Strawberry JELL-O Poke Cake

by aimee @ shugarysweets on July 4, 2013

A light and refreshing Strawberry JELL-O cake. Add a twist of fun by baking up a Funfetti Cake!

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Classic Strawberry JELL-O Poke Cake with a Funfetti twist! Light and refreshing summer dessert #pokecake #JELLO

Did you know there is a new trend sweeping across the blogosphere? It’s called Poke Cakes.

You may have been making these cakes for years. I know I grew up eating poke cakes without every really knowing what they were called. In our house we called them JELL-O cakes.

There are a few different styles of poke cakes but basically they stem from TWO types.

First, you have a poke cake made from a cooked a cooled cake topped with sweetened condensed milk and all other sorts of glorious toppings. This creates a dense, very sweet (albeit delicious) cake.

Second, you take a cooked and cooled cake and top it with JELL-O gelatin. It’s lighter than the other variety and perfect when you are looking to cut calories, but still wanting to to enjoy something sweet.

Classic Strawberry JELL-O Poke Cake with a Funfetti twist! Light and refreshing summer dessert #pokecake #JELLO

Today’s recipe is for a classic gelatin based poke cake. I started with a Funfetti Cake Mix, because my kids love all things with sprinkles. But a white cake mix would be a more traditional choice.

I topped my cake with Strawberry Gelatin, it’s our favorite and we usually have about 925 boxes falling out of the pantry! Any flavor though is delicious. I love the spongy texture from the cake combined with the gelatin!

Classic Strawberry JELL-O Poke Cake with a Funfetti twist! Light and refreshing summer dessert #pokecake #JELLO

I spread some Cool Whip on top of my cake and added a handful of sprinkles (more the merrier)! Some people add fresh fruit, graham cracker crumbs and other toppings. Today, I’m going simple.

My youngest was waiting for the photo shoot to be over to snatch that piece of cake right up! I believe the only words out of her mouth for 2 minutes were “YUM.”

Classic Strawberry JELL-O Poke Cake with a Funfetti twist! Light and refreshing summer dessert #pokecake #JELLO

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Strawberry JELL-O Funfetti Poke Cake

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 4 hours

Yield: serves 16


  • 1 box (18.25 oz ) Funfetti Cake Mix, prepared with ingredients.
  • 1 box (3oz) JELL-O Strawberry gelatin mix
  • 1 cup water, boiling
  • 8 oz Cool Whip, thawed
  • sprinkles


  1. Bake cake in a 13x9 baking dish, as directed on box. Cool completely.
  2. Poke holes over cooled cake using a fork.
  3. In a small bowl, mix gelatin with boiling water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour gelatin over cake slowly, allowing it to fill the holes in the cake. Top with Cool Whip and sprinkles. Refrigerate for 4 hours, or overnight. ENJOY!

Want more delicious Poke Cake recipes? You’ve come to the right place!

Try making a white cake with red and blue gelatin. Turn it into a lovely cheesecake trifle with fresh berries!


Indulge in a rich Banana Caramel Poke Cake dessert!


Check out these awesome recipes from my favorite blogs….

Chocolate Coconut Poke Cake from Inside BruCrew Life

Banana Pudding Poke Cake from The Country Cook

Grasshopper Poke Cake from Something Swanky

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy Pollak ~ Noble Pig July 4, 2013 at 9:53 am

What a sweet cake! I love the pink colors, so festive and summery and a cinch to make. That’s always the best dessert.
Cathy Pollak ~ Noble Pig recently posted..Almost “sauceless” Creamy Corn Fettuccine with Blackened ShrimpMy Profile


aimee @ shugarysweets July 5, 2013 at 8:36 am

I love an easy dessert that tastes awesome. This cake fits the bill! Thanks for stopping by Cathy!
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Strawberry JELL-O Poke CakeMy Profile


Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry July 4, 2013 at 10:40 am

I have tried the sweetier version of poke cakes but I have feeling I will like the Jello version more. Lighter equals bikini friendly in my book.
Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry recently posted..Beer Can ChickenMy Profile


aimee @ shugarysweets July 4, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Yes! You can use a white cake mix, with egg white, applesauce and water. Then use a sugar free JELL-O and light Cool Whip and you have a guilt free dessert! ENJOY
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Strawberry JELL-O Poke CakeMy Profile


