Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe!

Whenever we get around to it, we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake, a recipe Fred requested. It was originally posted here on Buzzfeed.

Robyn’s Take:

Fred spotted this recipe on Facebook a few weeks ago, and requested that I make it. I figured, since I was going to be making it anyway, why not ask Nance if she’d be willing to make it too, and kill two birds with one stone? She was up for it, so off to the grocery store I went.

I was immediately irritated by this recipe. Why buy a cake mix and then make half a cake? What the hell am I going to do with the other half of the cake mix? That is just sloppy and lazy and stupid recipe creation, if you ask me. So I trolled through the comments and decided that I’d just make the damn cake in a 9×13 pan. A lot of commenters (shut the fuck up, spellcheck, commenters IS SO a word) mentioned that there was way too much of the topping, so I decided not to double it (which was my first instinct), and I’d buy two containers of Cool Whip just in case.

Your ingredients:

Cake mix, graham crackers, strawberries, cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, milk, “whipping topping” (which we all know is Cool Whip).

Like all poke cake recipes, it starts with making the cake.


While the cake is mixing, spray your cake pan with cooking spray and then line the bottom with graham crackers, like so.


After the cake is done mixing, tell Betty Crocker to kiss your ass.


What is the point of making a cake if you can’t eat the batter? I’ll take the chances of salmonella poisoning, thank you very much.

Cake’s ready to bake!


While the cake is baking, cut the tops off your strawberries. I went one step further and cut the strawberries in half, because that’s the kind of exciting life I lead.


About ten minutes before the cake was done cooking, I figured I’d get the topping ready to go. Instead of following the original instructions, I thought I’d be smart and mix up the cream cheese, condensed milk and milk before adding the strawberries. A lot of people complained about not being able to get the topping completely smooth the way the recipe demanded, so for some reason I thought my way would work better.

It didn’t.

I ended up throwing all that shit in the blender and blending the hell out of it, and I think that’s what you should do, too. If you don’t have a blender, try a food processor, but I think a blender would be way better.

Hey! How about an affiliate link? This is the blender I have, a KitchenAid blender in red, and it kicks ass every time I use it.

This is what my topping looked like after I’d blended it to hell and back.


Yes, I took a sip and yes it was pretty damn good.

When the cake was done, I immediately poked holes in it with my wooden spoon.


Those holes are way bigger than I would ordinarily make in a poke cake – usually I’ll use a big fork. But I was (kind of) following instructions, so I did what the recipe said I should.

While the cake is still hot, you dump your topping as evenly over the top as possible while trying to take a picture with the other hand.


A lot of people in the comments to the original recipe bitched about how much topping there was, and I’m with them. I don’t have any idea how this much topping would have worked on a 9×9 size cake. It would have overflowed the pan, is what it would have done. As it was, I still ended up with about 1/2 a cup of topping I didn’t use. I mean, live your life how you want, but I wouldn’t recommend using the entire batch of topping.

At this point, Alice – who was trying to take a nap on top of the cupboards – woke up and gave me hell.

“JESUS CHRIST, lady! Trying to sleep here! Can you keep it DOWN?!”


Lucky for her, I was done with the loud portion of the cake-making.

This is what it looked like after I’d added all the topping I was going to add.


Though I was messing with my camera settings – it was a much paler pink than that in real life.

Once it cooled down a bit, I stuck it in the fridge until it cooled completely. You don’t want to put Cool Whip on a warm cake, or it’ll melt. IMPORTANT LIFE TIP FROM ROBYN right there.

This is what it looked like when it was cool.


Obviously, the topping kind of pooled around the edges, but that happens with pretty much any poke cake. I was very glad I hadn’t used the entire batch of topping.

And here it is after I put the Cool Whip on top.


Aren’t I fancy, with the swirls on top like that? The one 8 ounce container of Cool Whip was plenty. Again, I’m not sure what kind of drugs the original recipe maker was on.

Cool Whip will always and forever remind me of Fred’s nephew. At Thanksgiving one year, we were cutting the pumpkin pie, and someone brought out the can of Reddi-Wip. Fred made a joke about “Oh, the REAL whipped cream, we’re getting fancy this year!”, and his nephew informed us that Reddi-Wip was NOT real whipped cream, that REAL whipped cream came in a tub. Do we tease him about it every year? I think you know the answer to that.

Sprinkle crushed graham cracker crumbs on top, and serve.


The verdict? Fred really liked it a LOT, I thought it was okay. I think it actually would have been improved with real whipped cream (not the Reddi-Wip, the kind of whipped cream you make yourself with the heavy whipping cream and sugar and the bowl and beater straight from the freezer). (Yes, I know that Amanda is weeping happy tears and preparing me to welcome her back into the fold of pretentiousness. But Cool Whip has a plastic aftertaste to me, and real whipped cream is 1000% times better, so SHUT UP AMANDA, NO ONE ASKED YOU.)

Fred liked it so much that he asked me to make it again the following weekend, using cherries instead of strawberries. I did (used frozen cherries, thawed), and it was okay, but we both think the strawberry version is better.

Will I make it again? Yeah, when it’s requested. I’m not a huge fan of this cake, but I’ll eat a piece or two if it’s sitting around. It would be good at a cookout or large gathering, I think.

My other note: The second time around, I used a cake mix we had in the cupboard (Duncan Hines Classic Yellow, which is our favorite) instead of specifically buying a vanilla cake mix, and it was fine.



Nance’s Take:

Robyn’s husband, Fred, picked out this recipe for us to try. I am guilty of just looking at the picture and saying yes because damn, that cake looked good and I was hungry. But when it came time to make the damn cake I thought that maybe Fred was trolling us. Half a cake mix? WTF? Who does that shit and way to make it more complicated. I went and read all the comments to see how this worked and decided based on comments alone that I would make the cake a normal 9×13.  Robyn probably made it the right way.  She’s a rule follower, that one.  Me?  Rebel.  No half cake batters for this bitch.


As you can see, I felt that graham cracker placement was really important. Important enough to practice it before I did anything to the pan.


I decided to grease and flour this pain (a huge pain in the ass) because I didn’t want graham crackers sticking or any messes. Not that I know for a fact that they would stick. I have no idea what they would do because who bakes with graham crackers? Not me, that’s for damn sure.


The Big K stayed by my side the entire time. She loves being in the kitchen for obvious reasons. Unfortunately, there will be no pictures of her trying out this cake because she’s a bit of a hog and I have yet to be able to snap a photo of her actually eating anything. The food is there and then it is GONE. Her big mouth is faster than my trigger finger.


Separating egg whites is apparently something that I can’t do right even when I use an egg separator. I said fuck it (of course I did) and let the yolk in there. Fortunately, it wasn’t enough to change the color of my cake.


I just let the camera do its own thing which is why it’s focused on the beaters. This is the cake mix all ready to go.


Action shot of the cake mix going over the graham crackers. About those graham crackers…you don’t need them. In fact, they made the cake weird. You had this wonderful cake with filling, etc., and then you have a weird texture on the bottom. They don’t stay crunchy, they just get weird. Skip the graham cracker part altogether. Trust me.


Cake baked with holes poked in it.


I made an executive decision to not try and whisk motherfucking strawberries. Who has time for that shit? I got out my handy dandy chopper.


My camera once again focused on the wrong thing, but just pretend it’s an artsy photograph. At least my strawberries are chopped and ready to go.


Surprise addition to the DCEP family. This is Charley. She has a sister…


Clyde. I’m sure the girls will be seen on DCEP more often, but they haven’t really figured out the whole camera thing yet so I need to give them a minute.


The strawberries with the condensed milk and cream cheese added. I skipped the regular milk because this seemed pourable enough and I didn’t want it all runny and messy.


This is the last picture I have of this cake. The filling, poured over the top, reached the top of the pan. It was so high that I couldn’t add the whipped cream. I put it in the refrigerator and hoped that it would soak down in. It did fill the holes that I made, but never went down far enough for me to put whipped cream on it.  I should have taken the time to get the flour off of the rim of the cake pan, but I couldn’t be arsed.

We ate the shit out of this cake. No lie. Even without the whipped cream it was delicious. Rick was in Missouri so he didn’t get to try it, but my mom and I did it up. We tend not to eat real meals when he’s not around so trust me this cake made a fabulous breakfast, lunch and dinner. My only complaint, as seen above, was that stupid graham cracker bottom. I ate everything but the bottom of the cake because of the weird texture. Just skip the graham crackers and you’ll be fine.


Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe!
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Original Source/Author:
: Dessert
Cuisine: Is there any country on earth that does poke cakes except middle America? I think not
Serves: 12ish
  • 1 box cake mix (vanilla or yellow)
  • cooking spray
  • 1 pack of graham crackers
  • 1 pound strawberries with tops removed
  • 1 8-ounce block of cream cheese, softened
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 c. milk
  • 8 oz whipped topping
  • strawberries for garnish (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Make cake following the directions on the box.
  3. Spray a 9x13" baking pan with cooking spray.
  4. Line the bottom of the baking pan with graham crackers (breaking some, if necessary). Crush the remaining graham crackers into crumbs, and set aside.
  5. Pour the cake batter into the pan (gently, so as not to scatter your graham crackers), then bake following the times on the back of the box, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Using the end of a wooden spoon (or any large serving spoon), poke holes in the cake evenly over the cake.
  7. In a blender (preferred) or food processor, blend strawberries, cream cheese, condensed milk, and milk until smooth. (You could also do this by hand, but you're not going to get as smooth a result.)
  8. Pour the mixture evenly over the cake while the cake is still hot. I don't recommend using the entire batch of topping (I end up with about ½ - 1 c. left over), but you make your own decision.
  9. Cool the cake - first on the counter and then in the fridge - until completely cool.
  10. Spread whipped topping on top.
  11. Chill cake for a few hours, or overnight (the longer it cools, the better).
  12. Sprinkle crushed graham crackers on top, slice, and serve.


Amish Sugar Cookies – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe!

Whenever we get around to it, we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Amish Sugar Cookies, a recipe that popped up in Nance’s Facebook sidebar; it was originally published on Taste of Home.

Robyn’s Take:

We’re baaaaaaaaaaack, bitches!

Well, kinda. We’ve only been talking about doing sporadic posts for about a year now. Finally, we got our asses in gear, and went for it. I don’t even remember the last tandem post we did. If only there was a way to find out. Unfortunately, no. I guess it’s going to remain a mystery FOREVER.

(One of my thousand and forty-eight peeves: when you post something and someone comes along and says “What’s a (whatever)?” WELL YOU ARE ON THE INTERNET MOTHERFUCKER, HOW’S ABOUT YOU LOOK IT UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUP.)

Damn, two years. And that was the Pistachio Cake that I don’t even remember making. You guys have no idea how many times I’ve looked for a recipe here, stumbled across another one that we made, have ZERO recollection of ever making it, and I have to read the post to see if I liked it. On the other end of the spectrum, there are recipes like the McDonald’s Cheeseburger Casserole that we eat pretty regularly.

So anyway, we’re back. We’re planning, at this point, to do a post about once a month.

Since last Nance and I posted, Fred and I have lost a 5 cats (Corbie, Miz Poo, Sugarbutt, Tommy and Stinkerbelle – except for Miz Poo, their losses were completely unexpected), as well as our chicken guardian Gracie. 2015 was absolutely awful, to say the least.

We’re still fostering kittens. Currently, we have six kittens who are almost three months old. They’ve got the run of the house during the day, and if you ever wondered what it would be like to have your EVERY SINGLE MOVE judged and found wanting, let me tell you – it is alternately fun as hell and annoying as shit. If I need to get something out of the refrigerator, I have to sneak into the kitchen, grab what I need, and slam the door shut before the kittens figure out what’s going on. On the other end of the spectrum, I have kissed every one of those kittens at least 7,000 times, so it all works out.

Four of them are going to their homes on the 28th. Do you live in North Alabama? Want a couple of cuties? Chanandler Bong and Ken Adams are still available and need a home! This is what they look like. They are 63 times cuter in person. Chanandler’s the girl on the left, Ken’s the kitten with the Moe Howard hairdo on the right.

DCEP-Amish Sugar Cookies11

Okay, on to the recipe! Like I said up there, this recipe for Amish Sugar Cookies popped up on Facebook for Nance, and she asked if I wanted to give it a try. Of course I was willing, so here we are.

The ingredientses:

DCEP-Amish Sugar Cookies 01

Softened butter, vegetable oil, sugar, confectioner’s sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar.

That picture reminds me – the other thing that has changed in the past couple of years is that we got new counters and a white cast-iron sink. The cheap white counters that were here when we bought the house always got on my nerves, but it took 8 years for me to get Fred on board with the idea of new counters. I like these counters better, though with them being so dark, it’s sometimes hard to tell when the ant infestation (which happens every spring) is happening.

Step one in making these cookies – put the butter and oil in your mixing bowl. Add your sugars.

DCEP-Amish Sugar Cookies02DCEP-Amish Sugar Cookies03

Beat that shit together.

DCEP-Amish Sugar Cookies04

Toss in your eggs one at a time and beat until well blended. Action shot!

DCEP-Amish Sugar Cookies05

Combine your dry ingredients, then add them to the creamed mixture. You could do it gradually, but I like to like life to the fullest and just toss everything in there at once.

“BUT WAIT!” you are saying. “ROBYN, WAIT! How, oh HOW, do you stop the flour from flying all over the place? Do you buy one of those pouring shields? TELL ME YOUR SECRET, WISE ONE!”

To this I say, Yes. Yes, you could buy one of those pouring shields, and in fact I HAVE one of them. It works really well – however, it lives up in the cupboard behind a ton of crap, and it’s a huge pain to find and pull out. And then I have to wash it afterward! Instead of doing all that, what I do is wrap a dish towel around the bowl, like such:

DCEP-Amish Sugar Cookies06

It stops the flour from flying out of the bowl, any residual flour that lands on the dish towel can be shaken off, and then you’re good to go.

Now, listen. You strike me as a bit of a klutz, so it is POSSIBLE that you might accidentally hold the towel so that it gets mixed up with the beater and gets pulled into the bowl. I, myself, have never done that, but that’s because I am careful. So you be careful too – and don’t blame me if you fuck it all up. That’s on YOU.

Once everything’s mixed together, drop the dough onto your baking sheets in 1 teaspoon scoops, and bake ’til lightly browned.

DCEP-Amish Sugar Cookies07

I determined pretty quickly that if I made these cookies as small as the recipe called for I was going to be there all friggin’ day, so I did half the batch with my teaspoon sized scoop, and the other half with my tablespoon sized scoop. And yes, shut up, I DO have two instruments that are used solely for scooping cookie dough. What of it?

DCEP-Amish Sugar Cookies09

While the cookies baked and cooled, there was drama in the middle of the kitchen floor.

DCEP-Amish Sugar Cookies12

When there are kittens around, there’s always SO much drama. Stefan (the big lunk of orange there on the right) would love to play with the kittens. However, he has no idea that he’s six times bigger than they are, so he lunges at them like a puppy, and they react by hissing and falling backward out of their Chewy box. As you do. The drama queen in question this time around is Susie, who has been adopted and will be going home this weekend. God, I love a drama queen kitten.

DCEP-Amish Sugar Cookies13
“After all that drama, Chef Susie need a nap. You go ‘way and be quiet, now.”

So, the cookies.

DCEP-Amish Sugar Cookies10

The verdict? Meh. You’d think cookies containing that much butter, oil, and two different kinds of sugar would be irresistible. However, while they were kind of tasty – and I certainly ate plenty of them – I cannot ever imagine someone saying “Oh, bring those fabulous Amish Sugar Cookies to the party. They’re SO GOOD!” I’d eat them if they were in front of me, but I’d never ever request them, and I don’t plan to make them again. That said, Fred did suggest that I freeze the leftovers. Here in this house, we always have cookies in the freezer, usually my favorite Cannoli cookies. They’re the last-ditch “There is nothing sweet in this house, I NEED SOMETHING SWEET!” snack food. It takes about 6 months for us to eat a whole batch of cookies (it is really unusual for us not to have anything sweet in the house because we both have huge sweet tooths. Sweet teeth? You know what I mean.) I’ll be curious to see how long it takes us to get desperate enough to pull these cookies out of the freezer.

I liked the bigger cookies, because they were a little soft in the middle. Fred preferred the smaller ones, because they were firm all the way through. You do what you want; we won’t judge you.

I mean, obviously we WILL judge you, but you shouldn’t care what we think. You do you!

Nance’s Take:

What you’ve missed since we’ve been gone…

Sadly, we lost The Beagle, Sadie and Waldo in the past 12 months.  

My son, Alex, got married and we did the entire wedding at our house.  Robyn came up to help (she was an invited guest, but I put her ass to work in the kitchen) so she was able to see firsthand the insanity that is a Western Pennsylvania wedding (major amounts of real food along with a Pittsburgh cookie table, popcorn, and a nacho bar).  Since we were on a tight budget a lot of the food was made in-house and it took a lot of hands to make it happen.  Which is probably why it’s been so long since we got back to DCEP.  That wedding really took it out of us!

I came across this recipe on my Facebook wall and asked Robyn if she would be interested in doing it for DCEP. She stupidly agreed so here we are!


When Julie comes around it involves 1 of 3 things…butter, frosting or Doritos®.  Today’s main ingredient was butter and she is all about that shit!

After making all kinds of fancy cookies for the wedding I completely lost interest in cookies (Christmas was a bummer this year because we were so not into baking).  This recipe caught my eye because it was plain.  Sometimes I like a plain, simple cookie.  Nothing fancy, no fillings, no frostings, no chocolate chips.  And I love an Amish sugar cookie.

IMG_0551 copy

In late October we welcomed a puppy into our lives.  Her name is Krissie and she’s an English Mastiff.  Which means she’s going to be really big.


She currently weighs 102 lbs at 8 months old.  She will definitely be an official taster for DCEP because she loves food. And this is where I recommend to everyone that they not purchase a dark brown rug for the kitchen hallway.  What a pain in the ass it is to keep clean!


I don’t know that much about Amish people, but I’m pretty sure that they don’t use vegetable oil in their cookies. Unless you pretend that melted lard is vegetable oil. I’m gonna go ahead and call bullshit on this being an actual Amish recipe.  I wonder how the Amish make powder sugar.  If anybody knows, pop the answer in the comment section.


I am so fancy that I get my vanilla from Mexico. Or I’m not that fancy and I just happen to love Mexican vanilla. It all started when Rick had to go there for work and brought me a bottle back.  This last bottle came from when the kids had their honeymoon in Mexico. I love Mexican vanilla.


I love it so much that I got a tattoo of the Mexican orchid on my arm (with a couple of helpful reminder words for this ADD brain of mine). Now that’s called dedication!  


Here’s my perfectly shaped cookie dough that I got by using my fancypants cookie scoop.  I made the wise decision to buy commercial baking sheets a while back and I have yet to regret it.  I use these things for everything (baking chicken, cookies, etc.) and they really take a beating.


Amish cookies served on Polish pottery.  There’s a joke in there somewhere, but I wasn’t finding it.


These cookies got a lot of rave reviews on the web site.


Krissie gave the cookies two paws up, but I was not impressed.  They kind of tasted too flour-y for me to really enjoy.  I’m going to stick with my old sugar cookie recipe that takes sour cream since I know that one turns out every time.


Amish Sugar Cookies - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe!
Amish sugar cookies. LIKE THE TITLE SAYS
Original Source/Author:
: Cookie
Cuisine: Amish?
  • 1 c. softened butter
  • 1 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 c. confectioner's sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4½ c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, oil and sugars.
  3. Add eggs one at a time and beat until well blended.
  4. Mix in vanilla.
  5. Stir flour, baking soda and cream of tartar together in a separate bowl. Add gradually (or all at once, it's up to you) to the creamed mix.
  6. Drop by small teaspoonsful onto ungreased (or parchment paper-covered) baking sheets. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
  7. Note: If you don't have all day to scoop out cookie dough, use a larger cookie scoop and cook for a minute or two longer (just keep an eye on the cookies and take them out when they're lightly browned).


Oatmeal Lace Cookies

Rick (aka: the husband) likes thin and chewy oatmeal cookies and the only ones I know how to make are too fluffy for him.  Truth game:  My oatmeal cookies are thin and crisp.  The husband is obviously smoking the wacky weed.  

Because I am a good wife I try to find recipes that will make my man happy.  I snorted at this and then realized that this was how I found the recipe below and I need to shut my piehole because it appears that I have some kind of Stepford situation going on.  Or, it could be that I’m just a considerate and kind person (shut-up, it could happen).

I googled around and found this recipe.  I tried it based solely on the photo of the finished product that was on the site.  Oatmeal Lace – there’s no way to lose.  Those fuckers have got to be thin enough for the husband.

This is not your one bowl type of cookie, but it’s not hard to make either.  I just measured out my dry ingredients so that I was ready for the whole shebang to happen.

Oatmeal Lace Cookies

Here’s a really bad picture of the dry ingredients.  Seems like old times, no?

Oatmeal Lace Cookies

Waldo helped out by laying in the middle of the kitchen floor for his nap. Oatmeal Lace Cookies

The butter and brown sugar goes in a saucepan and after the mixture has been cooked smooth, you add the rest of the ingredients. It reminds me of making no-bake cookies except you bake these. No shit, Nance.

Oatmeal Lace Cookies

I scooped them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. If you don’t have a cookie scoop you’re not really happy. I went years without one then one day I broke down and got one. I will never make another cookie without it. It’s that nice. But I cringe every time I use parchment paper because it cost real money and I’m just going to throw it away. Robyn uses fancypants parchment paper sheets. I don’t know why I care because I sure as hell don’t mind rolling the hell out of the aluminum foil. Maybe I’m a tree-hugger and just don’t know it.  Maybe I secretly hate metal.  Maybe I’m just a nutbag with issues about particular things.  I think the last one is it.   Oatmeal Lace Cookies

Then I baked them until they were golden brown.  I showed my filthy oven because I want Amanda to appreciate the fact that I cook like a degenerate.  Some of us are not as precious as she surely is.  Sigh.

Oatmeal Lace Cookies

This is what I ended up with. My mom (Shirley) and I did not like them. Rick loved them. Too bad he’s never getting them again because I sure as hell am not making something I don’t like.  I have no idea if you’ll like them or not.

Try this recipe at your own risk.

Oatmeal Lace Cookies
Original Source/Author:
: Cookie
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 2¼ cups light brown sugar
  • 2¼ cups rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat Oven to 375 degrees Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside
  2. Heat Butter and brown sugar in a 2-qt saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently until butter is melted and mixture is smooth
  3. Stir in oats, flour, salt, egg, and vanilla
  4. Drop cookie batter by the teaspoon on baking sheets, leaving 2" between to allow for spread
  5. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown
  6. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 30 seconds before removing to racks.