Hot Chocolate Poke Cake

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!!!

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Growing up, one of my favorite things to do on the farm in the winter was sled. Us four kids would put on several layers and head straight for the snow!

When most people think of “sledding” they probably imagine a big hill to walk up and sled down. However, we grew up on very flat countryside, so that “hill” wasn’t an option (unless we wanted to sled down a ditch haha).

So, we’d hook up a sled to a snowmobile or four-wheeler and take turns riding around the farm. By the time we finally came inside, we would post up by the fireplace and if we were lucky, Mom would let us make a cup of hot chocolate….and if we were really lucky, we could add marshmallows on top! Gosh, those were the days!!!

Thinking ahead to snowy winter days and reminiscing on those fun childhood memories was my inspiration for this Hot Chocolate Poke Cake. It’s got all of the aspects of a delicious cup of hot chocolate….just in cake form! And let me tell you, it’s DEEEELISH!

How do you make a Hot Chocolate Poke Cake?

This recipe starts with a devils food cake mix – easy, right?! Now, if you’re wanting to be an overachiever (or don’t have a cake mix on hand), you could make my chocolate layer cake instead. Simply pour the batter into a 9×13-inch pan and bake (rather than the two rounds).

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 or something between 1/4 and 1/2″ diameter. If you just use a fork or a toothpick, the holes really aren’t big enough for the marshmallow fluff to seep down into.

Next, you’re going to warm up the marshmallow fluff with a little water. The water helps increase the viscosity of the fluff, making it easier to pour. Now, you can fill in the “pokes” with marshmallow and prepare the hot fudge. Simply warm the fudge sauce in the microwave and spread it over the cake.

Next, stir some hot cocoa mix into the whipped topping and spread over-top. And now the fun part…the pretty topping!

How do you decorate a 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 like to sprinkle the mini marshmallow bits on top. 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 particular poke 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 cake for no more than 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!).

More chocolate desserts to choose from:

For the chocoholic, go for this Chocolate Cobbler,

For the brownie enthusiast, these Rocky Road Brownies will hit the spot,

and for the Chocolate Peanut Butter lover, Chocolate Peanut Butter Texas Sheet Cake !

Hot Chocolate Poke Cake

This chocolate cake is filled with fluffy marshmallow filling, a layer of rich fudge and topped with a hot cocoa whipped topping. Finish it off with some mini marshmallows and fudge, and you'll be in hot cocoa heaven!!!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 24


  • 1 box devils food cake mix + eggs, oil and water (amount called for on the box)
  • 2 c marshmallow fluff
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1 11.5 oz jar hot fudge topping
  • 1 8 oz container whipped topping thawed
  • 2 1.25 oz packets instant hot cocoa powder
  • Mallow Bits for garnish


  • Prepare and bake the cake mix as recommended on the box and bake in a 9×13 inch pan.
  • When the cake comes out of the oven, use the end of a wooden spoon to poke holes into the cake about every other centimeter into the cake. Be carefully to just push the spoon about 2/3 of the way through the cakes.
  • In a medium sized microwave-safe bowl, add the 2 cups of fluff and 1/4 c water. Heat the mixture in 20 second intervals or until smooth and runny.
  • Pour the fluff mixture over the poke cake slowly, allowing it time to soak down the "pokes" a bit.
  • Next, open the jar of hot fudge sauce and microwave on high for 20-40 seconds, or until smooth and velvety. Reserve about 2 tbsp of the hot fudge for the garnish. Spread the hot fudge over the marshmallow fluff and smooth out on top. Place into the refrigerator to set up.
  • Combine the whipped topping and instant hot chocolate mix. Spread over the cooled cake.
  • Decorate with hot fudge and mini marshmallow bits. Enjoy!
Keyword poke cake

Recipe added to the Weekend Potluck.

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