Sinful Triple Chocolate Poke Cake

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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!

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A close up shot of a slice of chocolate poke cake showing all the layers

I have a new one for you this week that I call Sinful Triple Chocolate Poke Cake. I am just going to get right into it because it’s that good.

This is a homemade fudgy chocolate cake with chocolate pudding and a hot chocolate whipped cream. Instead of using your typical sweetened condensed milk, I used a jar of hot fudge that I drizzle over the warm cake and then filled in the holes with a chocolate pudding.

Dreamy is the only way I could describe this cake.

If you love chocolate poke cakes, then you’ll definitely love my chocolate chip cookie poke cake, Ultimate Oreo Poke Cake, and my Mudslide Poke Cake.

An overhead shot of a slice of cake drizzled with chocolate sauce and chocolate chips

Then to top it off, I made a chocolate whipped cream. Whipped cream is SO easy to make. My favorite whipped to make around the holidays is Hot Chocolate Whipped Cream, which I used for this cake.

This is one of my favorite toppings.  The hot chocolate whipped cream produces a thicker whipped cream,  almost a mousse-like texture. It doesn’t have an overly strong chocolate flavor because hot chocolate is not usually rich in flavor.

A fork with a bite of chocolate poke cake on it

If there is one thing I mention over and over again, it’s that my husband really only eat chocolate cake, snickerdoodle, Oreos and Rice Krispie Treats. He really doesn’t eat many of my desserts. So when I made this cake recently so that I could reshoot the photos and make the video (see below!), he was more than happy to dig right into the leftovers. This recipe is “husband approved”.

Over the last few years, I’ve learned a thing or two about you guys. Guess what? You love poke cakes recipes too! Every time I share this recipe, you go absolutely crazy for it! I even rounded up 15 of my most popular poke cakes, so you have them all in once place.

A slice of chocolate poke cake with a fork laying next to it with a bite on it

The original recipe I made in 2013 was for a cake mix version of this recipe.You can still make the cake mix version of this recipe, I’ve included the notes in the recipe for the original cake mix version.

You might notice that I use quite a bit of cake mixes for my recipes and there’s a specific reason for that.

I believe that you can create something magical with a cake mix, and no one ever has to know you used a box. It is a great way for beginner bakers to get their feet wet. However, I have an amazing Moist Chocolate Cake recipe, and I have since update this recipe to a homemade version.

This cake is best served cold, and has to stay refrigerated, but there’s no need to worry about the cake drying out. Between the hot fudge and chocolate pudding in the cake, every bit is the perfect one.

Poke cakes make great desserts for parties and potlucks. Although they feed a crowd, I often find my friends go back for seconds.

A close up shot of a chocolate poke cake with chocolate whipped cream

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A close up shot of a slice of chocolate poke cake showing all the layers

Sinful Triple Chocolate Poke Cake

  • Author: Julianne Bayer
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 26 minutes
  • Total Time: 56 minutes
  • Yield: 16-20 pieces

Description

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!

Ingredients

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) light 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 (355 ml) 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

Instructions

  1. For the cake: 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.
  8. 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.
  9. optional: 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Spread the whipped cream over the top of cake. You can top you cake with a chocolate drizzle and some mini chocolate chips

Notes

  • 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.
  • 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 nonfat Greek yogurt
  • Substitute for coffee: If you do not want to use coffee, then I suggest using warm water
Nutrition Information:
1 Slice
462
7.1g
444.3mg
23.6g
15.5g
58.4g
2.2g
7.1g
76.5mg
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Poke Cake, Chocolate Cake, Pudding Cake, Chocolate Poke Cake, Poke Cake Recipe, Pudding Poke Cake, Cake Recipe

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124 Responses
  1. Alex

    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. 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.

  2. 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. 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.

  3. Douglas

    Looks delicious! I plan to make this weekend. If I go with your original recipe using a cake mix, is there a separate pudding layer? I see you combine the pudding mix with the cake mix to make the cake. Is there a separate link to the original with directions?
    THANKS! This is for a birthday cake for a colleague who LOVES chocolate.

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Douglas, for the cake mix version, the recipe in the notes is for the cake only. Follow all the remaining instructions for the filling and topping. So you’ll need 2 boxes of pudding mix for the recipe.

  4. Susan Drake

    How long should I cook the cake if I am making this into cupcakes? I am planning on making this into cupcakes 🙂 I can’t wait!!

  5. Susie

    This cake looks amazing.What do you think about using the chocolate cool whip for the toppings of the cake? It would take place of the home made whipping cream. Just to shorten the steps.

  6. Amira

    Hi Julianne,
    Thank you for the lovely recipe:)
    I was wondering do I need to add the sour cream & milk to the dry cake mix?!! Am confused

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Amira. Yes, the milk would replace the water it is not in addition to the water. And the sour cream would be added to the batter the same time as the oil and eggs. I hope this helps!

