Black Forest Poke Cake

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This Black Forest Poke Cake is a gooey chocolate cake filled with hot fudge and cherry pie filling. It is topped with fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings. 

Please note this post is sponsored by Lucky Leaf Pie Filling, however all opinions are my own. 

Black Forest Poke Cake serving on a plate


When I sat down to write this post, I thought to myself, I wonder who invented the original black forest cake and what its significance is in the dessert world. So I did what anyone in my position would do, and Googled it.

This Black Forest Poke Cake is a gooey chocolate cake filled with hot fudge and cherry pie filling. It is topped with fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

I learned the original black forest cake is a German dessert which has layers of chocolate cake, cherries, whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Different countries vary slightly from the original idea, and some countries make their cakes with alcohol. Traditionally, it seems like bakers in the United States do not make this cake with alcohol. Last fun fact, true black forest cakes are decorated with black cherries.

I will be the first to admit that I don’t love cherries. So it surprised me how much I loved this Black Forest Poke Cake. Cherries just seem kind of difficult to work with in my opinion. The whole pitting process is just too much for me!

This Black Forest Poke Cake is a gooey chocolate cake filled with hot fudge and cherry pie filling. It is topped with fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

This is where a canned cherry pie filling becomes your best friend! Thanks to my friends over at Lucky Leaf, you and I can both make this poke cake relatively quickly!

Are you familiar with the poke cake? It gets it name because after you remove it from the oven, you poke holes all over the top of the cake! I like to make large holes so that the toppings seep into the cake and it gets all ooey and gooey. This actually makes the cake spongy and “wet” , similar to a tres leches cake. It is also served cold, which I think might be my favorite way to enjoy cake.

This Black Forest Poke Cake is a gooey chocolate cake filled with hot fudge and cherry pie filling. It is topped with fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

The black forest poke cake is covered with a jar of hot fudge sauce. You know my theory, more chocolate is more betta! After that, you pour the can of cherry pie filling over the top of the cake and spread it out, you can also push some of the cherries into the cake.

I had to keep with tradition and cover this cake with fresh whipped cream. Trust me when I say that it is SOO much better than the alternative. But, if homemade whipped cream isn’t your thing, you can use Cool Whip too.

This Black Forest Poke Cake is a gooey chocolate cake filled with hot fudge and cherry pie filling. It is topped with fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Don’t forget the chocolate shavings! This is really easy. You just need a chocolate bar, and a sharp knife. Take the knife and start making tiny cuts off the end of the bar and it should naturally break apart; sprinkle on top of cake.

The best thing about poke cakes is that they come together quickly, they can be made in advance and they are sure to wow your friends! Grab a can of Lucky Leaf Cherry Pie filling and make this cake this weekend! 

This Black Forest Poke Cake is a gooey chocolate cake filled with hot fudge and cherry pie filling. It is topped with fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

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Please note this post is sponsored by Lucky Leaf Pie Filling, however all opinions are my own. 



Black Forest Poke Cake

  • Author: Julianne Bayer
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 15 slices


This Black Forest Poke Cake is a gooey chocolate cake filled with hot fudge and cherry pie filling. It is topped with fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings. 


  • 1 box Chocolate cake mix
  • Ingredients listed on the box: Eggs, Oil, Water etc. (Note that I used milk instead of water).
  • 1 jar Hot fudge sauce (16 oz)
  • 1 can Lucky Leaf Cherry Pie Filling
  • 2 C Heavy whipping cream
  • 1 ¼ C Powdered sugar
  • Chocolate bar for shavings
  • OR Cool Whip instead of whipped cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine cake mix according to the ingredients on the box. Beat on medium speed until well combined.
  3. Bake cake in 9×13” for 20-22 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the middle of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, you cake is done. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  4. While the cake is still warm, take the end of a wooden spoon or another round object and poke holes all over the top of your cake.
  5. Heat the jar of hot fudge sauce in the microwave for about 30 seconds until you can stir it and thin it out. You may need an additional 30 seconds. Pour the jar of hot fudge sauce on the top of cake and allow it to absorb in the cake until cake is cooled. Let set until completely cooled.
  6. Open the jar of Cherry Pie Filling and pour over the top of the cake, spread evenly. Allow cake to cool completely.
  7. Prepare the whipped cream. Put the bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to get them really cold (this step is optional, but a common practice I use.). In cold mixing bowl, pour in heavy whipping cream and beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Add powdered sugar and increase speed to medium high. Beat until stiff peak form.
  8. Spread whipped cream over the top of cake. Chop a chocolate bar into small pieces and sprinkle over the top of the cake. Keep refrigerated.


