Chocolate Poke Cake

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This Chocolate Poke Cake is out of this world. SO chocolatey! So moist! Amazing. I dare you to try and keep your fork out of it.

Chocolate Poke Cake - so moist and to die for!

Chocolate Poke Cake - so moist and to die for!

Poke cakes have quickly become one of my favorite things to make when I’m looking for an easy but delicious cake. I love a beautiful layered cake, but sometimes easy ones are the way to go. And since poke cakes are defined by the holes that are poked into it and filled with flavor, there are so many possibilities.

It occurred to me that I didn’t have a single chocolate poke cake on the blog and that seemed criminal. Chocolate is a necessity in all things, so I went full out – chocolate all the way. In every bite.

I started with a devils food cake. I used a cake mix, but if you have a from scratch recipe you prefer, go for it. Sometimes boxes are a wonderful convenience. You could also use a regular chocolate mix, but the devils food makes this oh-so-chocolatey and I fully recommend it.

Chocolate Poke Cake - so moist and to die for!
Chocolate Poke Cake - so moist and to die for!

Once the cake is baked, poke holes all over it. I actually have a steel knife sharpening rod that I use to poke my holes, but you could also use the end of a wooden spoon, or something similar.

Believe it or not, I’ve never actually sharpened a knife with that rod. It’s only been used as a device for poking holes in cake. Seems appropriate for me, no? 🙂

Instead of just pouring plain sweetened condensed milk over the cake (because that would be boring, right?) I basically poured chocolate ganache over it. I melted the chocolate with the sweetened condensed milk, instead of the usual heavy whipping cream and used that. It’s amazing. So not boring and so good.

To top the cake off, I made chocolate whipped cream, the covered the cake with mini chocolate chips and chocolate sauce. Just in case there wasn’t enough chocolate already. I mean, can you even have too much chocolate? I don’t think it’s possible.

And in the case of this cake, it’s perfection. So much chocolate, but so balanced and delicious. Totally to die for.

You are welcome.

Chocolate Poke Cake - so moist and to die for!
Chocolate Poke Cake - so moist and to die for!

You might also like:

Red Wine Chocolate Poke Cake
Raspberry Chambord Chocolate Poke Cake
Chocolate Turtle Poke Cake
Kahlua Chocolate Poke Cake
Triple Chocolate Fudge Cookies

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Chocolate Poke Cake close up

Chocolate Poke Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 15-18 Slices
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


This decadent Chocolate Poke Cake is out of this world. It’s insanely chocolatey and so moist! I dare you to try and keep your fork out of it.



  • 15.25 oz box Devils Food Chocolate Cake Mix, plus ingredients listed on box
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips


  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • mini chocolate chips
  • chocolate sauce (I used Smucker’s Chocolate Sundae Syrup)


1. Bake cake according to box directions in a 9×13 cake pan.
2. Once cake comes out of the oven, poke holes all over the top of the cake.
3. Place sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
4. Whisk chocolate and milk until smooth, microwaving more, if needed to melt the chocolate.
5. Pour chocolate mixture over the cake and spread to fill in holes.
6. Set cake aside to cool, about an hour, then refrigerate until completely cooled.
7. To make whipped topping, whip heavy cream until it begins to thicken.
8. Add powdered sugar, cocoa and vanilla extract and whip until stiff peaks form.
9. Spread whipped topping evenly over cooled cake.
10.Sprinkle mini chocolate chips over cake and drizzle with chocolate sauce. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 384
  • Sugar: 34.9 g
  • Sodium: 96.2 mg
  • Fat: 24.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 38.6 g
  • Protein: 6.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 73 mg

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Chocolate Poke Cake - so moist and to die for!

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  1. Lori J

    This was a big hit at my work Christmas luncheon! Everyone was raving about this yummy chocolate delight! I gave several ladies the recipe.

  2. Terry

    I made this cake for the first time today. I didn’t melt the condensed milk and chocolate bits enough. It was not runny enough to go down into the holes I had poked into the cake. I just had to spread it on top of the cake. Just a tip for those making it the first time.

  3. Karen Aguirre

    By far the best chocolate cake I’ve made. Huge round of applause from my dinner guests. I will most definitely make this one again!

  4. Kathy

    I made this for work, they went crazy for it. People who don’t particularly like chocolate cake request that I make it again. It’s a keeper and oh sooo yummy!

