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Gooey, chocolatey, irresistible. Chocolate Pudding Poke Cake is a decadent and rich dessert that combines moist chocolate cake with creamy, fudgy pudding for an irresistible combination of flavors. This is an indulgent treat that everyone will love no matter the occasion!
9 times out of 10, if you ask me what I want for dessert, I will say chocolate cake. If we’re at a restaurant and there is a variation of chocolate cake on the menu, you bet I am saving my appetite for it.
Now, I’ve made a lot of chocolate cake in my days. My most popular chocolate cake, the chocolate mug cake, is my all-time favorite and a pretty safe bet that it will satisfy my chocolate cravings. However, this chocolate pudding poke cake is out of this world crazy good. The gooey pudding center is sandwiched between a soft and pillowy chocolate cake and a light and fluffy whipped topping. It’s basically like a hot fudge sundae in a cake form. Hot fudge pudding cake, anyone?!
What is pudding cake?
Pudding cake is a decadently rich cake that has two layers, one being the cake layer and one being the pudding layer. The idea of this particular pudding poke cake is it utilizes the holes that are poked into the cake layer to get all the pudding into the center of the cake for that gooey, lava-like center.
Why You’ll Love This
- Simple pantry ingredients. This pudding poke cake recipe uses ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry! It uses basic baking ingredients such as a boxed cake mix to help keep it semi-homemade.
- Cures all chocolate cravings. Serious chocolate lovers, only! If you’re craving chocolate, this chocolate pudding poke cake is gonna be the one for you.
- So decadent and indulgent. I mean, that gooey pudding center along with the decadent rich chocolate cake is it takes to send this over the top. Oh wait, but you must add a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream too!
Ingredients You’ll Need
Here is a list of ingredients you will need to make chocolate pudding poke cake. Make sure to scroll down to view the full recipe for exact measurements.
- Chocolate cake mix – I like using a devil’s food cake mix for that ultra rich decadency.
- Sour cream
- Vegetable oil
- Vanilla extract
- Pudding mix
- Chocolate fudge sauce
- Whipped topping
- Chocolate shavings
How To Make Chocolate Pudding Cake
This chocolate pudding poke cake comes together quickly. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for the full recipe.
Preheat oven and prepare baking pan. Preheat your oven to 350°F and prepare a 9×13-inch cake pan by spraying generously with non-stick spray and set aside.
Make and bake the cake layer. Add the eggs, sour cream, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla into a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add in the cake mix and whisk until there are no dry spots remaining. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes.
Poke the cake. Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack then use the end of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the cake.
Make the pudding layer and chill. Combine the pudding mix and milk into a small bowl and whisk until slightly thickened. Pour over the cake and make sure to get as much as possible in each of the holes. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Once the pudding has set, top with chocolate fudge sauce. Spread evenly over the cake and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.
Finish garnishing the cake and serve. Top with whipped cream and shaved chocolate. Cut and serve.
Why do you poke holes in the cake?
That’s why you call it a poke cake! You poke holes into it to help get the liquid to absorb into the cake. It’s kind of like a tres leches cake where you poke holes throughout it as well. It encourages the liquid to go into the cake layer.
Substitutions and Variations
The base of chocolate pudding cake will always be the same but there are always ways to change it up. Here are some ideas:
- Nuts – chopped walnut or hazelnuts would be a great addition if you like nuts in your desserts, or even sprinkled on top.
- Chocolate chips or M&M’s – these would be a nice surprise throughout the cake or sprinkled on top of the whipped topping layer.
- Raspberry jam or peanut butter – if you’re feeling like you want to add some additional flavor to the chocolate pudding cake, swirl in some raspberry jam (or another favorite of yours) or peanut butter.
For an entirely different flavor, here are some suggestions:
- For a fruity option: Banana Pudding Poke Cake
- For a vanilla version: use white or yellow cake mix and vanilla pudding
- For a black and white: use a chocolate or white/yellow cake mix and either a chocolate or vanilla pudding
Tips for Success
Chocolate pudding poke cake is sure to win over anyone, even those that say they’ll pass on dessert. However, it never hurts to give some tips and tricks to make this the best cake yet!
- Be patient. There are several steps in here that either require chilling or setting or both. You’ll have to be patient (I know, it’s hard to not want to dig right in) and let ingredients properly set before moving on otherwise you’ll be left with a liquid mess.
- Think ahead and thaw the Cool Whip. This light and fluffy whipped topping will not spread properly if it has not been thawed. Move the container from the freezer to the refrigerator at least 3.5 hours before spreading.
- Don’t poke all the way through the cake. When poking holes in the cake, it is important not to poke all the way through. Poking all the way through will cause the pudding mixture to leak out of the bottom of the cake, causing a loss of flavor and a downright mess!
Place any leftovers in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Love cake? Don’t fret, there are more cake recipes to go around!
- Better Than Sex Chocolate Cake
- Chocolate Tres Leches Cake
- Caramel Apple Dump Cake
- Mini Chocolate Malt Cake for Two
Chocolate Pudding Poke Cake
- 15.25 ounce box chocolate devils foods cake mix, I recommend Duncan Hines or Pillsbury
- 3 eggs
- ⅔ cup sour cream
- ¾ cup milk
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3.5 ounce package chocolate pudding mix
- 1 ½ cups milk
- ½ cup chocolate fudge sauce
- 8 ounce container whipped topping, thawed
- Chocolate shavings
The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.
- Preheat your oven to 350 °F and prepare a 9×13-inch cake pan by spraying generously with non-stick spray and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs, sour cream, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla and whisk to combine.
- Add in the cake mix and whisk until there are no dry spots remaining.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles.
- Bake according to package instructions, approximately 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack then use the end of a wooden spoon (or whatever else you have readily available) to poke holes all over the cake.
- Combine the pudding mix and 1 ½ cups of milk into a small bowl and whisk until slightly thickened. Pour over the cake and make sure to get as much as possible in each of the holes.
- Spread the remaining evenly over the cake.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Once the pudding has set, top with chocolate fudge sauce. Spread evenly over the cake and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.
- Top with whipped cream and shaved chocolate.
- Cut and serve.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.