Dark Chocolate Poke Cake is a rich and fudgy dark chocolate cake that is filled and topped with so much chocolate that your taste buds won’t know what hit them. It even has a giant-sized Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate bar in it. Wow, that’s a win!
Dark Chocolate Poke Cake starts off with a doctored up dark chocolate cake mix.
Then you poke holes in it and fill it with chocolate fudge pudding.
Next, you drench it with hot fudge sauce and crown it with a light and fluffy chocolate fudge topping.
And the finale is an entire giant sized Hershey’s Dark candy bar that has been shaved into perfect curls.
Disclosure – I may get a small commission for purchases made through links in this post.
Key to Success #1 – Doctor Up the Cake Mix
This Dark Chocolate Poke Cake starts off with a box of Dark Chocolate Cake Mix.
I used the Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix but you can use any dark chocolate cake mix or even any regular chocolate cake mix would work for this recipe.
You’ll doctor the cake mix up by replacing the ingredients called for on the box with melted butter, extra eggs, and some vanilla.
This will take your boxed cake mix to another level.
Use a hand mixer to beat the ingredients together on medium speed for two minutes.
Next, pour the batter into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish.
I used a Fiesta lasagna baker and it worked perfectly.
You can use any glass or metal baking dish.
You’ll cook the cake for about 28 minutes, but be sure to test with a wooden toothpick to make sure the cake is fully baked.
Key to Success #2 – Poke Holes Then Fill Them Up
As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, use the end of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the cake.
You want the holes to be deep enough that they go almost all the way through the cake so that the pudding has plenty of room to go down and make the cake extra fudgy.
If you don’t have a wooden spoon, you can use the end of a butter knife to poke your holes.
It really doesn’t matter what you use to make the holes.
After you have the holes all over the cake, mix the chocolate fudge pudding mix with the milk.
Be sure to wait until all the holes are poked because you want the pudding mix to be very liquid when it is poured over the cake
I use the “shake method” to make my pudding.
Pour the milk and the pudding mix into a medium-sized plastic bowl that has a tight-fitting lid then shake the bowl for a minute or so until the pudding is fully mixed.
You’ll want to be quick with this so that the pudding is still very liquid when it is poured over the chocolate cake.
Your pudding should be liquid so that it will soak down into all the holes to make your cake extra moist.
You can use a spatula to really get the pudding mixture into all the holes in the cake.
If the pudding mixture starts to firm up, it’s not the end of the world. Just do the best you can to get it into the holes.
I pour the pudding into each hole, filling them up as I pour it over the cake.
Key to Success #3 – Drizzle the Hot Fudge
After you fill all the holes with chocolate fudge pudding, it’s time to slather on the hot fudge sauce.
The hot fudge sauce is often found in the ice cream toppings section of the grocery store.
I always grab the Hershey’s Hot Fudge Topping if I can find it.
It’s my favorite. But you can use another brand if you want.
You’ll want to look for one that is 11-12 ounces in size and is thick and rich.
You do not want the magic shell-type topping.
You want a more traditional hot fudge.
Remove the lid from the jar of hot fudge and heat it on HIGH power in the microwave for about 45 seconds until it is melted and liquid.
Then go crazy and pour that melted hot fudge all over the top of your cake.
Use the back of a spoon or a spatula to spread it all over edge to edge.
Some of the hot fudge may mingle with the chocolate fudge pudding and that’s okay.
Just keep swirling until you have the hot fudge all over the cake.
When the hot fudge is covering the entire cake, it’s time to let the cake chill in the refrigerator for a few hours until it is cold.
Key to Success #4 – Make the Fluffy Chocolate Topping
The fluffy chocolate topping is super simple to make.
It’s a mix of extra-thick chocolate fudge pudding and cool whip.
You start by mixing the chocolate fudge pudding mix with only 1 1/2 cups of milk.
Normally, you would mix 2 cups of milk with a small box of pudding, but this ratio will make the pudding extra thick.
Again, I use the “shake method” where you put the milk and pudding mix in a medium-sized plastic bowl with a tight-fitting lid and shake the bowl to mix up the pudding.
To me, this is much easier than trying to whisk the pudding or mix it up with a spoon.
After the pudding starts to thicken, stir in the Cool Whip.
The topping will get all light and fluffy and chocolatey.
Be sure to get all the chocolate pudding stirred in well.
Then just spread it all over the top of the cake.
I put a few large spoonfuls all over the cake then just spread the topping all the way to the edges.
Key to Success #5 – Curl the Hershey’s Special Dark Bar
The crown on top of this scrumptious Dark Chocolate Poke Cake is a full giant-sized Hershey’s Special Dark candy bar.
The easiest way to make chocolate curls is by using a vegetable peeler!
Gently scrape the vegetable peeler down the long side of the chocolate bar to shave off long curls of chocolate.
Use a gentle touch so that the chocolate bar doesn’t break.
You will have some breakage and your curls will not be perfect. But they will be perfectly imperfect.
When you get done making as many curls as you can, you can use a sharp knife to chop the remaining chocolate bar into bits.
Sprinkle the chopped chocolate over the topping then add the chocolate curls.
Be sure to get the chocolate bar all the way to the edges of your cake for maximum effect.
Again, your chocolate curls do not have to be perfect in order to have a beautiful cake.
Just do your best and don’t worry about the rest.
That’s life advice and baking advice all rolled into one.
Save this Dark Chocolate Poke Cake recipe to your favorite Chocolate Desserts board or your Poke Cakes board.
- 1 box dark chocolate cake mix
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup water
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 small boxes (3 oz) chocolate fudge pudding mix, divided
- 1 jar (12 oz) Hershey's hot fudge sauce
- 3 1/2 cups milk, divided
- 1 small tub (8 oz) Cool Whip whipped topping
- 1 extra-large (4 oz) Hershey's Special Dark candy bar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9x13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the dark chocolate cake mix, water, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour cake batter into greased 9x13-inch baking dish.
- Bake 28-32 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and immediately poke holes in the cake using the end of a wooden spoon.
- In a medium bowl with a tight-fitting lid, shake together 2 cups of milk and 1 package of chocolate fudge pudding mix. Shake until just slightly thicked then immediately pour over the cake, making sure to get as much pudding as possible in the holes. Use a spatula to spread pudding over the cake.
- Remove the lid from hot fudge sauce then microwave for about 45 seconds until sauce is melted. Pour over cake. Use a spatula to spread to the edges.
- Allow cake to cool then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- In a medium bowl with a tight-fitting lid, shake together 1 1/2 cups of milk and 1 package of chocolate fudge pudding mix. Shake until pudding thickens, about 3 minutes.
- Stir Cool Whip into chocolate pudding, making sure it is completely combined. Spread topping on the cold cake.
- Run a vegetable peeler along the long side of Hershey's Special Dark chocolate bar to make chocolate curls. Finely chop any remaining chocolate with a sharp knife.
- Sprinkle chocolate curls all over the top of the cake.
- Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight before serving.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Fiesta Lasagna Baker, 9 by 13-Inch, Lapis
KitchenAid KHMB732VB Cordless Hand Mixer, 7 Speed, Blue Velvet
Hershey's Hot Fudge Topping (Pack of 4)
HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Extra Large Candy Bars with Almonds, 4 oz. Bars, (Pack of 12)
Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids 7-Cup Food Storage and Organization Container, Racer Red
OXO Good Grips Swivel Peeler
Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 122Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 162mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 3g
Nutrition Information Provided For Educational and Informational Purposes Only.