  5. Shelby

    I have made this cake only once, but let me tell you, I crave it all the time! I’m going to make it again this weekend for my daughters birthday. Can’t wait to share it with the whole family! They’ll die of deliciousness!

  6. Crystal Mills

    Absolutely delicious. The whipped cream topping is amazing. I added a tsp. of expresso powder into whipped cream and it was so good. Great recipe and easy to make.

  7. Robin

    Can you make the cake the day before and then the next day make the condensed milk and chocolate chip melt and put it over The cooled cake with the holes or does it have to be done when the cake Comes out of the oven

    1. Lindsay

      The mixture does a better job of soaking in when the cake is warm, so I would recommend that. You could do it the next day though, it just may not soak in quite as well.

  8. Maryam S

    I tried this recipe and it came out so good! It was extremely delicious and it all went together so well! For the cake part, I used your “The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe” and it was a hit! Definitely will be making this again!!

  9. Kim

    Hi tried this cake and found the drizzle too thick to go down in the cake, most stayed on top. Wasn’t as moist as should’ve been.

  10. Heather

    I just wanted to tell you I have made this cake for years. It is delicious and gets requested often in my house. Thank you!

    1. Lindsay

      There are no actual nuts in the recipe, but you may want to check the packaging of the particular ingredients you use to be sure. Not all things are made in nut free facilities.

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t tried it. The layers are pretty moist after you put the filling on them so I’m not sure if it’s really ideal or not.

  11. E

    I have made this cake before and love it, but this time I was in a rush. I dont think I let the chocolate chips and condensed milk melt enough, because the chocolate has hardened on top of the cake. I dont remember that from the other times I made it. Does this seem right?

  12. Lynne

    Made this for my daughters birthday and it turned out delicious. My 2 grandchildren asked for seconds. Thank you for this recipe.

  13. Julie G

    I made this for a recent going away party of 3 coworkers. Since I’m the “dessert” person, they asked for chocolate. I searched for the most “chocolatey” (if that’s a word!) recipe I could find. And this was IT!!! All I can say is OMG! Everyone loved it! After putting on the whipped topping, I drizzled on chocolate and caramel ice cream topping and instead of the chocolate pieces, I sprinkled crushed toffee bits.
    I made this in a 12×17” pan (2batches!) and it turned out delicious! My only take away is that although I kept the dessert in the refrigerator all night before work, by lunchtime when out if the fridge, the topping was super soft & a little runny. It didn’t change the taste of the dessert any, but it was messy. So I’d keep it in the fridge until close to serving time! Definitively recommend for choc-o-holics!!!

    1. Lindsay

      I would probably go with the sauce over a syrup just because I think the syrup is usually fairly thin. But that’s up to you.

  14. Shelby

    Made this cake today for dinner with friends. I read all the raving reviews and was skeptical that it could be THAT GOOD. Buuuuuut I really liked it haha! So did my guests and I found myself wanting to grab seconds like all the kids did! I’m glad I got to take home the 3 extra pieces! Will definitely make again. P.S. my husband RARELY eats dessert and enjoys it. When he saw me writing this review he said “I’m going to go have a second piece of that cake.”!!!!!!

  15. Jackie Burns

    Easy to make, and so yummy. Cut small pieces to serve, as this is an extremely rich dessert. I did not add the chocolate sauce, and mini bits on the top. It didn’t need it. 

  16. Barbara

    OMG!!!! Our family had a big spaghetti night and I took this. Even though they were already stuffed from dinner, several went back for seconds on the cake. My sister-in-law, who doesn’t like chocolate, asked for a small bite and then went back for seconds. My little 6-year old nephew told me it was an 11 out of 10. When his mom asked him if this will become his new birthday cake, he nodded.

  17. Sandi


    Your cake recipe looks great. I would like to serve it on Sunday so can I make the cake part tomorrow and pour the chocolate and mild combo in the holes tomorrow, refrigerate and then make the whipped topping on Sunday?

    Please let me know.


  18. Sarah Grey

    Just made this cake for my son’s 21st birthday and it was a big hit! I used Betty Crocker Devil’s food cake mix (in UK) and double cream for the topping. I felt it needed a bit more cocoa and icing sugar whisked in and then it was perfect! Thanks for posting this great recipe!

    1. Sarah

      Yes, in response to other comments, the condensed milk and choc chip mix is pretty thick and hardens into a sort of fudge quite quickly. I added more condensed milk and poured the sauce over the cake which had just come out of the oven. Poked it about a bit more to coax it into the holes and it was fine. Thanks Lindsay!

