The ultimate fall dessert! A pumpkin spice cake is drizzled with caramel sauce, frosted with a fluffy cream cheese frosting and topped with even more caramel sauce! You’ll love every single morsel of this uber moist, delicious cake! Great for any fall party and Thanksgiving, too!
These past few days were the quintessential family fall weekend! We traveled down to Charlottesville, VA to see a college football game (UVA played our favorite BSU Broncos. Broncos won big!) The leaves are just begining to turn color and the weather was cool and rainy which was the perfect setting for the first weekend of fall. To usher in my favorite season of the year, I made a delicious pot roast, mashed potatoes, and this incredible Pumpkin Caramel Cream Cheese Poke Cake!
I absolutely LOVE making poke-cakes! This past summer I made a Coconut Cream Poke Cake, and vowed that I would make a fall version, which had to include pumpkin. Much like the Coconut version, this poke cake is pretty simple to make, as it starts with a store-bought cake mix. Adding a few extra goodies to the cake, takes it from good to spectacular!
When making this cake, I use a technique that I also use when making the Coconut Cream Poke cake. To keep the cake extra moist, I poke the holes in the cake just as it comes out of the oven while it is still hot. Into the hot cake, I pour about a 1/2 cup of caramel sauce into the holes of the hot cake! Wow – what an amazing way to keep this cake extra moist and flavorful!
Once the cake cools, and the caramel has set into the cake, I then add a delicious, fluffy layer of cream cheese frosting. I’ve used this frosting also as a filling for other recipes, but for this particular dessert, it works wonderfully! The frosting is fluffy enough to set up nicely, but is also has just the right texture to fill the holes of the poke cake. I firmly believe that pumpkin and cream cheese are a match made in heaven!! And when you add the caramel sauce, oh baby! It becomes one incredibly delicious dessert!
To bring this dessert full circle, I then top the cream cheese frosting with another drizzle of caramel sauce. To make it extra pretty, I used a toothpick to drag lines through the icing to cream a pretty herringbone design.
Here are some of the tools I use in my kitchen to make this amazing dessert (these are affiliate links):
- Good Cook Bake N Take a great cake pan is essential for this cake. I LOVE the fact that this pan has a lid with a handle so you can take it with you to pot-lucks, parties and events! This pan is awesome!!
- Konitz Coffee Bar No.12 Plates, Set of 4 I really love my white dessert plates! I have a very similiar set that I use all the time that are the perfect size for serving cake. These are great to have on hand when people come over.
- OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Silicone Spatula Set I use this spatula set CONSTANTLY! The big one is perfect for scraping the batter out of the bowl, the white one is great for spreading the filling, and the small one is perfect for getting ingredients out of jars. I basically use these anytime I’m baking – they’re fantastic!
- KitchenAid KSM150PSGR Artisan Series 5-Qt. Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield – Imperial Grey This is my stand mixer that I’ve had for ages!! I’ve literally had this longer than I’ve been married! I use it all the time for cakes, cookies, bread, and even shredding chicken! If you don’t already have a KitchenAid Stand Mixer, get one already!
Here’s how this decadent, delicious dessert comes together:
- 1 box, spice cake mix
- 1 c. canned, pumpkin puree
- 1 c. water
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 c. vegetable oil
- 3/4 c. caramel ice cream topping, divided
- 1 (8 oz.) pkg, cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 Tbsp. milk
- 1 c. powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 c. whipped topping (like Cool Whip)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9×13 pan with baking spray, set aside.
- With a hand or stand mixer, mix together the cake mix, pumpkin, water, eggs and oil stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix until smooth. Pour batter into the prepared pan, and bake at 350 for 30-33 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, and crumb free.
- As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, while it is still hot, poke holes into the cake with the end of a wooden spoon. In a microwave safe bowl, heat up a 1/2 cup of the caramel sauce for about 20-30 seconds, just to warm (making it easier to pour over the cake). Pour the warm caramel sauce over the top of the hot cake, making sure to get the majority of the sauce into the holes of the cake. Let the cake cool completely.
- Once the cake is cool, prepare the cream cheese frosting. With a hand or stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese, powdered sugar and milk until smooth and creamy. Add the whipped topping, and fold into the cream cheese mixture. Spread the frosting over the top of the cake, gently pressing the frosting into the holes of the cake. Smooth out evenly.
- Drizzle the top of the cake with the remaining 1/4 cup of caramel sauce. For a decorative effect, drag a toothpick through the opposite lines of the caramel sauce in the opposite direction to make a herringbone design. Refrigerate any leftovers. Enjoy!
As you can see, this recipe is pretty easy to make! It’s the perfect fall dessert for just about any occasion.
I hope you and your family are able to enjoy this dessert whenever the moment strikes. Happy Fall, everyone! ~Erin