Chocolate poke cake
Chocolate poke cake is a simple delicious, moist & easy to make dessert. Poke cake is a cake that is poked to make holes in it. The holes are then filled with a sweetened liquid and then frosted. The filling makes the poke cake moist, extremely addictive & flavorful.
If you have kids at home then a poke cake is a must try during holidays. They will enjoy every bit of making it. Chocolate poke cake is one of the most loved by my boys & is prepared mostly during the school holidays.
In this post I have shared in detail how to make a poke cake with eggless & vegan options. I have made this with a chocolate cake, homemade chocolate syrup & vegan whipped cream. However you can also make it with any other cake of your choice. More details below.
How to make poke cake
A poke cake is made in 3 simple steps – bake & poke the cake, make and pour the syrup, whip & frost the cake.
Choose your cake: You can use any cake of your choice. I personally prefer this eggless chocolate cake to make the vegan version. For the eggless versions you can also use these eggless vanilla cake or eggless carrot cake recipes to make the base. If you eat eggs then you can use any of these Chocolate cake, banana cake and butter cake too go very well.
Syrup or sauce : Usually a poke cake is filled with sweetened condensed milk, strawberry syrup, blueberry syrup, caramel sauce, butterscotch sauce, pudding, custard sauce or pureed fruits. This time I went ahead the simple way and made a chocolate syrup at home.
If using condensed milk, just skip the sweetener in the frosting. I had also made a banana poke cake before with butterscotch sauce. You can check these links for sauce butterscotch ice cream. You can also use the custard sauce from this custard sauce ice cream post.
Frosting : Whipped cream frosting goes well on a poke cake. If you are looking for a vegan option then just use coconut cream just like the way I have used in this post.
Here are some other combinations of cake-syrup-frostings you may want to try.
- Chocolate poke cake – chocolate cake with chocolate sauce for filling. Chocolate or vanilla buttercream or whipped cream frosting.
- Vanilla poke cake – vanilla cake or butter cake with chocolate sauce or berry sauce for filling. Chocolate or vanilla buttercream or whipped cream frosting goes well with this.
- Banana poke cake – banana cake with chocolate sauce & chocolate or cream cheese frosting.
- Carrot poke cake – carrot cake with caramel or custard or butterscotch sauce & cream cheese frosting.
Bake & Serve
A poke cake is baked in a square or rectangle cake pan. It is frosted in the pan itself and served directly from the pan.
For the step by step pictures to make the cake, please follow this eggless chocolate cake recipe or this Hershey’s chocolate cake.
Making chocolate syrup
1. Stir together cocoa and sugar. I used palm jaggery. Dissolved it first and then filtered.
2. Boiled until it turned thick. Then I added the vanilla extract.
I got this thick chocolate syrup after boiling the mixture for 7 to 9 minutes.
How to make chocolate poke cake
3. I cooled the cake in the pan itself but kept the cake pan on a wired rack to prevent it sweating inside. When the cake cooled down to warm temperature, I let the kids have fun poking the cake with a chop stick. Just make sure the holes reach the base of the cake.
4. Then pour the warm chocolate syrup. let it rest for a while.
5. Mean while whip the cream following the recipe card. Then spread it over the cooled cake. I used coconut cream here. I chilled the coconut cream and scooped the top portion and discarded the whey. Whipped it in a chilles bowl with a chilled beater. I just got soft peaks. I sprinkled some chocolate sprinkles. You can also just decorate with chocolate shavings.
Chill the cake until served. Slice the cake using a wooden cake slicer directly in the pan and serve.
chocolate poke cake
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
To make cake
- 1½ cups wheat flour or all-purpose flour or pastry flour
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder (¼ cup)
- 1 teaspoon Baking soda (recheck the expiry date)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar (or 1½ cups powdered jaggery)
- 1 cup milk (or water for vegan version)
- 1/3 cup melted butter or oil
- 1 tablespoon vinegar (apple cider)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For chocolate sauce
- 6 tablespoons sugar (or ½ cup jaggery or palm jaggery or brown sugar)
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ¾ cup water
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup whipping cream (or coconut cream for vegan)
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar or confectioners sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Bake the cake
- Grease a 6 inch square cake pan. Preheat the oven to 170 C for at least 15 mins.
- Place a sieve over a mixing bowl and add flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. Sieve it at least thrice. Add sugar and mix it well.
- Make a well in the center and pour water or milk, oil or melted butter, vanilla and vinegar.Mix the wet ingredients gently and then slowly incorporate the flour with the liquid ingredients. Do not over mix but ensure there are no lumps in the batter.
- Pour this to the grease tray and bake for 23 to 25 mins. When done a tester inserted comes out clean. Cool down the cake in the pan itself over a wire rack until it cools down a bit but still warm.
Making chocolate syrup
- Mix together cocoa powder, sugar and water in a pot. Mix well to break the lumps and boil the syrup until it thickens. It took me about 7 to 9 minutes. The mixture must turn thick & coat the back of a spoon. If using palm jaggery or jaggery, just filter the chocolate syrup and use. Cool this a bit.
Making whipped cream
- Chill the bowls and the beaters for few hours. Pour the whipping cream to the chilled bowl. Begin to whip on a low speed initially and then increase the speed to medium. When the mixture turns bubbly add the sugar and beat until you see stiff peaks. Take care not to over whip as it can turn to butter. Keep this chilled until needed.
How to make poke cake
- When the temperature of the cake comes down, poke the cake several times with a chop stick about ¾ inch apart. Avoid poking the cake towards the edges. Make several holes all over the cake. Ensure the holes are deep reaching the base.
- The temperature of the chocolate syrup should have come down slightly but still warm. Mix well and pour the syrup all over the cake. The syrup must go through the holes. Set this aside to cool the cake completely. You can also chill it in the fridge.
- Spread the whipped cream generously all over the cake. Decorate with some sprinkles or chocolate shavings. Chill the chocolate poke cake until served. Slice the cake when needed and serve.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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Is it really required to use 3 cups cocoa to make the chocolate sauce? Won’t the quantity be too much for this cake? I am confused.
It is a typo. I have corrected it.
Thank you ma’am. Also I wanted to ask if I could use wheat flour instead of maida and powdered jaggery in the cake as well as in the syrup. Will both taste good? Can I use Amul fresh cream to make the whipping cream?
Thank you ma’am. I wanted to ask if I could use wheat flour and powdered jaggery in the cake as well as in making syrup. Will the taste be good? Also can I use Amul fresh cream for whipping as that’s available near my home during lockdown.
If making for a special occasion I don’t suggest wheat flour. Otherwise you may try with wheat flour and jaggery. This one will taste good since there is a lot of chocolate sauce used. Amul cream will not give you stiff peaks and will easily melt off.
This recipe is for a small 6 inch square pan? That is very small. I’m confused
You can also use a 7 inch pan
You mentioned sugar for the cake instructions but under cake ingredients there is no sugar mentioned?
Thanks for the mention. It is 1 cup sugar. I have updated it.