  19. Lauren

    Hi Lindsay!
    So i made this cake a couple weeks ago and it was super good! The only thing that i stumbled upon was i am not sure if i melted the chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk properly? i poured it over while the cake was still warm and it still created a hardened layer rather than soaking into the holes. Did i not melt the chocolate enough? Did i not poke enough holes? HELP PLEASE!? I am making this cake again within the next week for my mother’s Halloween party and could definitely use some pointers so i can get it perfect this time. Thanks!

    1. Lindsay

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! I would say that the majority of the chocolate should soak into the cake, but there will be some that’s left on top. That said, I use a knife sharpening rod to make my holes so that they’re fairly big for the chocolate to soak into. I’m not sure what you’re using but perhaps you need bigger holes? You could also add a little bit more liquid, so that the chocolate is thinner.

  20. Kaylie

    If I don’t have cocoa anything I can replace it with? I was thinking of just not substituting anything but not sure if it would be good. 

    1. Lindsay

      It would be difficult to make the chocolate whipped cream without the cocoa powder. Anything else that you add is probably going to thin it out. But you could just have a vanilla whipped cream on top of the cake.

  21. Sherry Tafti

    I would like to eat crow and admit that this cake is fabulous. I still maintain that the condensed milk ganache layer does not seep into the cake, but mostly forms a gooey second layer . However, I completely take back my comment that this cake is “not that great.” I have now made this cake twice and it has gotten rave reviews from friends, coworkers, right across the board.

  22. Sherry Tafti

    There is nothing great about this cake. My main gripe – the condensed milk and melted chocolate layer does NOT seep into the cake, which would make it super moist and gooey It is way too thick, so it just sits as a second layer between the cake and the whipped cream layer on top.

    1. Sherry Tafti

      I would like to eat crow and admit that this cake is fabulous. I still maintain that the condensed milk ganache layer does not seep into the cake, but mostly forms a gooey second layer . However, I completely take back my comment that this cake is “not that great.” I have now made this cake twice and it has gotten rave reviews from friends, coworkers, right across the board.

  23. Sam

    So, I googled “cake recipes to try before you die” and this was #1…and I do not regret trying it! Oh my gosh! It was absolutely incredible! Easily the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made…and indeed eaten!

  24. Kris

    This cake has become a game night staple with our friends, who request it every time!! Everything about it is excellent!! If you have pinned this for later, stop what you’re doing and make it immediately!! If you haven’t pinned it yet, pin it and make it immediately!!!

  25. Jane Marie Gramza

    I have it in the fridge right now & can’t wait much longer before I go get myself a big piece with some ice cold milk! I’ve always used the handle of a wooden spoon to make the holes in my cake. And there it was sitting right in front of me all this time with the knives…the sharpening thinnga majiggy!! It work’s better than the wooden handle because no cake stuck to it! Thanks! 🙂 The only change I made was to grate some chocolate over the cake instead of using mini chocolate chips. It’s a texture thing for me, I don’t like biting into cold hard chocolate chips! :/ Ok, that’s it…gotta go get me some!

  26. Heather

    I have had this recipe on my pinterest board for 3 years and have made it for MANY family get togethers. It is requested often. Thanks for making a great recipe. Everyone I make it for LOVES it.

  27. Donna Mary Colburn

    I saw this poke cake from you with a slight variation, can you PLEASE ???? ???? print out the recipe for that one, Baileys Chocolate Poke Cake. That way I’ll have the exact amount of the Baileys and how much Hot water to add. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR RECIPES!!!!

    1. Lindsay

      Are you just looking to print the recipe? You can do that with the teal colored button within the pink recipe card.

  28. Tracie

    This looks amazing maybe I over looked the question so sorry if it’s a repeat,but can you use chocolate coolwhip and will it taste the same?

    1. Lindsay

      Do they make chocolate cool whip now? I’ve never seen it. If they do, you can certainly use it. I don’t think it’d taste exactly the same, but I’m sure it’d be fine.

