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EASY Jello Poke Cake (5 ingredients!)


A super moist jello poke cake topped with whipped cream and fresh berries. Takes only 5 ingredients to make and can be used with any flavor or gelatin!

There’s something about chilled desserts in the summer time that can’t be beat. They’re refreshing, delicious and make the great treat. This recipe is a favorite, as well as strawberry icebox cake, better than anything cake and Oreo ice cream cake.

strawberry poke cake on a white plate

I remember my grandma making this dessert when I was a small girl and I always loved poking the top of the cake before she poured the jello in. It’s a super simple cake recipe and is great for when you need a last minute dessert.

The top thing about it is that it can be made using your favorite flavor of jello. My personal favorite to use is strawberry. It’s always a hit with my family, especially topped with fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream.

jello poke cake step by step

How to make jello poke cake

  1. Bake: To obtain started, mix the cake batter and then bake according to package directions. Remove from oven and let cool slightly, then poke holes all over the top with a meat fork or butter knife (photo 3).
  2. Pour jello over the top: Next mix together jello with hot water (photo 1). Stir until completely dissolved, about 2 minutes. Then add cold water and stir for 1 minute (photo 2). Pour jello mixture evenly over the cake (photo 4), then chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  3. Add whipped topping: Once the it has cooled completely, spread the whipped cream on top with a spatula. I like to make my own homemade whipped cream, but cool whip works too.
  4. Chill, top and serve! Cover and store in the fridge until alert to serve. Top with fresh berries or sprinkles just before serving.

spreading whipped cream on strawberry jello cake with a spatula

Variations

The beauty of this recipe is that it will work with any flavor of jello! My personal favorite to use is strawberry, but any flavor would taste astonishing. Below are a few delicious variation ideas:

  • Cherry: White mix, cherry jello and whipped cream with cherry pie filling on top
  • Lemon: Lemon mix, lemon jello and whipped cream with lemon zest on top
  • Raspberry: White mix, raspberry jello and whipped cream with fresh raspberries on top
  • Orange: White mix, orange jello and whipped cream with mandarin oranges and orange zest on top

Baking tips

  • I used a box of cake mix for convenience, but you can exactly make your own from scratch.
  • My preference for frosting is whipped cream, but cool whip tastes great too. Both are light and airy!
  • Make sure the cake is completely cool before adding the whipped topping (or else it will melt).
  • Decorate with fresh fruit, sprinkles or abandon plain with just the topping.
  • Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just make sure to cover with a lid or plastic wrap.

jello poke cake with whipped cream and strawberries

Storing, freezing + make ahead

Does it need to be refrigerated? Yes, this dessert is top served cold. It needs to be chilled for at least an hour before serving to allow the jello to soak into the cake. Make sure to cover and keep refrigerated until serving.

Can you make it ahead of time? Absolutely, it’s the great make-ahead dessert. You could easily make it the day before and let it chill in the fridge overnight.

Can you freeze it? Sure. I’d recommend freezing it without the whipped topping. Simply wrap with plastic wrap, then place in a freezer bag or container. Store in freezer for up to 1 month. When alert to enjoy, thaw and top with whipped cream or cool whip.

4th of July poke cake

Looking for a fun dessert to make for the 4th of July? This dessert can easily be decorated with fresh berries to look like an American flag. Here’s how to make it. It will definitely be a hit at your next 4th of July BBQ!

  1. Spread the whipped cream on top once it has cooled.
  2. Place about 1/2 cup fresh blueberries in the top left corner.
  3. Remove the stems of 15 fresh strawberries. Then slice vertically. Create 3-4 rows of strawberry slices, starting at the top and working your way down.

jello poke cake topped with berries in the shape of an American flag

More simple cake recipes to try:

jello poke cake with whipped cream and strawberries

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Keyword: jello poke cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Chill time:: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Servings: 20

Calories: 111

A super moist jello poke cake topped with whipped cream and fresh berries. Takes only 5 ingredients to make and can be used with any flavor or gelatin!

  • 15 ounce box super moist french vanilla cake mix , plus ingredients on box
  • 3 ounce box jello , I used strawberry (any flavor will work)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 2-3 cups homemade whipped cream , or cool whip

Fresh berries for topping

  • Mix the batter according to package directions. Bake according to the package directions. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Then poke holes all over the top with a meat fork or butter knife.

  • Next mix together the jello with the hot water. Stir for 2 minutes, or until completely dissolved. Then stir in the cold water for 1 minute. Pour evenly over cake. Then refrigerate for at least one hour.

  • Once it is completely cooled, spread the whipped cream over top.

  • Store in the refrigerator, until serving. Top with fresh berries just before serving.

  • You can use any flavor of jello for this recipe. Some of our favorites are strawberry, raspberry, blue raspberry and orange. 
  • This is the great make-ahead dessert. Feel free to make it the day before and let it chill in the fridge overnight.
  • To freeze: I’d recommend freezing without the whipped topping. Simply wrap with plastic wrap then place in a freezer bag or container. Store in freezer for up to 1 month. Then when alert to enjoy, thaw and top with whipped cream or cool whip.

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 111kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 169mg | Potassium: 22mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 0.4mg

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meet Jamielyn Nye

Jamielyn Nye is the creative director and founder of I Heart Naptime. She is also the author of the I Heart Naptime Cookbook. When she’s not creating in the kitchen, Jamielyn loves to chase her four small monkeys and snuggle up on the couch with her man.

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