As much as I love the fresh flavors of summer, the spicy, complex flavors that pop up as the weather gets cool have a special place in my heart – and kitchen!
This Chocolate Chai Poke Cake is a little bit unexpected – a spicy vanilla cake topped with a homemade chocolate pudding that sets into it’s own perfect ganache-style frosting. It is the perfect easy fall cake to serve alongside a cup of chai.
My daughter loves helping me make poke cakes. They are incredibly easy and always turn out exceptionally delicious, no matter what your baking experience.
You start out with a delicious cake, simply done as a slab. No crazy layers or perfectionism needed.
Next you make pudding – we included a recipe for homemade pudding here, but a store-bought pudding will do the job. (But just once in your life, you need to experience warm, homemade pudding eaten off of a wooden spoon. It’s a right of passage… but you might never go back to the store-bought stuff afterwards. Consider yourself warned.)
Use the flat end of your wooden spoon to poke holes in your freshly baked cake and pour that pudding all over. Smooth it with an offset spatula and then place it in the fridge.
When it sets it will create a beautifully moist cake that belies it’s simple and humble appearance. For this cake, we let the pudding also serve as the frosting but we’ve also used whipped topping or piped on some fresh buttercream for a bit of added decadence.
This chocolate chai cake is perfect for a low-maintenance dessert to serve a crowd – or make it for your family and let it stretch all week long. It would be perfect after dinner with a cup of tea.
Ingredients for Chocolate Chai Poke Cake
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 Tablespoon cardamom
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 Tablespooon vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Pudding:
- 2 1/4 cup whole milk, divided
- 1 ½ Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup AHC chocolate drink mix
- 2 Tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
Tip: you can use store-bought pudding for this recipe.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Wooden spoon
- 9″ x 12″ glass pan <– I like that this one includes a lid
How to Make Chocolate Cardamom Poke Cake
Pre-heat oven to 350F, and grease a 9 x 12 inch glass or metal baking pan.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cardamom, and salt. Add the remaining ingredients, and beat on medium speed until combined, about two minutes.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. While the cake bakes, make the chocolate pudding.
For the Homemade Chocolate Pudding:
In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with 1/4 cup of milk, until smooth. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat, combine the remaining milk with the sugar and salt.
Whisk until the mixture reaches a boil, then pour the cornstarch mixture into the pot, whisking constantly. Again, allow the mixture to reach a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, whisking constantly, until the pudding is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk the whole egg with the egg yolks. Temper the eggs by gradually whisking about 1 cup of the hot pudding into the eggs until thoroughly incorporated, then scrape this mixture back into the saucepan. Cook the pudding over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it just comes to boil, about 1 minute.
Add the chocolate and butter and whisk until melted, and the pudding is smooth, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside until the cake has finished.
Once the cake is baked, use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke holes over every ½ inch of the cake, poking only about half-way down the cake. Pour the still warm pudding evenly over the cake. Cover, and place in the refrigerator to set, about 2 hours, before serving.
Poke cake will last, refrigerated, 4 days. Makes 12 servings.
Grab your free printable for our chocolate chai spice cake:
This recipe was provided by American Heritage Chocolate.