Pumpkin Spice Poke Cake

Serves 18-24. Recipe is from “The Poke Cake Cookbook” by Jamie Sherman, Page Street Publishing Co. 2017. Sherman says, “This seasonal cake is perfect for fall — it just might be better than pumpkin pie! The spice cake is poked with pumpkin spice pudding and topped off with a creamy whipped topping. Pumpkin candies garnish the cake.”

1 (15.25-ounce) box spice cake mix

1 (15-ounce) can 100 percent pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

3 large eggs

2 (3.4-ounce) packages pumpkin spice instant pudding mix

4 cups milk

1 (8-ounce) tub whipped topping, thawed

Mellowcreme Pumpkin candies

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 13-by-9-inch cake pan with cooking spray and set aside.

2. Beat the cake mix, pumpkin and eggs in a large bowl until combinedm well. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Using the round end of a wooden spoon, poke holes in the cake every ½ inch to 1 inch.

3. Empty the pudding mix into a medium-sized bowl and add the milk. Whisk briskly for 2 minutes or until the pudding is dissolved. Evenly pour over the poked cake, filling the holes as much as possible. Place the covered cake in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours or until the pudding is set.

4. Spread the whipped topping over the top of the cake. Garnish with Mellowcreme Pumpkins. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

5. Store covered in the refrigerator.