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Friday, July 7, 2017

Rolo Poke Cake

This chocolate cake is full of creamy, caramelly goodness, topped with fluffy frosting, drizzled with fudge and sprinkled with candy. Mmmmmm, it's good!

piece of rolo poke cake on plate with chocolate cake, caramel filling, fluffy frosting, chocolate drizzle and bits of rolos

     This cake is a chocolate lover's dream come true. Moist chocolate cake gets even more decadent with caramel or dulce de leche seeping in.  A fluffy frosting provides a nice buffer between that and chopped Rolo candies and a drizzle of fudge.  It all comes together as a bit of heaven in every bite!

      It just so happens that my aunt and her daughter share a birthday. It also happens to be that one is my godmother and the other is my goddaughter.

   So when they are both in town for their birthdays, we have to celebrate! Birthdays mean cake and for those two it seemed like it had to be chocolate!

      So I put my thinking cap on. I know a few friends and the very aunt we were celebrating have made my devilishly good chocolate cake in a 9x13" pan rather than as a layer cake.

     I had never done that, but I figured that would make a great base for am easily transportable cake. Plus I knew we were planning on eating outside and I could just imagine a layer sliding off a tall cake as the frosting softened.

      With that part decided, I just needed to figure out a way to dress it up and make it birthday worthy. A nice layer of shiny fudge frosting would certainly do the trick, but I wanted to try something new.  With dulce de leche on the brain, it didn't take long to decide on a rolo poke cake.

corner of cake in pan with white frosting, fudge drizzle and chopped candies showing

       Now I made everything from scratch... except for the rolos, you do have to draw the line somewhere!  You could easily swap in some shortcuts if you prefer.

    I'd really like for you to try the devilishly good chocolate cake sometime though, it is so easy and almost as quick as the box mix. There's no creaming, no mixer required and you don't even have to crack an egg! But if the idea of homemade cake wears you out, make your favorite chocolate mix.

      The dulce de leche is easy too, but does take some time. Feel free to buy some or make some from a can of sweetened condensed milk if that's more your style.

     Vicki's whipped cream frosting is one of my favorites. It is so fluffy and not to sickly sweet, but you can sub in a tub of whipped topping like most poke cake recipes if you'd like.

     The hot fudge sauce is quick and easy too. You'll find yourself making it for everything, but if you have a favorite fudge to drizzle have at it! Besides the recipe came from the aunt who was celebrating the birthday, so I just had to make it!

      Just tell me you'll make the cake! Part of the reason I love that particular cake recipe so much is the moist tender crumb.

   It really doesn't need to be drenched in anything. However, being drizzled in sweet creamy goodness never hurt a thing and that is true of the cake as well!

    You'll be eating the cake and hit a pocket of gooey goodness and all will be right with the world, if only for that minute.

piece of chocolate cake with gooey caramel inside and white frosting on top

    So get out a whisk and spatula and get to work! But first, I have to know what your favorite poke cake is. I've not made too many and now I want more!

chocolate caramel poke cake, rich chocolate cake, chocolate caramel cake
Yield: 16 Servings
Author: Cooking With Carlee
Rolo Poke Cake

Rolo Poke Cake

This cake is a chocolate lover's dream come true. Moist chocolate cake gets even more decadent with caramel or dulce de leche seeping in. A fluffy frosting provides a nice buffer between that and chopped Rolo candies and a drizzle of fudge. It all comes together as a bit of heaven in every bite!
Prep time: 20 MCook time: 2 H & 30 MTotal time: 2 H & 50 M


Chocolate Cake (can sub your favorite chocolate cake mix cake)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Tablespoon almond extract
For the Dulce de Leche (may sub a can of dulce de leche warmed and thinned with a Tablespoon or two of milk)
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the whipped cream frosting (may sub a tub of whipped topping)
  • 5 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened (must be real butter)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the hot fudge sauce:
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
For the rolos?! (I had to put them somewhere!)
  • 10-12 rolos quartered


