Pin It!

Cherry Chocolate Chip Poke Cake

This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please see my full disclosure policy for details

This cherry chocolate chip poke cake is a sweet cherry cake loaded with chocolate chips, soaked in sweetened condensed milk, and topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.

Craving more delicious poke cakes? Check out my 15 irresistible poke cake recipes!

Easy Cherry Chip Poke Cake

This cherry chocolate chip poke cake might just be the dessert to make me into a cherry lover. All it takes is doctoring up a simple white cake mix with maraschino cherry juice and chocolate chips to make the ultimate cherry chip cake!

Afterward, you’ll soak it in sweetened condensed milk and top everything with Cool Whip. This cherry poke cake is easy to prep and deliciously fruity and decadent. This would make a perfect Valentine’s Day dessert. Or, if you’re anything like me, every day is an occasion for fluffy homemade cake.

Why You’ll Love This Cherry Poke Cake Recipe

  • Made with cake mix. You can’t beat the convenience of store-bought cake mix in this recipe. All it takes is a few simple ingredients to turn a white cake mix into a total cherry bomb.
  • Quick and easy batter. Since this recipe starts with a boxed cake mix, you only need a short list of other ingredients to make the batter. This cake is ready for the oven in minutes!
  • Great for any occasion. Whether you make this fabulous cherry poke cake for a birthday or bake sale, it’s guaranteed to be a hit.
side view of a square of cherry chip poke cake with a jar of maraschino cherries in the background

Key Ingredients

Here are a few notes to keep in mind as you grab the ingredients for this cake mix recipe. See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for a full list of ingredients!

  • Cake Mix – My semi-homemade cherry chip cake batter starts with a white cake mix. You can also use regular vanilla. Or, if you’d like to skip the semi-homemade part entirely, feel free to use a store-bought cherry chip cake mix!
  • Maraschino Cherries – You’ll need both the juice from the jar, as well as whole cherries to chop up and add to the batter.
  • Oil – Vegetable oil gives the cake the most outrageously tender and moist crumb.
  • Egg Whites – Using egg whites instead of whole eggs keeps the texture of this cake extra light and fluffy.
  • Almond Extract – I prefer almond extract because it pairs supper nicely with cherry and helps offset some of the sweetness in the cake. If you don’t have almond extract, you can use vanilla extract instead.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk – You’ll pour this all over the finished cake. Make sure to buy sweetened condensed milk and not the unsweetened kind.
  • Cool Whip – For convenience, I used a Cool Whip topping, but you can totally make homemade whipped cream if preferred.

How to Make Cherry Chip Poke Cake

This poke cake recipe takes just 10 minutes to prep!

  1. Make the cake batter. In a bowl, mix together cake mix, milk, oil, cherry juice, egg whites, and almond extract.
  2. Add the mix-ins. In a small bag, combine chocolate chips and flour. Shake to coat the chocolate chips, then add to the cake batter with chopped cherries.
  3. Bake and cool. Transfer the batter to a greased 9×13″ cake pan, then bake until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.
  4. Poke holes and add the filling. Use the handle end of a wooden spoon to poke small holes all over the top of the cake. Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk over the top to fill the holes.
  5. Top it off. Spread the Cool Whip over the top of the cake, garnish with hot fudge and additional chocolate chips, then serve or store in the fridge.
a fork being plunged into a slice of cherry poke cake topped with chocolate sauce and a maraschino cherry

Recipe Tips and Notes

Here are some final tips for the best cherry chip poke cake:

  • Grease the pan. Coat the pan with a layer of nonstick spray before adding the batter. This helps to prevent sticking.
  • Coat the chocolate chips in flour. Coating the mini chocolate chips in a little bit of flour before mixing them into the batter helps prevent them from sinking.
  • Cool before poking holes. I recommend letting the cake cool for at least 30 minutes or so before you poke holes and add the filling. Use a paper towel to clean the end of the spoon occasionally for cleaner holes.
  • Prepare the cake ahead. You can make the cake up to 2 days in advance and wait to add the filling and topping until the day you plan to serve.
side view of a slice of cherry cake on a white and gold plate with a gold fork

How to Store

  • Fridge. This cherry poke cake will keep fresh for up to 3-5 days in the fridge. Make sure that you store it airtight. Poke cakes get better the longer they sit, as the filling has even more time to infuse into the cake.
  • Freezer. I recommend freezing this cake before you’ve added the whipped topping. Store the poke cake airtight and keep it frozen for up to 2-3 months. Defrost the cake in the fridge before frosting and serving.

More Cherry Cake Recipes

closeup of a slice of cherry poke cake topped with chocolate and a cherry

Cherry Chocolate Chip Poke Cake

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Total Time: 32 minutes
  • Yield: 15 servings


This cherry chocolate chip poke cake is a sweet cherry cake recipe loaded with chocolate chips, soaked in sweetened condensed milk, and topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.


  • 1 box (15oz) white Cake Mix (or vanilla)
  • 3/4 cup (177ml) milk
  • 1/3 cup (79ml) Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) maraschino Cherry Juice, from a 10-ounce jar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) pure almond extract (or vanilla)
  • 1 1/4 cups (280g) mini chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons (18g) all-Purpose Flour
  • 10 Maraschino Cherries, Chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 can (14-ounces) sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 container (8-ounces) Cool Whip
  • 3 tablespoons Hot Fudge Sauce, For garnish


For the Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Coat a 9×13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, milk, vegetable oil, cherry juice, egg whites, and almond extract. Beat all ingredients together until they’re well combined.
  3. In a small plastic bag, combine the mini chocolate chips with the flour and shake to coat the chocolate chips. Gently fold the mini chocolate chips and the chopped cherries into the cake batter, reserving a small handful of the chocolate chips to sprinkle over the top.
  4. Pour the batter into your prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the top of the cake.
  5. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes. To check the cake for doneness, insert a toothpick into the middle of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, it is done. Cool completely. 
  6. Use a wooden spoon or a small round object to poke holes all over the top of the cake. Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk over top of the cake, trying to spread it evenly. Allow it to soak into the cake before topping.  Spread the Cool Whip over the cooled cake, and garnish with hot fudge and cherries. 


  • To use homemade whipped cream instead of Cool Whip, use 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream combined with 1/2 cup powdered sugar.
  • Storing: An assembled poke cake must be stored in the fridge. It will last for 3-5 days, but be sure to use an airtight container. 
Nutrition Information:
1 slice
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

This recipe originally appeared on Food Fanatic

Subscribe to my newsletter and get my fav tips to take your cakes & cupcakes to the next level.