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Orange Jello Poke Cake

How to make the best orange Jello poke cake with the most refreshing citrus Cool Whip topping. Easy dessert recipe everyone will want!
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Cakes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12
Calories: 343kcal
Author: Mel Lockcuff


  • 1 vanilla cake mix usually 15.25 ounces*
  • 1 cup whole milk*
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened*
  • 2 large eggs*
  • 3 ounces orange Jello mix
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup cold water

Whipped Frosting:


  • Mix together the cake mix, milk, butter, and eggs according to the package directions for the cake mix you're using.
  • Bake the cake according to the package directions, and allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, while your cake is cooling, mix the Jello mix with boiling water, mixing 'til the Jello powder is fully dissolved.
  • Then stir the cold water into the Jello mixture.
  • Poke holes all over the top of the cake with a fork. Don't poke too many holes, or your cake will be completely orange, and we're going for orange stripes in the cake instead.
  • Slowly pour the Jello mixture over the entire cake, and allow the cake to finish cooling.
  • Once your cake has cooled, whisk together the pudding mix, milk, and orange juice 'til the pudding thickens.
  • Fold the whipped cream into the pudding mixture with a spatula. (By fold, I mean gently mix by hand.)
  • Spread the frosting onto your completely cooled cake, and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
  • Garnish each slice with mandarin oranges before serving.


*In regards to the cake mix, milk, butter, and eggs, follow the ingredient amounts and directions on the package for the specific cake mix you are using. Ingredient types and amounts may vary, per cake mix. Any cake mix, whether regular or gluten-free, will work.
*I prefer to use orange juice with pulp.
Why would my cake fall in the middle?
I can remember coming in from school and my mom yelling, “Don't slam the door; I have a cake in the oven!” There are several reasons a cake will fall in the middle. The most common cause for a cake sinking in the middle is it is under-baked in the middle, so make sure it's fully baked before removing it from the oven. Make sure your ingredients are room temperature, and don't over-mix. Over-mixing can cause a cake to sink in the middle. And finally, try your hardest not to open the oven door while baking because this allows cool air to hit your cake and can cause the cake to fall.
Should I refrigerate poke cake?
Yes, you should; and it should keep for at least 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Can Jello cake be frozen?
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.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 343kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 380mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g
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