Vegan Strawberry Shortcake Poke Cake

I have seen poke cakes on Pinterest and Facebook but I have never actually made one or tried one myself.  Probably since most of them are made from boxed mixes and jello or already prepared ingredients and I prefer to do things myself.  But I decided last weekend to make one, since I had lots of strawberries on hand and I couldn't imagine a lovelier way to serve them than soaked into a sponge type cake with whipped cream on top.  Almost like a giant strawberry shortcake, but better. There is nothing better than picking up a large container of fresh organic strawberries at the Farmer's Market or store.  The local ones are the best.  Berries are one of the things I look forward to every year in the Summer because here in Minnesota we don't grow them year round, and although they are available year round at the store, they just don't taste as good when out of season you know?  So when they are in season, I consider them special and I love to use them in special desserts.

For this cake, I wanted just a classic vanilla cake for the base.  I make a lot of date sweetened cakes (as I am sure a lot of you that follow my recipes have noticed), but that wouldn't do for this one because they make for a darker brown cake.  I wanted it to be lightly colored.  So, I used xylitol for the sweetener and the cake came out a lovely light shade just like classic vanilla cake.  It smelled amazing while baking I might add.  It reminded me of the vanilla boxed cake mixes I used to beg my Dad to let me make when I was younger that always smelled amazing (yes, I used to make those a long time ago, don't judge).  It was funny, I felt so grown up even though I was using a boxed mix and canned frosting.  No canned frosting or mixes today though. Just delicious home made vanilla cake.

I made a slightly thickened strawberry sauce to pour over the cake after poking holes in it and and let it soak in.  I knew this was going to be good!  I topped it off with a creamy sweet whipped coconut cream, and it was lovely.  It tasted just like the vanilla cake I remember as a kid.  It was like strawberry shortcake but even better. If you have some fresh strawberries on hand, give this cake a try!  It is best in the Summer when the berries taste amazing.

Vegan Strawberry Shortcake Poke Cake
Makes 1 9 inch cake


1 9 inch cake pan


  • 1 3/4 cups Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated xylitol*
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil or virgin coconut oil, warmed to liquid
  • 1 cup light coconut milk (at room temperature)
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp cider vinegar

Strawberry Puree:

  • 2 cups organic strawberries
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • pinch sea salt
  • 2 tsp arrowroot starch dissolved in 1 Tbsp lemon juice

Coconut whipped cream:

  • 1 1 15 oz can full fat organic coconut milk, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp raw coconut butter (NOT OIL), warmed to liquid

Organic strawberries for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 375F degrees and position rack in center of oven.
  2. Line a nine-inch-diameter spring form cake pan with 2-inch-high sides with parchment paper. Coat parchment paper and pan sides lightly with coconut oil so that the cake doesn't stick.
    Whisk flour, baking soda, sea salt, and sugar in a large bowl to blend well.
  3. Whisk oil , coconut milk and vanilla extract together in small bowl to blend well, then whisk into the flour mixture until well blended.
  4. Transfer cake batter to prepared pan and bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.
  5. Use chopsticks to poke holes in it one inch apart from each other, and not too close to the edge of the cake.
  6. To make the strawberry puree, blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth, then pour into a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Once it is simmering, add the arrowroot starch mixture and whisk until it thickens.  Remove from heat, and pour evenly over the cake.
  7. Place the cake in the refrigerator, and allow to cool completely.
  8. For the whipped cream, combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth. Pour into a bowl and place in the freezer until it is thick like whipped cream (whisking every so often), about 45 minutes to one hour.
  9. Spread the whipped cream over the top of the cake.
  10. Garnish with fresh strawberries, and serve!

*The reason I used xylitol for this cake was to keep it pale in color.  If you do not care for xylitol, use 1 cup coconut sugar or 1 cup maple sugar instead, just keep in  mind you will get a darker color cake.

*Do not feed this cake to dogs, xylitol is toxic to them.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
(Visited 1,572 times, 1 visits today)

Discover more from Fragrant Vanilla Cake

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading