Coffee Caramel Chocolate Poke Cake

Coffee Caramel Chocolate Poke Cake

poke cake


The flavors of this cake are grown-up and a little bit fancy, but the preparation is super simple thanks to Jennifer McHenry’s 5 ingredient approach and her book Quick-Shop-&-Prep 5 Ingredient Baking. Her Apple Pecan Tassies are also very simple to make and perfect for the fall and winter months.




Excerpted from Quick-Shop-&-Prep 5 Ingredient Bakingby Jennifer McHenry. Published by Page Street Publishing, 2015. Photos by Jennifer and Quinn McHenry.



This beauty combines a simple chocolate cake with a caramel that’s made with a coffee-flavored liqueur. The caramel soaks into the cake, creating little pockets of rich caramel throughout the cake. Top it off with chocolate whipped cream and a sprinkling of cocoa powder for an unforgettable dessert!


Coffee Caramel Chocolate Poke Cake
Makes: 24 servings
  • 1¼ cups (150 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp (5 g) baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 10 tbsp (141 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (50 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 oz (113 g) unsweetened chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (120 ml) buttermilk
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) water
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) coffee-flavored liqueur
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp (25 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp (3 g) unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for garnish
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  1. TO MAKE THE CAKE: Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 9 x 13 x 2-inch (23 x 33 x 5-cm) baking pan.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the cooled chocolate and vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add about a third of the flour mixture, and mix until a few streaks of flour remain. Mix in about half of the buttermilk. Add the remaining flour mixture in 2 portions, alternating with the remaining portion of buttermilk, mixing just until combined.
  4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then poke ¼-inch (0.6-cm) holes about ¾ inch (2 cm) apart over the surface of the cake. I used the end of one of the beaters for my hand mixer.
  5. TO MAKE THE COFFEE CARAMEL: Combine the granulated sugar and water in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium-high, and continue to cook until the mixture turns amber. Remove from the heat.
  6. Add the cream (the mixture will bubble) and stir until combined. Stir in the liqueur and salt. Allow to cool and thicken for about 10 minutes. Pour the caramel evenly over the cake in the pan. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  7. TO MAKE THE CHOCOLATE WHIPPED CREAM TOPPING: Place the cream in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the cream at medium-high speed until it begins to thicken. Sprinkle the granulated sugar over the thickened cream and continue to mix until combined. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla, and continue to beat until you can lift the whisk out of the whipped cream and a peak that curves downward forms in the cream. Spread the whipped cream over the cooled cake. Sprinkle with cocoa powder.

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