      1. Amira

        Hi again:) another question do I need to add the dry pudding mix as well?! Or I can just skip this step? And add it only on the cake with the sauce?

  7. Rhonda Davis

    In your… For the Topping, you show 1 3/4 c milk, but in the instructions you say to add 2 c milk to the pudding. It’s only a 1/4 c difference but wondering which you used.

  8. Kate Sommerfeld

    Just made this for my hubby’s birthday tomorrow with a few alterations. I used butter instead of oil and just used regular sour cream. I also had to cook it for 30 minutes but each oven is different so that was no big surprise. Additionally, I used two tubs of cool whip and mixed them with a dry chocolate pudding mix instead of the hot chocolate and heavy whipping cream. Then I topped it with chopped Kit Kats (his fav) and drizzled it with chocolate syrup! Sixfold chocolate cake to be sure! Can’t wait to try it tomorrow! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  9. Joanne

    Hi. Little confused by twelve sleeves of hot chocolate. Do you mean buy a box of instant hot chocolate mix and use all the envelopes that are in that box?

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Joanne, yes, buy a box on instant hot chocolate and use those sleeves. I tried to offer both measurement incase people have a large container of hot chocolate or if they wanted to buy the box instead.

  10. KansasMom

    Hershey’s Dark Chocolate pudding mix (or any other equivalent) is no longer available. Do you think this cake would be equally as delicious with a regular chocolate pudding mix? Have you tried it with just a regular Hershey’s Chocolate pudding mix or do you have another alternative that you think would be better? Making this tomorrow and I’m so bummed!

  11. megs1

    I have made this several times in the last few years , I think its my guys favorite dessert ! I also add extra time when baking . I have used whip cream in the tub and added hersheys syrup , I use what ever I have on hand for a chocolate cake ! Thank you !!!

  12. Ashlee Hebel

    I made this for a birthday Friday at work. It was a HIT!! Everyone loved it and I am making it again this week for another function. You cannot go wrong with this recipe. The pudding makes it so moist and decedent.

    1. Beyond Frosting

      That’s awesome Ashlee!! Thank you so much for coming back and letting me know! I actually just made this tonight for a birthday at work tomorrow! I can’t wait to dig in!

  13. Jenn C.

    I have made this the past 3 years for my husbands soccer team after a week of preseason. This year I had to make two–the girls came with spoons ready! SUCH AN AMAZING CAKE!!!

  14. Shawn

    im currently baking an all white chocolate version of this poke cake. I’m using Hershey white chocolate pudding, I had to special order Ghirardelli white chocolate sauce from Amazon. I hope it turns out great

  15. nethery

    I’m making this today. After 37 minutes in the oven, it’s still fudgy in the center. The bake time seems to be off. I’m using a 9×13 glass pan @350. I’m sure it will be delicious though!

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Nethery- I am sorry I can’t be in your kitchen to help you solve the problem. My only guess is that maybe something is off with the temperature of your oven. I have never really heard of a boxed cake mix needing to bake for more than 25 minutes, but I have not really used a glass pan in awhile. I hope it will be okay for you. Happy 4th!

    2. Rachael

      I had the same issue with the bake time. At 32 minutes, it is finally done. I also used a glass baking pan so maybe thats why. I will update with how it turned out. But so far it’s looking good.

      1. Tish

        This has nothing to do with glass pan. It is because of the sour cream and pudding mix that is added to the cake mix. Baking times are for cake mix as made on package. I have added more than 15 minutes to bake time and cake is still not set. Recipe is flawed

        1. Beyond Frosting

          Hi Trish, I make this cake a couple time a month and I’ve never baked it for more than 25 minutes. This recipe is not flawed. Hundreds of people have made this cake. And in fact it’s well known that glass pan have a different baking time. Non stick and dark baking pans also have longer baking time.

          1. Michele

            I don’t know about all of that, but I’m making it in a regular old metal cake pan and I’m having the same issues as many of the other women. I had the cake in my oven for over 35 minutes and it’s still kind of “gooey ” in the center, and worse yet it fell in the middle! The bad thing is I’m bringing it to my sister’s house for Thanksgiving so I’m desperately hoping that it’s actually cooked all the way through and that I can cover up the big dent in the middle with some of that whipped cream frosting….

  16. Anne

    hi, I have the cake in oven now but just read a comment stating that the pudding and milk was to go over the cake. In the ingredients /instructions for the cake portion it says to mix the pudding mix, milk, cake mix etc
    Together. Please confirm. Thanks

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Anne, there is milk and a dry pudding mix in the actual cake. After you bake the cake and poke holes, pour the hot fudge over top and allow to cool. Once cooled, take you second pack of pudding and milk and whisk together. Pour the mixed pudding over the cake before it has firmed up. Pop the cake in the Fridge and allow the pudding to set.

