Kung Pao Chicken

Poke cakes are some of the best desserts to feed a crowd. There’s no icing, you don’t need a special pan, and they always turn out moist and flavorful thanks to the liquid that you pour over the cake after poking some holes in it. This particular poke cake has one of my all time favorite flavors in it: butterscotch. Then the whole thing is topped with toffee- another fave. It doesn’t get any better than this toffee butterscotch poke cake.

When I went to the grocery to get the ingredients my heart sank a bit when I got to the toppings section. They were out of my usual butterscotch sundae syrup. I had 2 choices, one was artificially flavored which I don’t love. So I got the only other option which was a bourbon butterscotch topping.

I honestly didn’t think I was going to enjoy it as much as I did. But, I actually liked even more than the other kind I normally buy! If you want to add some depth and pizazz to this (already) incredible cake, then this is the way to do it. This happy fluke turned out to be a wonderful addition to this recipe for me. If you have the option at your supermarket for bourbon butterscotch syrup I highly recommend this substitution.


The base of the cake is a simple yellow box cake mix. After baking use a thick wooden spoon to poke a bunch of holes in the cake. You can also use the thick end of some wooden chopsticks. Either way, you need to make a lot of these holes. When you think you’re done add some more.

Then you pour a mixture of butterscotch topping and sweetened condensed milk over the top while it’s still warm. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and top with Cool Whip, toffee pieces, and chopped, honey roasted nuts. It’s an out-of-this world dessert that makes a hefty number of servings and comes together with only a few steps. It’s now one of my favorites and it’s so easy to make!




  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken skinless boneless chicken breasts or thighs cut in bite size pieces
  •  2 tablespoons sherry
  •  2 tablespoons soy sauce
  •  1 tablespoon corn starch
  •  2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  •  1 red pepper diced
  •  1 green pepper diced
  •  3 cloves garlic minced
  •  6 scallions cut in 1 inch pieces
  •  1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
  •  6-8 dried chilies cut in half


  •  2 tablespoons soy sauce
  •  1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  •  1 teaspoon sesame oil
  •  2 teaspoons brown sugar
  •  1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  •  1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
  •  1 teaspoon sriracha or sambal oelek
  •  1 tablespoon cornstarch




In large Ziploc bag combine cut chicken, sherry, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and cornstarch. Allow to sit for 30 minutes.

Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to large skillet or wok and heat over high heat almost to smoking point. Remove chicken from Ziploc bag with tongs so excess liquid drains off and add chicken and cook until golden brown stirring frequently. If chicken is too crowded in pan work in small batches. Remove chicken to plate.

Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to same large skillet or wok and heat over high heat almost to smoking point.  red and green peppers and cook until crisp tender: about 3-4 minutes stirring frequently.  scallions, peanuts, and dried chilies and cook for 1 minute. Reduce heat to low. Add the minced garlic cooking for 1 minute and stirring constantly. Remove to plate.

In small bowl whisk together 2 tablespoons soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, chicken broth, sriracha and cornstarch. Cook in same skillet or wok over low heat until slightly thickened.

Return chicken and vegetables to skillet or wok and warm for 1-3 minutes.


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