A Southern Grace: pokes and nudges

March 9, 2017

pokes and nudges


Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake. I have never experienced anything as simultaneously blissful and weird as feeling our baby move around inside me.

It took FOREVER for me to finally feel her wiggling, and though it's a strange sensation and it sometimes comes at inopportune times (like 2 in the morning...but I guess I had better get used to that!), it reminds me that she's alive and coming to our arms soon!

I suppose that if you don't ever see any of my Instagram posts, you had no idea we're expecting our first baby in June, so I'm happy to share the news with you now! Everything seems to be on track (knock on wood), and we couldn't be more excited.

I can't really mention any cravings, unless food in general is a craving--I've been eating all of the food. Current symptoms? Other than incessant heartburn, the main issue has been that I want to sleep all of those times when I'm not eating. These things obviously make it a challenge to complete a full day of work. :)

Back to the pokes! I've made a strawberry cheesecake poke cake with plenty of pink in honor of this baby girl*. It's simply a vanilla cake poked to death and drenched in a cream cheese and strawberry concoction that oozes into every crevice. Though the consistency is nothing like a cheesecake, the flavors are quite similar! It's delicious and refreshing and, of course, very pretty in pink. Suitable for a baby shower, perhaps?

*There will be a strict limit to the amount of pink I will tolerate in her clothes, room, and accessories. I'm a purple-lover!

Poked Strawberry Cheesecake Cake
(printable recipe)
Serves 12 generously
  • 1 box vanilla cake mix, prepared according to package
  • 1 pound strawberries with tops removed
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 8 ounces whipped topping, thawed
  • Strawberries and graham cracker crumbs, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 13×9-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Prepare the vanilla cake batter according to the package directions, then pour it into the prepared pan and bake for 22-28 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Let the cake cool slightly, but when still warm, using the back of a wooden spoon, poke several deep, large holes in the cake.
In a large bowl, mash strawberries with a whisk or fork until very fine.
Add cream cheese and condensed milk, whisking or beating until there are no large lumps, then stir in the milk.
Pour the mixture carefully over the cake, being sure to fill up those holes, then refrigerate for about 30 minutes, until the cake has absorbed as much of the mixture as possible.
Spread the whipped topping evenly on top.
Chill the cake at least 4 hours, but overnight is even better.
Serve slices with fresh strawberries and graham cracker crumbs.


Pam said...

I've never had a poke cake before but have a feeling I would absolutely love it. YUM!

I am so excited for you Grace! Being a mom has been the best experience of my life. My first was a girl too. :) My kids are now 11 & 14 and I can't believe how fast time has flown by. Enjoy every single second!!!

Angie's Recipes said...

The cake has such a tender crumb! And congratulations!

Gingi said...

I WANT TO EAT THIS NOOOOOW!!!! <3 - http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Juliana said...

Oh Grace...congratulations! I am so happy for your and your husband...a baby girl! Isn't an amazing feeling? that a life is inside you? I think this is one of the feeling that I will never forget and cherish forever...
Now, I have never made poke cake, and I like that you used fresh strawberries, mixed with cream cheese and condensed milk to fill the "pokes"...looks delicious!
I hope you are having a nice week :)

janice15 said...

How exciting, I remember my first baby who hust recently turned 39... time flys there is nothing like holding a little one in your arms. Congratulations. The cake sounds good will have to try it.. Happy baby ๐ŸŒธ๐Ÿ’œ๐ŸŒธ๐Ÿ’œWith love Janice

tania| my kitchen stories said...

Well Grace, that's the internet for you anything can be going on. What a great surprise I couldn't be more excited for you. AND what a lucky baby being born into a purple household.

Barbara said...

How exciting, Grace! A little girl for you both to love! I couldn't be more pleased for you.
Not that the poke cake doesn't look good, but am more excited about your news!

Marcelle said...

This poke cake looks delicious and like a perfect, quick weekend dessert. I'm printing it out, Grace! You know I'm so excited for you two and your baby girl!! Just fyi, old wives tales say that lots of heartburn means a baby will have a lots of hair on their head! Time to buy some cute bows... :) <3

Melinda said...

Babies are a delightful piece of Heaven here on Earth. So happy for you!

I absolutely love your blog. The foods you come up with are scrumptious.

I have four daughters. I tried to force pink and frou-frou and lace. She wasn't having any of it. lol When my third daughter came along, I was DoNe with pink. She's 17 now and cringes when she sees pictures of her as a baby. Why? She's dressed in blue. This moma cringes too. lol

Happy pregnancy!

Cheri Savory Spoon said...

These beautiful poke cake looks light and delicious. Sounds like you are having a wonderful pregnancy. Babies are the best.

Kate @ Framed Cooks said...

Oh Grace!!! Congratulations!!! Even all these years later, I remember so well the amazing feeling of my baby girl doing somersaults or whatever she was doing in there. I'm so happy for you!! And meantime, this cake looks all kinds of beautiful and sweet!

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

Love, Love, Love your instagram updates. You are adorable!
This cake is going in to my "love" category as well. Anything that can cure my husbands desire for cheesecake, without me having to make it, makes me happy!

Food Gal said...

Such a pretty cake now that spring has sprung -- well, in a few days in any event. Looks irresistible!

Pam said...

Congratulations to you, Grace and your hubby! How cool! I remember those days, all I wanted to do was sleep and more sleep, don't remember making many cakes then. So this is a great cake you made, love poke cakes and haven't made one in a long time. Purple rules! Take care

Beth said...

A baby - I'm so happy for you! Enjoy your pre-baby time, pink or not!

Amy (Savory Moments) said...

A baby girl!! So exciting!! I had a rough pregnancy with my twins, but i totally miss feeling them move in there. It's amazing. Just wait until she gets the hiccups :-)

Adina said...

Congratulations! Feeling the babies move inside me was one of the biggest joys of being pregnant.

Gloria Baker said...

This looks beautiful!! and congratulations Grace!!

Unknown said...

Congratulations Grace!! She's going to be such a lucky and well-fed little girl, especially with a mom who makes dreamy cakes like this one!