Grinch Poke Cake

This Grinch Poke Cake is the perfect holiday treat for any occasion. Moist, tender cake is soaked in white chocolate pudding and topped with homemade buttercream frosting. And the entire thing is classically, Grinchy red and green-colored!

slice of grinch poke cake on a white plate.

There are two things we love the most about Christmas – holiday specials and sweet treats! Our favorite Christmas special is How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and our favorite dessert is poke cake. So we put them together in this delicious poke cake!

slice of grinch poke cake on a white plate.

❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It only takes a few simple ingredients to make.
  • It’s an easy recipe that uses boxed cake mix.
  • It only takes a few minutes to make.
  • It’s a fun, festive dessert that’s perfect for any holiday gathering.


bowls of milk, cake mix, pudding mix, butter, eggs, oil, powdered sugar, food coloring, and sprinkles.

You’ll only need a handful of simple baking ingredients to make this recipe. You’ll find them all in your kitchen and in one quick trip to your local grocery store.

All the ingredients you need to make this poke cake are listed here, but you’ll find the exact amounts in the recipe card at the end of the post.

  • Boxed white cake mix
  • Ingredients called for on the cake mix box
  • Instant white chocolate pudding mix
  • Milk
  • Green and red food coloring
  • Butter – softened
  • Powdered sugar
  • Heart sprinkles
  • Green sprinkles

🔪 How to Make Grinch Poke Cake

Making this delicious cake is easier than stealing an entire town’s Christmas celebration in one night! It only takes a few minutes and a few simple steps.

Step 1: Prep

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish.

Step 2: Make the Cake Batter

Mix the cake ingredients according to the box directions. Then, add green food coloring to create your desired color of green.

green cake batter in a parchment lined baking dish.

Step 3: Bake the Cake

Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool until slightly warm.

holes being added to a baked cake in a glass baking dish.

Step 4: Poke Holes in the Cake

Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over the cake.

Step 5: Make the Pudding

Whisk the milk and pudding mix until smooth. Then, add red food coloring to create your desired color of red.

pudding being poured into holes in a baked cake.

Step 6: Add the Pudding to the Cake

Carefully spoon the pudding into the holes in the cake. You can also use a large syringe.

green frosting in a glass mixing bowl.

Step 7: Make the Buttercream

Whip the softened butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Then, add the powdered sugar, beating until cream and fluffy. Finally, add green food coloring to reach your desired shade of green.

finished poke cake in a glass baking dish.

Step 8: Decorate the Cake

Frose the cake with the frosting. Then, top with green sprinkles and heart sprinkles. Chill for 2 hours and enjoy!


Do you want to change up this recipe and make it your own? Here are some ways that you can do that!

  • White Cake Mix – You can use white, vanilla, or butter cake mix for this recipe.
  • White Chocolate Pudding – You can use vanilla pudding if you like.
  • Buttercream Frosting – Use store bought frosting if you prefer.

If you think this creamy, rich poke cake sounds good, then we think you’ll love our Boston cream pie poke cake recipe.

🥄 Equipment

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing bowls
  • Electric mixer
  • 9×13 baking dish

🥫 Storage

Refrigerate this cake tightly covered or in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.

slice of grinch poke cake held in the air on a metal spatula.

What to Serve with Grinch Poke Cake

This rich, delicious cake is perfect with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee or tea. It makes a great addition to a larger holiday dessert spread alongside your other favorite treats like cookies, cakes, pies, and other assorted sweets.

💭 Tips

  • An electric mixer is the easiest, most effective way to whip your frosting.
  • A very large smoothie straw works well for adding the pudding to the holes in the cake.
  • Be sure to only press the soon handle about 3/4 of the way through the cake. Otherwise, it will fall apart when you cut it.
  • Make your holes at least an inch apart. Again, any close together, and your cake will fall apart when you cut it.

⁉️ FAQ

Do you have questions about this recipe? Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions.

What is a poke cake?

A poke cake is a variety of cake in which holes are poked throughout the cake after baking. These holes are then filled with pudding, Jello, or some sort of sauce.

Why did my poke cake fall apart?

If you make your holes too close together or too deep, they’ll compromise the integrity of the cake. When you slice it, it won’t have enough structure to hold together, and it will fall apart.

Who invented poke cake?

The first poke cake was a Jello poke cake developed by General Foods Kitchens in 1976. It was created as a way to market Jello.

🍽 More Recipes

Do you enjoy Grinch holiday recipes? Then try these delicious recipes:

🧾Recipe Card

Want to make this recipe? Print the recipe card below, or pin this recipe, so you can find it later.

slice of grinch poke cake on a white plate.

Grinch Poke Cake

This Grinch poke cake is a delightful holiday cake that's moist, tender, loaded with pudding, and clasically colored in red and green.
1 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12 Slices
Calories: 352kcal


  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • mixing bowls
  • Electric mixer
  • 9×13 baking dish


  • 15.25 ounces white cake mix plus the ingredients on the back of the box
  • 3.4 ounces instant white chocolate pudding mix
  • 2 cups milk
  • Green and red food coloring
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • Heart sprinkles green sprinkles


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Lightly grease or line a 9×13 baking dish.
  • In a medium mixing bowl combine your cake mix, water, oil and eggs.
  • Stir until well combined.
  • Add your green food coloring until you get your desired green shade.
  • Pour the cake batter into the baking dish.
  • Bake the cake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Set the cake aside to cool.
  • Using the handle of a wooden spoon poke holes all into the cake.
  • In a medium bowl combine the instant pudding and milk.
  • Whisk until smooth.
  • Add your red food coloring until you get the red color you like.
  • Carefully spoon or use a clean cooking syringe to insert the pudding into the holes.
  • In a large bowl using an electric mixer whip up the softened butter.
  • Add the powdered sugar to the butter and continue to beat until creamy and fluffy.
  • Add green food coloring until the desired Grinch Green color.
  • Frost the cake with the buttercream.
  • Top with green sprinkles and heart sprinkles.
  • Set the cake in the fridge to chill for 2 hours.
  • Slice and serve!


Any nutritional data I provide is an approximation and actual dietary information can vary based on ingredients and proportion sizes.


Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 352kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 598mg | Potassium: 111mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 57g | Vitamin A: 99IU | Calcium: 152mg | Iron: 1mg
1 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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  1. Indya | The Small Adventurer says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever truly understood what a “poke cake” was until I saw all your photos on this post! Thank you for allowing me to finally understand 😅😂 Now I’m really intrigued and think they look really fun, I’ll have to try one of my own! Love that this is Grinch themed, perfectly in time for Christmas ☺️

    1. Enjoy we love poke cakes! Easy and delicious