This chocolate cake is fudgey, moist and rich. This cake is made from scratch, but you can actually make it with a boxed cake mix and a tub of frosting.

Next time I think I’ll use a box of chocolate or Devil’s Food Cake Mix and still make the icing from scratch. Life is busy these days – every shortcut helps, right?

This Chocolate Poke Cake Recipe is from my cousin Lark. Lark is named after my daddy, Larcus (I know … it’s a family name).

Lark has been paralyzed from the neck down since he was 17 years old. He dove in water that he didn’t know was shallow and broke his neck.

His brother, Colon, who was serving overseas at the time flew home immediately and went straight to the hospital – still in uniform.  Lark was lying face down in traction.

Lark couldn’t see his brother, Colon, but he could hear his tears falling on his spit-shined shoes.

A day neither one of them will ever forget.

The doctors said Lark wouldn’t live past the age of 30.  That was over 40 years ago.

His mother, my Aunt Ruth – daddy’s sister, who died from Alzheimer’s last year, took such great care of him – that he has lived far beyond the doctors’ expectations – outliving many of his doctors.

When we went home this past summer, we stopped in to see Lark and he shared some of Aunt Ruth’s best recipes with me. This is his favorite cake. His mama used a box cake mix and a tub of frosting and he said it was delicious!

I used a made-from-scratch recipe this time.

Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Poke Cake:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray your 9×13″ casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pan.
  2. Bake about 45 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes.

Poke holes in your cake – with the handle of a wooden spoon or something similar – about 1/2 inch apart all over the cake and let it rest for about 10 minutes.

Next, pour your Chocolate frosting over the whole cake and spread over holes to help the icing seep down and moisten the inside of the cake. (I added a tiny little bit more milk and heated mine up in the microwave for 20 seconds to make it pourable.)

Let the chocolate icing seep down into the holes in the cake for about 15 minutes. Next, you can place your chocolate cake in the freezer for 15 minutes to set up or just wait about 30 minutes at room temperature. If you try to eat it too soon, the cake breaks up into small pieces. Don’t ask me how I know. :)

“PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” CHOCOLATE FROSTING Note: I cut the original recipe in half because the full recipe was too much frosting. 

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
1-2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter in the microwave. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.
Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla.

NOTE: If you need to thin your icing to make it pourable, simply add a few more tablespoons of milk. I also microwaved my frosting for about 20 seconds to help it loosen up a little bit and seep down into the holes a little better.

I hope you love this cake as much as we did. Remember, you can use a box of chocolate cake mix and a tub of frosting for a quick and easy dessert.

Let me know if you tried it and please come back real soon. Love, Cindy



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