This Hot Chocolate Poke Cake is filled with fluffy marshmallow filling, a layer of rich fudge and topped with a hot chocolate whipped topping. Finish it off with some mini marshmallows and fudge, and you'll be in hot cocoa heaven!!!Jump to Recipe
Growing up, one of my favorite things to do on the farm in the winter was sled. My three siblings and I would layer up and head straight for the snow! Though I loved sledding, the best part was coming inside to warm up with a big mug of hot chocolate!
Thinking ahead to snowy winter days and reminiscing on those fun childhood memories was my inspiration for this Hot Chocolate Poke Cake recipe. It's got all of the aspects of a delicious cup of hot chocolate... in cake form! And let me tell you, it's DEEEELISH!
Ingredients Needed (Full recipe below)
- Boxed Cake Mix - You can use a box of chocolate cake mix, Devil's food cake, dark chocolate cake, etc. OR you can use my favorite homemade chocolate cake for a moist, delicious base.
- Marshmallow Fluff
- Hot Fudge Topping
- Whipped Topping - AKA Cool Whip; OR, you can use heavy cream to make your own (you'll need 1 ½ cups).
- Packets of Hot Cocoa Mix
- Garnish - Mallow Bits, mini marshmallows, chocolate sauce, mini chocolate chips and/or chocolate shavings
How do you make a Hot Chocolate Poke Cake?
Make the Cake
This recipe starts with a cake mix - easy, right?! Mix the cake mix according to package instructions (using the amounts of vegetable oil, water and eggs as listed on the box).
Now, if you're wanting to be an overachiever (or don't have a cake mix on hand), you could make my homemade chocolate cake recipe instead. Once you've made up the cake batter, pour it into a 9 by 13-inch pan and bake.
Poke Holes and Fill the Cake
Ok, so now you've got a warm chocolate cake ready to be amped up a bit! You're going to poke holes in the cake with the handle of a wooden spoon.
Mix the marshmallow fluff with water in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave, stirring after each 20-second interval, until thinned out a bit. The water and the heat will help increase the viscosity of the fluff, making it easier to pour.
Slowly pour the fluff over the cake, giving it time to soak into each hole a bit. Then warm the fudge sauce in the microwave and spread it over the cake.
Top and Enjoy
Next, stir the packets of hot chocolate mix into the whipped cream and spread it on top of the cake.
How to Decorate a Hot Cocoa Poke Cake
Once you've got the holes filled with the marshmallow fluff and the hot fudge spread on top, the fun begins! My favorite way to fancy up the cake is to spread the whipped topping over the fudge and smooth it out really nice.
Then, I take the remaining hot fudge (making sure it's a little warm), and place it in a small resealable baggie. Then, snip off one of the corners of the bag and squeeze the fudge out in horizontal lines across the cake.
Then, drag a toothpick through the whipped topping and fudge lines (see the photo above). It looks so elegant, yet is so simple!
Lastly, I'd encourage you to sprinkle the mini marshmallow bits on top of your cake. After all, what's hot chocolate without the marshmallows?!
Does poke cake need to be refrigerated?
Most poke cakes DO need to be refrigerated, because they usually have either a pudding or whipped topping somewhere in the cake. This hot cocoa cake has whipped topping, so it's necessary to keep it refrigerated.
How long does Hot Chocolate Poke Cake last in the fridge?
I would recommend storing the decadent chocolate cake for up to 3 days in a tightly sealed container.
Mini Marshmallow Bits
Can't find the mini marshmallow bits? Have you looked in your grocery store by the hot cocoa?? Still no luck? No worries. You can either completely skip them from the garnish or sprinkle with mini marshmallows (instead of the bits).
The bits do have a different texture - they're kind of like the dehydrated crunchy marshmallows in Lucky Charms cereal. Although the crunch is kind of fun in this cake, they do get soft after a few hours, making them your typical soft and chewy marshmallow texture (also delish!).