Skinny Almond Joy Poke Cake | Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Monday, January 13, 2020

Skinny Almond Joy Poke Cake

If you love Almond Joy Candy Bars, Skinny Almond Joy Poke Cake is for you! Skinny Almond Joy Poke Cake is an easy dessert that starts with a boxed cake mix. It's topped with sugar free pudding, Cool Whip Free and of course, coconut, almonds and mini chocolate chips for a fun chocolate cake perfect for any occasion!

Skinny Almond Joy Poke Cake by Renee's Kitchen Adventures on a plate ready to eat

There is no added oil in the cake. In fact, the fat comes from the coconut oil in canned coconut milk (and, of course, whatever fat is added from the one egg)!  I used a "light" coconut milk here and it worked out beautifully.

The canned coconut milk didn't leave a strong coconut flavor, but it did make a tender moist cake.  I may be experimenting using coconut milk to replace the oil in more cakes I make in the future!

Boxed cake mixes have gotten a bad rap over the years. I'm not ashamed to use boxed cake mixes.  I think they can be pimped up to make the most delicious desserts and they certainly save you money on ingredients and the skills needed to produce a perfect cake every time.  Heck, that is why they were invented in the first place and still take up a good portion of the baking aisles at the grocery stores today.

What is a Poke Cake?

One dessert I love to make with boxed cake mixes are delicious poke cakes like this one.  Poke cakes have been around since the 1970's and were invented as a way to boost slumping sales of JELL-O brand gelatin.

Poke cakes are cakes that have been baked and cooled slightly, then "poked" with the back of a wooden spoon, skewer, or other tool with a series of holes and flavored gelatin or pudding (which has not yet set) is poured into the holes and allowed to set up in the cake itself.

You'll find all sorts of recipes for poke cakes on the web. A few of my favorites include my Halloween Jello Poke Cake that uses flavored gelatin and this Skinny Tres Leches Poke Cake that uses vanilla pudding. My Easy Mexican Hot Chocolate Poke Cake is sweet and spicy and perfect when your sweet tooth is calling. 

Skinny Almond Joy Poke Cake by Renee's Kitchen Adventures in pan, ready to cut

How to make a poke cake with pudding

Like any poke cake, once the cake has come from the oven and cooled, you poke several deep holes into the cake with the back of a wooden spoon that has a round handle.  Space your holes out as evenly as you can. (It will look like the picture below, but with chocolate cake instead of vanilla cake.)

Skinny Almond Joy Poke Cake by Renee's Kitchen Adventures cake with holes demonstrating how to make a poke cake

Once the pudding layer is mixed, it is poured right on top of and down into those holes you made. Then the cake needs to sit for several hours or overnight in the refrigerator to set up before finishing it with the toppings.

The pudding layer will create a sort of soggy cake mixture in places and that is a good thing, because it is so yummy!  Sort of like when you mix your ice cream and cake together when you were a kid (or maybe you still do it today!)

If you don't like sugar free pudding mixes, by all means, feel free to sub out regular boxed pudding mix. I used sugar free to help keep the calories in check.

For extra pizzazz, you can drizzle some chocolate syrup over each piece before you serve it! (But remember, it's not included in the nutritional information!)

Skinny Almond Joy Poke Cake by Renee's Kitchen Adventures piece of cake on a white plate with fork. Bite on fork ready to eat.

This cake is a great choice for potlucks, holidays, or summer BBQ's.  I can't wait to make this again! What will you be making this cake for?
Skinny Almond Joy Poke Cake, Almond Joy Poke Cake, Poke Cake, Chocolate Cake from boxed mix
Dessert, Cake
Yield: 16 servings
Author: Renee Paj
Skinny Almond Joy Poke Cake

Skinny Almond Joy Poke Cake

Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 2 H & 35 MTotal time: 2 H & 45 M
Skinny Almond Joy Poke Cake is a simple to make dessert that starts with a boxed cake mix. It's topped with sugar free pudding, Cool Whip Free and of course, coconut, almonds and mini chocolate chips for a fun chocolate cake perfect for any occasion!


