Jello Poke Cake is cool, creamy, and perfect for any get-together. Use any flavor of Jello to make this crowd-favorite dessert!
Poke Cake is one of our favorite summer desserts! Be sure to check out some of our other poke cake variations: Banana Pudding Poke Cake and Boston Cream Poke Cake.
Strawberry jello Cake
I have fond memories of family gatherings and parties that involve this long-time-family-favorite dessert – Jello Poke Cake. We love it so much we’ve made so many variations.
It’s perfect for BBQs and summer parties because of its cool and creamy texture. Let’s be honest, I crave it year round.
You can change the flavor of Jello depending on your mood. We almost always make Strawberry Jello Poke Cake, but our other favorites are raspberry and cherry. I’ve also done lime, blue raspberry, and orange before, but those are definitely a little more adventurous!
Jello Poke Cake has been around since 1976, at least that is when it first appeared in print. The General Foods Kitchen printed the recipe in an advertisement booklet and from there it reached kitchens all over the country.
The popularity grew because it was an easy, quick dessert that could be made ahead of time. Not to mention it is easy to customize and delicious.
How to make Jello Cake
This Jello Cake is really so simple, which is probably why we make it ALL the time.
CAKE. Prepare cake mix as directed and bake in a 9×13 pan. Let cool for 15 minutes. Poke holes in the cake with a fork at ½-inch intervals.
JEllO. Prepare Jello as directed. Spoon over the cake mix until the Jello liquid is all gone.
CHILL + ENJOY! Chill for 3 to 4 hours and top with Whipped Cream. Refrigerate until ready to serve. ENJOY!
Instead of making a 9×13 cake, make cupcakes according to the directions on the box. Once the cupcakes have cooled, poke them with a fork or skewer. Use a soup spoon to drizzle Jell-o into the holes and chill.
Poke cake Recipe tips
Tips for poke cake:
- Use a cake made from scratch, a box mix, or a store bought cake.
- For a nice clean slice, wipe the knife after each cut.
- Garnish with coordinating fresh fruit. Fresh strawberries are especially delicious.
Setting the Poke Cake. It won’t set up like normal gelatin does, but it will take at least a few hours for the Jell-o to soak into the cake and cool completely. So plan ahead when making this Poke Cake!
Speed up the cooking time.
- Buy a pre-made, unfrosted white cake at a local bakery.
- Stick the cake in the freezer for 30-60 minutes, long enough to set the jello but not freeze the cake.
- Use chocolate cake mix. This recipe can be used to make any flavor of cake mix paired with a complimentary flavor. Chocolate cake with raspberry or black cherry jello would be delicious!
- White cake pairs well with all flavors of jello.
- Add a layer of similar pie filling to the top of the cake then top that with Whipped Cream. Strawberry jello would pair well with strawberry pie filling.
more Poke Cake delicious-ness
We love Poke Cake so much and have made several varieties. It’s so easy to change up with any flavor of jello. The possibilities are endless!
Here are some of our favorites on the site:
- Banana Pudding Poke Cake
- Strawberry Shortcake Poke Cake
- Boston Cream Poke Cake
- Lemon Lime Poke Cake
- Red Velvet Poke Cake
STORE. Because of the jello, keep the cake chilled. Tightly cover the cake and keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days.
To FREEZE, wrap the Poke Cake with plastic wrap, then again with aluminum foil. Label and freeze for up to 3 months.
If the cake is frosted, flash-freeze first. Flash-freeze a whole cake by placing individual pieces on a baking sheet, making sure they are not touching.
Freeze for 2-3 hours or until the outside is frozen. Wrap in plastic and foil, label, and return to the freezer.
For more cool cake recipes:
Jello Poke Cake Recipe
- 1 (15.25-ounce) box white cake mix plus any ingredients listed on box
- 1 (3-ounce) box strawberry Jell-O (or raspberry or cherry)
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 (8-ounce) tub whipped topping (or 2 cups whipped cream)
- Prepare cake as directed on the box and bake in a 9-x-13-inch baking dish. Let cool for 15 minutes.
- Poke cake with a fork at ½–1-inch intervals.
- Use hot and cold water to make Jell-O as directed on the package.
- Spoon Jell-O liquid over the cake gradually until it is all absorbed.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 3–4 hours. Top with whipped topping right before serving.
Cupcake Version: Instead of making a 9-x-13-inch cake, make cupcakes according to the directions on the cake mix box. Once cupcakes have cooled, poke them with a fork or skewer, drizzle Jell-O into the holes and chill as directed above before adding whipped topping.
Such a blast from the past!! Thank you for this recipe (which can be changed according to your jello preference). It is super easy to make and is a great pot luck dessert.
Wonderful summer cake! So easy to make!
Yes! It is a good one for summer! Hope you enjoy!
I have made jello cake for years. I like to make 2 different flavored layers and put fluffy white frosting between and on top. It keeps better and is delicious!
That sounds delicious too! Thanks for sharing what you do.
Used raspberry jello and top with cool whip and fresh berries. Delicious
Mmmm sounds amazing!
Going to a friends for dinner tomorrow. Asked m guy what I should bring for dessert. This is what he picked (he even went to the store for the ingredients). Such a fun easy recipe that always tastes and looks good!
Went to a father’s day cookout and brought this raspberry poke cake, there were lots of other deserts there but this was the first to go! It was a very big hit.
Yay! So glad to hear that it was a hit!
We decorate this as a flag cake for 4th of July. Blueberries make the stars area and rows of thinly sluced strawberries for the stripes.
I made this for my co-workers with white cake strawberry jello cream cheese coolwhip frosting and topped it with fresh strawberries, they loved it!
Yay!! So glad to hear that. Sounds delicious!
I remember my Mom making this recipe when I was a child and how much I loved it then!
It was so easy to make and brought back great memories!
Oh I’m so glad! Thanks for giving the recipe a try!
Loved this recipe since I can remember. The addition of fruit filling on top i@ fantastic.
Can you freeze this cake
I grew up with this recipe only difference is my mom would add vanilla pudding on top and then the Cool Whip. So good! Try it!
Easy and soooo delicious! We love it in the spring with fresh berries. We have made orange one too!
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Can you use strawberry juice from a carton of frozen strawberries instead of jello?
You could try! I’m not sure how well it would work… I have never tried using that. But if you do, you’ll have to let us know how it turns out.
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