Don’t poke around, make this cake today

There are times in my kitchen that I feel like Betty Crocker. I just want to put on a dress like June Cleaver and don my apron and spin around the kitchen like a pro.

And then there are days like I had trying to make this week’s recipe. I spotted this recipe for Boston cream pie poke cake, and knowing that Joey loves Boston cream pie, I decided to give it a shot.

Things went well at first, but when I put the cake in the oven, I noticed that the handle to my stove was a bit loose.

“I’ll have to tighten that later,” I naively thought.

When the cake was done, I went to open my oven, and the handle came off in my hand. That’s not exactly what you want to happen when you’re dealing with a 350-degree oven.

To make a long story short, taking apart an oven door to get to the screws that hold on the handle is not really an easy process, and that took up a sizable chunk of my afternoon. (At least I had something to do while the cake cooled.)

With the handle back on, I decided to mix up the frosting for my cake. You’ll notice in the directions that I told you to hand mix until a certain point. That is because my frosting exploded all over the walls and counters of my kitchen when I turned my mixer on for the initial mix.

Normally, I wouldn’t complain about being covered in chocolate, but considering my other adventures, I was less than amused.

The good news, though, is that the cake was delicious, so I encourage you to give it a try.

The recipe comes from the blog “Diary of a Recipe Collector.” You can find the original at I doubled the vanilla in the recipe.

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Boston Cream Pie Poke Cake


1 yellow cake mix, plus all ingredients called for on the box

3.5 ounces instant vanilla pudding mix

2 cups milk

14 ounces sweetened condensed milk

Frosting ingredients

1 1/2 sticks butter, softened

3/4 cups cocoa powder

1/2 cup boiling water

2 teaspoons vanilla

5 cups powdered sugar


Bake a 9×13-inch cake according to the directions on the box.

Combine the pudding mix and milk in a large bowl and whisk until combined. Let the mixture set up for about 2 minutes.

Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk and set aside.

When the cake is done, poke large holes in it with the handle of a wooden spoon (I tried using a bamboo skewer, and bigger holes would have been better).

Pour the pudding mixture over the top of the cake. (Be careful! Mine tried to escape over the top of the pan.)

Let the cake sit for about an hour or until the cake is completely cooled.

To make the frosting, combine the butter, cocoa powder, water and vanilla and mix by hand to combine. Add in the powdered sugar, and mix by hand until combined and then beat well with a mixer until it is smooth.

Pour the frosting over the cake (Again, be careful! I ended up putting a sheet pan under my cake pan, since it was running over the sides a bit.).

Refrigerate overnight.

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While this cake didn’t make me feel like Betty Crocker, I’d like to give it another attempt. After all, there isn’t anything else that could possibly go wrong the next time.


Lindsey Young is managing editor of The Clarion, the Kansas Publishing Ventures newspaper in Andale. She can be reached at

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