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Chocolate Poke Cake

I make this decadent, dreamy chocolate poke cake a dozen or more times a year.

It’s just so moist and fudgy with lashings of luxurious chocolate pudding – I simply can’t resist.

Finished with chocolate whipped topping and chocolate chips, it’s a chocolate lover’s dream come true!

Sweet homemade chocolate poke cake topped with chocolate chips
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Why You’ll Love This Chocolate Poke Cake

Full disclosure, you’ll see the word “chocolate” a lot in this post. So, I hope you have something sweet on hand to curb the cravings.

Or, you know, head to the kitchen and make this triple chocolate poke cake!

Here’s why you’ll go gaga over it:

Decadent Chocolate Flavor. Between the chocolate sponge, chocolate pudding, chocolate topping, and chocolate chips, this poke cake recipe is as rich as it gets.

Easy to Make. If you can make a boxed cake mix, you can make this chocolate poke cake. Just bake the cake, poke the holes, pour the pudding, and add whipped cream. It’s quick, easy, and insanely delicious.

Customizable. Changing the flavors to make it your own is so easy. So feel free to swap out the sponge or pudding to make it different.


Like any good cake mix dessert, this only calls for a few pantry staples.

You’ll find more details at the bottom of the post. Until then, here’s a quick rundown of the ingredients:

  • Chocolate Cake Mix: You’ll need your go-to box of chocolate cake mix plus the ingredients listed on the box. Since this recipe gets a chocolate pudding treatment, the brand of cake mix isn’t super important.
  • Milk Chocolate Chips: You’ll fold the chips into the cake mix, so it comes out gooey even without the pudding.
  • Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix and Milk: Say hello to your secret ingredient. Pour this over the warm cake, and it’ll seep into the sponge, making it impossibly moist and fudgy.
  • Chocolate Topping: What cake is complete without something on top? You’ll make a yummy, light blend of whipped topping, cocoa powder, and vanilla.
  • Optional Toppings: You can finish this cake with whipped cream and call it a day, Or garnish it with more chocolate chips, sprinkles, chocolate sauce, or mini marshmallows – the sky’s the limit.
Creamy and decadent chocolate poke cake topped with chocolate chips

How to Make Chocolate Poke Cake

If you can follow the directions on a box of cake mix, you have all the skills needed for this recipe!

Check out how easily this cake comes together:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and grease a 9×13 baking pan.

2. Make and bake the cake. Follow the instructions on the back of the box, but don’t forget to stir in the chocolate chips. Bake until fluffy.

3. Make and pour the pudding. Make it while the cake bakes, then pour it over the hot cake after poking holes all over the surface.

4. Cool, then cover. Let the cake cool to room temperature. Then, cover it with plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

5. Make the whipped topping. Do this after the cake has chilled. Just mix the whipped topping, cocoa powder, and vanilla until smooth.

6. Frost and serve. Spread the whipped topping evenly over the cooled cake. Then slice, serve, and enjoy!

A piece of chocolate poke cake topped with chocolate chips on a white plate

Recipe Tips and Variations

While this recipe is simple, there are a few things to keep in mind. So, here are some quick tips and tasty variations:

  • Poke shallow holes. Use a skewer or the end of a wooden spoon, but don’t poke all the way through. Stop before you hit the baking dish; otherwise, the pudding might pool under the sponge.
  • Check the cake early. The box I used needed 30 minutes, but that can differ by brand. So be sure to check it after 20-25 minutes.
  • Give it time to set. The cake should be chilled in the fridge for at least 2 hours before frosting. This gives plenty of time for the pudding to set and all the flavors to fuse.
  • Try sweetened condensed milk. Melt (one 14-ounce can) condensed milk with (1 cup) chocolate chips in the microwave until smooth. Stir in (1/2 cup) milk, then pour it over the cake.
  • Flavored pudding. Chocolate pudding makes this cake oh-so-chocolatey. But feel free to experiment with different flavors, like pistachio, vanilla, strawberry, coconut, or cheesecake.

How to Store and Freeze

The great thing about this make-ahead dessert recipe is that it stores well in the fridge and the freezer!

Here’s everything you need to know:

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To Make Ahead: Make and bake the cake, and pour the pudding over the top. Let it cool, then wrap and refrigerate for up to 5 days. When ready to eat, make the whipped topping fresh and serve.

To Store: Tightly wrap the cooled cake with the topping in plastic wrap, and pop it in the fridge. It will stay fresh for up to 2-3 days.

To Freeze: Wrap the cake (baking pan and all) in two layers of plastic wrap, and finish with a layer of aluminum foil. It will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 2 months. When ready to eat, allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight.

Note: I don’t recommend making the topping ahead. Whipped topping should be okay for a few days, but it might start to melt/weep.

And since it’s so easy to make, it’s best to mix it just before serving.

More Poke Cake Recipes

Holy Cow Cake Recipe
Lemon Poke Cake With Lemon Glaze
Banana Pudding Poke Cake
Better Than Sex Cake
Do Nothing Cake

Chocolate Poke Cake

Course: Recipes, DessertCuisine: American


Prep time


Cooking time


Chill Time



Chocolate poke cake is insanely moist, chocolate, and super simple. It’s the perfect sweet treat to calm those chocolate cravings.


  • 1 (15.25 ounce) box chocolate cake mix, plus ingredients listed on the box (water, vegetable oil, eggs)

  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

  • 2 (4 ounce) packets instant chocolate pudding mix

  • 3 cups milk

  • 1 (8 ounce) container whipped topping, thawed

  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips for garnish, optional


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175°C) and grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. If desired, add a layer of parchment to the bottom.
  • Make the cake batter per the box instructions and stir in the milk chocolate chips. Pour it into the baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • While the cake bakes, prepare the pudding. In a medium bowl, whisk the pudding mixes and milk until smooth. Cover and set aside.
  • When the cake is ready, take it out of the oven and let cool for 2-3 minutes. Then, poke holes all over the surface with the handle of a wooden spoon (being careful not to poke all the way through to the baking dish).
  • Slowly pour the pudding mixture over the cake and spread it even with a spatula. Gently lift and tap the dish on the counter to help it settle.
  • Let the cake cool completely at room temperature. Then, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • When the cake is cold, prepare the topping. In a clean bowl, whisk the whipped topping with the cocoa powder, and vanilla extract until combined.
  • Spread the whipped topping evenly over the chilled cake. Top with semi-sweet chocolate chips, serve and enjoy!


  • Bake times and additional ingredients may vary, depending on the brand of cake mix.
  • Get creative with the toppings! Try chopped nuts, sprinkles, or even crushed cookies.
  • To feed a crowd: double the recipe, use two 9×13-inch pans, and adjust the baking time by 2-3 minutes, as needed.
Triple Chocolate Poke Cake (Easy Recipe)

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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