German Chocolate Poke Cake

Classic flavors in this incredibly moist and easy-to-make cake.

German Chocolate Cake is one of the greats. Just think about that combination of rich chocolate cake and fudgy frosting and the even richer coconut pecan frosting… yum! But dare I say, this poke cake version might be even better than the original. It has all the same components, but because it’s a poke cake, the flavors permeate every single bite. It’s oh-so-moist and it’s easy to make (no layers to deal with!), but it’s not so easy to stop eating.

If you’re not familiar, a poke cake is a sheet cake wherein you poke holes all over the cake to allow the filling to seep down into every bite. And that’s just the case here. You start with a box of cake mix to make your life easy, but you bump up the flavor a bit by mixing in some yogurt and chocolate pudding mix. Once the cake has baked, you poke it all over…

… and then pour a can of sweetened condensed milk all over the top of the cake. (That ensures this cake is incredibly moist!) That’s not it as far as filling goes, though. There’s also a simple ganache that tops and fills the cake.

Of course, it wouldn’t be German Chocolate Cake without the signature frosting, and all of that coconut pecan goodness is the final flourish here.

Since this uses a few shortcuts like cake mix and canned frosting, this is incredibly easy to put together but still so very delicious. Thanks to the easy preparation, but mostly the rich and moist sweetened condensed milk-infused crumb, the fudgy homemade chocolate ganache, and the chewy-sweet coconut frosting, it’s a cake you’ll keep coming back to again and again.

German Chocolate Poke Cake

Serves 12 Prep 15m  Cook 30m

For the cake:
  • 1 box dark chocolate fudge cake mix
  • 1 (3.4 oz) box chocolate fudge instant pudding
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the filling:
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
For the ganache:
  • 4 oz chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
For the frosting:
  • 1 can coconut pecan frosting
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9x13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding, eggs, yogurt, vegetable oil, milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Beat with an electric mixer until combined and pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven and poke holes all over the cake with the handle of a wooden spoon.
  4. Pour the sweetened condensed milk all over the cake and allow to soak into the holes. Let cool.
  5. While cake is cooling, place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat cream in a saucepan until just beginning to bubble around the edges. Pour over chocolate and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  6. After 5 minutes, stir until chocolate melts. Allow ganache to chicken 5 to 10 minutes before spreading over the top of the cake.
  7. Spread coconut frosting over the ganache, serve and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Sugar and Soul.