I don't like the term "poke cake" because quite frankly, it sounds kind of dirty. Like, I feel like I should be blushing when I talk about them. But I love, love, love eating them. Because poke cakes aren't anything dirty at all: they're simply cakes which have been poked with a skewer of some sort so that they can be more receptive to delicious soaking liquids (tres leches cake would be a famous poke cake, btw. So would Better than Sex Cake).
And I have to say: this poke cake is spectacular. It starts with a cake mix, but it's fancied up right quick by using melted butter and milk instead of the water and oil called for on the package, and then once baked, it's poked and soaked (see? dirty-sounding!) with an absolutely dazzling chocolate and sweetened condensed milk mixture. Even served just like that, this cake could make you cry with joy.
But save the tears, because there's still frosting! I used seven minute frosting, but you can use whatever type of buttercream or topping you'd prefer.
It's a joy to dig into this cake, because it has all the joy of a yellow cake but the moisture and decadence of a gooey chocolate dessert.
I'll leave it at this: it's a great cake. And anyone you make it for should consider themselves very lucky!
Chocolate milk poke cake
Makes one, two-layer, 8-inch cake
For the cake
- 1 box cake mix (I used Pillsbury yellow cake)
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- pinch salt
For the topping
- 4 ounces dark chocolate
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- Pinch salt
To top it all off
- 1 batch seven minute frosting (recipe here) or buttercream of your choice
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease two 8-inch cake pans. I greased mine with some Bertolli spray because it had recently been sent to me and I thought it would be nice to say thanks. They didn't pay me to say that.
- Combine all of the cake ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Blend on medium speed until smooth and lump-free.
- Divide into the two cake pans, and bake for 30 minutes or until golden and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
- Remove from the oven, and after a few minutes, invert on to a wire rack set above a baking pan (to catch drips in the next step).
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the sweetened condensed milk and chocolate, stirring frequently, until the chocolate has melted. Remove from heat and stir in the salt. You can also do this while the cake bakes (that's what I did).
- Poke the cake all over at 1 inch intervals using a chopstick--but don't go all the way to the bottom.
- Pour the chocolate mixture gently on top. If you're careful you shouldn't have too much loss of chocolate goo. Because it is tasty, and you want it in your mouth, not on the bottom of a pan.
- See how interesting they look?
- Let the cakes set for a while. Meantime, make some frosting. I used seven minute frosting but you can use whatever kind you like.
- Frost the top of one of the layers, stack the second, and frost the sides and top. Enjoy!