Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Poke Cake
Reese’s Poke Cake is the ultimate easy dessert recipe for the serious peanut butter cups lovers. The decadent combination comes together in this chocolate peanut butter sheet cake that is perfect to bring to potlucks and parties. Check out the suggestions for how to make it gluten free.
I love to bake from scratch. I really do. Christmas cookies, strawberries and cream cake, and even pumpkin cheesecake flourless chocolate cake roll – making all of these decadent creations brings me great joy.
But I didn’t grow up in a family with a long legacy of baking and I don’t have a bunch of recipes that have been passed down through the generations. By the time I was old enough to pull up a chair to the kitchen counter, my grandma already had terrible rheumatoid arthritis that kept her from doing much baking.
So yes, while I do think there is something to be said for breaking out the flour, butter, and sugar, I am still truly a fan of a box of cake mix.
Because what started me on my path to learning how to bake from scratch is a little cookbook called The Cake Mix Doctor. All the recipes start with a cake mix, but ingredients are swapped and added to turn your basic box mix into a truly special creation. These recipes are perfect for novice bakers, or anyone who may be short on time, but still wants to bake a dessert to impress.
That’s why I love a good poke cake.
Why is it called Poke Cake?
If you’ve never had a poke cake before, it is an easy dessert that can feed a crowd making it perfect to bring to a party or a potluck.
It is called a poke cake because you bake your cake mix in a 9×13 inch pan, and, after it cools a bit, you poke holes in the cake with the handle of a wooden spoon. Then top it with an assortment of fillings or frostings or toppings to soak into those holes, infusing moisture and flavor into every delicious bite.
And this version is a Reese’s cake!
Reese’s Poke Cake Recipe
Chocolate cake is slathered with peanut butter pudding, chocolate frosting, and peanut butter whipped topping, then sprinkled with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. This Reeses poke cake recipe is the ultimate dessert for the serious chocolate and peanut butter lovers!
It’s pure heaven! I brought it to a party and it was a hit with the entire crowd!
Here is a brief overview so you can see just how easy it is to make. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full quantities and details.
But don’t skip my PRO TIPS below!
- Chocolate cake mix – your favorite brand. See my tips below for how to make it gluten free.
- Vanilla instant pudding mix
- Peanut butter
- Chocolate frosting
- Frozen whipped topping – such as Cool Whip, thawed.
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
- You’ll bake your cake in a 9×13 pan, and I love this one from OXO.
- An offset spatula is very helpful for spreading the toppings.
What do you use to poke holes in a cake?
PRO TIP: The easiest thing is to use the back of a wooden spoon with a round handle. You can also use a straw or skewer.
Directions overview – scroll to the recipe card for the full set of instructions
- Start with a chocolate cake that you made by following the box cake mix instructions.
- Let it cool.
- Poke holes in the cake with the back end of a wooden spoon.
- Prepare vanilla pudding and mix with peanut butter.
- Slather this over the cake.
- Pour melted chocolate frosting is poured over the top.
- Blend whipped topping and more peanut butter.
- Frost the cake with the whipped peanut butter topping
- And of course, no Reese’s Poke Cake is complete without a generous sprinkle of chopped peanut butter cups.
Tips to make a gluten free Reese’s Chocolate Poke Cake
My gluten free readers may be asking how they can enjoy this ultimate decadence.
- I did try to make it with two gluten free cake mixes baked in a 9×13 inch pan. I’ve read that many people have had success with this, but mine did cave in a bit in the middle. I would like to try it again with a different brand than the store brand I used.
- You can also make a gluten free chocolate cake from scratch, like this Gluten Free Chocolate Poke Cake I found on Gluten Free on a Shoestring.
- All of the other ingredients in this recipe are gluten free, but do take caution that while most canned frosting is gluten free, not all of them are. So be sure to read your labels.
- The other option is to make one or two square cakes. If you make one, I’m guessing it’ll be too much of the toppings, but if you make two, I’d suggest doubling the whipped topping and peanut butter mixture to make sure you have enough to cover the cake.
And more Reese’s certainly wouldn’t hurt, because is it ever possible to have too much chocolate and peanut butter?!
If you are crazy about this Reese’e Cakes, get more poke cakes from The Poke Cake Cookbook by Jamie Sherman of the blog Love Bakes Good Cakes.Jamie gives you 75 different combinations! You’ve got classics like Boston Cream Pie Poke Cake, chocolatey treats like Chocolate Mint Poke Cake, fruity flavors such as Lemon Lovers Poke Cake, all-time favorites like Banana Split Poke Cake, and even adults-only desserts such as the Mudslide Poke Cake. And these…
- You’ll find Death By Chocolate Poke Cake in the cookbook, but it’s also on Jamie’s blog Love Bakes Good Cakes.
- RecipeGirl shared a review of the cookbook, as well as this Snickerdoodle Poke Cake.
- And another sneak peek is over on Barbara Bakes with this Turtle Poke Cake.
More potluck desserts
- Monster Cookie Bars
- Flourless Turtle Cheesecake Brownies
- Blueberry Maple Mini Cheesecake Parfaits
- S’Mores Magic Bars
More recipes with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
- Peanut Butter Cup Flourless Chocolate Cake Roll
- Peanut Butter Cup No-Churn Ice Cream Cake
- Flourless Peanut Butter Cup Swirl Brownies
- Flourless Peanut Butter Cup Blossom Cookies
- And here are another 10 Insanely Indulgent Desserts with Peanut Butter Cups.
Reese’s Poke Cake
- 15.25 oz chocolate cake mix plus ingredients to prepare the cake
- 3.4 oz vanilla instant pudding mix
- 2 cups cold milk
- 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter, divided
- 16 oz chocolate frosting
- 8 oz frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 25 mini Peanut Butter Cups unwrapped and roughly chopped
- Prepare and bake the cake according to the package instructions, baking in a 13 x 9-inch cake pan.
- Let the cake cool 15-20 minutes, then poke holes in the cake every 1/2 to 1 inch with the round end of a wooden spoon.
- Empty the pudding mix into a medium bowl, and add the milk.
- Whisk briskly for 2 minutes or until the pudding mix is dissolved then whisk in 1/2 cup of the peanut butter until combined and smooth.
- Pour the pudding mixture over the cake, filling the holes as much as possible.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate frosting for 15-20 seconds, or until it can be poured easily. Drizzle it over the cake and spread evenly with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula.
- Let the cake cool completely.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of peanut butter and the whipped topping. Spread over the cake and top with the peanut butter cups.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Store covered in the refrigerator.