  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Poke Cake Recipe, Chocolate Poke Cake, Black Forest Cake

Other recipes from Beyond Frosting you might like:

Chocolate Cherry Cream Pie Cupcakes

Just one bite is all you need to fall in love with these Chocolate Cherry Cream Pie Cupcakes. These chocolate cupcakes are baked with cherry pie filling, filled with a cheesecake mousse and they’re topped with chocolate whipped cream.

 Triple Chocolate Poke Cake

No-Bake Black Forest Mousse Cake

This Black Forest Mousse Cake has layers of espresso-soaked lady fingers, a chocolate mousse, cherry pie filling and a whipped cream topping.


Recipes you might like from my friends:

Black Forest Donut Whoopie Pies from The Domestic Rebel

Black Forest Ice Cream Cake from Life Love and Sugar

Black Forest Cheesecake from Glorious Treats

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81 Responses
  1. Nicole

    Wondering if you could make day ahead, with adding the filling and refrigerate 24hrs ahead of serving. Adding topping just before…?

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Nicole- you sure can. I do like to add the topping just prior to serving, but if you properly prepare a homemade whipped cream, it should be fine, Or if you use Cool Whip, that will definitely hold up.

  2. Jody Goodman

    I want to say I made this recipe a couple years ago for a friends hubby’s birthday. It was a smash hit! So I’m making it again for my dad tomorrow for Father’s Day. He’s loves trifles, but this is sort of like a “flat trifle”. LOL I’m hoping he’ll love it too.

  3. ZDennis

    I made a sugar free version of this today. Pillsbury sf devils food cake mix, smuckers sf hot fudge, no sugar added cherry pie filling, and sf cool whip. Instead of chocolate shavings on top, I used slivered almonds. Delicious!!!

  4. Robbyn

    The bake time recommended in this recipe is 10 minutes shorter than the box of cake mix says to bake it. That may explain why it wasn’t done in the middle.

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Each box mix calls for a different amount of time to bake, it will also vary by the type of pan you’re using, and your actual oven temperature.

      1. Joanne Felthoven

        I would like to turn the cake out on a platter for presentation before putting on the chocolate and pie filling. Will this work?

        1. Beyond Frosting

          Yes but I wouldn’t poke the holes too close to the edges of the cake and you’d need to pour the hot fudge and cherry sauce carefully.

  5. Jamie

    I made the cake like how the box said did everything as directed here but I couldn’t get the heavy cream to turn into a whip cream like the video. But either way it was delicious.

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Jamie, thanks for sharing. I’m sorry you couldn’t get the whipped cream to work. Try prefreezing your bowl next time, sometimes it helps keep the cream cold. Also be sure your heavy cream is cold when you’re whipping it.

  6. Mama J

    I didn’t look at the date on this but I wanted to say that whenever I use a box mix I ALWAYS sub milk for water, melted butter for oil and use 5 eggs instead of 3. I had an older lady tell me one time, “dear, that is a scratch cake”. Absolutely made my day.

  7. Bee

    My mother loves black forest cakes! I will have to make this for her for Mother’s Day this year; looks delicious!

  8. Elizabeth

    This was delicious, however, I noted the special note about using milk in lieu of the water called for in the boxed chocolate cake instructions. I used milk, as suggested. After baking for the maximum time stated (and beyond), the cake did not turn out. It was all liquid in the middle. I assume it was substituting the milk that caused this. Made another cake mix, this time using water, and all was well. The cake was delicious.

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Elizabeth, personally I’ve baked ton and tons of cake mixes and used milk interchangeably with water all the time and never thought it altered the baking time. That being said I use mostly nonfat milk, so something like whole milk would maybe alter the properties. Also the type of pan your using and your true oven temperature will cause the baking times to vary. It’s okay if you need to bake the cake for a few extra minutes before it sets.

