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Triple Chocolate Poke Cake

This decadent chocolate poke cake is a chocolate-lover’s dream. This easy chocolate cake is drenched in hot fudge sauce and chocolate pudding, then topped with chocolate whipped cream. It’s so good!

side view of a slice of poke cake topped with hot chocolate whipped cream and hot fudge on a white plate

Easy Chocolate Poke Cake Recipe

Over the last few years, I’ve learned a thing or two about you guys. The first thing? You love poke cakes. Every time I share a poke cake recipe, you go absolutely crazy for it. I even rounded up my most popular poke cakes, so you have them all in one place!

Now, get ready to go crazy for another one, Triple Chocolate Poke Cake. When I describe this poke cake to people I usually tell them to imagine the most chocolatey thing they can think of…then to add more chocolate to it. This is truly a death by chocolate cake.

Why You’ll Love This Chocolate Pudding Cake

  • Simple. One of the reasons I love poke cakes so much is that you get a big reward for very little effort. This cake is super simple to make yet is ultra-satisfying.
  • Chocolatey to the max. There is chocolate in every aspect of this recipe. I used my easy chocolate cake that’s infused with chocolate pudding and hot fudge and topped off with hot chocolate whipped cream, more hot fudge, and chocolate chips.
  • Flavor and creamy. The most accurate way I can describe this cake is “dreamy”.
overhead of a square slice of chocolate poke cake on a white plate next to two forks

Key Ingredients

Here’s a quick look at some of the main ingredients you’ll need to make a chocolate poke cake. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for the full ingredient list and specific amounts.

  • Sour Cream – swap our for Plain or Greek yogurt if needed
  • Espresso Powder – espresso powder is optional but enhances the chocolate flavor in the cake. A fine ground coffee also works.
  • Coffee – hot brewed coffee creates a richer, more chocolate-y flavor. If you don’t want to use coffee, you can swap it out for milk.
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda – both leavening agents are needed to keep the cake lighter and fluffier.
  • Hot Fudge Sauce – adding hot fudge sauce before the pudding layer is optional, but more chocolate never hurt, right?!
a slice of chocolate poke cake on a plate drizzled with hot fudge and topped with mini chocolate chips

How to Make Chocolate Poke Cake

This poke cake recipe requires just a few simple steps, starting with my simple chocolate cake as the base, then you finish it off with the filling and whipped topping!

  • Combine the wet ingredients: In a bowl, mix together sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Beat until lighter in color, then mix in the sour cream.
  • Add the dry ingredients: Sift the dry ingredients into a separate bowl, then add half of the dry ingredients to the wet batter followed by half of the coffee. Mix until just combined, then add the rest of the dry ingredients and coffee. Mix on low until well-combined.
  • Bake: Transfer the batter to a baking dish and bake at 350ºF until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.
  • Poke the holes: Use the handle end of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the top of the cake.
  • Add the filling: Warm the hot fudge in the microwave, then pour it all over the top of the cake. Allow to set and cool completely. Meanwhile, mix together the pudding mix and milk. Immediately pour over the cake, then let it set in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  • Top it off: Chill a bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for a few minutes, then add in the heavy whipping cream. Beat until soft peaks form, then beat in the hot chocolate mix until stiff peaks form. Spread over the cake, then garnish with chocolate and chocolate chips.

Variations Ideas

If you’re looking to give this chocolate pudding cake your own spin, here are a few ideas to spark your creativity:

  • Change the topping. If you don’t have powdered hot chocolate, you can make this chocolate whipped cream instead.
  • Don’t have time to bake from scratch? You can also use a chocolate cake mix.
  • Add some caramel. Have you tried a Better Than Sex Cake? Swap out the hot fudge for caramel sauce and toss some toffee on top instead of chocolate chips.
  • Add cookies. If you love cookies, try adding some crushed Oreos or chocolate chip cookies on top.
a slice of poke cake with a forkful on a plate

Tips for the Best Chocolate Poke Cake

You’d be amazed by how a few simple things can make all the difference. Here are my top tips for baking up the perfect poke cake:

  • Sift the dry ingredients. This helps prevent dry clumps in the cake. We want every bite to be moist and gooey!
  • Don’t skip the coffee. No, it doesn’t make the cake taste like coffee. All it does is make the chocolate flavor even better! Trust me!
  • Cool before poking. After the cake is baked, let it cool completely before you poke the holes and add the filling. If it’s too warm, it will be way too messy.
  • Add the pudding right away. Once you mix the pudding mix and milk, pour it over the cake immediately. We want it to be liquid when you add it so it sets in the holes of the cake.
  • Chill the whip bowl and whisk. I like to set the bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. The colder tools create a lighter, fluffier whipped cream.
a forkful of chocolate poke cake held in front of a plate with a slice of cake

How to Make Ahead & Store Extras

  • Prepare ahead: This chocolate poke cake is a fantastic make-ahead dessert. It just gets better as it sits! To make it in advance, simply make it as directed, but don’t add the whipped cream topping. Instead, cover and store in the fridge for 1-2 days. When you’re ready to serve, just make a fresh batch of whipped cream, top it off, and dig in.
  • Storing: Once the pudding has been added, it has to be refrigerated. A fully assembled poke cake will last in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: I do not recommend freezing a finished cake. Instead, you can bake the cake as instructed, cool it completely, and then freeze the cake. Thaw to room temperature, then add the filling and toppings.

