Chocolate Caramel Poke Cake is a moist chocolate cake with a smooth caramel filling soaked into the holes and topped with a chocolate frosting. Then to finish off the chocolate poke cake we topped it with caramel chips and chocolate chips. I'm going to show you how to make a chocolate caramel poke cake that's perfect for any occasion.
The first time I ever encountered a poke cake was when I was eight years old at my friend Allie's birthday party. Her mom had brought along her famous cheesecake poke cake (which would later become my own favorite recipe for a while).
When we dug in and cut into the cheesecake poke cake, there were little white dots of cream cheese filling running throughout the cake! The cream cheese oozed out from between the layers of cinnamon flavored cake, and we couldn't wait to dig our spoons in.
Well, I've been hooked on poke cakes ever since!
I first made this easy poke cake several years ago, and it was an instant hit. And because of that, as well as the fact that I can't get enough of caramel and chocolate together either, I just knew that I had to share this recipe with you.
If you love my chocolate poke cake, then I'm sure that you'll like some of my other dessert recipes too! Our chocolate caramel fudge is always a HUGE hit as is our homemade chocolate caramel poke cupcakes!
Put caramel in our search bar and you'll see all of the recipes that pop up.
What is a poke cake
A poke cake is a cake that has holes poked in it and then sweetened fillings like pudding, poured over the top, allowing the sweet filling to seep into these holes. It's easy and fun to make, because there are no fancy frostings involved.
Poke cakes usually have a unique texture as well. I love that poke cakes tend to stay moist longer than a regular cake. No one likes a dry cake right? We LOVE poke cakes so much I have a few of them for you to try, if you're interested.
In the mood for chocolate and mint? Check out our Chocolate Mint Poke Cake. Thinking raspberry might make your day, have a look at our Raspberry Jello Poke Cake. Feeling like an Oreo? Make our Oreo Poke Cake.
We also created a multicolor or rainbow poke cake in our how to make a poke cake post that is also definitely worth a peek.
We LOVE poke cakes of all kinds. Just wait until you try them. You'll be hooked too.
What's a good reason to make a chocolate caramel poke cake
Honestly, you don't need a good reason to make this simple poke cake. However, a birthday party or celebration is always the obvious answer.
But another reason could be when you want to have chocolate and/or caramel for dessert but you don't want something overly heavy or sickeningly sweet.
This chocolate caramel poke cake recipe can also help you cut calories, as it tastes like a decadent fudge brownie or an entire scrumptious batch of caramel chocolate turtles without as much guilt involved.
And finally, you could simply be feeling experimental one day! No matter your reason for making this delicious cake, I promise you will love it. I mean, how could you not?
How do I store Chocolate poke cake
If you are like me, then that 'last-minute' cake baking spree can sometimes send you running late! No worries. This Chocolate Caramel Poke Cake recipe can be made days in advance if needed and stored at room temperature in an airtight container until ready to serve.
Just be sure to cover the top with a piece of plastic wrap before putting the lid on.
Can I freeze this cake
Did you know? Once frosted, poke cakes can be frozen for up to 3 months. That means that after making this rich and creamy dessert, you'll have more time on your hands to enjoy it with a loved one or friends!
And don't worry about defrosting either... just put the frozen covered cake back into the refrigerator when you're ready to serve it. The condiments will thaw and seep back into the cake... making for a delicious dessert treat.
What should I use to poke the holes in my poke cake
You could use a fork or spoon, but another easy approach is to simply use chopsticks or the end of a wooden spoon. They work fine and they're also safe for your hot cake since they won't melt.
I like to use either a chopstick or the back of a wooden spoon depending on how big I want my holes to be and how many holes I want to include.
Why do I poke holes in my cake
It's not just decorative! The holes in the poke cake allow the sweet filling layer that you are going to pour over the top of your cake to seep down into the layers. This helps give it the moist and rich texture that makes this type of cake so popular with people.
