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How to make easy strawberry Jello poke cake, topped off with Cool Whip, strawberries, and blueberries. The best holiday or summer dessert recipe!
Don’t you just love summer? Berry season rolls around, we have 4th of July desserts and BBQ to look forward to, and it’s the perfect time to make strawberry poke cake and lemon sheet cake.
My mom used to make a strawberry Jello cake every summer. She'd stick it in the fridge, and I remember it being such a cold, refreshing dessert on a hot day.
Jello cake is made with a semi-homemade recipe, meaning it’s not exactly from scratch but sorta.
Instead of making a homemade cake, you can use a white cake mix. You can use any vanilla flavor cake mix, but I really like the flavor that French vanilla adds.
It also fits the description of semi-homemade because you use a strawberry Jello mix. It is a Jello cake recipe, after all.
WHERE CAN I FIND THE ACTUAL RECIPE CARD?
If you’d rather skip all of my tips, important info for this recipe, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to the recipe – just scroll down to the bottom, where you’ll find a printable recipe card.
WHAT IS JELLO CAKE? BETTER YET, WHAT IS A POKE CAKE?
If you've never had Jello cake before, you're probably wondering exactly what it is.
Jello cake is cake soaked with liquid Jello, whatever flavor you want, and chilled. That means you can make this exact recipe with whatever flavor Jello you want; it doesn't have to be strawberry.
Jello cake and poke cake go hand in hand because in order to get the liquid Jello into the cake, you poke holes in the top of the cake first, then pour the Jello over the already baked cake and let it all soak in.
Sometimes when you're making a poke cake, you may fill the holes with things like puréed fruit, pudding, or even sweetened condensed milk. Just depends on the recipe.
I usually use a fork to poke holes for liquid gelatin, but you may need to use the handle of a wooden spoon for thicker liquids.
DOES JELLO POKE CAKE HAVE TO BE REFRIGERATED?
Yes, it does. You'll definitely want to chill it for at least an hour or two after pouring the Jello over the cake and adding the whipped topping.
Strawberry Jello poke cake should keep for at least 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator.
CAN YOU FREEZE A POKE CAKE?
You can freeze poke cake, but you really want to freeze it before adding the whipped cream topping.
Once you've poured the liquid Jello over the cake, that's when you need to make sure it's covered well or sealed in an airtight container before placing it in the freezer.
TIPS FOR HOW TO MAKE JELLO CAKE
Before we go into how to make the cake, let's talk about the Jello mix. While your baked cake is cooling, you'll need to mix the strawberry gelatin mix with boiling water, then the cold water, continuing to mix well. This is all you need to do to prep the Jello.
There are a few steps to making a delicious strawberry Jello poke cake, but it's really super easy to do.
- Mix your cake batter and bake it, according to the package directions, in a 9″x13″ cake pan. I use a French vanilla cake mix.
- When the cake is fully baked, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for about 15 to 20 minutes. Then poke the top of your cake all over with a fork. You want holes all over the cake, so the juice can really soak into the cake.
- Slowly pour the Jello mixture over the entire cake.
- Then just allow the cake to finish cooling.
Once it's fully cooled, it’s ready for you to spread the Cool Whip and add the berries on top.
Mmmm, it's just so good!
TAKE IT ONE STEP FURTHER AND MAKE A FLAG CAKE
If you want to make an American flag design on top of your Jello poke cake, just follow these simple steps after adding the whipped cream on top:
- Be sure to wash (and dry) the berries before placing on your cake.
- Add 5 or more rows of blueberries to the top left corner of the cake.
- Stem and slice your strawberries length wise. Then add rows of strawberries to create the red stripes for your cake. I added 4 rows of strawberries to my cake.
Once the whipped cream and berries are on, chill your American flag cake for 2 to 3 hours before serving.
WANT MORE STRAWBERRY DESSERTS?
- Strawberry Delight
- Strawberry Shortcake
- Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie
- Fresh Strawberry Pie
- Pound Cake with Strawberries
- Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe
SHOP KITCHEN TOOLS FOR THIS RECIPE:
Large Glass Measuring Cup – This comes in really handy for mixing up the Jello and water.
Spatula – Where would I be without my spatulas? I have a whole slew of them because we’re ALWAYS using them.
Paring Knife – for slicing the strawberries.
GET THE PRINTABLE JELLO CAKE RECIPE
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Find my original recipe for an American Flag Cake over at Adventures of Mel!
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- Mix together the cake mix, water, eggs, and canola oil. Bake it according to package directions.*
- When the cake is fully baked, remove it from the oven, and allow it to cool for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix the Jello mix with the boiling water in a large measuring cup.
- Then add in the cold water, continuing to mix well.
- Poke holes all over the top of the cake with a fork, creating small holes all over the top of the cake.
- Slowly pour the Jello mixture over the entire cake.
- Allow the cake to finish cooling.
- Spread whipped cream (or your preferred white frosting) evenly over the entire cake.
- Chill the cake for at least 2 hours before serving with fresh berries on top.
*Be sure to add the appropriate amounts for your particular brand of cake mix; I used a French vanilla cake mix, but ingredient amounts and bake time will depend on the brand.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 265 Total Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 35mg Sodium: 282mg Carbohydrates: 41g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 26g Protein: 3g