It was my mother-in-law’s birthday yesterday, so last weekend my husband and I decided to make her dinner. And of course, cake. It’s funny because she is actually the legendary expert at ice cream cake, since my husband and I both request one for any excuse of a Holiday. And it is to die for. But one of her favorites is anything caramel, so who I am not to abide? I experimented with the idea of the Chocolate Caramel Poke Cake.
This cake was so delicious, I’m almost slightly disappointed because I’d say I over-baked it by 5 minutes – 40 minutes instead of 35, because upon testing it the fork came out smeary and fudgey. I really wished I hadn’t baked it that last 5 minutes, honestly. So I changed the timing on this recipe for you – to 30-35 minutes instead of 40 like I did. You be the judge, depending on if you use two 9 inch round pans or the 13×9 rectangular pan. Overall, dare I say, this cake alone lived up to the hype of this ‘poke’ style of desserts.
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Chocolate Frosted Caramel Poke Cake From ScratchPrint This
- 13x9 inch rectangular pan; or two 9 inch rounds
- (CAKE INGREDIENTS)
- 1 cup softened butter (2 sticks)
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cup milk (hot)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- (FROSTING INGREDIENTS)
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup milk (less than or equal to)
- (GARNISH INGREDIENTS)
- 1 bag chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)
- 1 jar Smuckers caramel, or 1 Carnation condensed caramel can
Directions for the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 13×9 inch pan. I even cut out a piece of wax paper to line the bottom to prevent the cake from sticking. But just greasing the pan should be suffice.
- Combine wet ingredients, except milk, first in mixer – butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Blend until smooth and whip-like.
- Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl – flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Sift with a spoon or whisk before pouring into mixer. Slowly add dry ingredients to mixer on low speed.
- Microwave or boil milk until heated.
- The batter will be quite thick in the mixer – this is OK – because once the dry ingredients are added, and everything is blended, pour in the heated milk slowly on low speed. Turn mixer up and leave on for 2-3 minutes until batter is smooth.
- Pour batter into 13×9 inch greased pan. Allow to bake for 30-35 minutes. Poke into center of the cake with a fork or toothpick – it should come off mostly clean when done. This cake will be very moist, so there might be some residue that will stick.
- Remove cake from the oven to cool. Find a utensil that you can use to drill holes into the cake. The holes should be no bigger than a quarter inch wide and each hole should be about an inch apart. Once finished, allow cake to cool in room temperature for about 20-30 minutes before applying the frosting and garnishes.
Directions for the frosting:
- In a bowl or mixer, add in the confectioners sugar and cocoa powder. Sift or whisk together until free of clumps.
- Slowly, in small parts, add in the milk. Whisk or mix the sugar until blended. The frosting should be relatively thick, not wet and drippy. The key is never to add too much milk if you don’t need it. If you happen to need more milk, add it – but add it in very slowly.
- You can store the frosting in the fridge until the cake has cooled.
Directions for applying the garnishes:
- With the caramel, pour generously over the holes that were created, and over the entire cake (if enough).
- Allow for 5-10 minutes for caramel to settle before applying the homemade chocolate frosting. The frosting may also fall into the holes as well – this is fine – and then garnish the cake with the chocolate chips (using them to cover the holes if necessary).