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Jello Poke Cake

close up shot of a slice of jello poke cake topped with whipped cream and strawberry slices on a plate
This easy Jello poke cake is a retro dessert that we love! Made with white cake mix, Jello, and Cool Whip, you'll enjoy the flavor of this delicious sweet treat.
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Table of Contents
  1. JELLO POKE CAKE INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS JELLO POKE CAKE RECIPE
  3. HOW TO SERVE
  4. STORAGE
  5. FAQ
  6. MORE RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE
  7. JUMP TO RECIPE

This quick and easy Jello poke cake is a family favorite for good reason. After baking, you’ll have a perfect, moist cake that you poke holes in before pouring Jello on top. A layer of Cool Whip serves as a light, fluffy frosting. The result is a gorgeous poke cake that melts in your mouth. 

For another easy dessert recipe that uses jello as an ingredient, try our jello pie! We love poke cake recipes because of how easy they are to make and how delicious they turn out. Check out our coconut poke cake, Boston cream poke cake, strawberry poke cake or cinnamon roll poke cake.


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JELLO POKE CAKE INGREDIENTS

You will need:

  • 1 box white cake mix + ingredients called for on the box
  • 3.4-ounce package strawberry jello
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 8-ounce tub of Cool Whip

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

CAKE MIX: We used white cake mix in this recipe, but other recipes call for yellow cake mix, which would work just as well. There are plenty of different options for the type of cake mixes you can get in the store. 

WHIPPED TOPPING: If you would prefer to make your own whipped cream, check out our homemade recipe here.

TOPPINGS: There are plenty of great options to top off your delicious treat. After adding the whipped cream, you could top with anything from fresh berries or other fruit to chocolate chips to a drizzle of strawberry or caramel sauce.

JELLO: If you use another flavor of Jello, you could top with the corresponding fresh fruit like raspberries, cherries, orange slices, and so on. 

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HOW TO MAKE THIS JELLO POKE CAKE RECIPE

STEP ONE: Mix the boxed cake mix and all the ingredients the cake mix calls for in a large bowl. Typically this is oil, water, and eggs.

PRO TIP: You can substitute butter and milk for the oil and water if you like. It will produce a richer flavor!

STEP TWO: After mixing, pour the cake batter into a 9×13-inch pan that is sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake according to the box directions — usually about 45 minutes.

STEP THREE: Once you remove the cake from the oven, use a fork or the handle of a wooden spoon to poke holes throughout the cake. 

PRO TIP: It’s best to make the holes in the cake while it is still slightly warm because as it cools, the crust on top of the cake will crumble more easily.

STEP FOUR: Mix the boiling water with Jello and stir until dissolved, then add cold water. Pour over the entire cake, allowing the Jello mixture to seep into all the holes you poked with the fork or spoon.

PRO TIP: When you’re pouring the cream into the holes, tap the pan on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles and make sure the cream fills the holes completely. 

STEP FIVE: Once cool, cover the top of your cake with an even layer of Cool Whip. I love using strawberry Jello and whipped topping with a few sliced fresh strawberries before serving. 

HOW TO SERVE

Our delicious strawberry jello poke cake is a perfect treat to serve for a special occasion or for no occasion at all. The cake is so easy to make, it would be a great choice for a weeknight dessert treat or to take to a potluck. Serve the cake with a scoop of our no-churn vanilla ice cream on the side. Add a cold drink such as our iced tea, raspberry iced tea, sweet peach iced tea, or our southern strawberry sweet tea, and you’ll have the perfect combination.

STORAGE

IN THE FRIDGE: Any leftover cake should be stored in the fridge for one to three days, tightly wrapped with plastic wrap.

IN THE FREEZER: If you’re going to freeze this easy Jello poke cake, you should do so after baking, poking, and adding the Jello. You’ll want to leave off the Cool Whip and fresh fruit until you’re ready to serve. Make sure to store in an airtight container to keep it fresh. It will last about a month in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat, you can thaw in the fridge until it’s time to serve.

This classic, homemade Jello poke cake is a fun, retro dessert that your family will request again and again. It’s a vintage dessert from my grandma’s recipe box that is perfect to serve year-round since it’s so effortless to make. I hope you try it soon!

FAQ

How do I make other flavors of poke cake?

I love how versatile jello poke cake is. You can use virtually any flavors of Jello and top with fresh fruit. After baking a white or vanilla cake, you can use orange, lime, lemon, raspberry, peach, pineapple or even cherry jello to make this yummy treat. You could even use chocolate pudding if you don’t want a fruit flavor. 

What is a poke cake?

It’s an easy cake that you poke holes into while it’s still hot after baking. The holes are then filled with a liquid or filling — like condensed milk, pureed fruit, chocolate cream, or pudding. It makes a moist and delicious cake.

What do you use to poke holes in poke cake?

The end of a wooden spoon is the best size to poke large holes in the cake.

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

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close up shot of a slice of jello poke cake topped with whipped cream and strawberry slices on a plate

Jello Poke Cake

5 from 3 votes
This easy Jello poke cake is a retro dessert that we love! Made with white cake mix, Jello, and Cool Whip, you'll enjoy the flavor of this delicious sweet treat.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 16

Ingredients
  

  • 1 box white cake mix plus ingredients called for on box
  • 3.3 ounces strawberry jello
  • 1 cup water boiling
  • ½ cup water cold
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip
  • fresh strawberries for garnish if desired

Instructions
 

  • Prepare cake to directions and after baking poke holes throughout the cake with a fork or wooden spoon handle.
  • Mix boiling water with Jello and stir until dissolved, then pour in cold water.
  • Pour Jello over the entire cake, allowing to seep into holes.
  • Cover with Cool Whip.
  • You can also add fresh fruit to the top before slicing and serving!

Notes

TIP: For a fun flavor change, swap out the strawberry Jello for another flavor, and use fresh fruit on top to match!
TIP: You can substitute butter and milk for the oil and water on the cake box directions if you like. It will produce a richer flavor!
TIP: It’s best to make the holes in the cake while it is still slightly warm because as it cools, the crust on top of the cake will crumble more easily.
TIP: When you’re pouring the cream into the holes, tap the pan on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles and make sure the cream fills the holes completely.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 159kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 261mg | Potassium: 105mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 26IU | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1mg
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Proudly Prepared by the Spaceships Kitchen

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