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A slice of Triple Chocolate Poke Cake on a square white plate

Triple Chocolate Poke Cake

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This Triple Chocolate Poke Cake is a moist chocolate cake filled with fudgy pockets throughout and topped with a thick layer of heavenly chocolate icing.

This Chocolate Poke Cake Recipe is a dreamy dessert for chocolate lovers! Fellow bloggers have been sharing “Poke Cakes” for eons.  I jumped on the bandwagon and wowed my chocoholic family.

A slice of Triple Chocolate Poke Cake  on a square white plate

Triple Chocolate Poke Cake 

My first exposure to poke cakes was when my mom made a Jello version back in the 1970’s. A white box cake mix was baked in a 9 x 13-inch pan then holes were “poked” with the back of a wooden spoon and filled with liquid jello.

Refrigerated, then frosted with Cool Whip, it was a delicious change of pace from our lackluster bowls of vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce. It was a perfect dessert for 4 teenage girls. But as my palate matured, Cool Whip and boxed mixes didn’t cut it, so I searched out some less processed recipes.

By mixing and matching some recipes, I created this Triple Chocolate Poke Cake that drew raves from my family. In fact, on more than one occasion, the hubby commented that I should make this again as well as requesting it for his birthday cake next April!!!

A bite of Triple Chocolate Poke Cake on a fork

How to Make a Poke Cake Recipe

  • Poke cakes are typically made in a 9 x 13-inch cake pan. This provides plenty of surface area and a shallow enough depth in which to poke the cavities needed for the filling.
  • Once baked, the cake must be cooled for about 5 minutes before “poking” the holes across the surface.
  • Using the handle of a wooden spoon makes just the right sized holes to accept the filling.
  • Many times, poke cakes are filled with homemade or boxed puddings before it sets. This liquid pudding adds much moisture and richness to the cake.
  • For this Triple Chocolate Poke Cake, a simple mixture of melted chocolate and sweetened condensed milk makes the filling. It tastes less artificial than instant pudding if that matters to you! Plus it’s only two ingredients!
  • PRO-Tip: Use a large liquid measuring cup with a spout to pour the filling mixture into the holes. It helps ensure each cavity gets filled by increasing the accuracy of your pouring.
  • Frost with your favorite icing. 
  • Since this chocolate poke cake recipe isn’t filled with pudding, it doesn’t necessarily need to be chilled. But it will cut into cleaner slices if chilled.

You’ve been warned. My usual will power all but disappeared with this decadent creation in my kitchen. From my first nibble of this triple chocolate poke cake, I also knew the family would be thrilled. And I was right on the money. I highly recommend this cake for any of you true blue chocoholics!


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Triple Chocolate Poke Cake

A triple chocolate delight with chocolate cake, chocolate filling, and chocolate frosting!

  • Author: Liz Berg
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 24 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert, Cake
  • Method: Mixing, Baking
  • Cuisine: American



  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup coffee, cooled
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk (1 can)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk


  1. Spray 9 x 13-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350ΒΊ.
  3. In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and baking powder.
  4. In a large pyrex measuring cup or medium mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, coffee, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla.
  5. Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and beat for a couple minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. Pour cake batter into prepared pan and bake 30-40 minutes (mine took 35 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. When cake is almost done baking, in a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips for 1-2 minutes, stopping and stirring a couple times, until mixture is smooth and chocolate chips are melted.
  7. When cake is done, let cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes. Then take a wooden spoon and using the handle end, poke rows of holes across the cake. Pour warm filling mixture over the holes, nudging the filling as needed to fill the spaces. Cool to room temperature before frosting.
  8. To make the frosting, beat together butter and cocoa. Add vanilla and mix well.Then alternate adding milk and powdered sugar till all is incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Frost cake.


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39 comments on “Triple Chocolate Poke Cake”

  1. You had me at “triple chocolate”!!! I haven’t had a poke cake since my mom’s jello version years ago, but you are changing my mind about this. This looks phenomenal!

  2. Triple chocolate cake ? Yes , please ! This decadent concoction sure looks delicious !

  3. The breakfast of champions! Or at least it would be if I had a slice now:@)

  4. Irresistibly delicious! This cake sounds so good!

  5. Everyone would go nuts over this one nice job!

  6. Liz, I have a party this weekend and I think I found what I am bringing! I love chocolate–and I need to share this or I will eat it all!

  7. This looks so good; completely willing to for go any healthy eating. Love that it is all from scratch.

  8. So this is how my brain works not having had this before or heard it: I thought it was Poke Japanese candy sticks lol. But this could be just as dangerous, ok worse, looks awesome!

