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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.
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.
I learned the original black forest cake is a German dessert that 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 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.
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.
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!
Black Forest Poke Cake
- 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 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
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Combine cake mix according to the ingredients on the box. Beat on medium speed until well combined.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Open the jar of Cherry Pie Filling and pour over the top of the cake, spread evenly. Allow cake to cool completely.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cool whip can be substituted for fresh whipped cream.
- For a homemade chocolate cake, I suggest my super moist chocolate cake
- Category: Cake
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Poke Cake Recipe, Chocolate Poke Cake, Black Forest Cake
Yummy! I used marrachino cherries but only added one tablespoon of juice. I put half cake mix in bottom of pan and then cherries and then the rest of cake mix. I poked holes all-around and added hot fudge topping. Mixed cherry juice from marrachino cherries with Cool whip. Delicious
Wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing!
Delicious! Great for a crowd. It was the fan favorite at work.
Awesome! Thank you so much Brittany!
Wondering if you could make day ahead, with adding the filling and refrigerate 24hrs ahead of serving. Adding topping just before…?
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.
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.
I hope you enjoy!
Could you freeze this? Maybe before adding the topping?
Hi Allison, you can freeze the cake, but I wouldn’t add the filling or topping until you thaw the cake.
If you freeze the cake ahead of time, should you warm the cake before poking holes in it and putting in the filling?
Hi Janice, no need to rewarm it to poke the holes!
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!!!
I love that you were able to make this into a healthier option!!
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.
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.
I would like to turn the cake out on a platter for presentation before putting on the chocolate and pie filling. Will this work?
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.