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Black Forest Poke Cake

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

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

side view of a square slice of black forest poke cake on a white plate.

Easy Black Forest Cake

I will be the first to admit that I don’t love cherries…or I didn’t think I could love them, but when used in the right way, I believe anyone can fall in love.

This easy black forest cake is inspired by the OG Triple chocolate poke cake. It’s drenched in hot fudge sauce until the cake is soft and gooey, then topped with the sweetest cherry pie filling, homemade whipped cream, and chocolate shavings. I mean, who couldn’t love that?!

It’s so sweet, rich, delectable, and surprisingly simple to make! If you love these types of cakes, here are 15 more poke cake recipes!

What is Black Forest Cake?

Black forest cake is a German dessert that’s made with layers of chocolate cake, whipped cream, and chocolate shavings. This may not be truly authentic to the original version but a quicker, easier cake to make.

a white plate with a slice of black forest cake.

Key Ingredients

This poke cake recipe is made with just a few simple ingredients. Scroll to the recipe card below for the full list of ingredients and amounts.

  • Chocolate Cake Mix – I like to keep it extra simple by using a chocolate cake mix, as well as the ingredients listed on the box to make the cake. However, if you’re working with a little extra time, feel free to whip up a homemade chocolate cake instead.
  • Cherry Pie Filling – I use Lucky Leaf cherry pie filling, but feel free to use whatever cherry pie filling you can find at your local grocery store.
  • Whipped Cream – I make a simple homemade whipped cream using heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar, but Cool Whip will work too.
  • Chocolate Shavings – To make chocolate shavings, you will need a chocolate bar and a sharp knife. Carefully use the knife to make tiny cuts off the end of the bar. It should break apart naturally!

How to Make Black Forest Poke Cake

This easy black forest cake can really be as simple as you want it to be!

Here’s a breakdown of the recipe in its simplest form!

  1. Bake the cake: Combine the cake mix according to box instructions, then bake until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 30 minutes.
  2. Poke holes: Use the handle end of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the top of the cake.
  3. Add the filling: Warm the hot fudge until pourable, then drizzle it over the top of the cake. Let it soak in while the cake cools completely.
  4. Add the toppings: Once the cake is cooled, pour the cherry pie filling over the top and spread evenly.
  5. Prepare the whipped cream. In a chilled bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream for several minutes until it forms soft peaks, then add powdered sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Spread the homemade whipped cream over the cherries.
  6. Garnish and serve: Sprinkle the top of the cake with chocolate shavings, then slice and serve.
a square slice of chocolate cake on a plate topped with cherry pie filling and whip.

Tips for Success

  • How to check for doneness. The cake baking time can vary, so I recommend using a toothpick to check for doneness before removing it from the oven. Simply insert it into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, then it’s ready to go!
  • Cool slightly before poking holes. For the best results, let the cake cool for 30 minutes or so before poking the holes. If you poke it fresh out of the oven, it will be much softer and messier.
  • Use a wooden spoon. The handle end of the wooden spoon makes creates the perfect size of hole to really soak in the hot fudge.
  • Let the cake cool completely before adding the toppings. After you add the hot fudge, let the cake cool completely before you add the whipped cream. Otherwise you will end up with a big melty mess.
a slice of black forest cake with a bite taken out on a plate.

How to Store Finished Poke Cake

A fully assembled poke cake will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. And the good news is, it just gets better and better as it sits!

If you want to prep further ahead of time, you can bake the cake and store that at room temperature for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to serve, simply poke the holes and add the filling and toppings.

More Poke Cakes You’ll Love

closeup side view of a slice of chocolate poke cake with cherry pie filling on a plate.

Easy Black Forest Poke Cake

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • 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, topped with cherry pie filling and fresh whipped cream, and sprinkled with chocolate shavings.


  • 1 box (15oz) Chocolate cake mix
  • Ingredients listed on the box: Eggs, Oil, Water etc. (Note that I used milk instead of water).
  • 1 jar (16oz) Hot fudge sauce 
  • 1 can (21oz) Lucky Leaf Cherry Pie Filling
  • 2 cups Heavy whipping cream
  • 1 ¼ cups Powdered sugar
  • Chocolate bar for shavings


  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 30 minutes.
  4. Take the end of a wooden spoon or another round object and poke holes all over the top of the 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 the cake and allow it to absorb in the cake until the 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. 
  7. Make the whipped cream. Place the mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to chill. Pour the heavy whipping cream into the chilled bowl and use an electric mixer to beat the heavy cream on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Slowly add the powdered sugar and continue beating at high speed until stiff peaks start to form. Spread the whipped cream over the top of the cake.
  8. Chop a chocolate bar into small pieces and sprinkle over the top of the cake. 


  • Cool whip can be substituted for fresh whipped cream, one 8-ounce container will work. 
  • For a homemade chocolate cake, I suggest my  easy chocolate cake
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days. 
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

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

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