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If you love moist cakes and rich chocolate flavor, then you’ll love this chocolate poke cake recipe! It’s a box cake mix hack, so it’s a cinch to make, and it’s always a crowd-pleaser!

If you’re looking for an easy, delicious dessert, this chocolate poke cake is the perfect recipe for you! It really couldn’t be any simpler to make—all you have to do is bake a chocolate cake from your favorite box cake mix, then poke holes in it, top it with a ganache-like chocolate filling, and frost it!

top down view on chocolate poke cake served in a baking casserole dish and a serving on a white round plate with a fork

Classic Chocolate Poke Cake Recipe

A poke cake is a sheet cake that is filled with holes; these holes are used to soak up a filling. As the filling soaks into the cake, it infuses it with flavor and moisture, making it even more delicious than a regular cake. 

As you can imagine, chocolate poke cake is one of the most popular flavors, and for good reason: everyone loves chocolate!

The rich chocolate cake pairs perfectly with the decadent filling, creating a dessert that is truly irresistible. Because chocolate poke cake is incredibly easy to make, it’s ideal for parties and special occasions when you’re already busy enough with snacks, main dishes, and sides!

And of course, no chocolate poke cake is complete without a rich, creamy frosting. We whip up a creamy, dreamy homemade chocolate frosting, but you could also use a cream cheese frosting, store-bought frosting, homemade whipped cream, or even frozen whipped topping. Just don’t skip that sprinkle of mini chocolate chips on top! 

Whether you’re hosting a crowd or simply looking for a treat to share with your family, this chocolate poke cake is sure to please!

ingredients to make chocolate poke cake

Ingredients

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

For the cake:

  • Cooking spray
  • Cocoa powder – Use unsweetened cocoa powder, not hot chocolate mix.
  • Chocolate boxed cake mix –You’ll also need eggs, vegetable oil, and any other ingredients called for on the box. Chocolate cake or devil’s food cake both work for this chocolate poke cake recipe.
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Semisweet chocolate chips – Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave.

For the frosting:

  • Butter – I recommend using unsalted butter; if you use salted, omit the kosher salt.
  • Powdered sugar – Also known as confectioners’ sugar.
  • Cocoa powder
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Kosher salt
  • Heavy cream
  • Mini chocolate chips
steps to make chocolate poke cake

How to Make Chocolate Poke Cake

1. Prepare

Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease a 9×13″ baking pan with cooking spray or butter, then dust it with cocoa powder. Tap out any excess.

2. Make the Cake

Prepare the chocolate cake mix using the package directions. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let the cake cool completely before moving on to the next steps.

3. Poke the Cake

Use the end of a wooden spoon handle to poke holes all over the cake. 

4. Make the Filling

In a small or medium bowl, stir together the sweetened condensed milk and the melted chocolate. Pour this mixture over the cake, spreading it with a spatula so it fills all the holes you’ve made.

5. Make the Frosting

In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt. Beat in the heavy cream, adding additional cream by the tablespoon until the frosting is creamy, but can still hold peaks.

6. Frost the Cake

Use an offset spatula to spread the frosting onto the cake while it’s still in the pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the cake.

serving of chocolate poke cake served on a white round plate with a silver fork

How to Store Chocolate Poke Cake

Once you’ve made your poke cake, it’s important to store it properly so it stays fresh and delicious!

Poke cakes are best served cold or at room temperature. If you need to store your poke cake, you can keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you want to store it longer, you can freeze it for up to 2 months.

To thaw your frozen poke cake, place it in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours.

cross section of chocolate poke cake served in a baking dish

FAQ

What does poke cake mean?

Poke cake is a type of cake that involves baking a cake, making holes in it, then pouring a filling over the top, which fills in those holes. Poke cakes can be made with pudding mix, Jello, or other fillings; this chocolate poke cake recipe uses a ganache-like filling for decadent results!

What can I use to poke holes in cake?

The end of a wooden spoon is the most common method for poking holes in a poke cake, but a chopstick, stainless steel straw, or anything else can be used!

How do you make a box cake taste like a bakery cake?

I have lots of ideas for upgrading boxed cake mixes here on All Things Mamma, and making it into a poke cake is one of my favorites! This chocolate poke cake tastes like it was made from scratch, as do my Easter Poke Cake, Strawberry Jello Poke Cake, and Banana Pudding Poke Cake recipes.

How do you make boxed cake moist?

One of the reasons this chocolate poke cake is so good is because it’s incredibly moist. The secret? It’s the chocolate filling that’s spread all over the top so it seeps into the holes you make. This filling keeps your cake moist and tender, even when stored in the fridge!

Should poke cakes be refrigerated?

Yes, you’ll need to store your poke cake in the refrigerator. At room temperature, it will spoil more quickly.

More Recipes for Chocolate Lovers

Chocolate Poke Cake

If you love moist cakes and rich chocolate flavor, then you’ll love this chocolate poke cake recipe!
5 from 2 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Kasey Schwartz
Servings: 12
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients  

FOR THE CAKE

  • cooking spray
  • cocoa powder
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix plus ingredients called for on box
  • 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips melted

FOR THE FROSTING

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 2 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream plus more if necessary
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions 

  • Make cake: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9"-x-13" pan with cooking spray and dust with cocoa powder.
  • Prepare chocolate cake mix according to package directions and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely.
  • Poke cake all over with the handle of a wooden spoon. In a small bowl, mix together sweetened condensed milk and melted chocolate. Pour mixture into the holes.
  • Make frosting: In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt. Beat in heavy cream, adding more by the tablespoon until consistency is creamy but can hold peaks.
  • Spread frosting all over cake with an offset spatula and sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Nutrition

Calories: 425kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 307mg | Potassium: 371mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 98IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 4mg
Keyword: cake, chocolate cake, chocolate poke cake, poke cake
Did you make this recipe?Mention @kasey_allthingsmamma or tag #allthingsmamma!

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About Kasey Schwartz

Hi, I’m Kasey, Founder of All Things Mamma – where I am dishing up family favorite recipes that are easy to make with simple, everyday ingredients. Plus – tips and tricks for living your best life!

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