Strawberry Champagne Poke Cake Recipe

Why have a plain strawberry cake when you could have a strawberry champagne poke cake? This rich and moist recipe comes to us from developer Jessica Morone of Jess Loves Baking, and it is absolutely the stuff that sweet, summery, bubbly dreams are made of. "My favorite thing is how moist and delicious this cake is," Morone describes. "The strawberry syrup poured over the cake makes sure this cake isn't at all dry, the cake itself is totally from scratch but so simple to make, and who doesn't love a cream cheese frosting?" Even if you are the type who doesn't fancy cream cheese frosting, there's a good chance this cake will be the one to change your mind.

If you've never enjoyed a poke cake before, the name is quite literal in regards to what happens to the cake. After baking, you'll poke holes into the surface of the cake, and yes, there is a method to the madness! Once you pour over the sweet, champagne-infused strawberry sauce, those holes will be quite useful in absorbing each and every drop into the cake, resulting in a confection that really is as moist as Morone described. As for when to serve the cake, any old occasion will do, but as Morone notes, "the champagne makes it feel more fancy so this could fit in at even a more upscale event."

Gather the ingredients for this strawberry champagne poke cake

As with most cake recipes, you'll need some staple baking ingredients to make this recipe, including cake flour, baking powder, salt, unsalted butter, sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. You'll also need some pureed strawberries for the syrup, along with some fresh sliced ones for garnishing the cake. For the cream cheese frosting you'll need heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, cream cheese, and some more vanilla.

And now for the fun ingredient: the bubbly. "The special ingredient here is the champagne, which I just think takes a regular strawberry cake to another level," Morone says, and she notes that you certainly don't have to splurge on the expensive stuff. "You can use any sort of dry sparkling wine here, I bought a champagne that was on sale and it tasted delicious in the cake," she says. And, yes, the champagne flavor will be present, though the alcohol content will be virtually nonexistent. As our developer explains, "You will taste the champagne in the cake, but it's a very light flavor and most of it is [cooked] out of the cake."

Make the cake batter and bake the cake

Get your oven preheating to 350 F and grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Then, grab a medium-sized bowl and whisk the dry ingredients: the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set that aside and grab a large bowl, adding in the butter, 1 ½ cups of sugar, and the vegetable oil. Use a hand mixer to beat these ingredients together until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add in the eggs and beat once more, just until combined. 

Next, pour half of the flour mixture into the bowl with the wet ingredients, beating until combined. Then add in 1 cup of champagne, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, and the remaining half of the flour mixture, and this time give it a good mix, until you have a cohesive batter. Pour and spread the batter into the prepared baking dish, then pop it into the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean (a few crumbs are okay). Let the cake cool down a bit in the pan as you work on the strawberry syrup.

Simmer up a strawberry syrup

Place a large saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat and add in the pureed strawberries, the remaining ½ cup of granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and the remaining ½ cup of champagne. Once the mixture reaches a boil, allow it to cook for another minute at that high heat point.

Poke the cake and pour over the syrup

Using the back of a wooden spoon (or a pokey object of a similar size and shape), poke holes all along the surface of the cake. You don't want the cake to be absolutely inundated with holes, but you definitely want a decent amount throughout. Once your cake is adequately holey, pour over the strawberry syrup, ensuring that you evenly pour it across the cake. Now, allow the cake and syrup to fully cool down.

Make the cream cheese frosting

As the cake finishes cooling, you can make the cream cheese frosting. To a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, add in the cold heavy cream, powdered sugar, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. Beat on high until you have soft peaks, then add in the room temperature cream cheese — and, yes, temperature does really matter here. "You want the heavy cream to be cold so it whips up easily, but you want the cream cheese to be room temperature so that the frosting doesn't end up very lumpy," Morone explains. "If its too cold you can heat it in the microwave for about 15 seconds so it becomes quite soft." 

Finish beating the cream cheese into the mix, this time stopping when stiff peaks form. Make sure that the frosting is nice and smooth and no large chunks of cream cheese remain.

Frost and garnish the strawberry champagne poke cake

Once the cake has fully cooled, spread the frosting across it in an even layer. Then, optionally garnish the cake with sliced strawberries strewn over top, slice, serve, and enjoy. "You can store this covered in the fridge for up to 3 days and it will still taste good," says Morone. "Before you serve it you should take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes ahead of time, so the cake is cool but not really cold, that is when it tastes the best." After enjoying a slice of this strawberry champagne poke cake, you'll never go back to plain ol' strawberry cakes ever again.

Strawberry Champagne Poke Cake Recipe
5 from 42 ratings
Learn how to make this moist, luxurious cake overflowing with strawberry cream.
Prep Time
Cook Time
bowl of strawberries and cake slice
Total time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups champagne
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups pureed strawberries, plus sliced strawberries for garnish
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup champagne
  • 1 ¾ cups heavy cream, cold
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9×13-inch cake pan, and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl add the butter, 1 ½ cups of sugar, and vegetable oil. Beat together until the mixture is fluffy, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs to the bowl and beat until combined.
  5. Add half of the flour mixture to the bowl with the butter mixture and beat until combined.
  6. Add the 1 cup champagne, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract , and the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and spread evenly.
  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out with just a few crumbs. Let the cake cool slightly.
  9. While the cake cools add the pureed strawberries, ½ cup sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and the remaining ½ cup of champagne to a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat. Once it starts to boil cook it for an additional minute.
  10. Use the back of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the cake. Then pour the strawberry sauce over the cake. Let the cake cool completely.
  11. Add the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl. Beat on high until soft peaks form. Add in the cream cheese and then continue to beat until stiff peaks form and the frosting is smooth.
  12. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake. Add sliced strawberries to the top of the cake if desired, then cut and serve.
Calories per Serving 542
Total Fat 29.7 g
Saturated Fat 15.9 g
Trans Fat 0.6 g
Cholesterol 120.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 58.1 g
Dietary Fiber 0.8 g
Total Sugars 35.2 g
Sodium 228.1 mg
Protein 5.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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