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This Chocolate Poke Cake is so easy to make with cake mix. The cake is filled with homemade chocolate ganache and topped with from-scratch chocolate whipped cream frosting for a decadent chocolate cake. Make it, and you’ll get rave reviews!

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One slice of chocolate poke cake on a white plate

There are about a million ways to make a poke cake, and one of my favorite versions is this amazing chocolate poke cake with cake mix. It’s so rich and decadent and is so easy to make.

What is a Chocolate Poke Cake?

A poke cake is a cake that has holes poked in it so it can be filled with different kinds of fillings.This poke cake is all about the chocolate! It’s like a triple threat – chocolate cake, ganache filling, and chocolate whipped cream frosting. It’s a chocolate lover’s dream.

It starts with a cake mix, so it’s super easy to make – the magic is in poking holes in the baked cake and then filling them with the ganache. When the cake is ready to be sliced, it might look like an ordinary chocolate cake – but each bite has that rich and creamy ganache. It’s so good.

If you’ve never made a poke cake, I’m sharing all the tips! Or, if it’s been a while since you’ve made a poke cake, add this chocolate version to your list – you will love it!

Overhead shot of ingredients to make a chocolate cake from cake mix

Ingredients Needed

  • Chocolate cake mix plus the ingredients needed to make the cake, usually egg, oil and water
  • Heavy cream and chocolate chips to make the ganache for the filling
  • Heavy Cream, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla to make the whipped cream topping.

How to Make Chocolate Poke Cake

1. Cake: Make the cake following the package instructions. Bake it in a 9×13” baking dish for 30 to 35 minutes at 350°F.

2. Poke: After you take the cake out of the oven, poke holes in it with a straw or with the handle of a wooden spoon. Once you’ve poked holes in it, let it cool completely.

Overhead shot of chocolate poke cake with the holes poked

3. Ganache: Place the heavy cream and chocolate chips in a saucepan. Heat them over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once the chocolate chips have melted and the mixture is smooth, take it off the heat.

4. Fill: Pour the ganache over the top of the cake and smooth it in an even layer. While it cools, it will sink into the holes you poked in the cake.

Overhead shot of chocolate poke cake filled with ganache

5. Frosting: To make the frosting, beat the heavy cream until it holds soft peaks. Mix in sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla. Continue beating the mixture until it holds stiff peaks.

Four photos showing the process of making chocolate whipped cream frosting

6. Top: Top the cooled cake with the frosting. Use a spatula to smooth it into an even layer.

Recipe FAQs and Tips

How do you poke holes in a cake? I think the easiest way is with a wooden spoon handle. You want the holes big enough to soak up the filling but not so big that the cake falls apart. The handle makes the perfect size.

What do you fill a poke cake with? So many things! This chocolate poke cake is filled with ganache, but you can also use a fruit filling like cherry or strawberry pie filling. You can also fill poke cakes with caramel sauce dulce de leche, fruit syrups… these are just a few ideas!

What do you frost a poke cake with? Pretty much any frosting you like will work. I prefer a whipped cream frosting for this chocolate poke cake because it’s a little lighter, so it pairs well with the rich cake and filling. Your favorite buttercream frosting, chocolate glaze, or icing glaze will work, too.

What kind of cake mix is best? I prefer a super moist cake mix, but you can use your favorite chocolate cake mix. The most important thing is to make the cake as instructed on the box.

Side view of chocolate poke cake showing ganache filling inside

I can promise this chocolate poke cake recipe will cure any chocolate craving! Make it for potlucks, BBQs, parties, or make it just to treat yourself. The only thing to worry about is how EASY it is to make – it’s a little dangerous because you’ll find any excuse to make it! Enjoy!

More Poke Cakes You’ll Love

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One slice of chocolate poke cake on a white plate

Chocolate Poke Cake Recipe

5 from 1 vote
This Chocolate Poke Cake is a chocolate lovers dream! Start with an easy cake mix, then fill it with chocolate ganache and top with chocolate whipped cream!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 8 servings
Serving Size 1 serving



  • 1 box chocolate cake mix PLUS ingredients listed on box to make the cake (approx 15.25 ounce box)

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 cup (237ml) heavy cream
  • 2 cups (340g) chocolate chips

Chocolate Whipped Cream Topping

  • 2 cups (474ml) heavy cream
  • ¼ cup (28g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (40g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract



  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Prepare the cake mix according to the direction on the box. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • With a straw or the back of a wooden spoon, poke holes into the cake. Let the cake cool off completely.


  • In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine cream and chocolate chips, stirring constantly until you have a smooth texture, about 5 minutes.
  • Pour over the cooled cake and spread evenly. Cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Whipped Cream

  • Beat the whipped the cream to soft peaks in a large bowl with an electric mixer.
  • Mix in sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla extract, then beat until it forms stiff peaks.
  • Add whipped cream to the cake and gently spread evenly on the cake.

Recipe Notes

  • I used a Betty Crocker super moist cake as I wanted a moist cake, but you can use whatever cake mix you like. Just make sure you follow the directions on the box for making the cake.
  • After applying the ganache over the cake, wait until completely cool off as it is easier to spread the whipped cream.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 576kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 517mg | Potassium: 328mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 1314IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 146mg | Iron: 3mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Side view of chocolate poke cake showing ganache filling inside and recipe title on top of image

This Chocolate Poke Cake is so easy to make with cake mix. The cake is filled with homemade chocolate ganache and topped with from-scratch chocolate whipped cream frosting for a decadent chocolate cake.

Last Updated on May 20, 2022

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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1 Comment

  1. I will look forward to making this one for the “chocolate junkies” in my household. This is the time when I really miss the chocolate cool whip that is no longer being made. Does anyone remember that ?? They also had a french vanilla flavor and I think there was a strawberry for awhile. The other thing that I miss (big time) is the flavored powdered sugars that Domino used to make. Chocolate, lemon, orange, strawberry. What great frostings those made ! I have been on a one-woman campaign for those items to return to supermarket shelves, but requests fall on deaf ears. I would bet “bit coin” that most bakers would use these on a regular basis. What say you, fellow bakers ?