Jello Poke Cake

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. 

Poking a fork into a cake to make a Jello poke cake.

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!

Make cupcakes

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.

Making jello and pouring it over the cake for jello poke cake.

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.

Flavor variations.

  • 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:

Storing Info

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 Cake Recipe

4.90 from 89 votes
Jello Poke Cake is cool, creamy, and perfect for any get-together. Use any flavor of Jello to make this crowd-favorite dessert!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 15
Calories 150 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna

Ingredients

  • 1 white cake mix box and any ingredients listed on box
  • 1 3.3 oz jello mix raspberry, cherry or strawberry
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 tub whipped cream

Instructions
 

  • Prepare cake mix as directed and bake in a 9×13 pan. Let cool for 15 minutes.
  • Poke cake with a fork at ½-inch intervals.
  • Prepare Jello as directed. Spoon over the cake mix until the Jello liquid is all gone
  • Chill for 3 to 4 hours and top with Whipped Cream. Refrigerate until ready to serve. ENJOY!

Video

Notes

Use or Homemade Whipped Cream recipe for the top.
VARIATIONS. Use any flavor of jello or cake mix to change it up!
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.
 

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    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.

    1. 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!

  2. 5 stars
    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!

  3. 5 stars
    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.

  4. 5 stars
    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.

  5. 5 stars
    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!

  6. 5 stars
    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!

  7. 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!

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