This Chocolate Mint Poke Cake recipe is so easy, with or without mint, this Jello instant pudding cake is full of chocolate, caramel or whatever you desire!
What is a Poke Cake?
What is a poke cake? It's quite simple really, it's a cake with holes poked in it. The holes are filled with a variety of things ranging from pudding to Jello gelatin to condensed milk and more.
It was invented by Jello many moons ago (1969 to be precise) and has evolved since then.
Originally, it was a vanilla cake with fork holes poked into it and the Jello gelatin would be poured over top and left to set. The colors and flavors were just out of this world and the poke cake became all the rage.
It still is to this day and once you try one, you'll know just why!
If more information is needed, feel free to have a look here.
Poke Cake Recipes
There are literally thousands of poke cake recipes out there. Some for holidays, some for birthdays, some for anniversaries and graduations...the list goes on.
What's great about being able to customize this cake is that you can celebrate any occasion or even just a lazy Sunday afternoon. For example, this Mint Chocolate Poke Cake recipe is perfect for St. Patrick's Day.
Leave out the mint, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice into your pudding, add some orange color to the whipped cream, top with mini candy pumpkins, ghosts and goblins and there you have a Halloween poke cake.
For Valentine's Day, you can add cinnamon extract instead, make pink whipped cream and top with mini cinnamon hearts. I could go on but I think you get the point.
Easy Pudding Cake Recipe
The best thing about poke cakes are that they are so versatile and you can get so artistic. You can make them plain, add a variety of toppings and fillings and they're great to take just about anywhere.
Another great thing about a poke cake is that you can combine multiple flavors that work together to create something amazing. Start with your cake flavor of choice and then go from there.
Think about them as masterpieces you're building and you can create whatever you like.
You can mix it up and add things even as wild as gummie bears, you are only limited by your imagination!
How do you poke a hole in a poke cake?
Jello Instant Pudding Cake Recipes
According to wikipedia these are the current flavors of Jello Pudding you have to choose from and hopefully have access to in your part of the world! The more you have to choose from the better so check out all of the choices you really have!
Can you believe all of the different kinds of pudding that exist out there? I had no idea there were this many flavors!
- Banana Cream
- Boston Cream Pie
- Candy Cane
- Chocolate Fudge
- Chocolate-Vanilla Swirl
- Classic Turtle
- Coconut Cream
- Crème brûlée
- Dark Chocolate
- Devil's Food
- Double Chocolate
- Dulce De Leche
- French Vanilla
- Orange Ice Cream
- Oreo Cookies 'n Cream
- S'more pudding
- Strawberry Cheesecake
- Strawberry Crème
- Strawberry Ice Cream
- White Chocolate
Cake Recipe with Pudding Mix from Scratch
This is the best cake recipe with pudding mix from scratch! This recipe is meant as a guide of sorts, you have so many options with all of the pudding flavors out there. Use your imagination and just go wild!
I also have a wonderful recipe for homemade chocolate pudding called The Best Chocolate Pudding and if you like to make things from scratch, I'd love for you to check it out!
Poke Cake Filling Ideas
As I've mentioned there are a variety of fillings and toppings you can use to create your poke cake. I've listed a few below but feel free to use whatever moves you:
- strawberry, raspberry or blueberry syrup or sauce
- buttercream or cream cheese frosting
- store bought sweetened condensed milk
- store bought caramel or chocolate syrup or sauce
- pudding, refrigerate afterwards, as pudding sets the texture of the cake changes for the better
- cream of coconut, the sweet and thick syrup
- melt chocolate with some Nutella or peanut butter, with a few tablespoons of heavy or whipping cream in 15 second bursts in your microwave, stirring in between until melted
- pureed fruit, preserves, jams or jellies
Decorations for Chocolate Pudding Poke Cake
- chocolate chips
- caramel chips
- butterscotch chips
- shredded coconut
- chopped nuts like peanuts, almonds, cashews or coconut
- M&Ms of all kinds
- toffee or caramel bits
- malt balls
- mini or sliced chocolate candy bars like Snickers, Kit Kat or Oh Henry
- chopped Peanut Butter Cups or Pieces
- sprinkles or sparkles
- or anything else you can think of!
Ingredients in Chocolate Mint Poke Cake
- cocoa powder
- baking soda
- baking powder
- pinch salt
- vegetable oil
- cold milk
- peppermint extract
- water (can use a little more if batter is too thick)
- milk (or how much pudding box requires)
- 1 standard box chocolate pudding mix
- heavy cream
- green powder or gel food coloring - just enough to color it
- mini chocolate chips
How to make a Chocolate Mint Poke Cake?
Combine flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Beat together milk, eggs, and oil in a large bowl, then gradually beat in dry mixture and then the water.
