Need your Girl Scout cookie fix? This cookie inspired Samoa Poke Cake will have you craving all things chocolate, caramel, and coconut!
We are total Girl Scout cookies enthusiasts over here. Mike’s favorite cookies are the Samoas. I’m a toss-up between Thin Mints and Tagalogs. Today I’m about to win wife of the year with this Samoa Cookies Poke Cake recipe.
Classic butter cake is doused with a sweet caramel mixture and then topped with chocolate frosting, toasted coconut, and more caramel sauce for a dessert no one can say no to. Perfect for potlucks or feeding a crowd, this poke cake recipe is a must-have for your recipe box!
Doesn’t that cake look amazing?! This recipe is actually from my awesome friend Jamie at Love Bakes Good Cakes. Jamie has this amazing cookbook – The Poke Cake Cookbook – and let me tell you, I want to make all the poke cakes now. There are so many recipes I’m drooling over. So much so that I made a friend choose which one I’d make first because I couldn’t decide…and here we are!
This cake is on the sweet side and would be amazing after dinner with a cup of black coffee alongside. A cup of coffee with dessert is one of the best food tricks my mom taught me. The coffee balances the sweetness of your dessert, and the dessert balances the coffee’s bitterness. It’s perfection!
Now, this cake is a labor of love. Well, maybe not a labor of love, but an exercise in patience. It has to be refrigerated a couple of times, so you’ll have to wait. But OMG is it worth the wait!
This cake travels well and can be made a day ahead of time for a dessert everyone will want the recipe for!
Ingredients for Samoa Poke Cake recipe
- Butter cake mix – you can swap out for vanilla or yellow cake mix if you can’t find butter cake mix at the store
- Eggs, butter, and water – the ingredients listed on your cake mix box
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Caramel sauce – the kind for sundaes!
- Sweetened coconut flakes
- Chocolate frosting – if you prefer a homemade frosting, have at it, or you can use a store-bought can. Whatever works for you.
If you’re into homemade cakes instead of using a store-bought cake mix, you can totally substitute your favorite butter cake for the base of this recipe. Most days I like the easy option though. You do you.
This Vanilla Cake or Yellow Cake Recipe would both work great. Just prepare the cake in one 9×13 pan instead of two round pans, and cook for about 10 minutes longer than the round pans call for. But start checking your cake for doneness at the original cooking time to be safe.
How to Make Samoa Poke Cake
- Start off by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Then grease and flour a 9-inch x 13-inch baking pan.
- After that, prepare your cake mix according to the package directions using the ingredients listed on the box. Then pour the cake batter into your prepared pan and bake it according to the package’s time for a 9×13 pan. Once the cake is cooked, take it out of the oven and let it cool for 20 minutes.
- After that cake cools, use a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the top of the cake. You don’t want to go all the way through to the bottom of the cake. Just have divots all over.
- Now for the caramel! Pour the sweetened condensed milk and most of the caramel sauce into a medium bowl. Then use a spoon to stir that together until it’s completely combined. Then you want to take the caramel mixture and pour it over the cake. I use a rubber spatula or offset spatula to help spread it into all the divots in the cake. Place your cake in the fridge and let it chill for 2 hours.
- In the meantime, add the coconut to a large skillet and place it over medium heat. Keep an eye on things and stir often to prevent any burning. Once the coconut is a golden color (with some white pieces too, that’s okay), pour it into a bowl and let it cool down.
- When 2 hours is up take your cake out of the fridge. Then put the chocolate frosting in the microwave and heat it for 20-30 seconds, or until it’s pourable. Then pour the frosting all over your cake, using a spatula to spread it all over.
- Then all you need to do is sprinkle the toasted coconut over the frosting and drizzle on the caramel sauce you set aside earlier for that samoa cookie look!
What do you use to poke holes in a cake?
I usually use the back of a wooden spoon. Pretty much everyone has one so it’s easy to access.
You could also use a fork, skewer, or any smallish round object in your kitchen. I have this cocktail stirring stick that’s the perfect size so I grab that if my wooden spoons are dirty.
Where did poke cake originate?
The concept of a poke cake came from the Jell-O company back in the late 1960s. They poured gelatin mix into the cake holes and then frosted it.
Now we’ve started making all kinds of fun variations that are just too tasty to pass on!
Give me all the cakes!!
- Mom’s Best Ever Coconut Cake
- Apple Spice Cake
- Rum-Soaked Honey Pound Cake
- Old-Fashioned Applesauce Oatmeal Cake
- Angel Food Cake
- More dessert recipes
Samoa Poke Cake
- 15.25 ounces butter cake mix (1 box) *see note
- 3 eggs
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup water
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 14 ounces caramel sauce
- 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
- 16 ounces chocolate frosting (1 tub)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Flour and grease a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish.
- Prepare the cake mix according to package directions using egg, butter, and water. Pour the batter into the greased baking dish. Bake cake for 30 to 35 minutes. Carefully remove cake from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes.
- Reserve 1/4 cup of the caramel sauce. Then, in a medium bowl, stir together the sweetened condensed milk and remaining caramel sauce until combined.
- Use the stick end of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the cake about 1/2-inch apart. Pour the sweetened condensed milk mixture over the cake being sure to get it in all the holes. Use a rubber spatula to spread it evenly over the cake. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
- While the cake is chilling, place the coconut in a large skillet over medium heat. Toast the coconut until golden, about 5 to 8 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
- Place the chocolate frosting in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 20 to 30 seconds, or until warm enough to pour. Remove cake from the fridge and pour the frosting all over the top of the cake. Use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to spread the frosting evenly over the cake.
- Sprinkle the top of your cake with toasted coconut until it's completely covered. Drizzle the reserved caramel sauce over the coconut. Refrigerate the cake for at least 2 hours.
- Cut into 12 slices and serve. Cover any leftovers and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.