      1. Heidi

        Hello! My batter is MUCH thicker than the batter in your video, and I had to increase the baking time by almost 15 minutes. Looking at your video more closely, I noticed you added cake mix, WATER, and oil. There is no water measurement in your ingredient list. Could this be why my batter is so thick and takes longer to bake?

        1. Beyond Frosting

          We have a Youtube account but we don’t house most of our videos there. They mainly live on our website. There’s a link on the homepage for Recipe videos or you can click here.

  17. Mrs. G-O

    I replaced the hot fudge layer with a can of cajeta mixed with a can of sweetened condensed milk, basically caramel sauce. It was awesome!

  18. Chicory App

    Absolutely scrumptious! Love how decadent this cake is !!!!
    We love your blog and recipes. Are you interested in becoming a Chicory recipe partner?

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Barbara, a poke cake simply means that when you pull the cake out of the oven, you poke holes in it and then pour a liquid over it, weather it is pudding, sweetened condensed milk, or in this cake, hot fudge sauce!

  19. Lynn

    This cake looks fantastic and I will definitely try it! I am still searching for a recipe for a Chocolate Raspberry Poke Cake that I had years ago. It was a very moist chocolate cake with a dark raspberry (maybe pudding) filling with chocolate frosting. Do you have any suggestions that I can try? Thanks so much – I love your recipes!

  20. Gina

    HI I would like too know if the whipped cream topping will survive overnigh in the fridge? or should I just use cool whip with mixed in chocolate pieces? I plan on traveling with this cake for 2 hours in the car

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Gina, it will absolutely survive overnight, in fact it should be ok for 2-3 days. It will be fine to travel with for 2 hours, but I would suggest refrigerating it again before serving.

  21. Alicia

    I made this cake this past weekend. IT WAS AMAZING! I’ve never used whipping cream but I believe the “frosting” is going to be my new favorite topping. we absolutely loved it, thank you for sharing!

  22. Laurie Cole

    This looks delish! I can’t wait to try it! The only question I have is: surely you don’t mean 1.5 cups of cocoa powder? Right? That is A LOT!

  23. Jamie

    Hi,

    I decided to make this cake today and I’ve had it in the oven for atleast 15 minutes longer than what your recipe calls for, and the middle is still runny. Ive followed it perfectly. Any tips? Will is setup as it cools?

    Thanks!

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Jamie. I have found that depending on where you live, baking times will vary. For instance, I bake at sea level, but some of my readers who live in higher elevations will need to bake it for longer. It’s ok to leave the cake in the oven for longer, the middle needs to be mostly baked.

  24. Lau

    I made this cake! My boyfriend LOVED it, ate the whole freakin thing within a few days. He says it tastes like brownies and ice cream. I have to agree. This is a new favorite 🙂

      1. Lau

        I just wanted to share with you that this is now my go-to recipe when I need to take a cake somewhere or when I’m having company over. I have made it more times than I can count, and everyone is ALWAYS amazed by how good it is! I’ve shared this page with a few people who have also had the same results.

        I like to sprinkle walnuts on top of mine along with the chopped chocolate chips and more hot fudge drizzled on.

        I wish there was a way to convert this into cupcakes, as I have a [very] small cupcakes side-business that I do on the side, and I’m pretty sure these would be in high demand! I’m worried that they would fall to pieces, but I am tempted to try it someday!

  25. cami

    Hello! I found your wonderful website from a post @Chef In Training. Wow, your recipes are fantastic! I have a question regarding the “Sinful Triple Chocolate Poke Cake” –(love that name!) most cake mixes come with pudding in the mix already. Do I still need the additional instant pudding mix as per the recipe? Thanks 🙂

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Cami! The pudding in this recipe is a mixed pudding (milk and pudding) and then poured over the cake. So you have a baked cake, pudding and the chocolate whipped cream. It helps keep the cake super moist!

  26. Joyce Ranelli

    This cake is sinful. I made the cake as directed but for the frosting, I used 2 tubs of the chocolate cool whip frosting and for garnish, I shaved a big block of a Hersery candy bar. I got rave reviews from chocolate lovers.

  27. Tanya B

    OMG!! I am NOT a cake person! I love baking them for others but have never found one that I really enjoy. This cake has changed me!! It is the best cake ever!! My husband couldn’t stop eating it!! IT is heavenly good!! To die for good! I can’t stop eating it – good!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!

    I followed the recipe almost to a T but only used 1/2 a jar of the warm fudge. A whole jar just seemed like too much.
    For the chocolate whipped creamed – I saved a little bit of the chocolate pudding put on top of the cake and put it in my whipped cream mixture along with 2 packets of hot chocolate. It was awesome!!

