Crazy for Crust

Gingerbread Poke Cake

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A Gingerbread Poke Cake is the perfect Christmas cake recipe! Gingerbread cake is filled with butterscotch and gingersnaps and topped with whipped cream and toffee bits. It’s the perfect holiday dessert.

Poke cakes are easy to make and super versatile, plus they’re easy to travel with, so they’re the perfect potluck dessert recipe. Serve this gingerbread version at your holiday party and wow your guests with Christmas flavor!


A Gingerbread Poke Cake is the perfect Christmas cake recipe! Gingerbread cake is filled with butterscotch and gingersnaps and topped with whipped cream and toffee bits!

Let’s talk Christmas shopping for a minute, shall we? Actually, let’s talk about outrageous Christmas gift prices instead. That’s more fun!

Jordan has an few American Girl Dolls. Now that she’s 12, the dolls are out in the garage collecting dust, which makes me happy and sad at the same time. Sad because it means she’s growing up and happy because I don’t have to pay exorbitant prices for doll clothes anymore. However, even though she’s aged out of the dolls, we still receive the catalogue, like clockwork. Have you seen the Christmas catalogue yet?

{If not, or if your child is 3 and has not ever heard of American Girl, do not, I repeat, DO NOT give her the catalogue. You have been warned.}

Most of Jordan’s doll accessories were been purchased at Target or other store that carries cheaper but just-as-good doll stuff. She had a couple of “brand name” items, but not many.

In case you think I’ve gone off my rocker writing a post about a doll catalogue, let me give you some examples:

They sell a convertible toy VW Beetle for dolls. I say toy in case you get confused, because it costs $350. FOR A TOY CAR.

I was flipping through the other night and I almost choked on my slice of cake, I kid you not.

Also? A doll banquet table with a selection of (plastic) doll cakes and pastries sells for $152. So, ladies. If you’re selling your baked goods this holiday season, be sure to charge accordingly. Because American Girl is selling a layer cake, some cupcakes, and a plate of cookies for, like, three times what you’re charging.

And, the best one. A gingerbread house kit for dolls. It’s comes mostly assembled because, well, the dolls don’t have opposable thumbs. Guess how much? Yup. $58. Totally reasonable!

Gingerbread Poke Cake Recipe

You know what? I always wanted to buy the stuff, because Jordan wanted it. Sometimes I really wish I could have forked over $75 for a doll tent, but you know, I have to buy Oreos and pay for gas.

So, instead of spending $38 for a doll comforter, I enlisted my mom to sew one and made Jordan cookies and cake instead.

Poke cakes are not new. They’re all over, and I’ve made a few versions: mint, ice cream, and Snickers. My friend Ashton has made my two favorites: pumpkin and peppermint. I had to join the party with one of my favorite Holiday flavors: gingerbread.

So, what is a poke cake? It’s a cake that you poke holes in after it’s baked. Then you pour gooey stuff all over it and top it with crunchy things and Cool Whip. It’s the perfect easy cake recipe and I’ve never met one I didn’t like.

Poke Cake Formula:

  1. Pick a flavor cake mix. I used a gingerbread cake & cookie mix made by Betty Crocker. Any gingerbread cake mix or recipe will work. Make as directed on the box, then bake in a 9×9 or 9×13″ pan.
  2. While the cake is hot from the oven, poke lots of holes in it using the back of a wooden spoon.
  3. Pour on some gooey stuff, like sweetened condensed milk or ice cream topping. For this gingerbread poke, I used butterscotch ice cream topping. (Thanks for the combo idea Sally!)
  4. Add something crunchy for texture, like crushed cookies or nuts. (I used crushed gingersnap cookies to amp up the gingerbread flavor.)
  5. Top with whipped cream or Cool Whip and more toppings (like more cookies or nuts or candy). I topped this cake with toffee bits because…why not?