  9. What a great cake, Liz! I haven’t made a poke cake in ages but have to now; perfect for the holiday coming up!

  10. I always wondered where the idea for a poke cake came from, as it isn’t something we have here in the UK. Wow it looks, sounds and I’m imagining tasting it – absolutely amazing. I’d like to give this a try. Maybe I can make the first British poke cake using your fab recipe. Thanks so much for sharing. Sammie x

  11. Hi Liz, This cake looks ridiculously delicious! My FIL and husband like to refer to chocolate as a vegetable. They truly believe it should be eaten in large quantities, as often as possible. This decadent Triple Chocolate Poke Cake would fit right into their “healthy” eating plan. YUM!

  12. WOWZA LIz! You’ve really done it this time. My measly chocolate covered graham cracker, which I’m munching on “as we speak” just doesn’t do it when I see your gorgeous triple chocolate poke cake staring at me.

    I would request this cake for my birthday too. As a matter of fact, it’s in June. Can I order it now, lol…Oh ok, I’ll just have to bake it for myself and pretend it’s still “Eat What You Want Day” and throw the diet out the window once again, lol…

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, Liz…I think:)

  13. Making a poke cake is my to-bake list for so long. Loved that you shared a poke cake recipes with chocolate. Can’t wait to try it.

  14. Wow, this cakes is so stunnung.
    May I have a slice, please?
    Have a lovely weekend

  15. Looks and sounds fabulous, one problem tho I detest the taste of coffee. Can I leave it out or if not what can I replace it with?

    • I promise you can’t taste it—my husband doesn’t like coffee either and he loved this cake. BUT you may have a more discerning palate than he does, so I think adding plain water would be your best bet. I’d up the vanilla to 2 teaspoons to give a boost of flavor. Hope you love this as much as we did, Nancy!

  16. Holy moly, Liz! What a moist, fudgy cake. It is the type of treat that my family enjoys… I gotta make it for us soon.

  17. I would have no willpower either over that thick layer of fudge frosting! Divine!

  18. Hi there.
    This looked so great I just had to make it for my son and his friend tonight.
    I noticed there’s no eggs listed in your ingredients , yet in the directions, there’s eggs. I guessed and used 2, which would be the typical number for a cake.
    I also noticed there was no salt. Thought that to be odd, but left it out.
    When I was poking the cake a few minutes ago and tasted the cake left on the handle of the spoon, I definitely noticed the lack of salt.
    I’m hoping that with the sweetened condensed Milk/chocolate mixture and the buttercream , this lack of balance in the cake won’t be noticeable.

    • Oops on the eggs. You are exactly right, 2 eggs are needed. I didn’t use salt, but usually add at least a bit even when the recipe doesn’t call for any. My family didn’t seem to notice, but I’m going to add a 1/2 teaspoon to the recipe as it is definitely needed for flavor enhancement. Please let me know what your son and friend thought. I apologize for my oversight with the eggs.

  19. Chocolate poke cake looks so good and I love the filling. I sure it was amazing πŸ™‚

  20. What a superb chocolate creation! I remember those poke cakes well and one of our favorite recipes to this day is a homemade poke cake (without the jello!). I would have zero will power if this cake was in front of me. A dangerously delicious, diet-buster that will be added to my recipe box! πŸ˜‰

  21. Can I have it for breakfast? it looks so tempting I would love to have it the moment I open my eyes πŸ™‚

  22. The last poke cake I made was in the mid 80’s and this update version will be welcomed. I have three teenage grandsons coming to visit next month and this will be perfect.

  23. This looks so chocolatey, and sinfully delicious!

  24. They loved it ! At least according to the fact that a huge chunk of it is missing this morning ! I had gone to bed but told them they could get into it any time. They definitely did !
    i just tasted it and it tastes fabulous.
    Thanks for updating the recipe. I think most bakers would have been able to figure it out like I did.

  25. I am looking at all that fudgy icing and screaming “yes please!”. And you know it’s a winner when Bill is asking for it again.

  26. Hi Liz, my mom used to make something similar, forgot all about it. Your version looks very delicious and soon to be my new family favorite.

  27. I’d never had a poke cake until someone brought one to a holiday celebration last year – we were all skeptical, even the person who made it. But, it was really good. Yours sounds over-the-top good. I’m with your family – chocolate all the way!

  28. Love your suggestion of butterscotch pudding in the pokes…and of course, triple chocolate anything is always appreciated no matter which country. P.s. Currently,in Japan where the chocolate takes another flavor profile twist =)

  29. Love the less processed version of a poke cake. And let’s be honest why waste our time with other flavors chocolate is the best one so glad you tripled it πŸ˜‰

  30. Love the beautiful treat! TGIF, my dear! xoxo

  31. so much gooey chocolate goodness!!!!

  32. Liz, this cake looks fantastic and very rich! I pinned for later πŸ™‚

  33. I just made this for my chocolate loving teenage son’s birthday and it was a huge hit! Thank you!

  34. This was the best cake! It was incredible moist and rich!

  35. Everyone was impressed with this cake! Can’t wait to make it again!

  36. I was so impressed with this easy cake, it is beyond delicious!

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