What should I top my cake with
I like to top my cake with chocolate chips, peanut butter and/or caramel chips. You can even use a mixture of them all. I love the added crunch that these toppings give my poke cake. If you want to use some different toppings here are some suggestions for you.
- chocolate syrup
- caramel syrup
- chopped Reese's cups
- Reese's Pieces
- chopped caramel M&M's
- Crushed Oreos or another cookie
- Crushed Snickers or another chocolate bar
- Chopped nuts
- Peanut butter chips
The options for topping your cake are endless; these are just some of the things that I like to use.
Another great thing about this recipe is that you can customize it to your tastes. So if you don't like chocolate, then just switch out the chocolate cake and use a yellow cake instead and top with more caramel chips for a caramel cake instead.
You can also change up the flavors by using different types cake mixes and pudding mixes. The options are endless!
What should I use to frost my poke cake
I like to use chocolate frosting or even a prepared whipped topping or caramel frosting. If you want to get really fancy you can make homemade whipped cream.
Where can I buy caramel sauce
Canned caramel sauce can be found in the baking section of your local grocery store. If you cannot find caramel sauce on the baking aisle look on the coffee aisle at your local store. Sometimes I can find caramel sauce hiding there at my favorite grocery store.
Ingredients for Chocolate Caramel Poke Cake
- 1 box of Chocolate fudge cake mix
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup caramel sauce
- 16oz chocolate frosting
- 1-½ cup mixed chocolate and caramel chips
How to make Chocolate Caramel Poke Cake
Step 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×9” cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Step 2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, milk, vegetable oil and eggs. Whisk together until fully blended.
Step 3. Once blended completely, pour the cake mixture into the cake pan and bake for 28-30 minutes.
Step 4. When Cake has completed the bake time, remove from the oven and place on the cooling surface.
Step 5. Immediately after removing the cake from the oven, begin to poke your holes into the cake. You will want to poke approximately ½×½” hole across the full surface of your cake starting from the top and making your way to the very bottom of the cake pan.
Step 6. Once all of your holes have been poked, pour your caramel sauce over the cake. Spread evenly so that the caramel sauce drips into each hole.
Step 7. Allow your cake to cool completely before continuing to the next step.
Step 8. Once your cake has cooled, cover the surface with chocolate icing, spreading evenly. Some chocolate icing may seep into the holes as well.
Step 9. Top cake with your mix of chocolate and caramel chips.
Step 10. Cut a serving of cake and serve immediately.
- Using the back end of a wooden spoon or using chopsticks works well for poking your holes.
- You can pour up to 1 cup of caramel sauce over the cake to seep into your holes depending on taste.
This is my favorite type of cake to make when friends and family come over because it's so quick and easy. Simply bake your poke cake in advance or choose one from the freezer), while making the simple yet yummy caramel topping. Then, simply layer them together before topping with the chocolate frosting and chocolate and caramel chips. And there you have it! It's just that easy. I hope you enjoy this cake! 😉 Happy baking!
Ooey Gooey Caramel Chocolate Poke Cake
- Square 9x9 baking pan or 9x13 pan for a thinner cake.
- First, gather all your ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x9” cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, milk, vegetable oil and eggs. Whisk together until fully blended.
- Once blended completely, pour the cake mixture into the cake pan and bake for 28-30 minutes.
- When Cake has completed bake time, remove from the oven and place on the cooling surface.
- Immediately after removing cake from the oven, begin to poke your holes into the cake. You will want to poke approximately ½x1/2” hole across the full surface of your cake starting from the top and making your way to the very bottom of the cake pan.
- Once all of your holes have been poked, pour your caramel sauce over the cake. Spread evenly so that the caramel sauce drips into each hole.
- Allow your cake to cool completely before continuing to the next step.
- Once your cake has cooled, cover the surface with chocolate icing, spreading evenly. Some chocolate icing may seep into the holes as well.
- Top cake with your mix of chocolate and caramel chips.
- Cut a serving of cake and serve immediately.
● You can pour up to 1 cup of caramel sauce over the cake to seep into your holes depending on taste.