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If you love red velvet, this easy red velvet poke cake recipe is a game changer. From the rich cake drenched with sweetened condensed milk to the decadent cream cheese frosting, it is literally a dream come true for red velvet fans.

The icing is sprinkled with mini chocolate chips for an irresistible dessert.

Up close photo of slice of Red Velvet Poke Cake topped with chocolate chips.
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Red velvet poke cake

Red Velvet is probably one of my favorite cakes. However, traditional red velvet can take a little while to make. The solution is this super easy Red Velvet Poke Cake.

You get all the flavors of the classic cake recipe without the work. The next time the craving strikes, make this easy poke cake without much effort. We love red velvet because it tastes like a milder version of chocolate cake.

The cake is moist and it’s topped with luscious cream cheese frosting and chocolate chips. It also makes the perfect dessert for an Easy Valentine’s Day Recipes to share with your loved ones.

Up close photo of slice of Red Velvet Poke Cake on a spatula.



  • red velvet cake mix 
  • Ingredients needed to make cake from the cake mix: eggs, oil, water.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk – Check out how to make homemade sweetened condensed milk.


  • Cream Cheese – This needs to be room temperature and softened.
  • unsalted butter – Make sure to grab the unsalted variety.
  • Powdered Sugar 
  • Milk – Whole milk will make this frosting rich and creamy.
  • Vanilla Extract 
  • Mini chocolate chips – You can also use regular size chocolate chips. I think white chocolate would also be delicious.

How to make red velvet poke cake

  • First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is heating up, make the cake according to the box instructions.
  • Second, you will need a 9×13 baking dish. Spray it with cooking spray. Prepare cake mix and pour in the baking dish. Bake per the box directions.
  • Once the cake has finished cooking, let it cool for about 10 minutes.
  • The next step is to poke holes all over. I like to use a wooden spoon handle. Try to poke holes about 1 inches apart and get the edges of the cake too.
Red velvet cake with holes all over and sweetened condensed milk being poured on top.
  • Then pour the sweetened condensed milk all over the top of the cake. Make sure to get it in all of the holes. You can use a spatula to spread it around if needed.
  • If the pan has a lid, put that on. If not, cover in foil and place in the fridge overnight.
  • The next day, make the frosting. Beat together the cream cheese and butter until it is combined really well. I like to use a stand mixer on high speed.

    Then add the powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon milk and vanilla. Mix this until light and fluffy.
Red velvet cake being topped with cream cheese frosting and chocolate chips.
  • If the frosting is too thick, add more milk. I would only add a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the consistency you like.
  • Take the cake out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. Then spread the frosting all over the top. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.
  • This cake is delicious served at room temperature, or chilled and served cold.
Up close photo of slice of Red Velvet Poke Cake topped with chocolate chips.

How to stove leftovers:

Refrigerate the leftovers in an air tight container for up to 5 to 7 days.  Keep in mind the longer it sits, the soggier it will get.

I find the cake is best served fresh within 24 hours of making it.

Can I Make Homemade Red Velvet Cake Instead?  

Yes, you can make a homemade cake but of course it will take longer than a box mix. Feel free to use your favorite recipe or try this red velvet cake recipe we love. The red food coloring and cocoa powder make for a vibrant cake.

Once baked follow the rest of the instructions as normal in the poke cake recipe.

Can I use store bought frosting?

Sure. Feel free to purchase your favorite brand of cream cheese frosting at the grocery store. If you are using store bought, microwave for about 15 seconds and then pour on the cake.

Just be careful not to overheat the frosting or it will separate and be unusable.

Up close photo of slice of Red Velvet Poke Cake on a spatula.

Tips for Making This Easy Red Velvet Cake:

  • Make sure to pour the sweetened condensed milk all over the cake. It is important that all of it soaks into the entire cake.
  • Resist the urge to make this cake all in one day. It tastes best when made the night before and frosted the next day. Overnight the sweetened condensed milk really soaks into the cake and gets so moist.
  • Save time and make the cake in advance and freeze it until ready to use inside an airtight container. Allow the cake to come to room temperature and frost when ready to enjoy. This is a great tip for holidays to save time on busy days.
  • If you plan to make homemade cream cheese frosting, use the blocks of cream cheese and not the tubs. The consistency of the frosting will be softer and fluffier.
Up close photo of slice of Red Velvet Poke Cake topped with chocolate chips.


  • You can use whipped topping instead of cream cheese frosting to lighten up the recipe.
  • Sprinkle walnuts on top of the cream cheese frosting. If your family is divided, you can only sprinkle nuts on half of the cake.
  • Substitute chocolate shavings instead of chocolate chips. You can also use leftover chocolate bars cut into small pieces.
  • You can add sprinkles on top of the cake. If you are making this during the holidays, Christmas sprinkles would be festive. This recipe is also perfect for Valentine’s Day and heart sprinkles would be cute.
  • Skip the chocolate topping and use crushed oreo cookies instead. This would be good if you use whipped cream on top.
  • Add a brick of softened room temperature cream cheese to the sweetened condensed milk. Blend together until smooth and pour over the cake into the holes. If you do this variation, I think cool whip on top would pair nicely instead of cream cheese frosting.
  • Top with white chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate chips. This is really about personal preference.

Easy red velvet poke cake recipe is the best dessert.

Up close photo of slice of Red Velvet Poke Cake topped with chocolate chips.

Print this red velvet poke cake recipe:

Red Velvet Poke Cake

5 from 9 votes
Red velvet fans will go crazy over this easy red velvet poke cake recipe. The cake is topped with cream cheese frosting and chocolate chips.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Refrigerate Overnight 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 35 minutes
Servings 9
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 685


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  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Make cake mix according to package directions and bake in a well-greased 9×13 pan according to package.
  • Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then poke holes all over cake (about 1-inch) intervals using a wooden spoon handle.
  • Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the top of the cake
  • Cover and refrigerate the cake overnight.
  • To make the frosting, beat together cream cheese and butter until combined.
  • Add powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon milk and vanilla. Beat together until well-combined.
  • Mix in additional milk to the desired consistency.
  • Spread frosting over room temperature cake and top with the mini chocolate chips.
  • Enjoy at room temperature, or chill and enjoy cold.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 685kcal, Carbohydrates 101g, Protein 9g, Fat 30g, Saturated Fat 15g, Polyunsaturated Fat 3g, Monounsaturated Fat 8g, Trans Fat 1g, Cholesterol 60mg, Sodium 549mg, Potassium 364mg, Fiber 2g, Sugar 82g, Vitamin A 665IU, Vitamin C 1mg, Calcium 251mg, Iron 3mg

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Baking dish with red velvet poke cake.

More poke cake recipes to try:

You are going to love this delicious red velvet poke cake recipe.  This poke cake recipe with condensed milk is super easy to make.  This recipe used a boxed cake mix so you know it’s simple but tastes just like homemade!  #eatingonadime #cakerecipes #redvelvetrecipes #pokecakerecipes 

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families!

5 from 9 votes (9 ratings without comment)

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