When I say “personal,” I mean these cakes could easily feed two people, but why would you ever want to share? Having your own personal cake allows you to either indulge in the whole sweet treat in one fell swoop or pace it out and prolong the enjoyment. The choice is yours, my little cookies.
Regardless of how you choose to scarf ‘em down, you simply must make these Personal Pumpkin Poke Cakes. They are so good, unlike anything I’ve had before. It’s a whole new pumpkin experience, which I am always happy to partake in.
The cakes are so incredibly moist, and why wouldn’t they be? You’re almost always guaranteed a moist, delicious cake when you bake with pumpkin. Then, the cakes are poked & soaked with a sweet cinnamon-caramel sauce, along with sweetened condensed milk. It’s totally indulgent, but surprisingly, not overly so. It is just sinful enough.
You won’t believe how moist and velvety these Personal Pumpkin Poke Cakes are. They simply melt in your mouth. Each forkful is filled with flavor from warm spices and that delightful cinnamon-caramel sauce. The icing on top of the cake (literally) is the Butterscotch Buttercream. It is so smooth and creamy, with a kiss of butterscotch flavor. It’s the perfect pairing with the pumpkin cakes.
Finish each cake off with a drizzle of butterscotch sauce and a sprinkling of toasted pecans for pure pumpkin bliss. These poke cakes are a delightful change to your average pumpkin dessert. Pumpkin pie, I love you, but you just can’t hold a candle to these sweet, moist, mounds of pumpkin heaven. I think any guest at your Thanksgiving table would be overcome with ecstasy should you present them with these Pumpkin Poke Cakes.
If you’ve never tried poke cake before, now is the time, my little cookies. I admit, I was a poke cake virgin until I made this cake, and man, am I believer! Now that the gateway to all things poke cake has been opened, I can’t wait to see what other variations there are. It’s a fabulous thing, taking an already delicious and moist cake and making it even MORE delicious & moist by drizzling it with all kinds of sweet stuff. Who thought of poke cake, anyway? Give them a medal or something. I like the way they think.
A little disclaimer: yes, this uses a boxed mix. CALM DOWN. I hate boxed mixes too; in fact, I never use them. I believe, if you’re going to make something, you should make it right & do it homemade. However, because you add so much to this mix (pumpkin puree, spices, condensed milk, a caramel sauce) and because the cinnamon-caramel sauce & frosting are homemade, I think it’s just as good as making it from scratch. You still put in plenty of work and add several homemade touches. Plus, this doesn’t taste anything like boxed cake mix when you’re done, believe me.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- These personal-sized cakes are IDEAL for gift-giving. Forget boring fruitcakes and pound cakes during the holidays; give these personal pumpkin poke cakes as sweet, homemade gifts, and you will have some very grateful recipients!
- If you don’t want the little individual cakes, you can make this recipe in a 9×13 pan instead. The cooking time & oven temperature are exactly the same.
- You obviously don’t have to use disposable loaf pans, but it’s more practical for giving as gifts.
- You could use caramel sauce on top if you aren’t feeling butterscotch.
- Don’t like pecans? Try walnuts instead.
- You probably don’t have to use Betty Crocker brand cake mix, but I’m not sure if using a different brand would affect the amount of water, eggs, and oil you add.
- Always get out all your ingredients before you get started. Let your butter soften, measure out stuff, etc. It’ll make the actual baking process smoother and less stressful.
- I actually used the same butterscotch buttercream frosting from my AMAZING Soft Pumpkin Cookies. I had frozen half of the frosting since I didn’t use it all on the cookies. Therefore, this frosting freezes really well. Simply store leftovers in an air-tight container and freeze. When you’re ready to use, let it thaw in the fridge, then at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Give it a quick whip, and you’re ready to go!
Pumpkin Poke Cake with Butterscotch Frosting
Cake recipe adapted from Betty Crocker
- 1 box Betty Crocker yellow cake mix
- 1 cup pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 12.25-oz. can caramel sauce
- 2 tbsp. cinnamon chips
- Butterscotch Buttercream frosting (recipe follows)
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- ¼ butterscotch caramel topping
- 4 mini disposable loaf pans
- Aluminum foil
- Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan).
- Spread pecans out in an even layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 3-4 minutes or until golden and aromatic. Set aside.
- Grease bottom only of mini loaf pans (or a 9×13).
- In a large bowl, beat cake mix, pumpkin, water, oil, eggs, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg with electric mixer on low speed until moistened, then on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into the four pans, distributing evenly.
- Bake cake two at a time for 26-29 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out almost clean (there should still be a few crumbs on the toothpick). If the tops start to brown too much, cover with aluminum foil. (Don’t freak out if the top winds up being too brown before the center is done; you can easily chisel off the burnt parts).
- Immediately poke cakes every ½ inch with handle of wooden spoon halfway into cake. Drizzle condensed milk evenly over top of cake; let stand until milk has been absorbed into cake, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat caramel sauce in a medium pan over low heat. Add the cinnamon chips and whisk until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Spoon and spread over cake, pressing slightly into holes. Run knife around sides of pan to loosen cake. Let cool for 30 min. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until chilled.
- Make the frosting: recipe follows.
- Spread frosting over top of cooled cake. Sprinkle with pecans.
- Just before serving, drizzle butterscotch-caramel sauce over each serving of cake. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Butterscotch Buttercream Frosting
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home Magazine
YIELD: Makes about 2 1/4 cups
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/3 + 1/2 cup butterscotch-caramel topping
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar
- 1 to 3 Tbsp. milk
- 1. Beat first 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
- 2. Gradually add powdered sugar alternately with 1 Tbsp. milk, beating at low speed until blended and smooth after each addition. Beat in up to 2 Tbsp. additional milk for desired consistency.