved. Once done, apply the frosting uniformly over the surface of the cake.
- Finalize the preparation by drizzling the salted caramel sauce over the frosted cake and garnishing with the finely chopped pecans. Slice the cake into desired portions and serve. Store any remaining portions in the refrigerator, securely covered, for up to 2 days.