My new Pumpkin Poke Cake is a fall-inspired twist on the classic Better Than Anything Cake, with the most delicious pumpkin cake soaked in homemade salted caramel and topped with a caramel whipped cream and toffee bits.
Pumpkin Poke Cake (a.k.a Pumpkin Better Than Anything Cake)
Whether you call this pumpkin sheet cake the Pumpkin Poke Cake or Pumpkin Better Than Anything Cake, it’s going to be one of your new favorite cakes to make this fall!
My new cake is a fall-inspired twist on the classic Better Than Anything Cake. Instead of chocolate cake, we’re using my super moist, flavorful pumpkin cake recipe, poking holes on the top, covering it with caramel, and the topping it with a caramel whipped cream.
Pumpkin Sheet Cake Recipe
For my pumpkin sheet cake, you’ll want to grab the following ingredients:
- Pumpkin puree
- Vegetable oil (or coconut oil works too)
- Granulated sugar
- Brown sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Vanilla extract
You’ll love how easy this cake is to mix up. You can use a single bowl and a whisk if you want!
NOTE: when I say “sheet cake” in my recipes, I’m using a 9″ x 13″ rectangular cake pan. I know many people refer to a jelly roll pan as a sheet cake, but for the purposes of turning my cakes into “sheet cakes,” just know I’m always using a 9″ x 13″ cake pan. My preferred brand of cake pans is Fat Daddio.
This cake can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the freezer. If you add the caramel, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator or a couple days. The caramel helps to keep the cake moist in the fridge (normally, the fridge dries out our cakes).
Homemade Salted Caramel Recipe
After the cake has cooled to room temperture, you’ll poke holes all over the top of the cake. You can use a straw, a fork, the handle of a wooden spoon, or even a chopstick. Be generous with the amount of holes you make and the amount of caramel your pour on. You’ll use half of the caramel recipe on top of the cake and half of it in the whipped cream.
Caramel Whipped Cream
This might just be the most exciting part of the cake – caramel whipped cream! For this caramel whipped cream recipe, you’ll use homemade salted caramel, heavy whipping cream, and powdered sugar.
NOTE: PREP THE CARAMEL WHIPPED CREAM A DAY EARLY
After you make the caramel, you’ll add an additional two cups of heavy whipping cream and then you’ll need to refrigerate the caramel cream overnight. You want to make sure this mixture is COLD before whipping it to ensure it whips.
The recipe below creates medium-stiff peaks. If you want your whipped cream more stable, I suggest doing one of two things: using ½ cup less caramel and/or adding a tablespoon of EZ Gel when you start to whip the cream.
Plan to whip the cream when you’re ready to serve the cake.
Pumpkin Poke Cake with Caramel Whipped
Pumpkin sheet cake, covered in salted caramel, caramel whipped cream and toffee bits.
FOR THE CAKE
- 1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup (165 g) light brown sugar, packed
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup (218 g) vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (6.3 g) vanilla
- 2 cups (450 g) pumpkin purée
- 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (18 g) baking powder
- 1 tablespoon (7.8 g) ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (3.9 g) ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon (2.6 g) nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
For the Caramel
- 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (240 g) water
- 4 teaspoons (28 g) light corn syrup or honey
- 1 1/2 cups (360 g) heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons (8.4 g) vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons 12 g salt
For the Caramel Whipped Cream
- 1 cup caramel, recipe above
- 2 cups (428 g) heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup (75 g) powdered sugar
- 1/2-2/3 cup Toffee bits – Skor or Heath Bar pieces
FOR THE CAKE
- Preheat 325 degrees F. Spray a 9” x 13” rectangular cake pan with non-stick spray, line the bottom with parchment paper ,and spray again.Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, or using a hand mixer and mixing bowl, beat the sugars and eggs together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the oil and vanilla and beat on medium until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the pumpkin puree and mix until combined, about another 30 seconds.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, and salt. With the mixer on the lowest speed, gradually add to the pumpkin/egg mixture.
- Pour the batter into the pan and bake until a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs on it, about 33 to 37 minutes.
- Let the cake cool completely before poking holes on the top. This can be done with a fork, straw, handle of a wooden spoon, or even chopsticks. Whatever you have on hand!
For the Caramel
- Heat the cream in the microwave for about a minute. Set aside.
- Combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved and then stop stirring.
- You want the mixture to cook on its own. Stirring creates crystallization. If you notice sugar crystallizing on the sides of the pan, soak a pastry brush in warm water and run the brush along the sides of the pan where the sugar is building up.
- Once the mixture turns amber in color, remove the pan from the heat and slowly add the cream, while stirring the caramel.
- Add the vanilla and salt, and stir to combine.
- Cool to room temperature before using. The caramel will thicken as it cools.
- Caramel can be refrigerated for up to two weeks in an airtight container.
For the Caramel Whipped Cream
- Once the caramel has cooled slightly, combine 1 cup of the caramel with the heavy cream. Mix to combine.
- Cover with plastic wrap efrigerate overnight in a stainless steel bowl. A cold stainless steel bowl helps the cream to form peaks quickly. Alternately, you can store the caramel cream in another container and then place a stainless steel bowl in the freezer for about 15 minutes before you whip the cream.
- When you’re ready to whip the caramel cream, add the powdered sugar and then use an electric mixer to beat the cream mixture into stiff peaks.
- Best used right away.
- If you haven't poked holes in the cake already, do that now with a fork, a straw, or the back of a wooden spoon. I prefer something the size of a straw.
- Cover the cake in the remaining 1 cup of caramel.
- Top with the caramel whipped cream and sprinkle with toffee bits.
- Serve right away or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.