  • 1- 15.25 oz. Triple Chocolate Cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
  • 1- 13.5 oz. can of light coconut milk (I used a brand with 6g of fat per serving)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp. pure almond extract
  • 1 - 0.9 oz. box Sugar Free, Fat Free instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 cups 1% milk
  • 1 tsp. coconut extract
  • 4 oz. Cool Whip® Free
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 2 TBSP chopped roasted and salted almonds
  • 1 TBSP mini chocolate chips


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9" x 13" baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In large bowl, make cake by mixing cake mix, canned coconut milk, egg, water and almond extract on low speed of electric mixer until combined. Beat on medium for an additional 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake as directed on cake mix box for a 9" x 13" pan.
  3. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool to room temperature on wire rack. Once cake is cool, with the back of a wooden spoon handle, make holes in cake, spacing about a 1/2" apart and going about half way down into cake.
  4. Prepare pudding mixture by whisking pudding mix, milk and coconut extract together. Mix just until it begins to thicken and quickly pour into the holes in the cake. Spread top of cake with Cool Whip® Free. Sprinkle with coconut, then chopped almonds and then mini chocolate chips. Refrigerate for 2 hours or more before serving. Drizzle with chocolate syrup, if desired.


Adapted from Allrecipes This cake can be made using regular pudding mix and regular Cool Whip, but the nutritional information will be different.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

4.08 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

2.47 g

Carbs (grams)

24.32 g

Fiber (grams)

0.68 g

Net carbs

23.64 g

Sugar (grams)

17.27 g

Protein (grams)

2.51 g

Sodium (milligrams)

231.92 mg

Cholesterol (grams)

14.28 mg

Nutritional Information provided is an estimate. Does not include optional ingredients.

Did you make this recipe?
Tag @renees_kitchen_adventures on instagram and hashtag it #RKArecipes

If you love Skinny Almond Joy Poke Cake, pin it to your favorite Pinterest boards and share it with others! 

Skinny Almond Joy Poke Cake by Renee's Kitchen Adventures pin for Pinterest with close up of cake

Renee's Notes:  This cake was super yummi-licious!  It really does have all the elements of an Almond Joy but with a lot less guilt. I found the coconut milk I used in this recipe at an Asian market. If you can't find a coconut milk with the same fat content as the one I used, you can substitute full fat or another brand that has lower fat content, but remember, the estimated nutritional information I worked out will be different.

This updated recipe first appeared on Renee's Kitchen Adventures in April 2015. 

Like what you see?  Follow RKA on all these social networks!!


  1. Chocolate and coconut together are delicious! It's been awhile since I made a poke cake. I gotta try this! Love that you lightened it up!

  2. you can bet I'm making this cake! and that I'll be eating the whole thing by myself!! looks fabulous!

  3. Love almonds and everything with them. This cake looks so tempting!

  4. I love poke cakes. They are so moist. You have so many good things going on with this cake!!!

  5. Your cake looks so good, Renee! I love that it is skinny too!

  6. I love everything about this cake! Seriously, I want to dig right in! On my "to make" list!

  7. Gurrrl, this looks SO dang good! Skinny or not, I need this cake. --gorgeous photos too.

  8. I love the idea of using coconut milk in the place of oil!

  9. Oh my goodness, this looks incredible! I must try this!

  10. I want to eat the whole thing, but for when i’m trying to behave, how many servings does this make? It’s hard to follow the nutritional information you provided since i don’t know the serving size. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

    1. Hi thanks so much for your review. If you look at the top left hand side of the recipe card, you'll see it makes 16 servings. Hope this helps.


Thank you for visiting! Share what's on your mind and make my day! Make this recipe? I'd love to hear how it turned out for you! Share on social media with #RKArecipes