Bolton's Carling Cup campaign for the 2009/10 season came to an end at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea ran out 4-0 winners.
Salomon Kalou gave his side an early lead with a close-range header before Florent Malouda blasted his team further ahead.
And after half-time Deco and substitute Didier Drogba completed the scoring with two good finishes.
Wanderers came close to scoring in the first half when Matt Taylor drew a superb point-blank save from Hilario, while Ivan Klasnic struck the post in the latter stages of the contest.
Gary Megson took the opportunity to rest four of his first team squad, most notably Jussi Jaaskelainen and Kevin Davies, while Carlo Ancelotti made seven changes from the side that had demolished Blackburn Rovers four days earlier.
Both goalkeepers were tested early on after a lively paced opening to proceedings. Ali Al Habsi's first touch in competitive football this season was to clutch on to a low fizzing shot from Deco, while Matt Taylor whipped in a low free-kick after Gretar Steinsson had been upended by Paulo Ferreira.
Michael Ballack blazed wide and Daniel Sturridge has a half-hearted penalty appeal turned down before Chelsea went ahead through a Salomon Kalou header on 15 minutes. Ferreira, playing at left-back, curled in a cross and the Ivory Coast international planted the ball past Al Habsi's left hand from five yards out.
Wanderers would have levelled the score immediately if it hadn't been for a world-class save from Henrique Hilario. Steinsson had found space on the right wing and delivered an extremely dangerous cross into the penalty area which evaded both Ivanovic and Alex. The ball landed at the feet of Matt Taylor at the far post, who smashed the ball straight at Hilario, and Klasnic and Gardner failed to capitalise on the rebound.
Hilario took a blow to the head in making the point-blank save, and after receiving treatment on two occasions from the Chelsea medical team, he was forced from the field with what appeared to be concussion.
It was 2-0 to Chelsea on 25 minutes. Daniel Sturridge spun inside the area and crossed for Florent Malouda, whose header looked to be heading well wide of the target. But it took an unfortunate deflection off Zat Knight and landed straight back at the feet of the French international, and he beat Al Habsi at the near post with a powerful finish.
There was little Al Habsi could have done to prevent the second goal, but ten minutes later and he made a fantastic parry to prevent the hosts from extending their advantage further.
Malouda had carried the ball from the middle of the park before delivering a perfectly weighted slide-rule pass for Kalou. It looked like the number 21 was set to grab his second goal of the evening until Wanderers' Omani goalkeeper thrust out a right hand and palmed the ball away to safety.
With the stoppages for Hilario's injury, four minutes of injury time were indicated by the fourth official, but they failed to conjure up any noteworthy moments of action.
Johan Elmander had missed the last month of football with a hamstring complaint, but he returned to first team action when he replaced Steinsson at half-time. Carlo Ancelotti also made a substitution with Michael Essien replacing the second goalscorer Kalou.
Chelsea came out of the blocks the quickest following the restart and speculative efforts by both Essien and Belletti were well off target.
But with the score at 2-0, Bolton were still in the tie and the deficit was almost halved when Gary Megson's side strung together their best move of the match. Gardner linked-up excellently with Elmander, who unselfishly played a square ball to Mark Davies on the edge of the penalty area. Instead of looking for power, the former Wolves man tried to place the ball into the net, but it was directed straight at substitute goalkeeper Ross Turnbull.
The match was beginning to open up, and twice Daniel Sturridge could have put Chelsea into a 3-0 lead with just under an hour on the clock. Both were clear cut opportunities having broken clear on the left, however he failed to test Al Habsi with poor finishes that flashed wide of the post.
Taylor almost chipped Turnbull and Gardner drilled across goal shortly before Deco grabbed the decisive third Chelsea goal of the game. The ball landed invitingly for the Portugal playmaker 18 yards from goal, and he drilled across the unsighted Al Habsi into the far corner of the net.
Still, not despondent, Bolton continued to offer a good account of themselves, backed by the 1,500 travelling supporters. Zat Knight headed wide from a Ricketts free-kick, while Klasnic struck a post as he looked to notch his second strike in as many matches.
The in the final minute of the match Didier Drogba made it 4-0 with a far post header from Cole's deep cross.
The two clubs now have three days to prepare for the second meeting between the teams back at the Reebok Stadium in the Barclays Premier League.
Chelsea: Hilario (Turnbull 24), Ivanovic, Joe Cole, Ballack, Malouda, Ferreira, Deco, Kalou (Essien 46), Sturridge (Drogba 62), Alex, Belletti (Subs not used: Lampard, Matic, Bruma, Borini)
Bolton: Al Habsi, Ricketts, Cahill, Knight, Samuel, Steinsson (Elmander 46), Gardner, Taylor (Basham 65), Mark Davies, Muamba, Klasnic (Subs not used: Jaaskelainen, Cohen, O'Brien, Robinson, Chung-Yong)