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My Gingerbread Cake Recipe is the perfect Christmas cake! This one is easy to make with a cake mix and is a poke cake so it’s moist and full of flavor in every bite. Use whipped cream or Cool Whip frosting for a fun twist on a classic holiday cake.

A Gingerbread Poke Cake slice on white plate with gold dots and fork and christmas napkin

Gingerbread Poke Cake

Gingerbread cake is good, but Gingerbread POKE Cake is even better! This is made easy with a cake mix because the holidays are already tough enough. Need a last minute dessert – this one is the one you should make.

Poke cakes are cakes baked in a sheet pan and then poked while hot. The holes are filled with something sweet; in this case it’s butterscotch ice cream topping. Once the cake cools you frost it with Cool Whip and it tastes like Christmas!

A Gingerbread Poke Cake slice on white plate with gold dots and fork and christmas napkin

Important Ingredients

  • Gingerbread Cake Mix – Betty Crocker sells one at the holidays, and you’ll often find store brand ones too. (Sometimes this is labelled as gingerbread loaf.) The cake mix comes with all the molasses, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger and other spices you’ll need already in the cake.
  • Butterscotch Ice Cream Topping – You can also just use caramel sauce if that’s what you can find.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk – Use regular or fat free.
  • Cool Whip – Or you can use freshly whipped cream or whipped cream frosting or even cream cheese frosting.

How to make Gingerbread Cake

  1. Make your cake according to the package directions, using the eggs, water, and oil called for on the box. Pour the batter into a 9×9-inch square pan. Bake according to the package directions, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  2. While the cake is hot from the oven, poke lots of holes in it using the back of a wooden spoon.
  3. Pour sweetened condensed milk and ice cream topping all over the cake.
  4. I like to sprinkle the top of the cake with toffee bits or crumbled gingerbread cookies. This is for texture; you can use nuts or anything you like. Let cool completely.
  5. Top with whipped cream or Cool Whip and more toppings before serving.
Gingerbread Poke Cake with butterscotch and toffee cake with slice missing

Tip From Dorothy

Expert Tips

  • Poke cakes are great for parties and they’re SO easy. They’re the perfect pot luck cake recipe!
  • Be sure to grease your pan with cooking spray so the slices come out easily.
  • Substitute melted unsalted butter for the oil called for on the box.
  • Use your favorite toppings and frosting. Brown Sugar Frosting would be amazing too!
  • You can make this up to 2 days ahead, it tastes better as it sits. Don’t frost it until before serving.
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!

Gingerbread Poke Cake

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This Gingerbread Cake is poked and filled with butterscotch and topped with toffee – it's a fantastic easy holiday dessert!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Yield 10 servings
Serving Size 1 serving


  • 1 Gingerbread Cake Mix , plus ingredients listed to make the cake
  • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • ¾ cup Butterscotch ice cream topping
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip (or freshly whipped cream)
  • 1 cup toffee bits (or other crunchy topping)
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  • Make cake as directed on the back of the box. Bake as directed in a 9×9-inch pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Let cool for 20 minutes.
  • Poke the cake with the back of a wooden spoon at least 15 times. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the top of the cake, making sure that it gets in the holes. Pour the butterscotch ice cream topping over the top of the cake, making sure it gets in the holes also.
  • Top the cake with an even layer of Cool Whip (use at least half the container, more if you like lots!) Sprinkle with toffee bits.
  • Chill for 4-6 hours for flavors to meld. Best served at room temperature.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • The toppings recipe is written for a cake baked in a 9×9-inch pan. If your mix calls for a 9×13-inch pan, double the filling and toppings.
  • Use your favorite toppings and frosting. Toffee bits, nuts, even crushed cookies or gingersnaps are perfect. Cool Whip is easy but you can swap out whipped cream or your favorite frosting.
  • You can make this up to 2 days ahead, it tastes better as it sits. Don’t frost it until before serving.
  • If you can’t find gingerbread cake mix, you can use spice cake mix. That usually makes a 9×13 pan size cake. In that case, double the sweetened condensed milk, butterscotch, cool whip and toffee bits.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 439kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 405mg | Potassium: 274mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 52g | Vitamin A: 345IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 2mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Favorite Gingerbread Recipes

Last Updated on November 8, 2023

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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  1. 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 🙂

  2. 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!!!

    1. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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)!

  5. 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 🙂