Cherry Coke Poke Cake

This Cherry Coke Poke Cake is full of Cherry Coke Flavor! Chocolate Cake, hot fudge, cherries, and Cherry Coke make this the most decadent poke cake yet!

Cherry Coke Poke Cake by | Cherry Coke flavor in every bite!

Today is my husband’s birthday. He’s celebrating by working and being on this freaky diet where all you eat is chicken, fish, vegetables, and egg whites. I’m celebrating by eating cake.

Not this cake, though. This isn’t his birthday cake – he wouldn’t touch this with a 10-foot pole. I’m picky about dinner, he’s picky about dessert. This has Cool Whip (gag) and cherries (double gag) and a gooey center that would be, I’m sure, in his words, “Too sweet.”

What does that even mean?

Anyway, I’ll be posting his cake next week. It’s gonna be a doozey if it works, and he’s promised me he’ll use one of his cheat meals and have some. {Translation: he’ll eat two bites.} The only reason I mention it’s his birthday, is because, well, it’s his birthday. I can’t let it pass without some sort of recognition. So…everyone, all together…

Happy Birthday Mel!

Okay, back to this cake. This not-his-birthday-cake cake. It’s a poke cake.

I love poke cakes. They’re fun to make because you get to pour a bunch of stuff all over the top, increasing the calories and deliciousness by about 1,000x and it’s perfectly acceptable.

Cherry Coke Poke Cake by | Cherry Coke flavor in every bite!

I found a jar of Cherry Ice Cream Topping in my pantry and wanted to use it up. I brainstormed…what goes with cherry? Chocolate, of course. I decided on a Poke Cake, but then stalled on the flavor. There are so many options (and my BFF Ashton has made about 7,563 of them) and I was stuck on which one to choose.

Then somehow Coke came to mind. I love Coke. Real Coke, especially before “the change” back in the 80s. Even better if it’s in a real bottle. For the longest time I resisted the switch to Diet. Now, I don’t drink soda very often but when I get the urge I just have to have some.

Since I was making a poke cake with cherries, I figured using Cherry Coke would be a great compliment. (If you can’t find a bottle of Cherry Coke, feel free to use regular.)

Before we continue, I guess I should make sure…you know what a poke cake is right? It’s a sheet cake that you poke full of holes while it’s still warm, then pour stuff all over to make it gooey, add some toppings, and then top it all off with Cool Whip.

It’s, like, the best thing ever.

Cherry Coke Poke Cake by | Cherry Coke flavor in every bite!

Let’s talk toppings for this Cherry Coke Poke Cake. The cake is a basic chocolate boxed cake mix. I doctored it by substituting Cherry Coke for the water in the recipe. Once it was baked and cooled for a few minutes, I poked several holes in the top with a wooden spoon.

Then I mixed sweetened condensed milk with some Cherry Coke. And poured it all over the top.

Then I stirred some Cherry Coke into a jar of hot fudge, and spread it all over the top.

Then I spread Cherry Ice Cream Topping all over that.

Then I topped it with Cool Whip and sprinkles.

This cake is insane, really. And so, so good. It’s very (for lack of a better word) moist. It’s quite messy to serve and eat, but that’s okay. That gooeyness makes it good!

Served up with a side of Coke, this cake is coke overload.

Cherry Coke Poke Cake by | Cherry Coke flavor in every bite!

Just like I like it!

Did you make this recipe?

Cherry Coke Poke Cake

This Cherry Coke Poke Cake is full of Cherry Coke Flavor! Chocolate Cake, hot fudge, cherries, and Cherry Coke make this the most decadent poke cake yet!


For the Cake
1 chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup oil
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups cherry coke
(You’ll need almost a full 20 ounce bottle of cherry coke for this recipe.)