Pour batter into a 9x13 inch baking dish (coated with spray, lined with parchment and sprayed again), and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Once fully cooked, let cool completely.
Once cooled, take the end of a wooden spoon (or anything similar) and poke rows of holes into your cake. **If your cake is domed, cut off parts of the top until it is level, if desired.
Whisk together pudding powder and milk for 5 minutes until it thickens. Pour over the top of your cake in the holes, and spread a layer all over the top. Refrigerate.
Beat together whipping cream, sugar, and green coloring for 5 minutes until you have stiff peaks, and spread over your pudding. Sprinkle on mini chocolate chips.
Refrigerate overnight, and cut to serve.
Does Poke Cake need to be refrigerated?
Generally, all poke cakes need to be refrigerated whether they are covered in pudding, Jello, or something else. Whenever possible use an airtight container or toothpicks and plastic wrap.
The cake will last in your fridge for 2 to 3 days.
Can You Freeze Chocolate Mint Poke Cake
To some degree it can be yes. While the finished cake should not be frozen, you can make the cake layer ahead of time and freeze it in an airtight container for 2 to 3 months.
When you're ready to serve the cake, simply take it out the morning of and thaw it on the counter. This gives you the opportunity to fill and decorate to your heart's content and your friends will think you slaved all day!
Caramel Poke Cake
For example, one of our favorite ways to make this cake is to skip the mint extract and make a gooey chocolate caramel cake. Poke holes in the cake, add caramel, homemade or store bought, smear it all over the cake and down into the holes and cover the cake exactly as described in the recipe, usually without the food coloring.
The chocolate cake with caramel sauce recipe turns out very similar to our cupcake version, The Easiest Caramel Infused Chocolate Cupcakes, covered in everything from toffee bits, to caramel chips to chopped peanut butter cups.
Easy Chocolate Caramel Cake
If you want to skip the whipped cream topping make some chocolate ganache, a thicker kind of glaze for the top of your caramel infused cake, you will not be disappointed! This gooey chocolate caramel cake is a chocolate and caramel lovers dream come true!
Best Chocolate Ganache
- 2 cups heavy or whipping cream
- 16-20 oz chocolate, roughly chopped, up to 4 cups
The reason I have given you a window for the amount of chocolate to include is because of the thickness of the ganache. If you prefer a thinner glaze use less chocolate and that being said if you want a thicker, use more.
I recommend, especially the first time you make this recipe, to use 18 ounces of chocolate and see what you think of the consistency and go from there.
Chocolate Caramel Cake Recipe
You now have 2 choices. You can either grab a large enough microwave safe bowl and using a spoon microwave chocolate and cream uncovered on high for 30 seconds at a time. Stirring every 30 seconds, until totally smooth.
The other alternative is to use a double boiler or a heavy bottomed saucepan over LOW heat. Combine cream and chocolate and stir until blended and smooth.
Pour into a bowl that will hold your hand held mixer.
Allow cream mixture to cool but is still soft. Sometimes I even put the bowl of ganache in my freezer to help it cool down quicker. Keep an eye on it though. Once cool it will harden quickly and you don't want that to happen if at all possible.
Plug your blender in and whip for a minute or two until fluffy. Now carefully spread chocolate ganache over top of the caramel on your cake.
The last thing you have to do is decorate if desired.
If using caramel filled chocolates make sure to press each piece into the ganache to hold it in place.
If using toffee bits, chopped nuts or sprinkles, place a pinch on top of each and gently, using the back of a spoon, press decorations into your ganache to secure the decorations in place.
Store this chocolate cake with caramel sauce in an airtight container in your refrigerator, if possible.
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Chocolate Mint Poke Cake Video
Chocolate Mint Poke Cake
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups flour
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract (optional)
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup cold milk
- ⅓ cup water can use a little more if batter is too thick
- 2 cups milk or how much pudding box requires
- 1 box standard box chocolate pudding mix
- 1 ½ cups heavy or whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- drops green powder or gel food coloring just enough to color it
- mini chocolate chips
- Get out your ingredients and measure them.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray and line a 9 x 13 inch pan with non stick spray and parchment paper. Make sure to spray both the pan and the inside of the parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Beat together milk, eggs, and oil in a large bowl,
- Gradually beat in dry mixture and then the water.
- Pour batter into prepared baking dish,
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Once fully cooked, let cool completely.
- Once cooled, take the end of a wide wooden spoon (or anything similar) and poke rows of holes into your cake.
- **If your cake is domed, cut off parts of the top until it is level.
- Whisk together pudding powder and milk for 5 minutes until it thickens.
- Pour over the top of your cake in the holes, and spread a layer all over the top. Refrigerate.
- Beat together whipping cream, sugar, and green coloring for 5 minutes until you have stiff peaks, and spread over your pudding.
- Sprinkle on mini chocolate chips.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, and cut to serve.