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Chocolate Caramel Poke Cake

This decadent Chocolate Caramel Poke Cake is sure to please any dessert lover! The moist and rich chocolate cake is filled with luscious caramel sauce and finished with fluffy chocolate whipped topping. Finish with a drizzle of caramel or chocolate sauce, or top with chopped nuts or candy bars for an extra decadent treat. Enjoy a slice of this heavenly cake for a special occasion or a sweet treat anytime!

A slice of chocolate cake with chocolate whipped topping, drizzled with caramel and chocolate sauce and chopped pecans.
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What is Chocolate Caramel Poke Cake?

A chocolate caramel poke cake is a moist chocolate cake that has been poked with holes, filled with sweet caramel sauce, and finished with fluffy chocolate whipped topping.

You can decorate the top in any way you like. Keep it simple and add a drizzle of chocolate or caramel sauce or some chocolate shavings, sprinkles, chopped nuts, or candy bars.

This cake is rich, decadent and delicious. Caramel and chocolate are a classic combination that goes perfectly together.

You can quickly turn this into a chocolate turtles cake by adding some chopped, toasted pecans to the top or decorating it with some turtles candy.

Make this into a delicious Snickers cake by adding roasted peanuts or chopped Snickers candy bars.

If you can’t find caramel sauce, you can replace it with butterscotch sauce with a similar flavour and consistency.

Poke cakes are quick, easy and economical to make, using a simple boxed cake mix and store-bought filling. But if you want to make it a little more unique and homemade, you can use your favourite chocolate cake recipe and make your caramel sauce.

We love poke cakes because they have a lot of flavour, are super moist, are easy to prepare, and have endless flavour combinations.

Because this cake is made in a 9×13 pan, it is easy to transport, cut, and serve, and one cake will make anywhere from 12 to 16 servings, which makes it ideal for serving a crowd.

A bite of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and caramel sauce on a fork.

Ingredients

For a full list of ingredients and measurements, see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  • Chocolate Cake Mix (and ingredients to make cake) – You will need one box of chocolate cake mix to make a 9×13 cake. You can also use your favourite chocolate cake recipe if you’d rather make your own.
  • Caramel Sauce – Store-bought caramel sundae sauce is perfect for this recipe. It has just the right consistency and should be easy to find at any grocery store. You want to make sure you use sauce, not syrup, as it has a thicker consistency which is better for filling the cake. If you prefer, you can make homemade caramel sauce.
  • Chocolate Instant Pudding Mix – You need one box of instant chocolate pudding. This is mixed with the whipped topping to give you a light, fluffy topping that isn’t overly sweet.
  • Milk – This will be mixed with the chocolate pudding to make the chocolate whipped topping.
  • Frozen Whipped Topping – This creates a creamy, light frosting. If you prefer, you can use fresh, prepared whipped cream instead. Or for a richer and thicker frosting, you can use store-bought or homemade chocolate buttercream.
Ingredients for chocolate caramel poke cake.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1 – Bake the cake according to package directions and allow it to cool. Once it is cool, use the end of a wooden spoon or the wide end of a chopstick to poke holes all over the cake.

Step 2 – Pour the caramel sauce over the cake to fill all the holes, then spread any remaining sauce over the top of the cake.

A nine by thirteen chocolate cake in a glass pan poked with holes and topped with caramel sauce.

Pro-Tip: Space the holes ½ to 1 inch apart and make sure you press the end of the spoon to the bottom. This will ensure the cake is evenly filled with caramel.

Step 3 -Mix the milk and chocolate pudding in a large bowl until it thickens, then fold in the whipped topping. Spread the whipped topping over the cake in an even layer.

Step 4 – Decorate with chocolate or caramel sauce, pecans, peanuts, or chopped candy bars.

Place the cake in the refrigerator for a minimum of one hour to allow the topping and filling to set before serving.

A nine by thirteen cake in a glass pan topped with chocolate whipped frosting and a second image with the top drizzled in chocolate and caramel sauce.

Pro-Tip: It is important to let this cake rest in the fridge before serving as it allows the filling and topping to set and will make it easier to cut. This cake should rest for at least an hour but can be prepared up to a day in advance.

