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Jello Poke Cake

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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 made with white cake mix, jello, and Cool Whip, to create a 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. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

This quick and easy jello poke cake is a family favorite for good reason. A perfectly moist cake is infused with strawberry jello and topped with a light, and fluffy layer of Cool Whip, resulting in a gorgeous poke cake that melts in your mouth. 

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

Jello Poke Cake Ingredients

jello poke cake raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 1 (15.25-ounce) box of white cake mix (plus the ingredients called for on the box)
  • 1 (3.4-ounce) package of 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.

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

TOPPINGS: There are plenty of great options to top off your delicious treat. After adding the whipped cream, you could top it 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 it with the corresponding fresh fruit like raspberries, cherries, orange slices, and so on. 

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.

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

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

cake mix ingredients in a bowl then added to a pan

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.

the cake poked with holes by a fork

STEP FOUR: Mix the boiling water with the 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 jello into the holes, tap the pan on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles, and make sure the jello fills the holes completely. 

 jello being poured over cake

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

cool whip being spread over the cake

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 (try this recipe for Turtle poke cake, too!). The cake is so easy to make, it would be a great choice for a weeknight dessert treat with a scoop of our no-churn vanilla ice cream on the side.

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, or cinnamon roll poke cake.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Any leftover cake should be stored in the fridge for 2 to 3 days, tightly wrapped with plastic wrap.

IN THE FREEZER: To freeze this easy jello poke cake, do so after baking, poking, and adding the jello. Leave off the Cool Whip and toppings until you’re ready to serve. Make sure to store it 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 it in the fridge until it’s time to serve.

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

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!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I make other flavors of poke cake?

You can use virtually any flavor of jello and top it 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, jello, 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.

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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 5 votes
This easy jello poke cake is made with white cake mix, jello, and Cool Whip, to create a delicious sweet treat.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 16

Ingredients
  

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

Instructions
 

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

Notes

  • You can substitute butter and milk for the oil and water if you like. It will produce a richer flavor!
  • 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.
  • When you’re pouring the jello into the holes, tap the pan on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles, and make sure the jello fills the holes completely. 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 160kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 262mg | Potassium: 105mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 26IU | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Myriam says

    Hello,
    Can we do this with a regular 9” double layer round cake ?
    If so, how do we adjust it?
    Thank’s for your help!

  2. Laura J Sisk says

    5 stars
    with the jello poke cake I used 1 cup hot water and 1 cup of of soda the same kind as your jello. i used black cherry jello so i used black cherry soda. and instead of just whip cream i used whip cream and 1 small box pf vanilla pudding. make pudding as directede and combine with 8 oz whip cream.