Poke cakes are great for parties and they’re SO easy. This time of year we need easy recipes, right? Nothing to layer, nothing to frost, no frosting to make: poke cakes are what the Christmas season was meant for. Plus, they travel well because they’re not a fussy cake. They’re the perfect pot luck cake recipe!

Gingerbread Poke Cake with butterscotch and toffee is the best Christmas cake recipe!

A Gingerbread Poke Cake is an easy Christmas Dessert Recipe filled with butterscotch and toffee and gingersnaps, perfect for the holidays.

Also – you can make this ahead by a day or even 2. It tastes better the longer it soaks!



Like Gingerbread? Check out these other yummy treats with the classic holiday flavor:

Gingerbread Cake Roll

Gingerbread Cookie Sticks

Also try: Gingerbread Cookie Dough TrufflesGingerbread 7-layer Bars by Something Swanky, and Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls by Love From The Oven!

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  1. Oh, oh, oh! This looks SOOOO incredible! I think BTS cakes are like pudding cookies– the flavors are endless, and I’m never tired of seeing a new one! L-O-V-E!

  2. $38 for a doll comforter????? Wow, when Jordan comes down after Christmas we can make one. Maybe even a tent, too (are there pictures to work from?)!
    Meanwhile, between the butterscotch and the toffee bits, even I would like this cake (not big on gingerbread but cake with stuff on it is ok)!!! lol
    Love, Mom

  3. Better than a….poke…..cake. Looks fabulous…but I’m not going to kiss & tell either.

    The American Girl stuff. Well, lets just say that I’m glad I have boys! No way would I be paying that kind of money for doll accessories!

  4. Hubba, hubba. This just may be better than.. well, you know. I DO love cake after all… (don’t tell Jess) πŸ˜‰ and omg, I applaud Jordan for liking American Girl so much. I LOVED the books and wanted so badly to love the dolls but the page with the eyeballs creeped me out EVERY TIME. We (randomly) got that catalog a couple days ago too and I saw the car wash set… licensed by VW, lol.

  5. gingerbread is one of my favorites this time of year too!!! THis looks EXCELLENT.

  6. same American Doll issues here – she wants her dolls to all have matching outfits and of course they needs to have pets, and hairs “stuff” and cars – YIKES

    Santa better get a second job:)

  7. I love these cakes, so gooey and rich! This one looks crazy good and so festive, too! Bella has American Girl twins (for obvious reasons). She loves looking through the catalogue but never asks for anything…yet.

  8. I was a huge fan of American Dolls when I was little but to be honest this cake would have won over any over priced doll car. Sugar always wins in my book.

  9. Okay, it’s after hearing stories like this that I’m really glad I have a little boy–who’s top item {right now} is a Hot Wheels track that retails for $25. And can you believe I’ve NEVER made/had BTS cake? I know, it’s a travesty. And after seeing all these yummy recipes, I’m going to have to make one, because OMG, this sounds fabulous (love me some gingerbread).

  10. oh yum, I could see giving up sex for cake some days;p

  11. Dorothy!!!! I am in love with this recipe! I’ve never baked with the gingerbread cake mix before, but it always catches my eye in the baking aisle. the combo of butterscotch and gingerbread – you are SO welcome!! Isn’t it fabulous? Who would thing to combine the two? I’m in love πŸ™‚

  12. I will forever be scared by the fact that my mother refused to buy me all the 5 original dolls plus accessories when I was 10 years old.
    I read that catalog like it was the manual to life.

    My aunt used to make jello poke cake and it was amazing (strawberry)!

  13. I pray that my daughter never falls in love with dolls. I for one was never a fan so maybe there is hope? I better send her out and about with her daddy more often!

    This cake looks marvelous for Christmas!

  14. Oh my gosh, I may love you for this recipe. I need to make this asap! Forget about the stuffing and rolls I’m supposed to be making for Thanksgving tomorrow!… And in our house it’s just accepted that Santa is on a budget… $350..CRAZY!!!