Substitutions & Variations

You can customize this orange poke cake in a few ways if you need to.

  • Cake – You can use any chocolate cake mix to make your cake or your favourite 9×13 chocolate cake recipe if you want to make homemade.
  • Filling – This cake is filled with caramel sundae sauce. It is sold in jars and should be easy to find near the ice cream section of the grocery store. If you can’t find caramel, butterscotch sauce will work just fine. You can also make your own, or use caramel or butterscotch pudding.
  • Frozen whipped topping – If you don’t want to use frozen whipped topping, you can make fresh whipped cream to top the cake. If you would rather have a thicker frosting, you could use a store-bought tub of vanilla frosting or make your favourite cream cheese frosting.

Turtles Poke Cake – Top the cake with chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, and toasted, chopped pecans. Or chop some turtles candies and sprinkle them over the top of the cake.

Snickers Poke Cake – Top the cake with chocolate and caramel sauce and roasted peanuts. You can also add some chopped Snickers bars.

A slice of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and caramel and chocolate sauce being lifted from a glass pan.

Decorations and Toppings

We love to decorate this cake with a drizzle of caramel and chocolate syrup. Chocolate syrup usually has a slightly bitter flavour which balances well with the sweet caramel.

You could decorate this cake with chopped nuts, peanuts, chocolate shavings or sprinkles, or make it extra decadent by topping it with chopped candy bars such as turtles, snickers, or Rolos.

Storage

This poke cake can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for about five days.

This cake can also be covered and stored in the freezer for several months.

A slice of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, caramel and chocolate sauce on a small plate.

Top Tips & FAQS

How long will poke cake keep?

Poke cake will keep for about five days when covered and stored in the refrigerator.

Can I make gluten-free poke cake?

You can easily make this cake gluten-free using your favourite gluten-free cake mix or homemade recipe. You will want to ensure all the other ingredients you use, such as filling and topping, are also gluten-free.

What type of cake mix is best for Chocolate Caramel Poke Cake?

You can use any chocolate cake mix for this cake; milk chocolate, chocolate fudge, or devil’s food cake are all great choices.

More Poke Cake Recipes

Printable Recipe

A slice of chocolate cake with chocolate whipped topping, drizzled with caramel and chocolate sauce and chopped pecans.

Chocolate Caramel Poke Cake

This moist and rich chocolate cake is filled with luscious caramel sauce and finished with fluffy chocolate whipped topping. Finish with a drizzle of caramel or chocolate sauce, or top with chopped nuts or candy bars for an extra decadent treat. 
4.72 from 7 votes
Print Pin Save Recipe Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 16
Calories: 183kcal
Author: Deanna

Ingredients

  • 1 (15.25 oz) box Chocolate Cake Mix plus ingredients to make it
  • 1 cup Caramel sauce
  • 1 (3.4 oz) box Chocolate instant pudding
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 4 cups Frozen whipped topping thawed

Optional Toppings

  • caramel sauce
  • chocolate sauce
  • chopped pecans
  • chopped peanuts
  • chopped candy bars; turtles, Snickers, Rolos, etc

Instructions

  • Bake the cake according to the directions on the box or your favourite 9×13 chocolate cake recipe. Let cool completely before proceeding.
  • Using the handle of a wooden spoon or a chopstick, poke rows of holes in the top of the cake about an inch apart.
  • Pour the caramel sauce over the cake paying attention to making sure the holes are filled.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the chocolate pudding with the milk just until it begins to thicken then fold in the whipped topping.
  • Spread the whipped topping evenly over the cake.
  • Place the cake in the refrigerator and allow to set at least 1 hour before serving.
  • Serve topped with a drizzle of caramel or chocoalte sauce, chopped nuts, or chopped candy bars.

Notes

If you prefer to bake from scratch, you can use your favourite 9×13 chocolate cake recipe.
Leftover cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Nutrition

Estimated Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Caramel Poke Cake
Amount per Serving
Calories
183
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
6
g
9
%
Saturated Fat
 
2
g
13
%
Sodium
 
291
mg
13
%
Carbohydrates
 
33
g
11
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
22
g
24
%
Protein
 
3
g
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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