Mocha Butterscotch Poke Cake


A couple of weeks ago I had never heard of a poke cake. A poke cake. When I saw a shared post on Facebook originating from Gluten Free on a Shoestring I realised that I was missing out on something wonderful. Okay, so what is a poke cake? Essentially you make a cake, poke holes in it when it is still hot & then pour something delicious down the holes. Something delicious could be; a soft pudding mix, a topping, jelly, fruit syrup etc...

Of course I had to make one but what to put in it. I decided that my first poke cake will contain some of my favourite things - chocolate, coffee, vanilla, butterscotch sauce & cream. YUMMO!

This is definitely a cake to share.

This recipe was designed specifically to be made with Bakers' Magic gluten free flour. The finished baked product will not be the same if you use another gluten free flour and you will need to adjust the recipe, particularly if the flour you're using contains rice flour.



250 g Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour

50 g Potato starch

60 g Cocoa

1/2 tsp Salt

1 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp Bicarb of soda

220 g Brown sugar

200 g Butter

2 tsp Vanilla extract 

3 Eggs (room temperature)

150 g Milk

2 tsp Vinegar

125 g Strong coffee


Cocoa- I use a rich cocoa that contains cocoa butter. The chocolaty taste of this cake will depend on the cocoa you use as there are vast differences between brands. If it isn't chocolaty enough for you add ~5-10 g more.

Coffee - I used 25 g of ground coffee beans & added 200 g of hot water to my one cup coffee plunger. I let it brew for a while, pushed down the plunger & then used 125 g of the coffee.

Maize starch = Cornflour from maize/corn and potato starch is sometimes labelled as potato flour. For more information go to Maize starch vs Cornflour.




Turn the oven on to 170 C. 

Grease a cake tin. I have used a springform pan & a flat bottomed ring tin (~25 cm). A large springform tin will allow you to leave the cake on the base but the cake takes longer to bake. The cake cooks faster in a flat bottomed ring tin but you have to take the cake out of the pan, then invert it on to the serving plate & then poke holes in it. While cooking the cake will crack a little, the cracks tend to be more even in the ring tin. When I make this cake again I will use a ring tin as I find the cake is easier to serve.

Prepare the coffee & set aside to cool.

Pour milk into a large cup & sour it with the vinegar.

Whiz together the Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour, potato starch, cocoa, salt, baking powder & bicarb. I put these dry ingredients in my Thermomix & mix for 10 sec speed 7.

Cream together the butter & sugar using a stand mixer or hand held beaters. (For one of my trials I did mix it all in my Thermomix but the cake came out looking like a brownie)

Add in the vanilla extract & mix to combine.

Beat in one egg until the mixture is light & fluffy.

Repeat with one more egg.

Mix in the dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl & beat the mixture some more.

Beat in the last egg until the mixture is uniform.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl & beat the mixture some more.

Pour 125 g of the coffee into the milk. 

With the mixer set on low gradually add all of the coffee/milk to the rest of the cake batter. Beat for ~2 - 3 mins - the mixture will thicken. 

Transfer cake batter to the tin & bake in the oven for ~35 mins (ring tin) or ~50 mins (springform pan). The actual time will vary depending on your oven. If in doubt insert a skewer into the cake if it comes out clean the cake is ready.

While the cake has ~20 mins left to bake prepare the butterscotch sauce.   

When making the sauce it will increase in volume ~3X as it starts to boil, use a saucepan that will allow for this expansion.

Put all sauce ingredients into a saucepan, stir the ingredients while heating the mix to dissolve the sugar. Stop stirring when the sauce starts to boil.

Boil the sauce for ~8 mins & then remove from the heat.

Poking holes in the cake

Some people use a chopstick (I found the holes a little small), some the base of a wooden spoon. For this cake I used the end of a clean Faber Castell texta. I don't know what it was doing in the kitchen but it seemed like a good size.

Use 1/2 of the butterscotch sauce to pour into the holes, let the cake sit for ~10 mins. The hotter the sauce results in more of the sauce soaking in to the cake. If the sauce is quite cool it will be thick & wont soak in to the cake a great deal. If you feel the sauce is too cold put it back on the heat for a little bit.

Use some of the remainder of the now thicker butterscotch sauce to pour into the holes.


If using a springform pan transfer the cake to a serving plate. Take off the outside ring.

Use the remaining sauce to top up the holes & drizzle around the sides of the cake.

Allow the cake to completely cool down before putting on the cream & chocolate shavings. I leave the cake at room temperature until I am about to serve it then I add the cream.

Whip the cream & transfer ~1/2 to a piping bag fitted with a size 11 star nozzle.

Pipe stars around the base of the cake & around the top of the cake.

Use the remaining cream to cover the top of the cake.

Use a peeler to make chocolate shavings & sprinkle these over the cake.