Strawberry Jello Poke Cake

This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please see my full disclosure policy for details

This easy Strawberry Jello Poke Cake is a homemade vanilla cake soaked in strawberry Jello and topped with whipped cream. Poke cakes are perfect for any occasion and this can easily be made using a cake mix too! 

A head on shot of a slice of poke cake, showing the red jello on the inside, garnished with a strawberry

If you’ve been looking for a poke cake recipe you can’t live without, look no further, I’ve rounded up 15 of the most irresistible poke cakes.

Easy Strawberry Jello Poke Cake

If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you know how much I love a good poke cake. They’re usually super easy to make- either homemade or using a cake mix. The flavor combinations are endless.

This Strawberry Jello Poke Cake is no different. Typically, I make poke cakes with pudding mix, but this time I infused the cake with a strawberry Jello mix for a fruity twist.

The great thing about this cake is that you can really use any flavor of Jello mix: raspberry, cherry, lemon, you get the idea.

For this recipe, I’ve started with my favorite vanilla cake, then added some strawberry Jello, whipped cream and fresh fruit. It’s that easy! If baking from scratch is not your strong suit, you can definitely use a vanilla cake mix instead.

You can serve this cake for holidays, birthday parties, baby showers, you name it. I think they’re great for summertime because it’s a cold cake, which is so refreshing on a hot summer day.  

A close up shot of a slice of jello poke cake, showing the red jello inside the cake

Recipe Ingredients

  • Granulated sugar: The ratio of sugar to flour is very important in baked goods, so be sure to follow the recipe.
  • Vegetable oil: Oil makes these cupcakes more moist than a recipe with butter. It also makes the crumb and texture a bit more tender and tighter.
  • Whole eggs: This is a dense and spongy cupcake, so we’re using the whole egg. 
  • Pure vanilla extract: Be sure you get a high-quality REAL vanilla extract for this recipe because the vanilla is your main ingredient for flavor. 
  • Light sour cream: Sour cream helps keeps these cupcakes very moist.
  • All-purpose flour: This is not interchangeable with cake flour. So be sure to use all-purpose for this recipe. 
  • Baking powder: There’s 3 whole teaspoons to give these cupcakes the perfect rise.
  • Salt: Adding small amounts of salt to desserts enhances the flavor and sweetness.
  • Milk:  I use nonfat because that’s what I keep in my fridge, but you can use any type of milk you have on hand. 
  • Instant Strawberry Jello: You can really use any type of instant Jello that you want for this, it’s an easy way to change the flavor
  • Homemade whipped creamYou can make your own whipped cream or you can use Cool Whip. 

A gold fork with a bite of jello poke cake on it

Ingredient substitutions

  • Sour cream: This is essential for keeping the cupcakes moist. If you don’t have sour cream. I recommend substituting with non-fat Greek yogurt. The recipe calls for light sour cream, but you can also use full-fat sour cream.
  • Butter instead of oil: You can use 1/2 cup of melted butter instead of oil, but I don’t think it is nearly as good. You can also use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil. 
  • Gluten-free flour: I have tested this recipe with a one for one gluten-free flour and it worked out great. 
  • Homemade whipped cream can be substituted with Cool Whip. 

How to Make a Jello Poke Cake

  1. Prepare the cake first: Beat together the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract until well incorporated.
  2. Next mix in the sour cream and beat until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the remaining dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt. Add half the dry ingredients, and beat on low speed while pouring in half of the milk and mix just until the flour starts to incorporate.
  4. Finally add the remaining dry ingredients, and the remaining milk. Beat on low speed until all of the ingredients are well combined. 
  5. Bake in at 9 by 13 inch cake pan at 350°F for 28-32 minutes. Test the cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cakes is done. Cool Completely.
  6. Use a fork to poke hole all over the cake.

    an image a fork being pressed into a vanilla cake

  7. Prepare the jello: Combine hot water with instant Jello mix and whisk until the powdered mix is dissolved. Pour the liquid jello over the cake. Refrigerate the cake for at least 2 hours for the Jello to set. 

    two side by side images showing a jello mixture being poured over a cake

  8. Prepare the whipped cream:  Place the mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to chill then pour the heavy whipping cream into the chilled bowl and use an electric mixer to beat the heavy cream on medium-high speed until the cream thickens to soft peaks.
  9. Slowly add the powdered sugar and continue beating on high speed until stiff peaks start to form. Spread the whipped cream over the top of the cake. Garnish with fresh fruit. 

A horizontal shot of a slice of jello poke cake on a white plate, with a polka dot napkin

How to store a poke cake

Generally speaking, once you’ve added the liquid filling and whipped topping, they needs to stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

You can make this cake ahead of time (generally 2 days in advance), but whenever possible, I recommend adding the whipped topping the day that you plan to serve it.

