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! This cake is perfect for so many occasions – you’ll want to make it again and again!
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!
Table of Contents
What is a Poke Cake?
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. Here are some poke cakes I’ve made before:
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.
Ingredients needed for Poke Cake
You Will Love this Easy Strawberry Poke Cake; the recipe is so easy you can easily memorize it!
- 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
Tip: you can use regular or sugar-free jello for this recipe!
How to make Jello Poke Cake
1. Cake: Make and bake the cake following the package instructions. Cool the cake in the pan for at least 30 minutes.
2. Poke: poke holes in the cake (see below).
3. Jello: Mix the jello with the hot 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.
4. Frost: frost the cake with desired frosting.
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.
Dress it Up with Frosting
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.
Just beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla together until the mixture is smooth and thick. Slow add cold heavy cream and whip the frosting until it holds stiff peaks.
You can also frost this with:
Frost the cake, add a few fresh strawberries for decoration and you’re done! Slice and serve it – any leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator where they will keep for several days.
Other Ways to Make a Jello Poke Cake
If strawberry is not your thing you can use pretty much any flavor of jello in its place. Sometimes I pick a jello based on the occasion I’m making for – it’s fun to customize the colors to match the event! Here are some ideas:
- Orange jello poke cake
- Lime jello poke cake
- Lemon jello poke cake
- Cherry jello poke cake
Just make the cake as instructed and use your favorite flavored jello. You can use the same whipped frosting and garnish the cake with different kinds of fresh fruit depending on the flavor you make.
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.
I think once you know how to make this strawberry jello poke cake recipe you’ll want to make it in every flavor! It’s so easy and great for potlucks, picnics, BBQs, game-days, holidays – pretty much any occasion that calls for cake. I hope you enjoy this recipe!
Have you made this recipe?
Tag @crazyforcrust on Instagram or hashtag it #crazyforcrust
Strawberry Jell-O Poke Cake
- 1 box cake mix plus ingredients to make the cake
- 1 box 4 serving size strawberry Jello, or any flavor
- 1 1/4 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
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
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 May 20, 2022
All text and images © DOROTHY KERN for Crazy for Crust. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Disclaimer: Nutrition information shown is not guaranteed to be accurate.
This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, read my disclosure policy.
Published on: June 21, 2020