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hot cocoa poke cake recipe

We’re big poke cake fans around here.  If you aren’t familiar with poke cake let me tell you exactly what that is.  You bake a basic cake, poke holes in it, and simply drown it in delicious toppings that seep down into the cake.  It creates a moist, rich, gooey, delicious cake that you serve right out of the pan.  They’re simple to make and pretty much foolproof!

This time of year all I want is a good rich cup of cocoa, but hey why not make a hot cocoa cake?  Cake good.  Cocoa good.  Put it together and pass me a fork!

hot cocoa poke cake recipe

I’ve always had a lot of fun coming up with different combinations, and since yesterday was Brian’s birthday it gave me an excuse to make a hot cocoa flavored poke cake.  Gotta love those Christmas birthdays, they keep us on our toes!  The first cake I made didn’t make the cut, but the second hot cocoa poke cake certainly did!   It got the birthday boy’s seal of approval.

hot cocoa poke cake recipe

Why do I love poke cakes so much?  Poking holes in a cake just feels fun… almost naughty, and pouring on a bunch of delicious toppings is just fun.  Plus poke cakes are messy, imperfect, and served right out of the pan.  No stress getting the cake out of the pan and no drama trying to get the frosting perfect.

You always want to give your poke cake at least an hour to chill in the refrigerator but I recommend a little longer if possible.  I like my poke cakes nice and cold.  So hmm… I guess it’s more of a cold cocoa cake huh?

hot cocoa poke cake recipe

When making this recipe whatever you do don’t skip the cream!  It’s essential in giving the chocolate a rich creamy flavor and adding moisture to the cake.  To finish off the cake top with whipped topping, a little leftover chocolate syrup, and a grated chocolate.  I like to grate up a Hershey’s chocolate bar for a little extra pizazz just like a fancy cup of indulgent hot cocoa.  You can also use mini chocolate chips if that’s easier.

hot cocoa poke cake recipe

Hot Cocoa Poke Cake

Servings: 12


  • 1 15.25 oz box devils food cake mix
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 8 oz Hershey's chocolate syrup
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz whipped topping
  • 1 chocolate bar, grated for garnish
  • chocolate syrup for garnish


  • Bake cake according to package directions.
  • Once cake comes out of the oven, poke holes all over the top of the cake using the end of a wooden spoon.
  • Pour sweetened condensed milk over the top of cake and spread to fill in the holes.
  • In a small bowl whisk together 8 oz chocolate syrup with heavy cream. Pour over the top of the cake and spread to fill in holes.
  • Let cake cool to room temperature and then refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  • Top with whipped topping and garnish with grated chocolate bar and chocolate syrup.

hot cocoa poke cake recipe

Once you’ve been bitten by the poke cake bug it’s hard to stop making them.  The girls and I come up with crazy combinations all the time, it’s so fun.  If you have strawberry love try my strawberry shortcake poke cake recipe too!  I’ve already got another poke recipe in my head I want to try.  Just maybe that will make it on the blog one day too.  Need more cocoa love?  Try my slow cooker hot chocolate pudding, it’s so rich and delicious with the slow cooker and also stress free.