Looking for an amazing chocolate poke cake recipe? This delicious chocolate caramel poke cake is made with a simple cake mix, and topped with a rich and creamy chocolate frosting. Caramel, chopped pecans and mini chocolate chips make this chocolate turtle poke cake incredible!
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Chocolate cake is pretty good by itself. But how about adding hot fudge, along with a really rich, decadent frosting, and then top it off with pecans, caramel sauce and chocolate chips?
This chocolate poke cake recipe starts with a box mix, making it very easy to make. With the addition of the hot fudge, frosting and toppings, it becomes an incredible dessert worthy of a party, event or pot-luck.
What do I need to make a chocolate poke cake?
Here’s a quick-reference checklist of the ingredients you’ll need before you begin making your cake:
- Devil’s Food Cake Mix – you could also use a chocolate fudge cake mix if Devil’s Food is not available.
- Water – needed for preparing the cake.
- Eggs – needed for preparing the cake.
- Vegetable Oil – for preparing and baking the cake. You could also use unflavored coconut oil as a substitute.
- Hot fudge ice cream topping – this is most often found near the freezer section, next to the ice cream.
- Cream cheese – this will make your frosting extra creamy and delicious.
- Powdered sugar – a staple in making most frosting.
- Milk – you’ll need some milk to make the frosting.
- Whipped topping (Cool Whip) – this is found in the freezer section. If you would prefer to use real whipped cream, I recommend using my Homemade Cool Whip recipe.
- Baking Chocolate – using a 60% or more chocolate is ideal for making the frosting.
- Toppings: to top this chocolate poke cake, I added chopped pecans, mini chocolate chips and caramel ice cream topping. These are optional, but a fantastic addition to create a great turtle poke cake flavor.
For exact ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post to the recipe card. Thanks!
How do I make a poke cake?
For making a chocolate poke cake, start with a simple boxed Devil’s Food cake mix. Prepare it according to package directions for a 9 x 13″ pan.
As soon as it comes out of the oven while the cake is still hot, poke holes in it with a straw, end of a chopstick or end of a wooden spoon.
For any poke cake recipe, you’ll need something to pour into the holes. For this recipe, we’re going to use hot fudge sauce. Working quickly, pour the hot fudge sauce into the holes of the still-hot cake. Drizzling the hot fudge over the hot cake always renders a wonderfully moist cake.
Making the chocolate frosting for the cake:
This chocolate caramel poke cake is topped with a chocolate cream cheese frosting. It is thick, rich and cream and a great compliment to the super-moist cake.
To make the chocolate frosting, start by creaming together the cream cheese, powdered sugar and milk. Add in the thawed whipped topping. This mixture will be very creamy and slightly fluffy.
Pour in the melted chocolate to the cream cheese frosting mixture. The frosting will become thick and rich.
Spread over the cooled cake. Top with chopped pecans, mini chocolate chips and caramel sauce.
Topping Substitutions and Recommendations:
- S’more toppings – instead of caramel sauce, pecans and chocolate, go with mini marshmallows, crushed graham crackers and broken chocolate pieces.
- Almond joy toppings – try sprinkling sweetened flake coconut, sliced or slivered almonds and chocolate chunks over the top. It will taste just like an Almond Joy!
- Candy bar – chop up chunks of your favorite candy bar and give it a drizzle of caramel sauce. This would be great with Snickers, Twix or Butterfinger. If you love Snickers, check out my Snickers Apple Salad.
As soon as you lift out a slice of this amazing cake, you’ll see where the hot fudge has worked its way into the cake, through the holes. Along with keeping the cake moist, it really adds a fantastic chocolate richness to the cake.
This cake is such a wonderful treat, especially for anyone that loves the combination of chocolate and caramel. The pecans also add a fantastic texture and crunch to the cake – perfect in every bite.
What can I serve with chocolate poke cake?
Chocolate poke cake is great served with coffee. Here are some delicious coffee ideas that would go perfectly with this dessert:
- Iced Caramel Latte
- Chai Tea Latte Recipe
- Vanilla Bean Iced Coffee
- Caramel Brulee Latte
- Homemade Cold Brew Coffee
Want to make both coffee AND espresso at home? This is the machine I use and LOVE. The fresh espresso is amazing and the brewed coffee tastes equally fantastic. I highly recommend!
FAQ’s about making a chocolate poke cake recipe:
Poke cake gets its name by the method in which it is made. Holes are “poked” into the cake leaving small areas to pour in a filling of choice. Poke cakes can include fillings of pudding, Jell-O, caramel sauce, hot fudge, prepared pie filling, cream cheese filling and many other options.
Poke cake is definitely a dessert that you can make in advance, as it does well when refrigerated. I would recommend making a poke cake up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerating until ready to serve. A poke cake can be made up to 3 days in advance.
Poke cake is typically made with a boxed cake mix, of any flavor, with an added filling that is poured into the holes of the cake, and then often topped with whipped topping or whipped cream.
The best way to remove slices of the cake from the pan is to first slice into squares. Then, using a sturdy spatula, lift out the individual squares.
Love a great cake recipe? Check out our other poke cake and sheet cake recipes:
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- 1 (15.25 oz.) Devil's Food cake mix
- 1 cup water
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2/3 c. hot fudge ice cream topping
- 1 (8 oz) package, cream cheese
- 1 c. powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp. milk
- 1 1/2 c. whipped topping
- 8 oz. 60% baking chocolate, melted
- 2/3 c. chopped pecans
- 2/3 c. mini chocolate chips
- 2/3 c. caramel ice cream topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13" pan with non-stick baking spray. Set aside.
- With a hand or stand mixer, prepare the Devil's Food Cake according to package directions. Add the dry cake mix to a mixing bowl. Add in the water, eggs and oil. Mix until smooth. Pour batter into the prepared 9x13" pan. Bake for 27-30 minutes.
- Once the cake comes out of the oven, poke holes into the cake every 1" using the end of a straw or chopstick. While the cake is still hot, pour the hot fudge into the holes of the cake. Let cake cool.
- While cake is cooling, prepare the frosting. Cream together the cream cheese, powdered sugar and milk. Add in the whipped topping. Melt the chocolate and let cool slightly. Pour in the melted chocolate. Frosting will become thick. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake. Top with the chopped pecans, chocolate chips and caramel sauce. Slice and enjoy!
Making in advance: This poke cake recipe can be made and refrigerated for serving in advance. Ideally, make up to 24 hours in advance, preparing according to the recipe. Cover the cake and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Storage: Store the cake in the original pan, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Can will last up to 5 days refrigerated. You can also cut the cake into individual pieces and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 363Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 253mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 3gSugar: 30gProtein: 5g