A graham cracker crust, chocolate pudding, and a marshmallow topping make this Chocolate S'mores Pudding Cake the perfect summer dessert for picnics and parties.
By now you know that I love all things s'mores, but I still do not love the sticky mess that comes from kids roasting marshmallows.
Even with older children comes the scariness of a pointy stick and fire. It must be the mom in me that cringes when those two things get together. I realize that I am not alone in this aversion to how s'mores are made when I talk with friends.
But there is something about the summer, and the need for all things s'mores. I have been having fun creating s'mores that do not need campfires to be enjoyed this summer.
These S'mores Cookie Cups were one sweet treat that I can't wait to make again.
One of my favorite summer time desserts is the poke cake. Poke cakes have been around for quite a long time, but every so often I have a comment wanting to know what it means.
What is a Poke Cake
A poke cake is exactly what it sounds like. You bake a cake and then while it is warm, you POKE it with a fork or the end of a wooden spoon.
This creates holes or pockets for a filling to collect. Sweetened condensed milk, Jell-O, or pudding are usually the three things you drizzle into those holes.
Since graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows are the three components of a good s'mores, I made sure this chocolate poke cake had plenty of each.
This cake starts with a graham cracker crust that you bake the cake on top of. I happen to like cake mixes, so that is all I ever use for poke cakes. If you want to make a homemade chocolate cake, feel free too.
How to make a pudding cake
- Make and bake a chocolate cake mix. (full recipe at bottom of post)
- Let the cake cool about 10 minutes. Then poke it with the end of a wooden spoon. Be careful not to push through the crust on the bottom.
- Whisk together the pudding mix and milk and pour it into the holes in the cake before it sets up too much.
- Use the back of the spoon to gently smooth and press the pudding into the holes. Gently tap the cake pan on the counter to help the pudding settle into the holes.
- Let it cool for about 30 minutes on the counter, then place it in the refrigerator until chilled.
How to top a Chocolate S'mores Pudding Cake
- Stir together a jar of marshmallow cream and one container of Cool Whip. Go ahead and taste a spoonful because I know you want to. I did too!!!
- Spread it on top of this Chocolate S'mores Pudding Cake. FYI it's also amazing on this Peanut Butter Fudge Poke Cake.
- Top the cake with some chopped up Hershey's candy bars, graham crackers, and marshmallows because more s'mores goodness is always a good idea.
Now enjoy your summer s'mores without the danger of getting your eye poked out or sitting on a sticky marshmallow-ed chair. It's a summer win!!!
More easy s'mores recipes:
- S'mores Cheesecake Fluff Salad - this easy fluffy dessert salad is loaded with marshmallows, chocolate chunks, and graham crackers
- Milk Chocolate S'mores Fudge - pockets of gooey marshmallows & crunchy graham crackers give this chocolate fudge a fun s'mores flair
- S'mores Coffee Milkshake from Shugary Sweets - coffee and marshmallow goodness turn this milkshake into a fun summer drink
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(original photo from June 2014)
*The post for Chocolate S'mores Pudding Cake was originally posted June 2014. The photos and post were updated July 2017 and then republished July 17, 2018.
I am planning to bake this one day ahead of time and chill with the pudding layer. Should I do the cool whip/marshmallow the day before as well, or will it work better to add that and the toppings on the day we plan to eat it?
I personally like to make and add the topping the day we eat this cake. But it can be made ahead of time, if needed.
Made this but the marshmallow Cool whip layer was runny. I did not put it on until after refrigerating and the cake and the pudding were completely cool. Even popped it in the freezer for a little bit. Still tasted great but had to spoon it up over the top of it upon serving..
Did you thaw your Cool Whip on the counter, microwave, or refrigerator? Cool Whip has to thaw in the fridge, or it can loose its texture. How did you mix the Cool Whip and marshmallow? If you used a mixer, that can also cause it to loose its fluffy texture. I can't think of any other other reason why it would be runny. I'm so sorry it didn't work for you, but I'm glad it stilled tasted great.
My family preferred it without the crust, otherwise it was delicious!
Can you use cook and serve pudding instead of instant ??
I have never tried that one, but it should work. Make sure to spoon the warm/hot pudding into the holes before it sets up. You want it to cool and set up in the cake. You can also tap the pan gently on the counter to help the pudding settle into the holes before putting it into the refrigerator. I hope you enjoy the cake!
Did you use instant pudding mix or cook n serve
The ingredients list calls for 1 box of instant chocolate pudding. I hope you enjoy the cake.
Is the pudding size correct? 3.9 doesn’t sound correct.
It is correct...at least the one I bought said that size. It doesn't matter what brand as long as it is the 4 serving box.
Pouring the pudding seemed a bit intimidating so I used a ziplock bag. I use this for frosting too. It worked perfect!
Does the cake need to stay refrigerated? If I make it the night before, should it stay refrigerated until i serve? Or, should i take it out in advance so it comes to room temp?
Yes, this cake needs to be refrigerated because of the pudding and Cool Whip, so I would serve it right from the fridge. I hope you enjoy it!!!
I don’t think it I supposed to 8 table spoons of butter way to much
The recipe is correct as written. One melted stick of butter (8 Tbsp.) stirred into the graham cracker crumbs makes a great crust!
Ever make this gluten free with GF graham crackers and a GF chocolate cake?
I haven't tried it that way because no one in our family has a gluten free allergy. But I think it would work just fine if you substituted those ingredients instead. Let me know how it works for you if you try it!
Can’t get the recipe to print.
I just tried it and it printed fine on my computer. Make sure your printer is set to print from the browser window you are using.
OH LA LATKES
Oh my! This cake looks fantastic.
Can you imagine that I've never had s'mores? I think I need to recreate this recipe asap. <3
E || OH LA LATKES
This was incredibly delicious and impressed my in laws friends! Thanks so much!
Could the frosting be torched for a little toasted-marshmallow flavor or does the cool whip not lend itself to that?
You could use a kitchen torch to very carefully toast the top marshmallows. I would be careful though because of the Cool Whip topping.
I made this today and my family loved it! Thanks for sharing!