Chocolate Poke Cake From Scratch is one of the most amazing and moist cakes you’ll ever have!

A secret ingredient brings out the chocolatey goodness in the cake while adding a rich layer of homemade pudding keeps it extra moist! It’s all topped off with a simple one minute chocolate frosting!
chocolate poke cake from scratch with chocolate pourable frosting

A Tip For Enhanced Chocolate Flavor

This is one of the most amazing chocolate cakes of all time! My son calls this his favorite cake hands down!

Making a chocolate poke cake from scratch is easier than you think and it’s so worth the extra time!

If you love a great chocolatey flavor, I have a little secret to share with you! Adding just a little bit of coffee to the batter brings out the rich chocolate flavor (but don’t worry, you don’t taste a coffee flavor). This even works in place of water if you’re making a boxed mix!

This chocolate poke cake with a title

Originally I made this cake for my son’s 18th birthday…but of course when you have a house full of teenage boys and a chocolate cake, getting photos is kind of challenging.  *Sigh* … so I had to make the cake AGAIN, oh the hardships, more chocolate cake! And it was just as amazing!

Chocolate Poke Cake with sauce being poured on

Pourable Poke Cake Topping

The cake itself is decadent and moist with an amazing rich chocolate flavor…even without the pudding on top, it is excellent!!

The homemade pudding is super easy and quick and takes this cake to the next level! The whole thing is topped with my absolute favorite one minute easy chocolate frosting. This “poured frosting” is quick to make and requires not spreading, just pour over the cake and tilt to spread!

Items you’ll need for this recipe:

After trying this Chocolate Poke Cake From Scratch, you may never want to use a boxed recipe again!

chocolate poke cake from scratch with chocolate pourable frosting
4.92 from 156 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Chocolate Poke Cake From Scratch

This Chocolate Poke Cake From Scratch is one of the most amazing and moist cakes you’ll ever have! A secret ingredient brings out the chocolatey goodness in the cake while adding a rich layer of homemade pudding keeps it extra moist! It’s all topped off with a simple one minute chocolate frosting!
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 15 servings
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  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup brewed coffee cooled
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Pudding Layer

  • cup sugar
  • cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 ¼ cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  • cup milk
  • cup butter softened
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease & flour a 9x13 inch pan.
  • Combine milk & lemon juice and set aside. (The mixture will thicken slightly)
  • Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda & baking powder in a large bowl.
  • Add eggs, coffee, soured milk, oil and vanilla. Beat medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pans. (Your batter may seem runny at this point but it will bake up beautifully.)
  • Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Be sure to check the cake at 30 minutes so it doesn't over cook.

Chocolate Pudding

  • In a saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt, mix well. Add in cold milk, stir until combined.
  • Turn heat to medium high stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil.
  • Allow to boil for 1 minute while stirring, remove from heat and stir in butter.
  • Allow to cool for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Poke the cake all over with the end of a wooden spoon. Pour warm pudding over warm cake. Tap the pan allowing the pudding to seep into the cake.
  •  Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. (Frost after slightly cooled, about 30 minutes)

Poured Frosting

  • In a saucepan, combine milk, butter, & sugar over medium high heat. 
  • Bring to a rolling boil and allow to boil 45 seconds. 
  • Remove from heat and add chocolate chips. 
  • Whisk until smooth and shiny and immediately pour over the cake. Refrigerate until set.


4.92 from 156 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 471 | Carbohydrates: 74g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 225mg | Potassium: 304mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 56g | Vitamin A: 295IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 2.4mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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Cake adapted from

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Chocolate Poke Cake with title</div



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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. Holy moly!!!! This cake is decadent. I don’t quite understand why the butter needed to be soft when it was going into the pot to be melted. I added Nutella to the frosting. I tweaked the sugar content drastically. I made this for the first time and brought it to a gathering of friends. It was creamy and moist, but easy to swallow without a drink. I always make homemade pudding. The frosting on top was out of this world. As a baker of over 40 years, this is one recipe I’ll keep as a hand-written recipe to be placed in my Gramma’s tin holder. Kudos!!

  2. Doesn’t say anything about sour milk until you start reading the instructions. Does it have to be sour milk?

    1. The milk & lemon juice from step 2 makes the sour milk. You can use buttermilk instead if you prefer.

  3. I made this cake last week with rave reviews from my co-workers. Now one of my co-workers asked me if I could make this recipe in cupcakes for a function. What do you think?5 stars

    1. Kathryn, I’m so happy everyone loves this poke cake! I have only tried the recipe as written, but other readers have made cupcakes. I think it should work. Let us know if you try making them into cupcakes!

  4. TOO sweet…my family loves chocolate, but this cake hurts your teeth. May be OK if pudding layer is eliminated, but I threw 3/4 of the cake away 2 stars

    1. In response to the “too sweet” comment. What a waste. Try the recipe again and half all sugar. Add dark chocolate with a 55-70 percent cacao to melt into the frosting. The mistake was not spending with pennies. Recipes ALWAYS contain more sugar. Use brown sugar instead of white.

  5. How should I give more than 5stars for this?! MY CHILDREN did not even wait until atleast four hours in the fridge! My new fave to make, please try and you’ll never turn your head to another chocolate cake ever!5 stars

  6. I am not a baker and my family and I dont much enjoy cake as it can be too dry. I wanted to make a cake for someone else and I came across this recipe. First I did the whole shebang and it was delicious. Then I decided to do it again for my family and realized I didn’t have any pudding….I tell you what…this cake by itself…no pudding…no icing…is THE BEES KNEES. I never knew cake could be so moist! Thank you for sharing this recipe. I will be making this for years to come.

  7. If you have never made a cake from scratch then I challenge you to make this.Yes those who likes 6 ingredients only will say no way.But I guarantee you won’t be sorry but very proud.It is that good !5 stars

    1. I have never tried freezing it. You could try making the cake, poking it, then freezing. When you need the cake, add the pudding and frosting.

  8. Too Sweet and soggy. I like sweet but this was too much. First time making a “poke” cake but will try other types before I give up with them. I found the cake didn’t have a chocolate taste and the pudding and frosting overwhelmed the cake. I put this on the do not make again list. Husband did not care for it either.1 star

  9. I tried this recipe and it turned out wonderful,,, my son twisted his ankle playing volleyball at school and was asking for cake so I decided to try this cake. I must say I am not a chocolate fan but this cake is really good, the sugar in the cake and pudding was ok but for Me, as a diabetic the frosting was a bit sweet but my son said it was ok..thumbs up for this one5 stars

  10. After adding the pudding are you supposed to cover and refrigerate for 4 hrs/overnight or frost after 30 min of adding the pudding? I guess I’m confused as to when to frost. Do I take the cake out the refrigerator after 30 min of cooling, then add the frost and put it back in the fridge to finish the 4 hrs??

    1. Yes, after it has cooled about 30 minutes you can frost it and put it back in the fridge. The pudding layer has to cool in order to set the frosting up.

  11. I’m not much of a baker but have been taught to measure accurately. Your recipe calls for a cup of coffee. Is that 8oz? Sorry if it sounds silly but another thing that I’ve learned is to ask really smart people dumb questions. =)

    1. Because of the pudding layer, this cake is very soft and moist and we usually serve it out of the pan. I don’t think it would stand up to fondant.

  12. Question: Have you ever tried freezing this cake afterafter completing it? This question was not answered. Need a cake to make ahead when I don’t have access to an oven.

    1. I have never tried freezing it. You could try making the cake, poking it, then freezing. When you need the cake, add the pudding and frosting.