What is a poke cake?

A poke cake is cake made traditionally in a 9×13 inch pan and once it’s baked, you take the end of a wooden spoon or fork and poke holes all over the top of the cake. Then you fill the cake with a liquid such as sweetened condensed milk, pudding or jello. The poke cake is then topped with whipped topping and traditionally served cold.

Can I make my poke cake into cupcakes?

Personally, I do not like to make them as poke cakes because the liquid often saturates the cupcake and a traditional cupcake liner is not meant to handle the liquid.

However, you can do this if you limit the amount of liquid you pour into each cupcakes, around 1 teaspoon. Poke some holes in the top of the cupcake and pour the liquid Jello over top. Then proceed to frost the cupcakes with whipped cream.

More Strawberry Cakes

Looking for more poke cake recipes? Here are all my best poke cake recipes.

A slice of Strawberry poke cake on a white plate with a couple bites taken out of it

Follow Beyond Frosting

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

 

Print
A head on shot of a slice of poke cake, showing the red jello on the inside, garnished with a strawberry

Strawberry Jello Poke Cake

  • Author: Beyond Frosting
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 28 minutes (up to 32 minutes)
  • Total Time: 1 hour 13 minutes
  • Yield: 15 slices

Description

This easy Strawberry Jello Poke Cake is a homemade vanilla cake soaked in strawberry Jello and topped with whipped cream. Poke cakes are perfect for any occasion.

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 2 cups (380g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (118 ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon (14.8 ml) vanilla extract
  • ½ cup(118 ml) light sour cream
  • 2 ½ cups (350 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons (11.2 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
  • 1 ¼ cups (296 ml) milk

For the toppings:

  • 1 package (3.4oz) instant Strawberry Jello
  • 3/4 cups (177ml) hot water
  • 1 ½ cups (354ml) heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (81g) powdered sugar
  • Fresh strawberries for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until the eggs and oil are well incorporated and the batter is lighter in color, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Next mix in the sour cream and beat until well combined.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add half dry ingredients followed by half of the milk and mix just until the flour starts to incorporate.
  4. Finally add the remaining dry ingredients and milk and continue beating until all of the ingredients are well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
  5. Pour the batter in a 9-inch by 13-inch pan and bake at 350°F for 28-32 minutes.Test the cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cake is done. Cool completely.
  6. Take a fork poke holes over the top of the cake.
  7. For the filling: In a small mixing bowl, combine the instant jello with the water and whisk together until the powdered mix is dissolved.
  8. Pour the liquid pudding mix over top of the cake, try to fill the holes with the pudding mix. Refrigerate the cake until the pudding is firm, about 10 minutes or so.
  9. For the whipped topping: Place the mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to chill
  10. Pour the heavy whipping cream into the chilled bowl and use an electric mixer to beat the heavy cream on medium-high speed until the cream thickens to soft peaks.
  11. Slowly add the powdered sugar and continue beating on high speed until stiff peaks start to form. Spread the whipped cream over the top of the cake. Garnish with fresh strawberries.

Notes

  • You can use a cake mix instead of making a homemade vanilla cake
  • Sour cream: You can use any type of sour cream, but if you don’t have sour cream, I recommend a nonfat Greek yogurt as a substitute.
  • Jello mix: If you can’t find instant strawberry jello, you can use an alternative flavor or you can use cook and serve, but the jello should be poured over the cake when it’s a liquid consistency.
  • For the topping: Substitute Cool Whip for the topping instead of making whipped cream.
  • Storage and make ahead options: You can make the cake itself up to 2 days in advance, store in an airtight container on the counter but It’s best to add the whipped cream and berry toppings the day of or day prior to serving. This cake must be stored in the refrigerator once the topping has been added. If your cake pan doesn’t have a lid, tightly wrap it in plastic.
Nutrition Information:
1 slice
360
38g
217mg
13.6g
9.5g
55.7g
.6g
5g
54mg
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Poke Cake, Poke cake recipe, Jello poke cake, Strawberry jello poke cake,

Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes
2 Responses
  1. Erin

    This looks amaaaaaazing, Julianne! A woman who was a grandmother figure in my life used to make this cake and let my sister and I pour the Jello overtop. Good memories 🙂 I have an unopened package of strawberry Jello in my pantry right now, so as soon as our oven is fixed…I’ll need to make this!

Share a Comment

5 BAKE FROM SCRATCH SECRETS!
Subscribe to my newsletter and get my fav tips to take your cakes & cupcakes to the next level.
Skip to content