    • I know, Jordan was even putting in her list to Santa “if it’s not too expensive…” Luckily even she understands that the stuff is outrageous and wants the Target version instead. Happy Thanksgiving!

  15. Love that this cake is easy and fast looking to make. And gingerbread/molasses and butterscotch are some of my fave things!

    Santa- and I what to do about all of that – yes, I can relate πŸ™‚

  16. This looks so yummy! Can you bring some over for Thanksgiving dinner? πŸ˜€ Happy Thanksgiving!

  17. Yummmm! I love gingerbread and just know this cake must taste fantastic. Great idea combining gingerbread and butterscotch!

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  22. Better than ANYTHING I tell you! Gingerbread is my favorite christmas treat also! This cake looks amazing!!

  23. Yeah it is crazy how expensive some toys can get. Think of all the other things you could buy for her with $350. Crazy.

    I have never made one of these cakes before but this might be the one I start with. Delicious!!

  24. Oh this post had me grinning from ear to ear! I am so glad I had boys. They just always seemed so low maintenance. The only time it started getting expensive was when they got older and were now interested in electronics. You know…I can probably justify investing in the doll….but boy…..they kill you with those accessories! And you need those accessories! For me…I’ll take $350. worth of this gingerbread poke cake. It really looks fabulous and I wouldn’t even share it with my American girl doll! GREAT post Dorothy! : )

  25. Love this! Would love for you to share this on our Kitchen Fun and Crafty link party…

  26. Yum!! This cake sounds amazing…and easy!

  27. Some days I wish I had a little girl. But after reading your post today is not one of them. πŸ˜‰ I’ve heard friends complain about the price of AG doll clothes but seriously I think I almost choked as well when I read about the 350$ car. I bought my boys a car they can actually drive for 1/3 that!

    Also poke cake is delicious. My favorite is coconut!

  28. I’m so thankful my girls never got into the American Girl Dolls, just outa my price range and considering what they do to a barbie doll, I’d have to keep the poor doll under lock and key instead of letting them enjoy playing with it like they should! Poke cake seems like a fair exchange to me!

  29. First, I came over for the cake! My mother is going to LOVE this – she really enjoys gingerbread but as she gets older, it has become “biting” or “too hot” – your ingredients will soften that and make it enjoyable once again for her. I’m going to make it this weekend for sure!

    As for American Girl – Those dolls were just coming out when my daughter was 8 or 9 and she too wanted one, mostly because that doll looked exactly like her (which was kind of scary). I was a single mom at the time and had no extra $$ for an expensive doll. So, I took a picture of one to a Kinko’s along with some fabric that was an approximation of skin color – I had the face copied onto the material and then my mom and I bought a doll body, wig, the glasses, and mom made some pretty close clothes. It looks VERY close to the real one and we told her that it was custom made just for her. I made up a birth certificate like on Cabbage Patch dolls and she didn’t know the difference until she was about 14. She loved the doll and still has it. Just a thought for you to consider if you know someone who can sew.

  30. Holy moly, I gotta make this cake! I only have boys so I’m not browsing the Am. Girl catalog too often, I have to agree with you. Too much money and what’s the difference in the accessories?

  31. Making this tonight to take to Christmas dinner. I couldn’t find any gingerbread cake mix though — I’m going to try a spice cake instead. Thanks for the recipe!! Can’t wait to taste it.

  32. Can you double this recipe for a 9 x13 pan or stick with the original and make two 9 x9 pans to serve more people???

  33. Easy to make and super versatile!

  34. Holly jolly HELLO, poke cake! This looks (and sounds) delicious, Dorothy!

  35. Hello Dorothy,

    I really enjoy your recipes and look forward to your posts! Thank you for putting in the time and effort – you are appreciated!

    From Our family to yours: “Wishing you the best of everything for Christmas & the New Year!!”

    May God Bless you and yours,

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