Jello poke cake makes an easy dessert that’s perfect for all your summer parties! It goes together in a flash using simple ingredients. The blend of strawberry and lemon creates the ultimate refreshing dessert.

If you love the flavors of easy desserts made with strawberry gelatin then you’ve got to try this no-bake strawberry pie and these strawberry pretzel bars! They’re divine!

A square of jello poke cake topped with a strawberry half on a plate.

Why You Will Love Poke Cake With Jello

  • Easy to make! This is the best cake recipe for beginner bakers to create a cake everyone will love!
  • SIX ingredients! That’s all you need to make this jello poke cake recipe.
  • Lots of versatility! You can easily change the type of gelatin to create amazing flavor combinations and looks!
  • Perfectly moist cake! It has the most amazing texture and is bursting with lemon and strawberry flavor.
Ingredients on the table to make poke cake with jello.

Ingredients

  • Lemon cake mix: I am a huge fan of Duncan Hines® Lemon Supreme but any lemon-flavored cake mix will work.
  • Lemonade: For liquid and a boost of lemon flavor!
  • Eggs: Give the cake its structure and adds flavor.
  • Vegetable oil: Use any neutral oil that’s suitable for baking.
  • Strawberry-flavored gelatin: The magical ingredient that creates the beautiful marbled red and yellow cake.
  • Whipped topping: A perfectly light finishing touch for your strawberry poke cake!

How To Make a Poke Cake With Jello

  1. Bake the cake. Mix together cake mix, lemonade, eggs, and oil. Then bake the cake until a toothpick comes out clean.
  2. Poke the holes. Use a fork to poke holes all over the cake and set it aside.
  3. Mix the gelatin. Heat one cup of water in a small saucepan until it boils. Stir in the strawberry gelatin and mix until dissolved. Add the cold water and pour over the cake.
  4. Refrigerate. The soaked cake until it’s completely cool.
  5. Frost. The cooled cake with the whipped topping. 
  6. Serve. Your poke cake with jello up and enjoy!
Overhead view of poke cake squares on plates with the baking dish next to the plates.

Tips & Variations

  • Change the flavors. So easy to do simply by using different flavors of gelatin. Blue raspberry, orange, lime, and cherry are just a few that would complement the lemon cake!
  • The cake needs to set. While the gelatin won’t firm up in the same way that it does when mixed alone. It does need time to properly set up in the cake so make sure to plan a bit in advance and don’t try to rush things.
  • Top with fresh strawberries. For a splashy presentation add some fresh strawberry halves to the top of the cake.
  • Serve the cake chilled. For the most refreshing flavors serve this strawberry lemonade poke cake chilled.
A square of strawberry and lemon cake on a plate topped with whipped cream frosting.

Recipe FAQ

Can I make cupcakes instead?

Yes, of course! Mix up the batter as directed and then pour into a cupcake pan with liners. Bake according to the directions on the cake mix package. When you remove the cupcakes from the oven, poke the tops with a few holes and pour the gelatin mixture over the top of the cupcakes. Let them sit in the fridge for an hour and then top them with the whipped cream and a fresh strawberry.

Why is it called poke cake?

This cake has been around since the 1970s when it was marketed to sell more Jello. The name comes from the holes that are poked into the top of the cake that allows the gelatin to seep into the cake and create the marbled look and give it its unique flavor and texture.

A fork cutting into a corner of a piece of strawberry lemonade poke cake.

Storing

  • Store. This cake must be kept in the refrigerator before and after serving. Make sure to cover it well and it will last up to three days.
  • Freeze. You can store the unfrosted cake wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil for up to three months. Thaw it out on the counter and then frost when you’re ready to serve. If it’s frosted, the best option is to freeze it uncovered first, and then once frozen solid you can wrap it up and return it to the freezer.

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A piece of strawberry jello poke cake with whipped cream frosting on a plate.
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Servings: 16

Jello Poke Cake

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Refrigerate: 1 hour
Jello poke cake makes an easy dessert that's perfect for all your summer parties! It goes together in a flash using simple ingredients. The blend of strawberry and lemon create the ultimate refreshing dessert.
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Ingredients

  • 1 15.25 ounce package lemon cake mix (such as Duncan Hines® Lemon Supreme)
  • 1 cup lemonade
  • 3 large eggs
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 1 3-ounce package strawberry-flavored gelatin mix
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 1 8-ounce tub cool whipped topping, thawed

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Beat cake mix, lemonade, eggs, and oil in a large bowl with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Pour batter into the prepared baking dish.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean, 21 to 26 minutes. Use a fork to poke holes all over the cake; set aside.
  • Pour 1 cup water into a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Stir in strawberry gelatin mix until dissolved. Mix in 1/4 cup cold water. Pour over cake. Refrigerate soaked cake until completely cool, at least 1 hour.
  • Frost cooled cake and enjoy.

Notes

  • Change the flavors. So easy to do simply by using different flavors of gelatin. Blue raspberry, orange, lime, and cherry are just a few that would complement the lemon cake!
  • The cake needs to set. While the gelatin won’t firm up in the same way that it does when mixed alone. It does need time to properly set up in the cake so make sure to plan a bit in advance and don’t try to rush things.
  • Top with fresh strawberries. For a splashy presentation add some fresh strawberry halves to the top of the cake.
  • Serve the cake chilled. For the most refreshing flavors serve this strawberry lemonade poke cake chilled.
  • Store. This cake must be kept in the refrigerator before and after serving. Make sure to cover it well and it will last up to three days.
  • Freeze. You can store the unfrosted cake wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil for up to three months. Thaw it out on the counter and then frost when you’re ready to serve. If it’s frosted, the best option is to freeze it uncovered first, and then once frozen solid you can wrap it up and return it to the freezer.
Serving: 1g, Calories: 179kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 31mg, Sodium: 249mg, Potassium: 27mg, Fiber: 0.4g, Sugar: 16g, Vitamin A: 45IU, Calcium: 73mg, Iron: 1mg
Cuisine: American
Course: Cake, Dessert
Author: Jennifer
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