      1. TRACIE

        Thank you I tried it with coolwhip with 2 tablespoons of Hershey chocolate pudding tastes in-laws loved it

  29. Chelsea M

    Hi! I love this recipe so much! Thank you for sharing it. I have done it probably 5 times already or more! 😀 my husband loves it too. I’m actually making one right now, the cake mix is already in the oven but I just realized that I do not have condensed milk!!!! Is it going to be okay if I poke holes now, put it in the fridge and continue it tomorrow? Will it dry? Or not poke holes til tomorrow? I have people coming over tomorrow and I want this to be the same taste when they first had it. Yeah, people request  for this cake!!! I would really appreciate your help. Thanks again. God bless you ❤️

    1. Lindsay

      I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it so much! I would suggest leaving the cake at room temperature and only poke holes when you’re ready to pour the mixture over it, then refrigerate it. 🙂

  30. Sofia

    Being on a diet isn’t easy, and after reading your post… holy cow, so appetizing! (literally salivating at a bite = )

    I’m going to bookmark this page, once we move into our new apartment, i’m going to make a batch. gotta replace my old hand mixer.

    Love it Lindsay!

  31. Stacci

    This cake is delicious – so moist and so many layers of chocolate goodness. The family gave it a 10/10! It will definitely go into our dessert rotation. Thank you for the great recipe!

    1. Lindsay

      I use a knife sharpener that is sort of like the size of a large straw size. I like a larger hole like that, but some people use smaller holes.

  32. Alex DeLeon

    I have made this cake before and it’s delicious! I’m planning to make it again this week but would like to know if the box mix would make enough to split into two 8×8 pans? I want to make one for my friend, and I just have to have one as well!

  33. Stacey K

    Hot damn this was delicious! jUST LOVED IT Made it Sunday and hubby and I are both still thinking about it. Thank You

  34. Cole

    Hi, Lindsay, every time I read any recipe in your blog I enjoyed so much because your recipes don’t exist at any place 🙂 thank you so much.

  35. Sabrina@

    Hey, Lindsay
    Your recipe is very special. I have made it and my kids really loved it. Thanks!

  36. Stephanie

    This cake is to die for! I am making my 2nd right now! The only thing I did different is instead of mini chocolate chips, I used Andes mint baking chips. I’m sure I will use mini chocolate chips at some point because I will be making this cake for years! This was also my 1st time making whip cream from scratch, I had no clue what I was missing! Thank you so very much!

  37. Janice

    Hey Lindsay, I have made many chocolate cakes before but your recipe is something special and I’m enjoying it. Thank you!

  38. Eileen Ball

    I found this recipe today and had to go right out and buy the ingredients
    It is cooling in the fridge right now and I’m getting ready to make the chocolate whipped cream. I cannot wait to try this yummy sounding dessert. I have never made a poke cake or homemade whipped cream so I am really excited today!

  39. Brenda

    I made two cakes for my graduation party. I made one exactly as instructed here, and it was BONKERS! I AM NOT a box mix kind of girl, but this is unfreakingreal. The other cake I made, I used the same method, but I used a French vanilla cake mix. I took my sweetened condensed milk and boiled it in a pot of water to make caramel sauce which I poured over the holes in the vanilla cake. I whipped my cream with powdered sugar and a splash of pure vanilla extract. I drizzled more caramel over th e whipped cream and sprinkled white vanilla chips on top. People went absolutely BANANAS over my caramel vanilla version… speaking of … a banana version could be good…

  40. Maya

    Looks like a delicious cake! If I were to make this cake for about 15 people would one portion be enough? I’m thinking maybe 1,5 portion to be on the safe side? Thanks!

  41. Kristel

    This is quite a delicious cake!  It is printed and in my ‘make again’ binder!  I made the recipe exactly as is and wouldn’t change a thing.  Thank you!

  42. jenny

    i first saw the recipe for the chocolate guinness poke cake; but i dislike guinness; and i found your recipe ^^ but how we do the cake ? 

    1. Lindsay

      I’m not sure that I understand your question. The box mix is baked according to the instructions on the box. All of them are a little different. Then you proceed with the rest of the ingredients and instructions.

      1. Chris

        Made it and it was simply amazing! Thanks for such a good recipe.
        Will try freezing it this summer for traveling..

  43. Niky Jackson

    Thanks a lots Lindsay for lots of chocolate poke cake recipes my mouth is watering. i am working women mostly didnt get time to cook but if you have recipes then i love it going to try this on weekend . once again thanks a ton

  44. Diane Waud

    Made this cake last week for a dinner/auction at church.  It was a hit.  The cooks said they were fighting over it to get a piece.  Tonight the chairman of the event called me to get the recipe.  I sent her the link.  People never ask for a recipe from me!  Thanks for the delicious recipe!  I discovered it on Facebook and now I am following your blog!  Thanks!

