Andes Mint Chocolate Pudding Poke Cake is a cool, creamy dessert with chocolate cake, pudding poured on top, and a thick layer of mint Cool Whip topping. Andes mint cake is perfect for birthdays, special occasions, or St. Patrick's Day.
Preheat oven to 350º F. Spray a 9X13 pan with cooking spray.
Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and (optional) espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk thoroughly to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir on low speed until combined well.
Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until combined. Reduce speed to low and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Once the water is mixed in increase to high speed for 1 minute.
Pour batter in prepared baking dish and bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool slightly while pudding is prepared.
Make chocolate pudding according to directions on box. If not pouring the pudding on the cake immediately, press a piece of plastic wrap against the top of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming.
After the cake has cooled 15-20 minutes, poke holes every inch with wooden spoon handle. The cake will look pretty destroyed, but don't worry it will all be covered up. Pour the warm pudding over the warm cake. Smooth with rubber or offset spatula. Press a large piece of plastic wrap onto the pudding and refrigerate for 3 hours - overnight.
For the mint cream layer, beat cream cheeses, powdered sugar, heavy cream, mint extract, and food coloring together with a mixer until very light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Fold in 1 cup of whipped topping. Spread evenly on top of cooled pudding layer.
Cover mint cream layer with remaining Cool Whip. Sprinkle chopped andes mints on top. Cover and refrigerate leftovers.
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Tips and Tricks
It's best to use cook and serve pudding so it will be warm when you pour it over the cake. This helps it soak into the cake more. Instant pudding uses cold milk so it will more or less sit on top.
For best results, make the pudding as the cake cools slightly. However, if you need to bake the cake ahead of time, it's fine to pour the warm pudding over a cooled cake. It might not saturate the cake as much, but it won't affect the taste.
Beat the mint cream cheese layer for a full 3 minutes. Mixing at a high speed for a longer time will give the heavy cream in the mix needed time to add volume and airiness.
This recipe makes 3 thick layers - cake, pudding, and a mint cream topping. For a less gregarious dessert, cut back on the amount of pudding or halve the amount of cream cheese and whipped topping.
For added mint flavor add 1/2 teaspoon mint extract to remaining Cool Whip before spreading on top.