Light and refreshing Strawberry Poke Cake is always a hit at parties and potlucks. This version has an incredible whipped cream pudding frosting that makes it simply irresistible!
A boxed cake mix, strawberry gelatin, vanilla pudding, cream, and strawberries come together to make a mouthwatering cake that will have everyone asking for seconds.
ALWAYS MOIST STRAWBERRY JELLO CAKE RECIPE
I don’t think there’s anything worse than a dry cake, and that’s why I’m a huge fan of poke cakes. They are always perfectly moist, and so flavorful! And the best part – they are so easy to make!
Sometimes called gelatin cake or old fashioned jello cake, a basic poke cake recipe should be a staple in every kitchen. Since it typically starts with a cake mix, it is such an easy dessert, and there are so many flavor possibilities!
If you are looking for a decadent poke cake, give my peanut butter chocolate poke cake or Heath bar cake a try. This strawberry jello cake is more light and refreshing, and makes a perfect summer dessert when strawberries are in season!
I’ve loved poke cake since I was a little girl, and I don’t make it nearly often enough. This year my daughter requested it for her birthday, and she was so thrilled with the results! I’m kicking myself that she had to wait till she was ten before trying her first gelatin cake.
AMAZING PUDDING FROSTING!
Most versions of poke cake just call for topping the cake with a tub of Cool Whip, which tastes fine. You can make them even tastier by using fresh whipped cream.
But this recipe takes it up a notch! You will be topping your strawberry poke cake with a vanilla pudding whipped cream frosting. It is so delicious that you will want to eat it by the spoonful. I let my daughter lick the bowl when I was finished, and she was in heaven.
Why is it called a poke cake? It’s called a poke cake because after you have baked and cooled your cake, you poke holes all over it. This leaves room for the jello (or pudding, or whatever sauce you are using) to drizzle down into the cake.
How do you poke a poke cake? Most often, you will use the round handle of a wooden or nylon mixing spoon to poke holes in the cake. But you can also use a bamboo skewer.
HOW TO MAKE JELLO CAKE
- white cake mix – I like using white cake mix because I think it looks prettier against the red stripes, but a yellow cake mix will also work. Or you can use another flavor if you prefer. Lemon would be good.
- egg whites – Again, I like using just the egg whites, but the box instructions say you can use whole eggs if you prefer. Follow the directions on your box and choose the option you prefer.
- water – You will need water both for the cake mix, and to dissolve your strawberry jello.
- canola oil – Feel free to substitute another oil that is liquid at room temperature.
- strawberry gelatin – You could also use raspberry, or any other flavor of jello!
- vanilla pudding mix – White chocolate jello is also great.
- heavy cream – Whipping cream works just as well.
- powdered sugar – You need just a touch to sweeten your whipped cream. But if you prefer a less sweet frosting, you can omit it.
- vanilla extract – Add more or less according to your taste.
- fresh strawberries – You can’t have an amazing strawberry cake without fresh strawberries!
- First up you are going to need to bake your cake in a 9×13″ pan. I used a cake mix, you can use a homemade white cake if you prefer.
- After the cake has cooled for at least 30 minutes, you are going to want to poke holes all over it with the handle of a mixing spoon. You don’t want to poke them all the way to the bottom, just about 2/3 -3/4 of the way down. I like mine about an inch apart or less.
- Dissolve your jello in a cup of boiling water, then a half cup of ice water. DON’T ADD ALL THE WATER AS DIRECTED ON THE BOX OF JELLO! Carefully pour the jello into the holes you made in the cake.
- Cover the cake and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours. You can even make it the day before and let it chill overnight.
- When you are ready to serve the cake, prepare the frosting. Whip your cream and add the powdered sugar and vanilla, then set it aside. Beat together the pudding mix and 1 cup of milk.
- Fold the whipped cream ito the pudding mixture and spread evenly over the top of the cake. You can either serve immediately or cover and chill for a few hours.
- Garnish with fresh strawberries right before serving.
Do poke cakes need to be refrigerated? Yes, because of the gelatin and the whipped cream frosting, you do need to refrigerate your poke cake. And they are most refreshing served cold anyway. 🙂 They will usually keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator.
- Add a cup of pureed fresh or frozen strawberries to the jello mixture.
- After the cake has chilled with the jello, spread a layer of diced or sliced fresh strawberries on the cake before adding the pudding frosting.
- This cake will work with any flavor of cake mix and any flavor of jello. You could easily replace the white cake mix with yellow. I’ve also had it with lime, lemon, and orange jello and they all taste amazing!
MORE STRAWBERRY DESSERTS:
- Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting
- Miracle Whip Cake
- Easy Pound Cake Recipe
- Yellow Sheet Cake Recipe
- Easy Coconut Cake
- Banana Pudding Cake
- Butterfinger Cake
STRAWBERRY POKE CAKE RECIPE
- 16.25 oz box white cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
- 3 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 3 oz box strawberry jello
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup ice cold water
- 3.4 oz box instant vanilla pudding mix
- 1 cup cold milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Bake cake in a 9x13" pan according to directions on the box. Let cool for at least 30 minutes.
- Dissolve jello in boiling water. Add cold water; set aside.
- Using the handle of a plastic or wooden spoon, poke holes all over the cake about 3/4 of the way down into the cake.
- Carefully pour the jello mixture over the top of the cake, trying to get as much into the holes as you can. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
- For frosting: Beat cream in a cold bowl till soft peaks form; beat in powdered sugar and vanilla. Set aside.
- Beat together pudding mix and the one cup of milk with a hand mixer till smooth, about a minute. Fold in the whipped cream mixture.
- Spread frosting over cake. Garnish with fresh strawberries. Serve immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 276Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 223mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 0gSugar: 20gProtein: 3g