  45. Brenda Watson

    far to sweet for me with all the sugar i made the cake, then used choclate pudding thenthe whiped cream and choclate chips nd it tasted very good 

  46. Nina

    I randomly stumbled upon your blog, and oh boy, what a find! I made this for a party at my place, at the last minute, baking, frosting and all, and crossed my fingers, hoping it turns out well. It was fantastic!!! My friends loved it! Even a friend who doesn’t really have a sweet tooth called it “perverse”, which in his speak is absolutely delicious. I sneaked a piece aside for me for the next day, and it tasted even better! My female friend (who is coincidentally also called Lindsay) is calling it her go-to cake to satisfy her chocolate craving. Such a simple recipe, but yet so delicious! Needless to say, I am now a fan of your blog. Kudos to you 🙂
    Greetings from Germany

  47. James

    I want to devour this poke cake! I’m loving all the chocolate. I’ve actually never made a poke cake but I think it’s time I do!

  48. Mandy

    I don’t know what happened with the whip cream part, mine isn’t getting anything like whip cream. It’s like runny pudding. How long do you whip it and do you use a mixer or your hand? Might want to add directions for us whip cream novices.

  49. Sierra

    So last week hubby was browsing facebook and came across this recipe and begged me to make it. So tonight I did. As I was making this I tasted different components and was afraid it would be bitter from the semisweet chocolate and the unsweetened cocoa. I was wrong. Hubby absolutely loved it! Said “poke cake is his new favorite dessert.” Thanks for the great recipe, will definitely add this to my dessert repertoire.

  50. Víctor

    The cake looks delicious, I love chocolate, but I would like that will place the weight of the ingredients in a far easier to understand, for example, in grams, thanks in advance.
    for the rest, I love your recipes.

      1. Diane Karavas

        Can Iask on whip topping it says 1/2 powered sugar the 1/4 with cocoa can you explain

      2. Lindsay

        I’m not sure what’s confusing. It’s 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder.

      1. Bonita Read

        Made the chocolate poke cake for Christmas but instead of choc sauce I covered the top with brandied cherries and sprigs of mint! it was a winner. Thank you for the easy recipe for a non-pro baker that was a hit with the family 🙂

  51. funsize wife

    If this was any better, it would need a license by the FDA! And, it this cake became illegal, I would be one of the first offenders! I made this for a cookout, and it got so quiet when it was served. Lots of happy faces! The chocolate sweetened condensed milk pour over made the cake. Great job once again, Lindsay!

  52. Paula

    So I was at target buying my ingredients for the cake, there was one thing that target didn’t have. And it was whip cream! Ugh, it was so frustrating. I got cool whip instead and was wondering if i can substitute that instead?

      1. Sherry Tafti

        I am still in the process of making your chocolate poke cake and cannot rate it as yet. i just have a concern that the condensed milk with melted choc. chips is so thick, it will form more of a layer on top of the cake. Will it really soak into the cake overnight in the refrigerator? Thanks.

      2. Lindsay

        It should soak into the cake just fine. I would suggest adding it while the cake is still warm, to help with the mixture staying warm and soaking into the holes. You still might have a little bit that settles on top, but most of it should soak in.

      3. Ashley

        How would you sub the cool whip? Would you still use the powdered sugar, cocoa and vanilla or just the cocoa?

      4. Lindsay

        Yes, just the cocoa. I haven’t actually tried adding it to cool whip before, but I assume it’d be fine.

    1. Charlene

      Strange that Target didn’t have whipping cream. They usually have it but not where the milk is. They have half and half  & I believe they carry Knudsen & the Market Pantry brand of whipping cream. Maybe ask someone that works there. We have several Targets in my area & they all have it. So I assume they have it at their other stores as well.

  53. Elena

    I only have one thing to say about this cake: I LOVE IT! It feels so good just to look at it. And i’m pretty sure that it tastes good too.

  54. Jen

    I want to devour this poke cake! I’m loving all the chocolate. I’ve actually never made a poke cake but I think it’s time I do!

  55. Mir

    If you’re gonna premiere a poke cake, this is the way to do it! I love subbing in the ganache for the SCM. So much better that way! Not a shock from the woman who makes the best cake!

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29