    For the topping, we decorated it with whole chocolate chips. I loved this b/c it gave a bigger crunch and a different texture. Everything was so moist and soft. I liked having something to chew on.

  28. cathy

    I am making this for the first time tonight. Taking it to work tomorrow to celebrate a co-workers birthday. It smells so yummy. I can’t wait to actually taste it.

  29. Chris

    I have made this and it was absolutely delicious! My boss wants me to make him one but he lives by himself. I was wondering if I would make this into 2 square cakes could they be frozen and still have the same texture when thawed out?

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Chris. I don’t see why you couldn’t freeze just the cake portion and then thaw it out and add all the toppings. I am not sure if I would make it and then freeze it for more than a few days.

  30. Gwen Thompson

    I made this last week for work. It was a big hit with the ladies. It is soooo rich. The next time I make it I will leave off the pidgin layer though.

  31. Elizabeth

    How big should the jar of hot fudge be? I see several different sizes in my store. Oh and how far does the ghirardelli hot chocolate mix stretch? I am looking at the 16 oz cans and wondering if 1 would be enough to make the frosting here and/or the hot chocolate ice box cake. It’s so expensive! Looks wonderful!

  32. carolyn

    I have a couple questions about the whipped cream frosting… it calls for 1/4 of chococlate chips and white chips but is it 1/4 cup? and It says you can either use the hot chocolate mix or coco powder.. but 1 is sweet and the other is not… so do you add sugar if you use the coco powder?
    thanks! it looks very yummie

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Carolyn! Yes, it is a 1/4 C of each chocolate chip, I just added that into the recipe detail. Thank you for letting me know! I do not add sugar to heavy whipping cream if I use unsweetened cocoa powder. I just like the intense chocolate flavor, but you can also try adding 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract.

      1. Tori

        1 1/2 cups of cocoa powder?! That plus my 3 cups of heavy whipping cream was hard as a rock and bitter as heck. Is that supposed to be tablespoons or something?! That’s more than you would use for a whole batch of brownies… So confused.

        1. Beyond Frosting

          Hi Tori, The 1 1/2 C really is for the hot chocolate powder. I didn’t give a measurement for the cocoa powder but I will amend the recipe.

          1. Kasha

            Hi! Planning on making this week. I see that someone else had the same question about the amount of cocoa powder, and you said you would amend the recipe. I don’t see it. Did I miss something? 🙂

          2. Beyond Frosting

            Hi Kasha, thanks for stopping by! No, I did not amend the recipe. With 3 cups of heavy cream, you need quite a bit of “powder” in order to stabilize it. I do in fact used 1.5 cups of hot chocolate mix. I have added a note into the recipe if you chose to use cocoa powder instead of hot chocolate mix, you will have to adjust the amount. The idea of adding all the “powder” is to help stabilize the whipped cream. I recommend the hot chocolate mix because the flavor is a lot less intense than a cocoa powder.

          3. Amy

            Hi there,
            Love this recipe, I have a Keurig and don’t tend to keep the hot chocolate packets as much anymore…but I do have Nutella! So I used that in place of the hot chocolate mix packets. I ended up using around 1/4 cup and built it up until it tasted best.
            Hope that helps.
            Thanks for posting this recipe, will for sure be coming back to your blog for more!!! 🙂

  33. Lauren Layman

    This looks delicious! Do you think this would still be ok if I made it the night before? I’d love to take this to a Christmas party on Monday night but I have to work all day on Monday!

  34. Renee @ Two in the Kitchen

    I love dropping by your site to see what amazingly decadent treats you have created and this is no exception. I could INHALE this!!!

    Love the color palette on your new look! Very nice!!

  35. Ashley @ PioneerMomma.com

    This looks divine! And I have to try that hot chocolate whipped cream! Pinning, and would love if you stopped by and linked up to What’d You Do This Weekend. Thanks for sharing and have a great day!

  36. Erin {Delightful E Made}

    Wow!! This cake looks amazing! Have pinned! And I always love a recipe that dresses up a box mix. Makes it less of a guessing game. Stopping by from Tuesday Talent Show.

  37. Tenns @ New Mama Diaries

    I have never heard of a triple chocolate poke cake. Looks so delicious and decadent! I’m definitely going to have to try this out. Already pinned!

        1. Beyond Frosting

          Hi Margie, every oven is different, and pans very depending on the type. Generally I give a range 18-25 minutes in my oven works.

          1. Tish

            I have added 10 minutes so far and it is still not done. I have a newer oven that has never had problems before, think you need to adjust your time. Just hoping it comes out!

          2. Beyond Frosting

            Hi Trish, just curious if you have tested your oven temperature? I also got a new oven about 6 months ago, it’s 10-15 degrees off. So I use an internal temperature gauge and so I adjust the oven temperature to make up for it.

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