Mini Chocolate Poke Cakes

Mini Chocolate Poke Cakes are baked to perfection in canning jars, drenched in caramel, and topped with whipped cream and toffee chips to create the perfect mini dessert.

My dad and brother came into town this weekend to visit Elle – we were just back home a week ago, but they simply can’t get enough of our sweet baby girl. Not that we can blame them, she’s pretty much the cutest baby ever. Just sayin’.

chocolatetoffeecakes3RSEven though the road trip is pretty short, they always bring their appetites. Which happens to work out perfectly because we all know that I love to be in the kitchen. From homemade sloppy joes and crock pot carnitas to a huge breakfast and Mini Chocolate Poke Cakes – it pretty much felt like a Thanksgiving cooking marathon – minus the turkey and stuffing. And since Eric is the best sous chef and dishwasher, I was able to cook up a storm and photograph a few of the recipes to share with you guys!

chocolatetoffcakesoverheadFirst up on the list are these Mini Chocolate Poke Cakes. My mom surprised me with a box of small canning jars a few months ago and since I’m not much of a canner, I thought I’d put them to good use by baking with them. The best chocolate cake recipe is made a little more portable and delicious with the addition of caramel sauce, whipped cream and Heath candy bar bits. Plus, there’s built in portion control – which is always a bonus unless, of course, you eat two of them – like a certain someone did.

I’m not naming names, but I am saying it’s entirely possible you’ll want to eat two of them. And also that I take no responsibility for that. Chocolate is just loveable in general, then when you add toffee AND caramel? Well, let’s just say I may have created the most irresistible mini dessert you ever did see.

Take ’em along to your Easter celebrations. They travel well, and hey, the Easter Bunny might leave you extra goodies in trade.

Source Information:
4 Ounce Ball Quilted Jelly Canning Jars from Amazon

Mini Chocolate Poke Cakes

Yield: about 18 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 22-24 minutes


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

For the Topping
1 cup quality caramel sauce
whipped cream or whipped topping
Heath candy bar bits


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 18 small (4 ounce) canning jars with nonstick cooking spray. Place jars on a large baking sheet. Be sure to leave room between each of the jars for air to circulate while baking.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and mix on low speed until combined.

3. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add in the coffee stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. The batter will be very thin.

4. Using a large scoop, distribute the batter into the prepared canning jars, filling each 2/3 of the way full. Be sure you do not overfill the jars.

5. Bake for 22-24 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow jars to cool for 5 minutes.

6. Once cakes have cooled for 5 minutes, use a wooden skewer to poke holes in the top of each cake. Spoon 2 teaspoons of caramel over the top of the warm cakes, allowing it to trickle into the holes. If desired, top each cake with whipped cream and Heath candy bar bits.


- Mini Chocolate Poke Cakes are best served the day they are made; however, cakes can be stored within the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- I have never had an issue baking is canning jars; however, there is a noted risk of them shattering. Be careful and have fun!

Adapted from Hershey's

45 Responses to “Mini Chocolate Poke Cakes”

  1. Joanna — April 7, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Congratulations on you new baby! Mine is 7 wks. :-) awesome THST you are already back in the kitchen (did you really ever leave?)

    Regarding the recipe, the coffee is on the bottom under the topping ingredient list, should it be up with the batter?? I was also curious how you keep the jars from shattering but I guess it hasn’t been an issue….

    Thanks for this great recipe, can’t wait to try it.




    • Jamie — April 8, 2014 at 4:55 am

      Congratulations on your little one! Yeah, I didn’t really leave the kitchen for too long!

      Thanks for catching that listing error, I’ve made the corrections!


  2. Jenna — April 7, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    Looks fantastic. Just a note, the 1 cup of coffee is listed with the topping ingredients, not with all the other cake ingredients.


    • Jamie — April 8, 2014 at 4:57 am

      Thanks for catching the misplacement of the coffee – I’ve fixed the error. Have a great day and thanks so much for stopping by!

  3. ThisBakerGirlBlogs — April 8, 2014 at 2:18 am

    Gah, these look incredible! I will gladly take a dozen jars :)


    • Jamie — April 8, 2014 at 4:56 am

      Thanks so much for stopping by! :)

  4. Shikha @ Shikha la mode — April 8, 2014 at 2:51 am

    Call me a hipster, but I’m a big fan of things in jars, especially desserts like these!


    • Jamie — April 8, 2014 at 4:57 am

      Me too – I’m slightly obsessed with jars, my stash is getting a bit out of control! Thanks for stopping by!


  5. Chloe @ foodlikecake — April 8, 2014 at 7:22 am

    These look amazing! I love the caramel sauce :-)


  6. Jennie @themessybakerblog — April 8, 2014 at 8:45 am

    A cute wee one and delicious cake… No wonder they keep coming back. Heck, I wouldn’t want to leave. These look wonderful!


  7. Kelly — April 8, 2014 at 11:18 am

    I don’t drink coffee so don’t have any. Can I substitute something?


    • Keith Lee — August 9, 2014 at 9:23 am

      1 Cup of hot water (240 ml.) will do the job! But coffee enhances the taste of chocolate though and you do not actually taste ANY of it in the cake! I’d prefer to use coffee instead but I’ve made with hot water too.

