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Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake

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a close up shot of a slice of Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake on a plate topped with a mandarin
You will love the delicious orange jello and creamy pudding that is infused into this orange creamsicle poke cake.
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Table of Contents
  1. Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake Ingredients
  2. How to Make This Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

This orange creamsicle poke cake is super easy to make and will have you dreaming of lazy summer days. The nostalgic sweet and tangy flavors of orange and cream are seriously heavenly and are sure to please your taste buds.

a close up shot of a slice of Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake on a plate topped with a mandarin

Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake Ingredients

Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 1 (15.25-ounce) box of white cake mix, prepare as directed on the box
  • 1 (3-ounce) box of orange gelatin mix
  • ⅔ cup boiling water
  • ⅔ cup cold water
  • 1 (3.4-ounce) box of vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1¼ cups whole milk
  • 1 (8-ounce) container Cool Whip whipped topping, thawed (plus 1½ cups for optional garnish)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of mandarin oranges, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1 (11-ounce) can of mandarin oranges, drained (optional garnish)

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

ORANGE: You can add 1 tablespoon of fresh orange zest to the cake batter and also to the pudding topping for even more of an orange flavor kick. You can also add 1 teaspoon of orange flavoring to the cake batter.

CAKE MIX: You can substitute either French vanilla cake mix, funfetti cake mix, or even yellow cake mix for the plain white boxed cake mix.

WHIPPED TOPPING: If you would rather make your own whipped cream, you are more than welcome to. Try our recipe for homemade whipped cream as a perfect choice.

How to Make This Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake Recipe

STEP ONE: Prepare the white cake according to the package directions. Let the cake cool completely.

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to check your cake at the lower end of the recommended baking time.

STEP TWO: Using a bamboo skewer, poke holes in the cooled cake with about 1 inch between the holes. 

using bamboo sticks poke holes all over the cake in a baking dish

STEP THREE: Add the orange jello powder into a small mixing bowl or a 2-cup measuring cup.

STEP FOUR: Stir in the boiling water. Continue stirring until the gelatin is completely dissolved.

boiling water and gelatin stirred in a measuring cup

STEP FIVE: Stir in the cold water. Continue stirring for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

STEP SIX: Spoon, or pour, the jello mixture into the holes in the cake.

PRO TIP:

When pouring the jello into the holes of the cake, 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.

gelatin poured into the holes of the cake in a baking dish

STEP SEVEN: Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

STEP EIGHT: After the cake has chilled, add the instant vanilla pudding mix to a medium-sized mixing bowl.

STEP NINE: Whisk in the milk. Continue whisking for about 1 minute until the pudding begins to thicken.

milk combined with the pudding and whisked in a bowl

STEP TEN: Fold in the whipped topping.

cool whip mixed with the pudding mixture and folded in a bowl

STEP ELEVEN: Evenly sprinkle the chopped mandarin orange slices over the top of the cake.

chopped mandarin sprinkled over the cake

STEP TWELVE: Using a silicone or offset spatula, evenly spread the pudding mixture over the chopped mandarin oranges. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 2 more hours. 

PRO TIP:

Make sure you don’t skip this step. It’s important to give the jello and pudding time to set and soak into the cake before serving it.

pudding mixture spread over the top of the mandarins in a baking dish

STEP THIRTEEN: Just before serving, add the 1½ cups of whipped topping to a disposable piping bag or a quart-size Ziploc with a corner snipped off. 

STEP FOURTEEN: Slice 15 slices measuring 2½ inches x 3 inches each. 

STEP FIFTEEN: Gently squeeze out 15 silver dollar-sized dollops of whipped topping (about 1½ tablespoons each). Place 1 of the mandarin orange sections on each whipped topping dollop. Keep the cake refrigerated until ready to serve.

cool whip and orange slices added to the cake in a baking dish

How To Serve

Enjoy this creamy and refreshing summer dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. Add an ice-cold drink such as our iced tea or even a vanilla latte to wash your delectable slice of cake down.

For more delicious recipes that will bring back childhood memories, our creamsicle pie and orange creamsicle truffles are two more tasty treats.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Store any leftovers of this orange poke cake covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze the creamsicle orange poke cake for up to 1 month. Allow the cake to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

a close up shot of orange creamsicle poke cake in a baking dish with a slice taken out

Loaded with all the goodness of orange creamsicles, this orange cream poke cake will have you dreaming of days by the pool with a tasty ice cream in hand. So grab your swimsuit and dive into this delicious dessert!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a poke cake?

Poke cake recipes create an easy cake that you poke small holes into. 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 or a wooden skewer is the best size to poke holes in the cake.

Can I freeze this orange creamsicle cake recipe?

This easy poke cake recipe freezes well and lasts up to three months in the freezer.

Can I make this easy dessert ahead of time?

You can make this easy orange creamsicle poke cake a day or two in advance. Since the cake should chill for a few hours to give it time for all the liquids to soak in, it is best to make it the day before.

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a close up shot of a slice of Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake on a plate topped with a mandarin

Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake

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You will love the delicious orange jello and creamy pudding that is infused into this orange creamsicle poke cake.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 40 minutes
Servings 15

Ingredients
  

  • 15.25 ounces white cake mix, prepare as directed on the box
  • 3 ounces orange gelatin mix
  • cup boiling water
  • cup cold water
  • 3.4 ounces instant vanilla pudding mix
  • cups whole milk
  • 8 ounces whipped topping, thawed
  • cups whipped topping, optional garnish
  • 15 ounces mandarin oranges, drained and roughly chopped
  • 11 ounces mandarin oranges, drained (optional garnish)

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the white cake according to the box directions. Allow the cake to cool completely.
  • Using a bamboo skewer, poke holes in the cake with about 1 inch between holes.
  • Add the orange gelatin mix into a small mixing bowl or a 2-cup measuring cup.
  • Stir in the boiling water. Continue stirring until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
  • Stir in the cold water. Continue stirring for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Spoon, or pour, the gelatin into the holes in the cake.
  • Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  • After the cake has chilled, add the instant vanilla pudding mix to a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  • Whisk in the milk. Continue whisking for about 1 minute until the pudding begins to thicken.
  • Fold in the whipped topping.
  • Evenly sprinkle the chopped mandarin oranges over the top of the cake.
  • Using a silicone spatula or an offset spatula, evenly spread the pudding mixture over the chopped mandarin oranges. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 2 more hours.
  • Just before serving, add the 1½ cups of whipped topping to a disposable piping bag or a quart-size Ziploc with a corner snipped off.
  • Slice the 15 slices measuring 2½ inches by 3 inches each.
  • Gently squeeze out 15 silver dollar-sized dollops (about 1½ tablespoons each). Place 1 of the mandarin orange sections on each of the whipped topping dollops. Keep the cake refrigerated until ready to serve.

Notes

  • Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to check your cake at the lower end of the recommended baking time.
  • When pouring the jello into the holes of the cake, 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.
  • Make sure you don’t skip the chilling step. It’s important to give the jello and pudding time to set and soak into the cake before serving it.

Nutrition

Calories: 258kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 331mg | Potassium: 232mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 385IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 1mg
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