Strawberry Poke Cake

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This strawberry poke cake is a delicious dessert recipe! Start with a boxed cake mix and add some strawberry jell-o for a yummy and pretty treat!

strawberry poke cake with strawberry slices


This strawberry poke cake is not only delicious but it’s so simple! The strawberry gelatin adds a fun pop of strawberry flavor and color to the cake. It’s great for parties, holidays and potlucks. Don’t have strawberry gelatin on hand? You can swap the strawberry jello for pretty much any flavored gelatin you love! lime, raspberry and lemon Jello are all delicious options!

We love to serve this easy dessert anytime of the year but especially during the summertime when you are looking for a quick no-fuss dessert that is delicious, uses seasonal berries, and is a cool treat for a hot day!

ingredients needed for poke cake

Ingredients for Poke Cake: 

  • Cake mix, and ingredients called for on the box
  • Jello, 3.5 ounce box, strawberry or any flavor your choose
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • CoolWhip/ Whipped Topping
  • Fresh strawberries, optional
forkfull of poke cake

How to Make Strawberry Poke Cake

  1. Being that each cake mix has different directions your steps in baking may vary. Simply bake your cake batter according to the box directions. For my cake mix I decided to use a white cake mix but a yellow cake mix works fine as well!
strawberry jello mixed in bowl
  1. After you bake your cake according to the package, allow it to cool for about 20 minutes. Use a thin handle of a wooden spoon, wooden skewer or any round kitchen item to poke various holes in the cake. Let cool further in the refrigerator for about 1-2 hours.
  2. Mix together your Jell-O with the boiling water until all the sugar has dissolved. Carefully pour the Jell-O mixture over the cake. Place in refrigerator to cool completely, about 1-2 hours.
strawberry cake mix with cool whip on top
  1. Once your cake has the chance to cool and the jello has a chance to fully saturate the cake, add a layer of CoolWhip or your own homemade whipped topping to the top of the cake. Lastly,  cut fresh strawberries, if desired, and place on the top as well.  This cake turns out perfectly moist and delicious every time! It’s a crowd pleaser and even lasts a few days in the refrigerator for leftovers.
cake mix with sliced strawberries on top

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Can Strawberry Poke cake be Frozen?
    Yes, you can freeze your poke cake after pouring the gelatin in the holes and letting it sit in the refrigerator for about 1 hour. Make sure to wrap the poke cake and dish tightly with plastic wrap and a piece of aluminum foil. It should last for about 1 month in the freezer. When you are ready to defrost just place the cake in the refrigerator until thawed. Proceed with adding toppings.  
  • Why is my poke cake soggy?
    Placing holes that are too close together can sometimes make your cake extra soggy. We also prefer to let our cake cook for an 1-2 hours in the refrigerator  before pouring the gelatin mixture on top. This allows the cake to set up a bit more before adding the liquid. 
  • Are poke cakes better the next day?
    I prefer to serve my poke cakes on the same day I make them. I typically make my cake in the morning and my dinner/dessert time the flavors have blended well. Poke cakes are still delicious the next day but each day that goes by the cake will begin to get soggier and begin to break apart. 
  • Do I have to use CoolWhip?
    No, You can use whatever whipped topping you prefer! Often times we will make this with a simple homemade whipped cream recipe and other times when we are shorter on time we will use a store bought version.  You can choose to not use a whipped topping at all if desired but we prefer the added flavor whipped topping adds to the dessert. 
  • What flavor cake mix should I use?
    We typically use a white cake mix as it’s a great neutral base for this recipe but you can also use a yellow cake mix. For an added strawberry flavor you can use a strawberry cake mix as your base.

Strawberry Poke Cake

Author Katie
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
This strawberry poke cake is a delicious dessert recipe!  Start with a boxed cake mix and add some strawberry jello for a yummy and pretty treat!
Servings 12 sllices


  • 1 white cake mix, prepared with ingredients listed on the box
  • 3.5 ounce box of strawberry jello
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3/4 cups cold water
  • 8 ounce container Cool Whip


  • Prepare your boxed cake mix with the ingredients listed on the box along with the directions listed. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes.
  • Poke holes in cooled cake with the bottom of a wooden spoon, skewer or other kitchen utensil.
  • Add strawberry jello powder to a small bowl and whisk with boiling water until sugar has dissolved. Add cold water.
  • Pour Jello mixture over cake and allow to seep in between the holes.
  • Refrigerate for 1-2 hours . Top with Cool Whip and sliced strawberries if desired.
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For more Poke Cake Recipes you should try these:

bite of strawberry poke cake

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  1. Using the back of a wooden spoon, poke 4 rows of 4 holes in the cake , making 16 holes total. In a large bowl, mash strawberries with a whisk until very fine. Add cream cheese and condensed milk, whisking until there are no large lumps.

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