Chocolate Poke Cake

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Chocolate Poke Cake is soaked in a sweet, rich filling and topped with thick whipped pudding frosting. Throw together this chocolate poke cake recipe for an impressive last minute dessert! 

titled: Chocolate Poke Cake


Chocolate Poke Cake

Some of my favorite desserts start with chocolate cake mix recipes, and this one is no exception!

With a few extra additions and some pantry staples, you can easily create a drool-worthy chocolate pudding poke cake in under an hour.

In fact, you may already have all of the ingredients right at home!

If you love chocolate poke cake, be sure to try my Reese’s peanut butter and marshmallow smores poke cake recipes.

For something with a lighter flavor, how about a lemon blueberry cake? It’s bursting with fresh citrus flavor!

I also have pudding poke cake recipes like chocolate mint and caramel apple that double as holiday desserts!

ingredients for cake mix poke cake

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Boxed Cake Mix – I used Betty Crocker’s Fudge mix, one of my favorites for chocolate cake mix recipes.

    That said, most standard chocolate mixes should work as well. Or, use your favorite homemade recipe as long as it makes the same amount.
  • Sour Cream – Plain yogurt is a great alternative in this chocolate poke cake recipe, and Greek versions are the closest in texture.
  • Oil – Feel free to substitute canola for the vegetable oil if needed.
  • Chocolate Syrup – Either homemade or store bought is fine, as long as it is the thinner version and not thick hot fudge.
  • Pudding Mix – Check the label closely to be sure it reads Instant, otherwise the pudding frosting won’t set up correctly.
chocolate cake batter spread into metal pan

Topping Ideas for Chocolate Pudding Poke Cake

While chocolate poke cake is certainly delicious as is, you can’t go wrong with a little something extra on top!

Sprinkles will create a colorful display, and a drizzle of caramel makes it more interesting.

Fresh fruits like berries, cherries, and bananas add an extra punch of sweetness and can help balance the rich flavors in each bite.

Or, chop up a variety of candy bars and sprinkle them over the top to make this chocolate pudding poke cake extra indulgent.

baked chocolate cake in metal pan

Chocolate Poke Cake Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Use room temperature ingredients.

Let the milk, eggs, and sour cream rest on the counter for 30 to 45 minutes before you get started.

This ensures even mixing and helps to keep the dessert moist and delicious.

  • Want larger holes?

Swap the fork for a large straw or the rounded end of a sturdy wooden spoon.

  • Chill right away.

Chocolate poke cake should be refrigerated within 2 hours or the frosting can get really dark and dense.

Wrap leftovers with foil or plastic wrap and enjoy within 4 days for best results.

pouring flavored condensed milk over poke cake

Chocolate Cake Mix Recipes FAQ

Does adding milk to cake mix make it better?

YES!! Milk adds flavor and extra fat, making your cakes turn out more dense and tender.

Try it in place of water in your favorite recipes — including the one on the box.

Can I make pudding poke cake ahead of time?

I recommend whipping up the pudding frosting just before serving, but you can bake and soak the cake up to one day in advance.

What can I use in place of sweetened condensed milk?

Cream of coconut is a nice option. It will give you a little coconut flavor — yum!

Evaporated milk can also be used in a pinch. It won’t have the same sweet, caramelized flavor, but the consistency is similar and will soak into the holes nicely.

chocolate pudding frosting spread over cake

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closeup: slice of chocolate poke cake topped with sprinkles

frosting chocolate cake with sprinkles

Chocolate Poke Cake

Donna Elick
Chocolate Poke Cake is soaked in a rich filling and topped with pudding frosting. Throw it together for an impressive last minute dessert!
5 stars from 2 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Method Oven
Servings 12 slices


  • 1 16 ounce box of chocolate cake mix
  • 1 3 ounce package of chocolate fudge instant pudding, dry
  • 5 ounces sour cream
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt



  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup chocolate fudge instant pudding mix


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9×13 cake pan, set aside.
  • Mix together all ingredients until fully combined and transfer to the prepared cake pan. The batter will be thick and you will need to use a rubber spatula to spread it out.
  • Bake for 28-32 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let cool for 30 minutes and stab with a fork all over the top of the cake.


  • Whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and chocolate syrup until fully incorporated.
  • Once fully mixed, pour over the top of the holes in the cake.


  • In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat together the frosting ingredients until thick and fluffy.
  • Spread the whipped cream over the top of the cake and top with chocolate sauce, sprinkles, or fruit, if desired.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 521cal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 596mg | Sugar: 50g | Fiber: 2g | Calcium: 185mg | Iron: 2mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled image (and shown): chocolate poke cake

Originally published August 2021, updated September 2023

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  1. 5 stars
    This Chocolate Poke Cake recipe is an absolute delight! It was super easy to make, and the result was incredibly delicious.

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