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This Jello Poke Cake is the easiest cake recipe you can make and it’s so delicious. I’m sharing a Strawberry Jello Poke Cake, but you can easily customize it and use your favorite jello flavor. The BEST part about this classic recipe is the frosting: no canned icing here, nope – I’m adding a delicious whipped cream frosting to the top!
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What is a Poke Cake?
We all need super easy cake recipes and it doesn’t get any easier than this classic poke cake. It’s the kind of dessert you can make on a whim with mostly pantry ingredients, but the result looks like you spent a lot more time and energy making it than you actually did!
There are many kinds of poke cakes and this one I’m sharing today is one of my favorites. It’s a jello cake that is so easy and fast and tastes amazing. If you’ve never tried one before you are going to love it!
Poke cakes have been around forever and they are just what the name implies – cakes with holes poked in them! You can fill the holes with so many different things – pie filling, syrup, glazes, pudding and even jello! The filling seeps into the cake creating unique flavor depending on what you use. It’s a really great way to dress up a regular boxed cake mix.
This strawberry poke cake version is one of my favorites. It’s dressed up with a homemade whipped cream frosting and fresh strawberries – it looks way more complicated than it actually is. It’s really so simple to make.
- 1 box of yellow cake mix
- Ingredients to make the cake: use the ones called for on the box
- 1 small box of strawberry jello
- 1 ¼ cups boiling water
How to make Jello Poke Cake
- Cake: Make and bake the cake following the package instructions. Cool the cake in the pan for at least 30 minutes.
- Poke: poke holes in the cake.
- Jello: Mix the jello with the 1 1/4 cup boiling water until the jello has dissolved and then pour it over the cake. It will seep into the holes you made. Leave the cake to completely cool before you add frosting or icing.
- Frost: frost the cake with whipped cream frosting and top with fresh berries.
Best Frosting for Poke Cake
There are a few different ways you can dress up your poke cake, but I love to frost it with my homemade whipped cream frosting. It’s a creamy, sweet frosting that holds up really well so you can frost the cake ahead of time. Here are some other options:
Tip From Dorothy
- I love adding fresh strawberries on this for decoration.
- Poke cakes are even better the next day after the jello has time to soak into the cake!
- You can use regular or sugar-free jello for this recipe!
- Any leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator where they will keep for several days.
How to poke holes in cake
Using a wooden spoon handle, poke holes in the cake. Don’t make the holes go all the way through the cake – you just want holes that will absorb the jello without it leaking through the bottom of the cake. You can also use a long skewer instead of the spoon handle for smaller holes.
You can make this cake a day ahead – just wrap it tightly and keep it in the refrigerator. Wait to frost and decorate it until you’re ready to serve it.
Yes, let the cake cool at least 30 minutes before poking it and adding the jello.
It depends on the frosting. If you’re just topping it with straight cool whip then yes. But if you’re using whipped cream frosting I don’t recommend freezing it.
My favorite way to do this is with the handle of a wooden spoon, but you can also use a straw or wooden skewer.
Yes – store this in the refrigerator. It tastes best cold too!
Actually even though it seems like it would – it doesn’t. The jello just flavors the cake and it still has that cake texture, unlike a traditional poke cake that’s filled with pudding, etc.
Strawberry Jello Poke Cake Recipe
- 1 approx 15 ounce box cake mix plus ingredients to make the cake
- 1 (4 serving size) box strawberry Jello , or any flavor
- 1 ¼ cups boiling water
- Whipped Cream Frosting see note
- Make the cake as directed on the box using the eggs, water and oil called for. Bake cake in a 9×13-inch pan as directed.
- Cool cake at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- Stir the Jello powder into the boiling water until gelatin is dissolved.
- Using the back of a wooden spoon, poke about 20 holes in the cake, evenly spaced.
- Carefully pour the liquid Jell-O mixture over the top of the cake.
- Allow to cool for at least one hour before frosting. Frost as desired, garnishing with fresh berries if you want.
- Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Whipped Cream Frosting
- Buttercream Frosting
- Cool Whip
- Fresh whipped cream (won’t last as long; frost right before serving)
- Canned frosting
- The cake is best after sitting for several hours, so you can make it the day before.
- Store covered in the refrigerator for several days.
Jello Poke Cake is the easiest cake recipe you can make with only three ingredients. This cake is perfect for so many occasions – it will be your new go-to cake recipe!
Last Updated on June 6, 2023