Lisa July 9, 2013 at 10:50 am

Aimee, does the cake lose it’s sweetness with the applesauce and water vs preparing it the normal way? I haven’t tried cakes with the applesauce but do it all the time with brownies and they are just a little less sweet but I prefer them that way.
Lisa recently posted..Pasta SaladMy Profile


Faith @ Pixie Dust Kitchen July 4, 2013 at 11:26 am

I’ve never heard of adding gelatin to poke cakes, but it sounds like a wonderful way of adding other flavors easily to cakes!
Faith @ Pixie Dust Kitchen recently posted..Peanut Butter Cup Brownie SquaresMy Profile


Jamie @lifelovelemons July 4, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Ohhh how pretty! I need to try a poke cake!


Nessa July 4, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Really pretty and yummy!


Kiran @ July 4, 2013 at 4:30 pm

I’ve never heard of poke cake before. This looks so delicious, Aimee :)
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Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust July 4, 2013 at 6:02 pm

This is gorgeous Aimee! LOVE strawberry! Happy 4th!
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Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet July 5, 2013 at 12:02 am

Looks delicious!!
Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet recently posted..Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough CupcakesMy Profile


Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen July 5, 2013 at 12:17 am

MMM my two favorites funfetti and strawberry!! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!
Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen recently posted..Bailey’s Double Chocolate Ice Cream CakeMy Profile


Sarah July 5, 2013 at 12:31 am

I love this idea. It’s definitely going on my ‘when I have kids’ recipe list.


Meredith July 5, 2013 at 1:05 am

I made this for our BBQ dessert tonight and it was so good and was a huge hit! I must live under a rock because I’ve never heard of or tried poke cake. I know..crazy..:-) It’s now my new favorite especially with the funfetti cake mix and cool whip topping. Loved it!


aimee @ shugarysweets July 5, 2013 at 8:37 am

I’m so glad you made the cake and loved it! Thanks for coming back and letting me know!
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Strawberry JELL-O Poke CakeMy Profile


Lisa July 5, 2013 at 1:20 pm

This cake brings back memories of making poke cakes for my girls when they were young, moons ago. I think i may just make it again since both of them are home for the summer. It’ll be a nice treat.
Lisa recently posted..Cauliflower and Garlic Cheese SticksMy Profile


Chandra@The Plaid and Paisley Kitchen July 5, 2013 at 3:49 pm

I adore Poke Cakes!!! This one is so pretty and festive!


aimee @ shugarysweets July 6, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Thanks Chandra! Have a great weekend!!


Kathy July 5, 2013 at 10:25 pm

I haven’t had a cake like this in a long time! This looks so delicious!
Kathy recently posted..Mexican Street Corn SaladMy Profile


Des @ Life's Ambrosia July 6, 2013 at 1:28 am

I have never heard of poke cake. Love this idea. Looks so fun!
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Jessica July 7, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Could I use a yellow cake mix or would that mess with the flavor to much? I have all the ingredients, except I only have yellow cake mix. Id like to make it tonight though.


Lisa July 11, 2013 at 10:45 am

I made this cake yesterday and it’s nearly gone! I wanted to make it low cal, but when you send your daughter to the store for the items you need, you get what she brings back! No complaints, though – it was delicious! I blogged it and linked back you to Aimee!


Nutmeg Nanny July 18, 2013 at 8:58 pm

This cake is so pretty and so sweet! I can’t wait to make this for my husband :)


Siew Leng September 26, 2014 at 8:08 am

you used 1 cup of boiling water for the gelatine? It sounds like a lot of water! Won’t the cake get very soggy? And do you poke the holes all the way down to the bottom of the cake, or just nearly to the bottom?


aimee @ shugarysweets September 26, 2014 at 8:53 am

Once you refrigerate the cake, the gelatin behaves as normal and creates a spongy, moist cake. Doesn’t matter about the holes, just poke lots of them!! ENJOY


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