  1. Prepare a 9x13" pan and warm your oven to 350 F.
  2. Whisk together the sugar, cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  3. In another bowl, stir together water, oil, vinegar, coffee and extracts.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.
  5. Spread the batter into the greased pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick tests clean.
Dulce De Leche
  1. In a small bowl, stir the baking soda in a couple Tablespoons of the milk until dissolved and set aside.
  2. Choose a pot much larger than you think you'll need to avoid bubbling over. I usually use a 6 qt dutch oven. Stir together the remaining milk and sugar.
  3. Bring the mixture to a low boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Turn off heat and stir in the dissolved baking soda mixture. This is one of those bubbling like crazy moments, so be careful as you stir.
  4. Return to medium heat and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is golden and thick like honey. This will take about 45 minutes to an hour. You don't need to stand over it the whole time, but you'll want to keep an eye on it as it will bubble occasionally and you don't want it sticking to the bottom of the pan as it gets thicker.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and let cool slightly.
Ermine Frosting
  1. The most crucial part to this frosting turning out is getting the consistency of this first step correct. In a saucepan, whisk together flour and sugar. Add the cold milk a few tablespoons at a time to start, whisking in between to avoid lumps. Once you have a paste, stir in the remaining milk. Make sure there are no lumps, then turn on the burner to medium heat. Continue to whisk and cook until the mixture thickens to a paste consistency. You want it to be pretty thick. It will be tempting to walk away and so something else, but don't. Once it starts to thicken it will go really quickly and it is important you don't get lumps. Set thickened paste aside to cool.
  2. Once paste is room temperature, add butter and vanilla to mixer bowl. Turn on low and stir until incorporated. Add flour/milk paste and whip on high for about 10 minutes. You want to make sure the frosting has plenty of time to get nice and fluffy.
Hot Fudge
  1. Whisk together sugar and cocoa in a medium saucepan to make sure there aren't any lumps.
  2. Add milk and butter. Cook over medium-low heat until it comes to a hard boil.
  3. Boil for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool some before drizzling.
To Assemble
  1. While cake is still warm, poke with the round end of a wooden spoon to create holes across the top of the cake.
  2. Make sure your dulce de leche is a drizzling consistency. Warm it a bit and thin with a Tablespoon or two of milk if needed. Then drizzle over the cake. It will be easier to frost if you put the cake in the refrigerator for a bit after this to let the dulce de leche thicken back up and set.
  3. Spread frosting over cooled cake.
  4. Sprinkle chopped Rolos over the cake and drizzle with fudge sauce.
  5. Serve small pieces with a scoop of ice cream and additional hot fudge sauce!
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Did you make this recipe?
Tag @carleecooks on instagram and hashtag it #cookingwithcarlee
Created using The Recipes Generator

This chocolate cake is full of creamy, caramelly goodness, topped with fluffy frosting, drizzled with fudge and sprinkled with candy. Mmmmmm, it's good!

This chocolate cake is full of creamy, caramelly goodness, topped with fluffy frosting, drizzled with fudge and sprinkled with candy. Mmmmmm, it's good!


  1. I made your frosting for the sugar cookies that I forgot to put out this weekend. I love that recipe. You should have seen the faces light up when dad told your brothers that you left some cake here! 😊 Thank you for another fun recipe

  2. Sooooo, can I get you to make this for my next birthday? This is basically EVERYTHING I LOVE! I'm going to be dreaming about this all weekend :). Happy Friday, Carlee!

    1. Definitely!! Let's go ahead and plan on it!

  3. I love poke cakes.They are so moist and creamy and delish :D And this sounds like my dream dessert!! Dessert perfection :)

    1. Thank you, Deepika! It is hard to go wrong with chocolate and caramel, isn't it?

  4. Wow!! I'll I can say thank goodness for Birthdays!! This looks fantastic. I do love my sweets, I've saved this one for reference. Thanks Carlee :)

    1. Aren't birthdays the best? Thank you, Sam!

  5. Thia looks divine and I can only imagine how delicious it is.

    1. It was worth the effort, that is for sure! Thank you, Debra!

  6. This looks amazing. I've got a Rolo fan here and I think this is going to be one of her favorites! Pinned.

  7. Oh wow, I love rolos! This cake looks and sounds incredible!

  8. OMG, I saw this on the link up and said "I know this is Carlee!" Yum, oh a BIG YUM!! My BF In high school was named Rolonda but her knick name was Rolo of course. I wish I had this NOW!!

    1. I would happily share! Thank you so much, Andrea!

  9. I love poke cakes and this one looks phenomenal!

    1. Aren't poke cakes so much fun? Thanks, Jen!

  10. Hi Carlee, this is too much! I have been on a real sugar binge recently and am starting to feel it in my knickers ( no matter what I may claim I know I haven't accidentally put my knickers in a hot wash!), but seeing recipes like this really doesn't help! Luckily though we only have Rolos when someone brings them over for us and then I'm not sure they would end up in a cake!

    I am definitely pinning this for future reference, maybe not just now though!


    1. I've been bad lately too. Usually I save that for the winter, so I am a little scared how holiday baking is going to go if this is what summer virtue looks like! ;-)

  11. Your Rolo Poke Cake looks delicious! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and you have a great weekend!
    Come Back Soon
    Miz Helen

    1. We definitely thought it was a fun one! Thank you!

  12. Yum! I can't wait to try this out.

  13. this looks AMAZING Carlee--I want some right now but It's only breakfast time up here....pinned to my desserts board!

    1. I'm sure it would be an excellent breakfast! ;-) I hope you'll find the perfect occasion for it!

  14. Congratulations on the feature!

  15. Congratulations!
    Your post is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Thanks so much for sharing with us and hope you have a great weekend!
    Miz Helen

  16. This looks amazing, Carlee! My husband would be thrilled to come home and find this dessert waiting for him!!

    1. You should definitely make it for him when he deserves a special treat!

  17. Does the capital T in some ingredients stand for tablespoon??
    Shirleen Holmes

    1. Yes, it does. T for Tablespoon and tsp for teaspoon. I hope that helps!

  18. Oh my that looks amazing!! Pinned.

  19. There are some Rolo lovers in my house that I know would love this cake. Thanks for sharing at Celebrate365!


Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I love reading your ideas!