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Hot Chocolate Poke Cake

Marshmallow fluff, whipped hot cocoa topping and moist chocolate cake make this Hot Chocolate Poke Cake the indulgent winter cake of your dreams!

AN EASY, FUN DRINK-THEMED CAKE

This Hot Chocolate Poke Cake is for all of you hot chocolate aficionados. It encompasses everything in the drink but in cake form. With chocolate cake, marshmallows and more, this cake is super easy to throw together and even easier to eat and enjoy! I was inspired to make this cake from my friend Kelsey over at Dance Around the Kitchen because it looked so good! I did add a few of my own twists to the recipe to really take it over the top! I promise this will be one your whole family will enjoy. If you want a fun cake to try, then you need to make this Hot Chocolate Poke Cake recipe!

slice of hot chocolate poke cake on a white plate with two red mugs in the background.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

What is a poke cake?

Poke cake (sometimes called poke hole cake) is a cake recipe that has holes poked in it after baking, usually with the handle of a wooden spoon or a wooden skewer. Then a liquid is poured over the baked cake to soak into the holes.

What kind of cake mix should I use?

You can use your favorite chocolate cake mix. I prefer Duncan Hines brand dark chocolate cake mix.

Can you use marshmallow fluff instead of mini marshmallows?

Yes. You can use a container of marshmallow fluff. Put the fluff into a microwave safe bowl and heat in 10 second increments until smooth and pourable. Do not add the butter that is listed in this recipe though. It is not needed if you are using the fluff.

How close should I poke my holes to one another?

Poke holes through the cake about 1 inch apart. Make sure the holes aren’t too close together or too far apart—if they’re too close together, your cake could fall apart when you try to cut it; if they’re too far apart, there may not be enough filling throughout the cake.

How do you store leftover poke cake?

This cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days covered in the pan with plastic wrap or in an airtight container. I do not recommend freezing.

slice of hot chocolate cake on a small white plate with mini marshmallows sprinkled around.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)

  • dark chocolate cake mix, plus ingredients called for on the box
  • mini marshmallows
  • butter
  • heavy whipping cream (or Cool Whip)
  • hot cocoa mix
  • chocolate syrup, optional
  • chocolate chips, optional
dark chocolate cake mix, hot chocolate mix, eggs, oil, mini marshmallows, butter, chocolate syrup, heavy cream.

HOW TO MAKE HOT CHOCOLATE POKE CAKE:

Make the chocolate cake according to package instructions. Pour into a 9×13-inch baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake according to package instructions, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Poke the cake all over with the bottom of a wooden spoon or any round end handles. You want the holes to be a decent size for the filling to get down into.

collage of three photos: chocolate cake batter in baking dish; fully baked cake; a wooden spoon handle poking holes in cake.

In a saucepan, melt mini marshmallows with butter. Mix constantly until melted and smooth. Pour this marshmallow mixture over the cake and make sure you get it down into the holes.

collage of three photos: mini marshmallows and butter slices in a pot; a spoon holding up the melted mixture; melted marshmallow mixture poured on top of cake with holes.

In another bowl, combine the heavy whipping cream and the hot cocoa mix and whip until stiff peaks form (about 3 to 4 minutes). Frost the cake with the whipped chocolate cream.

collage of two photos: heavy cream and hot cocoa mix in a mixing bowl; mixed hot cocoa whipped cream spread on top of cake.

Let the cake rest in the refrigerator for a few hours so the cake absorbs the marshmallow fluff before serving. Optional: top with chocolate sauce and mini marshmallows and/or chocolate chips. Serve chilled with a cup of hot cocoa for a decadent dessert.

closeup photo showing a side view of a slice of hot chocolate poke cake on a white plate.

WANT MORE DELICIOUS RECIPES?

closeup photo of a slice of hot chocolate poke cake topped with mini marshmallows on a white plate.

Hot Chocolate Poke Cake

Marshmallow fluff, whipped hot cocoa topping and moist chocolate cake make this Hot Chocolate Poke Cake the indulgent winter cake of your dreams!
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Chilling Time:: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 1 box dark chocolate cake mix
  • ingredients needed to make cake: eggs, oil and water (use the amounts on the back of the box)
  • 2 (10 ounce) bags mini marshmallows
  • 5 Tablespoons salted butter (can use unsalted)
  • 2 cups cold heavy whipping cream (or Cool Whip)
  • ¼ cup (2 packets) hot chocolate mix

Optional Toppings:

  • mini marshmallows
  • chocolate syrup
  • mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Make the chocolate cake according to package instructions.
    cake mix ingredients in a white bowl
  • Pour into a greased 9×13-inch pan and smooth out. Bake cake according to package instructions.
    fully baked dark chocolate cake in a white baking dish.
  • Poke the cake all over with the bottom of a wooden spoon or any round end handles. It should be large enough for the filling to get down into.
    a wooden spoon handle being shown poking holes into baked cake.
  • In a saucepan, melt mini marshmallows with butter. Mix constantly until melted and smooth.
    mini marshmallows and pats of butter shown in a saucepan.
  • Pour marshmallow mixture over the cake and make sure to fill the holes.
    melted marshmallow mixture shown spread on top of cake that has holes poked in it.
  • In another bowl, whisk the heavy whipping cream and the hot chocolate mix and whip until stiff peaks form and no longer grainy (about 3 to 4 minutes). I find this easiest to do with a stand mixer using the whisk attachment.
    heavy cream and powdered hot coca mix shown in a stainless steel bowl
  • Frost the cake with the whipped hot chocolate cream.
    overhead view of frosted chocolate cake in a baking dish.
  • Let the cake rest in the refrigerator for a few hours so the cake absorbs the marshmallow fluff before serving. Garnish with chocolate sauce and mini marshmallows and/or mini chocolate chips before serving (optional.)
    slice of hot chocolate poke cake on a white plate with two red mugs in the background.

Notes

  • You can use your favorite chocolate cake for this. I prefer Duncan Hines brand.
  • Cool Whip can be substituted for the homemade whipped cream.
  • Make sure your holes are larger so it will fit the marshmallow filling.
  • This needs to chill for about 2 hours to let the filling soak into the cake.
  • A container of marshmallow fluff can be substituted for the melted marshmallow/butter mixture. In a small bowl, microwave marshmallow fluff for 10 seconds until smooth and easy to pour. Stir it well to make sure it is easy enough to pour. Do not add the butter that is in this recipe though. It won’t be needed if you are using the fluff. 
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 371kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 21g | Sodium: 335mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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7 Comments

  1. Are the 2 bags of mini marshmallows just for the melted part? So you would need 3 bags if you are putting some on top?

  2. 5 stars
    I haven’t made this yet, but since my hubby & grand children loves sweets, this would be perfect for Christmas Eve fun. I just need the marshmallows and chocolate syrup. Thanks for posting this 1!