This weekend is Memorial Day here in Texas, but also my grandmother-in-law’s 89th birthday. She requested “bird’s nest cake” or “poke cake.” I wasn’t sure what bird’s nest cake was (later discovered it was hummingbird cake!) so poke cake it was. A poke cake is a cake where you pierce the top with a fork and then pour liquid on top of it for extra flavor or to make it very moist.
A lot of poke cake recipes seemed to just be normal cake with colorful juice or liquid poured on top, which didn’t sound very delicious. What is the best poke cake in the world? Tres leches.
Although it seems tres leches is most traditionally made with maraschino cherries on top, my favorite tres leches cake is from Chuy’s Restaurant in Houston, which puts strawberries on top. I love the fruit in combination with the very sweet cake, so I knew I wanted to put tons of fresh strawberries all over the top of mine.
The recipe I used makes a sponge cake, then of course you pour the three milk mixture (heavy cream, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk) over the top and let it soak in. Then all over the top spread whipped cream and whatever fruit.
The end result was much more like strawberry shortcake than I was expecting. I think I went a bit overboard on the strawberries! But while I don’t much like the cake in strawberry shortcake, this was excellent. Either way, a good dessert for a very hot Memorial Day starting off summer.