April 11, 2024

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Poke cake tastes like Boston cream pie; Scooter’s Coffee debuts children’s menu

Poke cake tastes like Boston cream pie; Scooter’s Coffee debuts children’s menu

We’ve always been told it’s not nice to poke at people, but mama never told us not to poke a cake.

Poke cakes are one of the greatest culinary inventions ever if you like to make a cake that’s simple to prepare and the most moist you’ve ever tasted. Thank you, Jell-O. The maker of gelatin was the first to introduce poke cakes back in the early 1980s when a recipe for the ultra-moist Fruity Rainbow Cake was featured in Bon Appétit.

Since then, creative cooks have come up with some pretty clever recipes, but most all employ the use of a wooden spoon to poke holes into a prepared cake mix in a 9- by 13-inch baking dish.

(READ MORE: Strawberry poke cake is the essence of spring)

Sheet cakes aren’t nearly as fancy as all of those spectacular multilayered cakes with colorful frostings and piping, but if you don’t care about wowing your crowd with fancy fondants and other cake finery, sheet cakes can be a baker’s best friend. There’s no chance of towering layers slipping and sliding and toppling over or the centers of the layers looking rather droopy.

That’s the beauty of sheet and poke cakes. They take the cake when it comes to a moist cake you can prepare with little work.

I have several good poke cake recipes, but my most recent favorite is a take on Boston cream pie. It was a very popular dessert back in the ’60s and ’70s, but I haven’t seen it lately. Then a recipe popped up on my email from Taste of Home, and it caught my eye immediately.

(READ MORE: Peanut butter permeates chocolate poke cake)

I went to work making it right away, and I was so excited, I didn’t follow the recipe exactly. It calls for mixing the pudding mix, but not too much because you don’t want it to be too thick. I overmixed, and I ended up with a thick pudding layer that still worked, but I would recommend following the directions and mixing the pudding mix until just combined. It will thicken as the cake chills, a necessary step before topping it with the chocolate ganache. Served chilled, this is a wonderful cake to serve on a warm summer evening.

Boston Cream Pie Poke Cake

1 box yellow cake mix, plus ingredients called for on package

2 (3.4-ounce) boxes instant vanilla pudding

4 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 (12-ounce) bag chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Prepare yellow cake in a 9- by 13-inch baking pan according to package instructions. Let cool completely.

Once cake has cooled, poke holes all over the cake using the end of a wooden spoon.

While cake cools, whisk together the instant pudding, milk and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Before the pudding has a chance to set up and thicken, pour it evenly over the cake. Place in refrigerator to chill for one hour.

Once cake has chilled, make the chocolate ganache:

Place chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl. Heat cream until simmering on the stovetop over low heat. You can also heat it in the microwave.

Pour hot cream over chocolate chips, and let sit for 5 minutes to soften the chocolate. Stir until smooth, and let cool for 10 minutes.

Pour chocolate over cooled cake, and smooth with a spatula. Chill in refrigerator at least 4 hours and up to overnight before slicing and serving.


Just in time for summer slurping, Scooter’s Coffee has added a menu that caters to the kids in the car. In a news release, the drive-thru coffee company announced five new treats for young customers.

— Cotton Candy Lil’ Smiley Smoothie, ameld of blue raspberry and an ice cream base topped with whipped cream.

— Strawberry Lil’ Smiley Smoothie, a real fruit puree blended with an ice cream base and topped with whipped cream.

— Berry Silly Slush, a dairy-free blend of blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and acai berries churned together with ice and lemonade to create a sweet and slightly tart drink.

— Mini sugar cookies, made-from-scratch vanilla-flavored cookies with rainbow sprinkles.

— Kid’s snack combo, which comes with a child-size drink, two mini sugar cookies and a surprise.

Scooter’s has locations at 4631 Highway 58, 7318 Shallowford Road, 9395 Apison Pike in Ooltewah and 2825 Keith St. NW in Cleveland. Learn more at scooterscoffee.com.

Contact Anne Braly at [email protected] or annebraly.com.

  Poke cake tastes like Boston cream pie; Scooter’s Coffee debuts children’s menu  Anne Braly