White Chocolate Blackberry Poke Cake

by Jillian
Delicate white cake, homemade blackberry topping, and lusciously creamy white chocolate topping--this White Chocolate Blackberry Poke Cake will have you licking every last crumb off your plate!

Delicate white cake, homemade blackberry topping, and lusciously creamy white chocolate topping–this White Chocolate Blackberry Poke Cake will have you licking every last crumb off your plate!

Although I love a stunning layer cake that’s dolled up with buttercream and TONS of sprinkles, there’s just something so comforting about a good old-fashioned potluck cake. I’m talking about the ones that are usually baked in a 9×13-inch pan and topped with some kind of creamy filling and/or fruity topping. This is the type of dessert I always crave once spring hits.

And with Easter just a few weeks away, I’m sure at least a few of you are wondering what you should serve on this special day.

Well, may I suggest this heaven-on-earth White Chocolate Blackberry Poke Cake?

And when I say heaven-on-earth, I MEAN heaven-on-earth. This cake is loaded with all kinds of delicious flavors and mouthwatering textures. With a moist and fluffy base of golden vanilla cake, sweet and slightly tart blackberry topping, and a dreamy creamy layer of white chocolate mousse-like topping, this White Chocolate Blackberry Poke Cake is guaranteed to make an impression on all of your guests.

That is, if you decide to share it with anyone…

I know I’ve probably said this a million baJillian times on my blog, but this recipe truly is super easy to make. For one thing, the cake is made with a box cake mix. I used a white cake mix, but any yellow or vanilla cake mix variety will do. I also like to add a teaspoon of clear vanilla extract and 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract to the batter. These two ingredients give the cake that addictively sweet cake batter flavor. For some reason, the clear vanilla gives baked goods more of that classic bakery-style taste that pure vanilla extract just can’t mimic. 

Now let’s talk about the blackberry topping! When it comes to berry toppings/fillings, homemade is definitely the way to go. I’ve made poke cakes with canned berry pie fillings in the past, but they always lacked flavor and actual berries. Plus, they’re rather overpriced when you consider how much you get from each can. Homemade berry topping not only tastes better, but it’s incredibly easy and requires very few ingredients. 

For this berry topping, I ended up using frozen blackberries that I had picked and flash-frozen last summer. You can use fresh blackberries too, but I almost always use frozen berries for berry toppings since they’re going to be cooked up anyway. Once the juices begin to release, you’ll add a mixture of sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Combining the sugar and cornstarch beforehand prevents the cornstarch from clumping up when you add it to the berries. After the berry mixture comes to a boil, it only takes a few minutes for it to thicken. The blackberry topping needs to cool completely before it’s ready to go on top of the cake. However, if you’re incredibly impatient like me, you can also chill the topping in the freezer. Just make sure to take it out and stir every 15 minutes or so.

Now let’s move on to the white chocolate cream topping. This luscious topping is light and fluffy like a mousse, yet delightfully tart and creamy like cheesecake.

First you’ll whip up some heavy cream, powdered sugar, vanilla and almond extract until stiff peaks form. Transfer your whipped cream to another bowl, and return the bowl to the mixer–no need to clean it! Switch out the whisk attachment for the paddle attachment (or continue to use your beaters), and beat some cream cheese on high for about 2 minutes. You basically want to lighten it up a bit, so that it blends more easily with the melted white chocolate. I also like to add a couple of tablespoons of heavy cream to the white chocolate before heating it in the microwave since it thins the chocolate out a little, making it easier to combine with the cream cheese. 

Once you combine the melted white chocolate with the cream cheese, it’s time to fold in the whipped cream. I usually beat in about a third of the whipped cream to loosen the mixture up a bit before folding in the rest by hand.

As for assembling this beauty, you’ll start by using the handle of a wooden spoon to poke holes evenly throughout the cake. You only need to poke about halfway into the cake. I usually poke rows of holes that are about one inch apart.

Now BEFORE you pour the blackberry topping onto the cake, make sure to remove about 1/4 – 1/3 cup of it first. This will be used on top of the white chocolate cream topping. After you pour the blackberry topping on top of the cake, you might need to use a skewer or toothpick to push the berry topping into the holes. 

To spread the white chocolate cream topping on top of the berry topping, I recommend spooning dollops of it evenly over the cake instead of pouring all of it on at once. You’ll then use a butter knife or offset spatula to spread/connect the dollops together. This will prevent the white chocolate cream topping from mixing with the berry topping.

Chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but if you can let it sit overnight, that’s even better! Just before serving, drop spoonfuls of that reserved blackberry topping evenly over the cake, and use the back of a spoon or an offset spatula to swirl the berry topping into the white chocolate cream topping. Go ahead, get artsy with it!

Honestly, I don’t think you’ll find any dessert that’s as simple AND heavenly as this White Chocolate Blackberry Poke Cake. I have no doubt that you’ll be receiving requests for this cake at every upcoming gathering, regardless of whether it’s berry season or not!

Delicate white cake, homemade blackberry topping, and lusciously creamy white chocolate topping--this White Chocolate Blackberry Poke Cake will have you licking every last crumb off your plate!

Delicate white cake, homemade blackberry topping, and lusciously creamy white chocolate topping--this White Chocolate Blackberry Poke Cake will have you licking every last crumb off your plate!

White Chocolate Blackberry Poke Cake

Delicate white cake, homemade blackberry topping, and lusciously creamy white chocolate topping--this White Chocolate Blackberry Poke Cake will have you licking every last crumb off your plate!
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 28 minutes
Chilling Time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours 28 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 Servings

Ingredients
  

Blackberry Topping:

  • 6 cups blackberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • teaspoon of salt

Cake:

  • 1 box white cake mix (plus all the ingredients needed)

White Chocolate Cream Topping:

  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons heavy cream divided
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 6 ounces white chocolate

Instructions
 

Make the Blackberry Topping:

  • In a medium saucepan, heat the blackberries over medium heat until they soften and their juices start to release, about 3-4 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add mixture to the blackberries and continue cooking until it begins to thicken, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Take the pan off the heat and pour berry topping into a shallow bowl. Chill in the refrigerator to cool completely.

Make the Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Prepare the cake batter according to the directions on the box.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking dish and bake for 25-28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
  • Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes into the cake that are about an inch apart (I poked a total of 60 holes).

Make the White Chocolate Cream Topping:

  • In the chilled bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the 1 cup of heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and almond extract and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Transfer whipped cream to a separate bowl and return bowl to mixer.
  • Switch the whisk attachment out for the paddle attachment and beat the cream cheese on high until smooth and creamy.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the white chocolate and 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream. Heat in the microwave, stopping and stirring every 15 seconds, until mixture is smooth. Pour white chocolate into cream cheese mixture and beat until combined. Add a third of the whipped cream to the bowl, beating until smooth. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in the remaining whipped cream by hand with a rubber spatula.

To Assemble:

  • Reserve 4-5 tablespoons of the blackberry topping, and pour the rest on top off the cake. Spread the topping into an even layer. If necessary, use a skewer or toothpick to push the topping down into the holes.
  • Dollop white chocolate cream topping evenly over the blackberry topping layer. Use a butter knife or offset spatula to carefully spread the cream topping into an even layer. Drizzle the reserved blackberry topping on top, then use the back of a spoon or an offset spatula to swirl figure-eights into the topping.
  • Refrigerate cake for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight) before serving. Cake will stay fresh covered in the refrigerator for up to one week.
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