For the Poke
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup cherry coke, divided
1 jar/pack hot fudge ice cream topping (8-12 ounces, depending on brand)
1 jar cherry ice cream topping (I used Breyer’s)
8 ounces Cool Whip topping (I used fat-free)
Sprinkles, if desired


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13” pan with cooking spray.
  2. Add all cake ingredients to a large bowl and mix, according to package directions, until smooth, about 2 minutes. Bake for 23-28 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together sweetened condensed milk and 1/4 cup Cherry Coke.
  4. In another small bowl, heat hot fudge until liquid, but not too hot. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup of Cherry Coke.
  5. While cake is still warm, poke several holes in the top using the handle of a wooden spoon.
  6. Pour the sweetened condensed milk mixture evenly over the top, being sure to get it in the holes.
  7. Do the same with the hot fudge mixture.
  8. Let the cake cool completely at room temperature. Spread cherry ice cream topping over the top of the cake. Spread Cool Whip evenly over cake, cover with plastic wrap and chill for several hours before serving.
  9. Top with sprinkles before serving, if desired.
All images and text ©. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.
Other yummy poke cakes:

Chocolate Mint Poke Cake


Gingerbread Better Than… Poke Cake

Gingerbread Butterscotch Better Than... Poke Cake by Crazy for Crust

Sweets from friends:
Basic Poke Cake by Something Swanky
Milky Way Poke Cake by Chef in Training
Caramel Banana Poke Cake by Six Sisters’ Stuff
Samoas Poke Cake by Will Cook for Smiles

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  1. Happy birthday to your hubby! I would die if my husband would go on a diet …there would be no one to eat my food 🙂
    I’d celebrate with cake too, this one!! It looks divine!
    (Thank you so much for sharing my poke cake too 🙂 )

  2. Happy Birthday, Mel! I’m kind of thankful for my garbage disposal husband – he helps keep the extra blog food laying around the house to a minimum! 🙂

    This poke cake looks awesome!

  3. happy happy birthday MEL!! and OMG he’s crazy not to love this cake – the fudgy ooze is calling my name

  4. Ermahgerd, I loooove cherry coke. And poke cakes. And um, everything about this! If Mel won’t touch it, all the more for meeeee!!

    And Happy Birthday Mel!!

  5. Sounds great! How about a chocolate poke cake made with peanut butter (thinned with condensed milk) for Mel? lol
    Happy birthday to Mel, again!

  6. WoW! This cake is outrageous! I love how you layered cherry coke every where you could! This looks incredibly moist and luscious! Happy birthday to your hubs….but I’m scratching my head on how he would not want a bite of this cake! Looking forward to seeing what you created for him! Beautiful photos, too, Dorothy! : )

  7. Holy moly!! This fudgy cake looks delicious! Your shots are awesome!
    Happy Birthday to Mel!

  8. I totally need to jump on the whole poke cake band wagon! I seriously need this one!!

  9. Wow, wow, wow…send me hubs piece!

  10. I need to get in on this poke cake trend. Chocolate and cherries and cake, who wouldn’t like this? Also, Happy birthday to Mel!

  11. Happy Birthday, Mel! I’m all about poke cakes these days – the varieties are endless! This one sounds so good, Dorothy!

  12. What a fun poke cake. It’s my favorite type of cake because you can;t really fail! I laughed out loud when you refereed to your husbands “cheat meal” with two bites of birthday cake. I ask my boyfriend to share a cupcake with me, and he says, I guess I can take a bite. OH OK, thanks for the help on that. Geez. haha.

  13. Happy Bday to your hubby!!! This cakes looks like a perfect way to celebrate! Love the combo of cherry and chocolate!

  14. Your husband’s self-control baffles me….but Happy Birthday to him!

    The sprinkles make this so pretty!

  15. I want to try a poke cake so badly!

  16. Though I think your cherry coke flavor combinations are amazing ( how do you think of these things!?), I would be with Mel on this one. I could probably truly enjoy and savor 1 tablespoon of this masterpiece before going into sugar shock. 🙂 Its the texture of poke cakes that I find so appealing, all soft and goey and pudding-like. 🙂

  17. What is it with men and desserts? Mine is super picky too, and even when I make something chocolate/peanut buttery he’ll still eat maybe one piece and leave it for me to eat. Nutso!

  18. Happy birthday to your husband! Can’t wait to see his cake. In the meantime, I’ll drool over this one!

  19. Ha-ha, I’ll come help you eat it…we’ll sing to him.

  20. What he doesn’t eat all your treats?! Who does? This is sinful. If you made me a cake I’d an entire piece, well in all reality I’d probably eat the whole thing 🙂

  21. Dorothy, this cake looks unreal! Amazing summertime treat!

  22. The Cherry Coke Poke Cake looks beyond amazing! I will be making it – cherry and chocolate are my two favorite things to combine!

