close up shot of strawberry poke cake with diced strawberries on top

Strawberry Poke cake

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Strawberry Poke Cake is a fresh, fruity, and easy dessert recipe that everyone will love. Made with a light and fluffy vanilla cake mix, strawberry jello, sweet cream topping, and fresh strawberries. This strawberries and cream jello dessert is perfect for any gathering with family and friends.

close up shot of a slice of strawberry poke cake with diced strawberries on top

What is a Poke Cake? These cakes are given their name because after the cake is baked, holes are poked all throughout the cake before adding some type of liquid into the holes. Most common liquids are jello and sweetened condensed milk. Poke cakes are so fun to make and can be made with a combination of flavors. Choose your favorite cake mix and jello, and have fun creating a delicious fluffy cake recipe. Some of my favorite poke cake recipes are our Lemon Raspberry Poke Cake made with lemon cake, raspberry jello, and raspberry preserves. Our Patriotic Poke Cake is made with a vanilla cake mix, red and blue jello, and a cream cheese frosting. It’s perfect for the 4th of July.

Ingredients for strawberry Poke Cake

  • White Cake Mix (and ingredients on on box): I love to use French vanilla cake mix, but you can use yellow, strawberry, or even Funfetti cake mix. You will also need the ingredients listed on the back of the box. *See notes below on how to elevate a box cake mix*
  • Strawberry Jello: This recipe calls for a 3oz. box of strawberry jello.
  • Water: You will use a combination of boiling and cold water to mix in with the strawberry jello.
  • Cool Whip: Full fat cool whip presents the best texture, but you can use lite cool whip also.
  • Cream Cheese: Just like the cool whip, full fat cream cheese will present a creamier texture in the topping, but feel free to try lite or fat free.
  • Powdered Sugar: Using powdered sugar will create a creamy frosting when combined with the cool whip and cream cheese.
  • Vanilla: Pure vanilla or vanilla extract both work well.
  • Strawberries (optional): I like to top my cake with sliced or chopped fresh strawberries. This is optional.
ingredients needed to make strawberry poke cake

How to make strawberry poke cake

  • Prepare cake according to the directions on the back of the box using a 9×13 cake pan. *see notes on how to elevate a box cake mix*
  • Remove cake from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes.
  • Using a fork, back of a wooden spoon, or chopstick, poke holes in the cake, covering the entire surface.
  • Combine boiling water and jello in a mixing bowl and stir until jello is dissolved.
  • Add cold water and stir to combine.
  • Carefully pour jello mixture over cake making sure it gets in all of the holes.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
  • Combine thawed cool whip, very softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and mix well with a hand mixer.
  • Spread evenly over cooled cake.
  • Layer sliced or chopped strawberries over the cream when ready to serve. Enjoy!
steps to make a strawberry poke cake

How to elevate a box cake mix

  • Don’t over mix the batter. Over mixing the batter can create a dense cake that will not rise as well.
  • Let your eggs and liquid come to room temperature before adding them to the batter.
  • Use milk instead of water.
  • I always use less liquid than what the box instructs to make a thicker batter. If the instructions call for 1 cup of liquid, I cut it back to 3/4 cup. This will help your cake rise better.
  • Use unsweetened applesauce instead of oil. Your cake will taste the same, but have less calories and fat.
  • For a nice full looking cake, use 1 1/2 boxes of cake mix. Boxed cake mixes are smaller than they used to be. They have reduced the size from 18.25 oz. to 15.25 oz. Three oz. makes a big difference when baking a cake.
strawberry poke cake with diced strawberries on top and a bowl of strawberries in a bowl

How to store a poke cake

Poke cakes need to stay refrigerated when not being served because of the jello. Tightly cover the cake and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days.

close up shot of strawberry poke cake with diced strawberries on top

Strawberry Poke Cake

April King
Strawberry Poke Cake is a fresh, fruity, and easy dessert recipe that everyone will love. Made with a light and fluffy vanilla cake mix, strawberry jello, sweet cream topping, and fresh strawberries. This jello dessert is perfect for any gathering with family and friends.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
refrigerate 3 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 35 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 159 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 box white cake mix plus ingredients on back of box *see notes on how to elevate a box cake mix*
  • 3 oz. strawberry jello
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 8 oz. cool whip
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 16 oz. strawberries, sliced optional for topping

Instructions
 

  • Prepare cake according to the directions on the back of the box using a 9×13 cake pan.
  • Remove cake from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes.
  • Using a fork, back of a wooden spoon, or chopstick, poke holes in the cake, covering the entire surface of the cake.
  • Combine boiling water and jello in a mixing bowl and stir until jello is dissolved.
  • Add cold water and stir to combine.
  • Carefully pour jello mixture over cake making sure it gets in all of the holes.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
  • Combine thawed cool whip, softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla and mix well with a hand mixer.
  • Spread evenly over cooled cake, and layer sliced or chopped strawberries over the cream when ready to serve. Enjoy!

Notes

Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on Modernmealmakeover.com should only be used as a general guideline.
*Don’t over mix the batter.
*Let your eggs and liquid come to room temperature before adding them to the cake mix.
*Use milk instead of water.
*Use 1/4 cup less liquid than what is called for on the box.
*Use unsweetened applesauce instead of oil.
*Use 1 1/2 boxes of cake mix.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 159kcalCarbohydrates: 12.5gProtein: 1.4gFat: 9.8gSaturated Fat: 5.9gCholesterol: 19.1mgSodium: 61.2mgPotassium: 41.6mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 8.6gVitamin A: 58.2IUVitamin C: 7.5mgCalcium: 18.5mgIron: 0.4mg
Keyword jello dessert, jello poke cake, poke cake, strawberry poke cake
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10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This cake is so deliciously addicting! It’s so light and stopping at once piece is a true feat!

  2. 5 stars
    This was such a fun recipe to make with my kids! They especially loved poking the cake, but the flavours of the cake were delicious too!

  3. 5 stars
    I love that you used a box cake for this recipe! It makes it seem so easy to prepare and such a perfect spring treat.

  4. 5 stars
    I grew up eating poke cake. Going to have to revisit this recipe. Yours looks so pretty with the fresh strawberries on top!

  5. 5 stars
    This is such a fun poke cake! I love the bright colors.

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