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Chocolate Poke Cake

Chocolate Poke Cake is a delicious recipe that is super easy to make and turns out moist every time. Poke cake can be made in a lot of different ways, and this time I used pudding to fill the holes, making this a rich and decadent dessert. 

Picture of cake on a plate


There are a lot of cakes out there, but poke cake brings on a whole new meaning. The possibilities are endless. You can pour sweetened condensed milk, chocolate syrup, or any type of pudding or frosting into the holes in the cake for an added treat. 

I started out with a boxed cake mix. You can make a cake from scratch, but sometimes it’s just easier to grab the box and whip up the recipe. I used a Devil’s Food Cake box mix, but you can use any kind that you’d like. 


Picture of chocolate cake


Poke cakes have been making a comeback for a while now. A friend of mine told me that her grandmother used to make them all the time when she was a child, which of course brings back so many good memories. 

Pin the recipe for later. 

You can use the backside of a wooden spoon or something large enough to poke holes that will allow pudding or frosting to slide down the holes. I used a large plastic straw for the job and it worked great. 

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To Make the Chocolate Poke Cake You Will Need the Following Items:

  • Boxed cake mix
  • Eggs
  • Vegetable oil
  • Instant pudding
  • Chocolate chips
  • Butter
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Vanilla
  • Heavy Cream
  • Large mixing bowl
  • 13″ x 9″ baking dish
  • Non-stick spray
  • Spatula
  • Hand mixer

Recipe and Printable Instructions Listed Below

Cake Mix

Picture of boxed cake mix powder

In a large bowl, add the boxed cake mix, eggs, water, and vegetable oil. I used the Betty Crocker Devil’s Food Cake Mix. I knew it was going to be rich and moist. 


Picture of cake mix in a bowl

Mix everything together according to the box. I mixed the ingredients for over a minute to make sure everything was smooth and without any lumps. 


Picture of cake pan with flour

Grease and flour the 13″ x 9″ cake pan. I used a glass pan and floured it with regular all-purpose flour. But, if you don’t want the white on the sides of the cake when you serve it, you can dust the sides with a little bit of cocoa powder.


Picture of cake in a dish

Next, pour the cake batter into a 13″ x 9″ dish. 

Bake the cake according to the directions. Once it’s finished baking, allow it to cool before poking the holes. 


Picture of poke cake

Poke the holes in the cake after it cools. There’s really no rhyme or reason to where you poke the holes. I just started poking and left them about one to two-inches apart.

The back of my wooden spoon was sort of oblong and would have made the holes too big, so the straw did a great job.

Instant Pudding

Picture of instant pudding

Add the instant pudding to the bowl. I ended up buying too large of an instant pudding container. You really only need the 3.9 oz box and you will still probably have a little bit left over after you spread it on the cake and into the holes. 


Picture of milk and instant pudding in a bowl

Pour the milk into the bowl and mix with the pudding until it thickens. I usually mix with a hand mixer for about two minutes. Normally, I allow the pudding to thicken a little more, but you’ll want to spread it onto the cake while it’s still somewhat liquidy. That way, the liquid pudding will slide into the holes easier. 


Picture of cake

Next, spread the pudding on top of the cake. Take your spatula and keep spreading it around, gently pushing the pudding into the holes. You will see after a minute or so that the pudding is going down into the holes.

You can see in the image above that the pudding will fill up the holes and then you’ll want to scrape the pudding off of the top so the frosting will adhere well to the top of the cake. 


Picture of butter in a bowl

I am going to go on record as saying that when you start a recipe with butter, it’s going to be good. But, two sticks of butter, and…doubly good. 

As always, I am the queen of forgetting to set things out on the counter to soften. If you are like me and forget, just stick the butter in the microwave on 50-percent and microwave for about 10 seconds at a time until it’s softened up. 


Picture of butter and powdered sugar

Add the powdered sugar to the bowl. 


Picture of frosting ingredients

Next, you’re going to add the heavy cream, vanilla, and cocoa to the bowl. Mix everything together until it’s smooth. 


Picture of frosting.

If the frosting is too thick, just add a little more heavy cream to thin it out some. I didn’t want the frosting to be so thick that it tore the cake when I tried to spread it on. I thinned it a little so it would spread super easily. Plus, you’re going to refrigerate the cake, so the frosting will thicken up again. 


Picture of frosting on a cake.

Finally, spread the chocolate frosting on top of the cake. 


Picture of chocolate chips

I added some chocolate chips to the top of the cake. I didn’t have any mini chips, so I chopped up some regular semi-sweet chocolate chips in my chopper and sprinkled them on top of the cake. I’m not sure I did the best chopping job, but they were good, none-the-less. 

Chocolate Poke Cake

Picture of cake on a plate


Picture of cake

This is one of my favorite cake recipes because it really is so easy to make. When you make the easy cake recipe is will feed about 16 people. It’s perfect for potlucks, dinner or birthday parties, office gatherings, or any time you need a cake. 


Picture of chocolate cake


Do you get intimidated by baking?


Yield: 16 pieces

Chocolate Poke Cake

Picture of chocolate cake

Chocolate Poke Cake is a delicious recipe that is super easy to make and turns out moist every time. Poke cake can be made in a lot of different ways, and this time I used pudding to fill the holes, making this a rich and decadent dessert. 

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes



  • 15.25 oz. Betty Crocker Devil's Food Cake Mix
  • 1-1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs

Chocolate Instant Pudding

  • 3.9 oz. Jell-O Instant Pudding
  • 2 cups cold milk

Chocolate Frosting

  • 2 sticks butter (softened)
  • 2-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (add more if needed)


Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Grease and flour 13" x 9" baking dish.


  1. Add the cake mix, water, vegetable oil, and eggs to a large bowl. Mix together until well blended. Pour into the greased and floured baking dish.
  2. Bake for 32-35 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.
  3. Allow to cool.
  4. Once the cake cools, poke holes throughout.

Instant Pudding

  1. Add the Jell-O Instant Pudding to a bowl.
  2. Pour the cold milk over the pudding and mix for two minutes.
  3. Spread the pudding over the cake with a spatula, gently working down into the holes. Gently scrape off any extra pudding.

Chocolate Frosting

  1. Add the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and heavy cream to a large bowl.
  2. Mix together until well blended. Add more cream if needed.
  3. Spread on the cake.

Optional: Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top


Refrigerate cake

Nutrition Information:


16 pieces

Serving Size:

1 piece

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 303Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 167mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 3g

Nutrition is approximate.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

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For more delicious recipes check out  Southern Plate , Julia’s Simply Southern, Southern Home Express, and South Your Mouth

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Wednesday 17th of April 2019

I love chocolate and this cake looks so yummy. Pinned to make. Congrats, you are being featured at Thursday Favorite Things. Hugs, Bev

Julie Pollitt

Friday 19th of April 2019

Awesome! Thank you so much!!


Wednesday 17th of April 2019

Congratulations! Your post was my feature pick at #ThursdayFavoriteThings this week. Visit me at on thursday morning to see your feature! All hosts choose their own features from the comments left on their blog so be sure to return to my blog to see your feature. I invite you to leave more links to be shared and commented upon. Please don’t forget to add your link numbers or post title so we can be sure to visit!

Julie Pollitt

Friday 19th of April 2019

Hi Marilyn! Thanks so much! I am very excited!!