  23. Hahaha! I am laughing at the fact that your hubby is on a crazy health diet and you are a DESSERT BLOGGER of all things…. hmmmm….sounds like a form of silent rebellion 😉 Happy birthday to him….can’t wait to see what he “ordered” for his bday cake! 🙂

  24. I started reading this and thought “what the heck is a poke cake?”. I opened a new window and asked the internet and all it did was bring up recipes. After page two I decided forget it I will read the blog. To my surprise you answered my question. thank you! Anyway, this sounds divine. I am going to have to make a cake and poke holes in it ;). Yummy yummy!

  25. Happy birthday Mel! This looks fabulous 🙂

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  27. YUM! Happy b-day to your hubby! Mine too has a very strong dislike for Cool Whip!

  28. I am drooling on my computer keyboard. This looks beyond delicious. I am SO making this!!!

  29. I’m seriously dying over this. I think this may be the best poke cake out there!

  30. What a great idea for a poke cake! Cherry coke is so delicious! I’m always so excited when we go to a restaurant that serves it!

  31. Cherry Coke is my favorite, and this cake looks pretty amazing!

  32. OMW. This is like the raddist cake ever! I love cherry coke. This just looks wonderful, Dorothy. Pinned!

  33. I’m making the cake right now and planning on serving Saturday. As this is my first poke cake, if like to ask you, should I put it together in the morning, a few hours before I need it ? I’m thinking it ends up sludgy after a day…. am I wrong ? I seriously love your blog and emails. You rock it, sister….lol

    • Thank you!! You’re so sweet. I actually like the poke cakes best after it’s had some time to sit (even overnight). But it is a very moist cake because of all the liquid, so if you’d rather, I would say make it in the morning for the afternoon. It’s best if it’s cool completely before you add the cool whip – or it’ll melt. 🙂 Enjoy!

  34. My guy and I never agree on desserts either! He sticks to candy and the occasional Oreos, while I’m in love with chocolate (his worst nightmare) and ooey-gooey-moist-and-sweet desserts. I wouldn’t have to fight him off for any of your cake; it’s right up my alley! (Okay, maybe he’d try a bite… Just because he drinks Coke every day.)

  35. Pingback: July 17, 2013 | Mommy plus 5

  36. I’m pinning this! I want to try it so bad! I love cherry coke 🙂

  37. This looks awesome! My husband is the same – the words “too sweet” exist for him, not for me. 🙂 However, he might make an exception for this – he’s a huge cherry coke fan! What a great idea! Yummy!

  38. Hi.
    Can I use just cake mix instead of chocolate cake mix?

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  42. Hi,

    This recipe sounds awesome. I usually make dessert for 125+ kids for our youth group on Friday nights and I was wondering if I could make this without the hot fudge and the ice cream topping? If I can, how would you adjust the recipe? Thanks so much.

    • The beauty of a poke cake is you can kind of do whatever you want! The hot fudge and Cool Whip give it a finish, but you can leave those off and just poke the holes in the cake and use the coke/sweetened condensed milk. It would still be good. Maybe even serve it with a side of whipped cream or Cool Whip if the kids want it! 🙂

  43. Do you place it in the freezer or fridge to chill???

  44. Omg, could I just say I could eat myself into a food coma with this cake. This is so delicious. Its a must try . Thsnks for sharing

  45. I was trying to figure out wake to bake for my boyfriends birthday and I had it down to two cakes. My one real hesitance on making this one is that there is no reviews about someone else making it so I was very worried it would come out bad. I ended up picking this one and because of my frustration I will review it!
    THIS WAS A GOD SEND!! it was unbelievable!!! My boyfriend and I ate the whole thing because we weren’t will to share it with anyone!! We have never done that before and we are calorie counters! This was just so amazing! It was a poke cake and had the soda in and and it just soaked it all up and was moist but still easy to cut and not messy! I would and have suggested it to anyone for any special occasion!
    Truly worth the calories!

  46. Wow cherry coke poke cake??!!! This looks crazy delicious!!

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  49. I made the cake with a gluten free cake mix as I have a gluten allergy, and it worked quite well. Took it to a church pot luck and it was devoured and no one knew it was gluten free. So many compliments.

  50. Do you know how many calories are in this? Or a rough estimate for a piece?

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