  9. Angie

    Do Not use the Microwavable topping. I made this cake using the recommended microwaveable chocolate sauce and also made this cake using the regular Smucker’s Sundae Syrup and the Sundae syrup is much better. The syrup easily dribbles into the pokes, penetrating the cake. The microwave sauce does not dribble into the pokes. It simply sits on top covering all the holes so that the pie filling can’t soak into the pokes either. And yes, I did microwave the sauce before using it and yes, I applied it while the cake was still warm. Very good recipe otherwise!

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Thanks Angie. I am glad you liked it. Hershey’s syrup is definitely thinner, but the hot fudge sauce can also be spread if it it’s warm enough!

    1. Beyond Frosting

      You can make this the night before or even 2 days before, but just wait to add the chocolate shavings until you’re ready to serve

  10. Connie

    Love Black Forest Cake and this one is so delicious. While I made it I had another thought on Apple Poke Cake.
    So instead of chocolate mix, I used Yellow cake mix, poked it and poured Caramel Sauce over it. Then I spread Apple Pie Filling and topped it with the Whip Cream.

  11. Reanna

    I made this to bring to a Super Bowl party and it was a huge hit! Definitely one if the best cakes I’ve had! I will definitely be trying more if your recipe. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Reanna! That is so wonderful! I have a popular post called 15 Poke Cakes which has plenty of more of those types of cake. I am excited to see you here.

  12. Linda

    I made this cake for my granddaughter’s birthday & it was delicious! Everyone loved it!! I will definitely make it again & again.

  13. Heather

    im making this for my daughters birthday! Can’t wait to taste it! One question… Where does the milk get used in the recipe?

      1. Monique Joy

        I used cold coffee instead of water with a devil’s food cake mix. I also used coconut oil because I ran out of vegetable oil. It turned out great! I think I’ll be making this every year for my dad’s birthday 🙂

  14. Connie

    No booze in the American version?! I once picked up a small bottle of Kirschwasser at the market in the clearance bin. Maybe I need a good excuse to use it? I mean, it could be lightly sprinkled on the cake before the fudge, right? 😉 Cake looks great! I do agree, pitting fresh cherries are a bit of a hassle to deal with. Last year I bought a little hand tool made for pitting cherries, there was a bit of a learning curve for me. Apron definitely necessary.

  15. Julie @ Julie's Eats & Treats

    Mmmm alcohol? I need to move to another country and have cake! Love that you made this with pie filling to make it easier!

  16. heather @french press

    you are right – pitting cherries is the PITS!! and unlike most things, I actually prefer canned cherry pie filling to homemade – this cake is INCREDIBLE!!

  17. Amy @ A Healthy Life For Me

    I have never had poke cake, but it doesn’t surprise me that this delicious cake came from Germany. They seem to have come up with all those decadent dark cakes. Beautiful recipe!

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Thank you Amy! Poke cakes were new to me when I started blogging too, but then I realized I had probably had them growing up and never even knew!

  18. Deborah

    You are so right – pitting cherries is so not fun!! This pie filling is the perfect solution to this cake – and it looks a-maz-ing!!

  19. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet

    Lucky Leaf pie fillings and a spoon are my bffs when the midnight craving hits! This cake looks crazy good! I need to get on the poke cake trend! Pinned!

  20. Angie | Big Bear's Wife

    Poke Cakes are so good and this black forest version is insane! YUM! I’m with you, sometimes cherries are a pain to work with which is why I love that you used the Lucky Leaf Cherry Pie Filling for this!!

  21. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel

    This looks SO fabulous, Julianne! I adore black forest cakes and what a great way to use up a ton of pie filling! 😉

  22. Lisa @ Wine & Glue

    This looks insanely amazing, Julianne! I’m a sucker for a good poke cake, and when it is this gorgeous, it’s absolutely irresistible! Pinned!

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Oh thank you Lisa! I have to say that Poke cakes were new to me when I started blogging, but I totally obsessed!!

  23. Melanie @ Carmel Moments

    Thanks for doing the research for us! I ‘m not sure why it came about but I’m glad it did. Cherries and chocolate are just fabulous!
    Pinned. Enjoy your weekend!

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