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Do you remember those poke cakes that our moms used to make in the 1980s? They were made with boxed cake mixes and either jello or instant pudding, and topped with Cool Whip. And we loved them. This is a grown up version of the classic poke cake (but kids like it too!)
This recipe came from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, in the October 2019 issue.
What you’ll need:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup apple butter, without pectin
3 cups finely chopped apples
1/4 cup milk
1 14 oz can dulce de leche
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
Note: I could not find dulce de leche anywhere in my local markets, (I ended up finding it later, but that’s another story), so I made my own.
If you can’t find it either, just open a can of sweetened condensed milk and pour it into a pie plate or 8×8 pan. Cover it with foil and place it into a roasting pan. Fill it with water, halfway up the side of the interior pan. Bake it at 425 for 45 minutes. Open the oven door to check the water level and add more if necessary. Bake an additional 45 minutes, then let cool before use. Easy. Or just click here to order a can.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease & flour two 9×5 loaf pans. Set aside.
In your mixer bowl, beat butter on medium for 30 seconds, then add sugar 1/4 cup at a time, until all is combined. Scrape bowl and beat two more minutes.
Add the eggs, one at a time, then beat in one teaspoon of vanilla. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and add this mixture to the mixer bowl, alternating with the apple butter.
When all is combined, fold in the apples.
Divide the batter evenly between the pans and smooth the tops. Bake approximately 40 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool and remove from pans.
Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes approximately 3/4 of the way through the cakes (top to bottom), about 2 inches apart.
In a medium bowl, whisk the milk into the dulce de leche until the mixture is smooth. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the mixture, then spread the remaining mixture over the cakes, allowing it to seep into the holes that you made with the spoon handle. Let set.
In a mixer bowl, combine the cream, the reserved dulce de leche, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until stiff peaks form. Spread over the cakes and serve.
Store any leftovers in the fridge.
This would also be great with chopped nuts in addition to the apples, or with pears instead of the apples. It’s your food–make it the way you like it!