More Poke Cake Recipes to Try

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closeup of a slice of chocolate poke cake on a white plate

Triple Chocolate Poke Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 8 reviews
  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 26 minutes
  • Total Time: 56 minutes
  • Yield: 16-20 pieces
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American


This mouthwatering Sinful Triple Chocolate Poke cake is a chocolate cake, drenched in hot fudge sauce and chocolate pudding and it is topped with a chocolate whipped cream. There could not be more chocolate here!


For the cake

  • 1 ½ cups (285g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (118 ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (118 ml) sour cream
  • 2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (55 g) cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon (5g) espresso powder (optional)
  • 2 ½ teaspoons (9 g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
  • 1 ¼ cup (296 ml) hot brewed coffee

For the topping

  • 1 jar (8oz) hot fudge sauce (optional)
  • 1 box (3.4oz) Hersey’s Dark Chocolate instant pudding mix
  • 1 3/4 cups (414ml) milk

For the Whipped Cream:

  • 2 cups (472ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups hot chocolate mix (about 10 sleeves of instant hot chocolate)
  • Additional hot fudge sauce for drizzling
  • Mini chocolate chips for garnish


For the Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until the eggs and oil are well incorporated and the batter is lighter in color.
  3. Next mix in the sour cream and beat until well combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Then add half the dry ingredients followed by half of the coffee and mix just until the flour starts to incorporate.
  5. Finally add the remaining dry ingredients, mixing on low speed while pouring in the remaining coffee and beating until all of the ingredients are well combined.
  6. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
  7. Pour the batter into a 9×13-inch pan and bake at 350°F for 26-28 minutes. Test the cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, you cake is done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.


  1. Take the end of a wooden spoon or another round object and poke holes all over the top of your cake.
  2. 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 entire 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.
  3. When the cake has cooled, prepare the pudding layer by mixing a package of instant dark chocolate pudding with cold milk. Before the pudding sets, pour it over the top of the cake and put the cake in the fridge to let the pudding set, about 15 minutes.


  1. 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 the cold mixing bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the hot chocolate mix and increase speed to medium-high. Beat until stiff peak form.
  2. Spread the whipped cream over the top of cake. You can top you cake with a chocolate drizzle and some mini chocolate chips


  • Make ahead of time: This cake can be prepared 1-2 days in advance and kept refrigerated. The whipped topping is best served fresh if possible
  • Substitute for sour cream: I would recommend substituting with plain or Greek yogurt
  • Substitute for coffee: If you do not want to use coffee, then I suggest using milk
  • The original recipe was made with cake mix: 1 box chocolate cake mix, 1 box instant chocolate pudding (3.4oz), 3 large eggs, 2 tsp vanilla, 1 cup milk (or water), 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 cup light sour cream. Mix all ingredients together and make for 24-28 minutes. This is for the cake recipe only. Follow the remaining ingredients and instructions for the filling and topping. Note you’ll need 2 boxes (3.4oz) of pudding if you’re making the cake mix version.


  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 462
  • Sugar: 7.1g
  • Sodium: 444.3mg
  • Fat: 23.6g
  • Saturated Fat: 15.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 58.4g
  • Fiber: 2.2g
  • Protein: 7.1g
  • Cholesterol: 76.5mg

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140 thoughts on “Triple Chocolate Poke Cake”

  1. Hi, cake looks yummy, however I dislike pudding in any form so what would you suggest I poke it with? Thanks

  2. Hello, the cake looks super moist and delicious, would love to try. You have mentioned 1 1/4 cup coffee, can you pls tell me how much coffee in 1 1/4 cup water?
    Also will instant coffee powder work?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi there, I would recommend you base it off whatever type of coffee you are making, check the packaging. Instant coffee will work to brew coffee.

  3. My daughter has requested this amazing looking cake for her birthday! Is espresso powder the same as ground espresso???
    Thanks for your help!

  4. Hi,

    This recipe looks amazing. Had a question here – can there be any replacement to eggs and Hersey’s dark chocolate instant pudding.


    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Jigna, sorry I don’t have any recommendations for the egg replacement. For the pudding, you can use any type of variety of instant pudding or even a homemade version.

    2. Avatar photo
      Beverly Millimen

      You can always mash up bananas really good and mix it into the cake or you can also use puree applesauce for replacing the egg

  5. Delish!!!!!!!! I used espresso chips on top they are by Toll House and added 1/2 teaspoon of espresso power to my whipped cream. Great recipe.

  6. Super rich and loved by the entire family. While there are many steps to they recipe it was a fun bake. note – I didn’t have lite sour cream only regular yummy high fat – did not seem to make a difference in taste. I did find the cake batter very runny and had to extend the bake time to 35 plus minutes before the toothpick came out “clean”. Will be making this again.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Alex- thanks so much for your feedback! The batter is in fact quite thin- but you did the right thing to extend your baking time, each oven and baking pan is different.

      1. You are amazing, thankyou for mail tour recepies. Apreciaré very much.
        And…. Sorry for my bad english. Gracias. Un abrazo. Y cuando haga de tus galletas te mando mi comentario.

  7. Avatar photo
    Janet Kowalski

    Love this cake and shared the recipe. Quick question: can it be frozen? Friend is making and wants to use for two separate occasions a week apart.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Janet! I have not tried freezing this recipe because it has the pudding it in. I am sure it would be fine to freeze without the pudding layer.