  8. Cory — April 8, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    These look amazing, i am curious to know how, or if you would have to, change anything if you were going to make this in a cake pan, say a 9×14….sadly i do not own jars but would still love to make this cake. Thanks much.


    • Jamie Lothridge — May 5, 2014 at 8:11 pm

      Hi Cory,
      Why not make them in a muffin pan instead? That should work fine.
      – Jamie

  9. paige — April 8, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    is it possible to make this in a pan? I do not have jars…


  10. Katrina @ WVS — April 8, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    This cake is stunning!! LOVE the recipe!


  11. JanetFCTC — April 8, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    These are so darn cute I would hesitate to eat them…. for about 3 seconds maybe lol. They look fantastic!


  12. Jessica @ Sweet Menu — April 8, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Wow these look so beautiful! I love how dark and rich the chocolate cake looks. Not sure if I have been living under a rock but had no idea there were such a thing as jars you could bake in the oven!


    • Jamie — April 30, 2014 at 4:18 pm


      Thanks so much! Have a wonderful day and thank you for following MBA!


  13. T. Travis — April 10, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Hi Jamie–
    I noticed that when I print off one of your recipes that your website address/name is not noted. I often print recipes for future use. When I go to actually try the recipe, it is helpful to have the website noted in case I need to refer to it. But, more importantly for you, if someone asks for the recipe I can direct them to your website. More traffic for you!!! Otherwise, I would just have to tell them I got it off the internet. Just a thought!
    Have a great day!!


  14. Rebecca — April 20, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Can these be made without the coffee?


  15. KAREN — May 9, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    Great idea…I can’t wait to try this. When hosting, I appreciate being able to assemble recipes a day or two in advance. Who doesn’t love presenting a freshly baked dessert in the middle of a party? I’m wondering if I can pour the cans sooner and bake them off as needed.


    • Jamie — June 20, 2014 at 8:10 am

      Karen, if you try it, I’d love to know if it works out.
      – Jamie

  16. Ashlee — May 10, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    I’m going to try this recipe tomorrow…however I only have 8oz jars…think it would work to fill the jars 1/2 full then serve with a accipiter of ice cream or whipping cream to fill the rest of the jar? Or should I use a muffin tin?


    • Jamie — July 9, 2014 at 12:21 am

      I think I’d go the muffins route, but that’s completely up to you. Enjoy!

  17. Sona — May 14, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    Hmmm… Loved this recipe.. These looks extra decadent for sure.. Will try this recipe soon .. Can you please name the best chocolate and the best cocoa powder that can be used in the baking … That would be really helpful …


    • Jamie — June 19, 2014 at 10:49 pm

      Sona, I tend to use Ghirardelli cocoa powder and baking chocolate when I bake. It’s easy to find for me, and excellent quality.
      – Jamie

  18. Coco Quimpo — May 28, 2014 at 12:17 am

    Hey, I was wondering if you had a great recipe for the caramel sauce? :)


  19. Jerissa Cabuhat — December 19, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Hi! This recipe looks great. Thinking of making this as a birthday cake. I am wondering though–if you make this ahead of time with the caramel, will it harden over time? Or would you recommend saving putting the caramel sauce on top until you are just about to eat it? Thanks!


    • Jamie — December 19, 2014 at 10:01 pm

      Yes, I would definitely recommend adding the caramel to the top of cakes until right before serving. I hope this helps.

  20. Rokaya — February 15, 2015 at 3:24 am

    glass jars can be broken from the over heat right ?


    • Jamie — February 15, 2015 at 10:44 am

      You will want to use oven safe glass or canning jars for this recipe. I hope this helps.


  21. jenny candy — August 16, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    i want to make this little jar cake.. do u suggest me plz if i make it on flame the result is same or not.. i dnt have oven… plzz reply as soon as possible. ^_^


    • Jamie — August 18, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      You will definitely need an oven to make this cake. Thanks for stopping by.

  22. Aneesha Rai — April 3, 2016 at 3:52 am

    Will this work if I put it in a cake pan? If no, how can I adjust the ingredients?


    • Jamie — April 4, 2016 at 11:02 am

      Hi, Aneesha! I think it might work in a cake pan. You’ll probably have some batter left over. Watch that the cake doesn’t overflow and/or become too done. Let me know how it goes!

  23. Liz — January 19, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    I just want to say that I think you should credit your source. The chocolate cake recipe you have here is taken almost exactly word for word from an Ina Garten recipe. I realize you have changed some things, but you should credit her with the cake recipe and then explain how yours is different. It’s just the right thing to do.


    • Jamie — January 20, 2017 at 4:47 pm

      Hi, Liz! This cake was adapted from Hershey’s, and I mention that at the bottom of the recipe. I appreciate your feedback!

  24. Learn tally in hindi — March 1, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Made this a few weeks ago, delicious.


    • Jamie — March 1, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      I’m so glad you liked it!

  25. Gabriella — March 1, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    Hi! This recipe is exactly what I’ve been looking for! I’m planning to make these for my best friends rehearsal dinner in May! She is excited and so is her soon to be mother in law! (Yesssss) Thanks for sharing! 


    • Jamie — March 2, 2017 at 11:52 am

      Great, Gabriella! Congratulations to your best friend!

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