Peppermint Hot Chocolate Poke Cake

This Peppermint Hot Chocolate Poke Cake is what holiday dreams are made of! It’s basically everything you love about a peppermint mocha in cake form.

It’s peppermint mocha season, and I couldn’t be happier about it. The first day peppermint mocha drinks hot coffee shops, you can bet I’m there.

Now, with this homemade Peppermint Hot Chocolate Poke Cake recipe, you can have that festive peppermint mocha flavor any time you’d like…in the form of a cake!

a piece of chocolate cake on a plate

Why you’ll love this cake:

  • The cake is a from-scratch chocolate cake with espresso in it.
  • The poke cake filling is made with three different kinds of milk AND hot chocolate powder.
  • Whipped cream base frosting with peppermint extract, hot chocolate powder, and powdered sugar.
  • Topped with dehydrated marshmallows, sprinkles, and peppermint pieces for a fun dessert the whole family is going to love!
peppermint hot chocolate cake on a spatula

Tips for Making Peppermint Hot Chocolate Poke Cake

  • The cake itself is a little drier and less sweet on its own because it’s intended to be a poke cake and will get a lot of moisture and sweetness from the filling.
  • Coffee intensifies the flavor of the chocolate in this cake but hot water can be used for those who don’t have coffee on hand or prefer not to use it.
  • It’s SUPER important for the milk and eggs to be room temperature when adding to the batter for this recipe so that the cake bakes up light and fluffy. This gives the cake the opportunity to absorb all of the filling.
  • If you aren’t a big peppermint fan, you can make a hot chocolate cake and just leave the peppermint extract and candy out without making any other changes.
  • When you pour the filling over the cake it will look like you have too much, but I promise it will all absorb!

Tips for Making Peppermint Chocolate Frosting

  • Because the frosting is whipped cream based it has a lot more moisture in it than a traditional buttercream so I highly recommend you don’t add the toppings until right before serving.
chocolate frosting in a bowl
  • Buttercream frosting can be used in place of whipped cream, especially a good idea if you are making well in advance.
  • Stand mixers work best for mixing frosting so that it is light and fluffy. If you have a high powered hand mixer you can use that as well, but a stand mixer is best.
overhead view of a sliced peppermint chocolate cake

How to Store Poke Cake

Because this cake has so much milk in it, it’s important to store it in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to 5 days. You can also freeze it for up to 2 months.

close up of a piece of peppermint hot chocolate poke cake
close up of a piece of peppermint hot chocolate poke cake

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Poke Cake

4.67 from 3 votes
Servings 15
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Cooling Time 2 hours


For the Cake:

For the Filling:

For the Frosting:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup powdered hot chocolate mix
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • Topping:
  • Dehydrated marshmallow bits
  • Sprinkles
  • Peppermint candy pieces finely crushed


  • Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit and grease a 9×13-inch cake pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Add eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Add in the hot espresso or coffee and mix until combined. The batter will be thin.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared 9×13-inch pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean when inserted into the center of the cake.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and poke holes all over it with a skewer.
  • Whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, half & half, and hot chocolate mix in a medium bowl and then pour it over the top of the warm cake and allow it to sit for 1 hour at room temperature before frosting.
  • Prepare the frosting by adding the heavy cream, hot chocolate mix, sugar, vanilla, and peppermint to a large bowl or stand mixer and beating on medium-high speed thick and creamy. About 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Spread the frosting evenly over the cake and top with marshmallows, sprinkles, and Peppermint pieces.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate cake, christmas cake, holiday cake

Other Poke Cake Recipes to Love

Poke cakes are perfect for any season! Here you’ll find everything from pumpkin poke cakes to tiramisu to tropical jello poke cakes.

About Julie Clark

We are Julie, Maddie, and Kinslee – a mother and daughter team sharing with you the best cakes to satisfy any need or sweet craving that you may have. Welcome to our family’s kitchen!

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