Chocolate Poke Cake

Chocolate Poke Cake by Hershey's Kitchen in partnership with Chocolate Covered Katie

Chocolate Poke Cake

Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

25 minutes


8 people

This recipe, and others in this series, is courtesy of Hershey’s Kitchen in partnership with food blogger Katie Higgins of Chocolate Covered Katie.

Poke cakes have been around for a while, but are enjoying a resurgence in popularity. According to Higgins, “This was my first time making a poke cake from scratch, and I was surprised at how the one small step of poking holes into the cake could have such an enormous impact on the results—it is so much better than ordinary chocolate cake!

“The chocolate syrup gave the cake a soft and opulent center with an unbelievable richness,” Higgins says. “If you can find HERSHEY’S Simply 5 Syrup at your local grocery store, I highly recommend it, because it can be used just like regular chocolate syrup. I frosted this cake with my Avocado Chocolate Frosting, but the cake is so decadent on its own that you can honestly get away with skipping the frosting altogether and it will still be fantastic!”

For more delicious recipes in this chocolate-filled series, click here.


  • 1 cup spelt or all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Hershey's Natural Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, unrefined if desired
  • 1/4 cup yogurt of choice, such as coconut milk yogurt
  • 1/4 cup oil or almond butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2/3 cup chocolate syrup (I love Hershey's Simply 5 Syrup)


  • 1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8-inch pan with parchment, and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together all remaining ingredients (except the syrup) until evenly combined. Pour wet into dry, stir until just combined, and pour into the prepared pan.
  • 2 Bake on the oven center rack for 25 minutes or until the cake has risen and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. Let cool completely.
  • 3 Poke holes into the cooled cake with a toothpick or fork. Pour the syrup evenly on top, and let it seep into the cake. As mentioned earlier, if you can wait, I highly recommend not tasting until the next day… this cake is so much richer and sweeter after sitting for a day!

Tips for Success:

  • 1 You can poke small or large holes into the cake. I decided my favorite way to form the holes is to poke a larger number of smaller holes with a fork, which disperses the chocolate filling more evenly.
  • 2 Check off each ingredient as you add it, to ensure you don’t accidentally skip over an easy-to-miss item such as salt, or baking soda.
  • 3 When making a recipe for the first time, it’s always a good idea to follow the recipe exactly—without substituting a different flour, sweetener, or cutting back on the salt, sugar, or oil—as even seemingly small changes can make a huge difference. Once you know how a recipe is supposed to turn out, you can play around. Edible experiments are the best kind!
  • 4 Be sure to have all ingredients out and read through the full recipe before starting.
  • 5 As a general rule, baked goods are actually richer, sweeter, and have a much better texture the day after they are made, which is definitely the case with this cake and many of my other recipes. If you can wait, I highly recommend not even tasting the poke cake until the next day.


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