Strawberry JELL-O Poke Cake

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A light and refreshing Strawberry JELL-O Poke cake. Sweet white cake is topped with strawberry gelatin, Cool whip and fresh strawberries for a delicious treat!

Poke cake recipes are so much fun to make. Try this Apple Pie Poke Cake next! Stock up on strawberries and make some chocolate covered strawberries to decorate your poke cake!

Slice of strawberry jello cake topped with whipped cream and fresh strawberries on a white plate.
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Two Types of Poke Cakes

PUDDING. The first kind of poke cake is made from a cooked and cooled cake topped with sweetened condensed milk, pudding, and all other sorts of glorious toppings. This creates a dense, very sweet (albeit delicious) cake.

Grasshopper Poke Cake | Coconut Cream Poke Cake

GELATIN. The second type of is 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.

Lemon Poke Cake | Orange JELL-O Poke Cake

Today’s recipe is for a classic gelatin based poke cake.

Want an easier dessert? Be sure to try our strawberry jello pie next!

Ingredient Notes

Strawberry jello cake ingredients on counter.

Cake. Choose a flavor and bake it as directed in a 13×9 baking dish. A glass dish is a great choice so you can see the colors!

I like to use a white cake mix, that way the gelatin has a chance to really shine through in color!

JELL-O. Choose your favorite flavor! Use one box. Use two boxes. Completely your choice! For today’s recipe I just used strawberry gelatin.

After your cake has cooked and cooled, use a fork or the handle of a wooden spoon or even a meat thermometer to poke holes. The bigger the hole, the more defined color spots.

Refrigerate until the gelatin sets up and forms a spongy texture!

Cool Whip. Top it with some light cool whip for the final touch!

You could also use Homemade whipped cream if you prefer, instead of Cool Whip!

Fresh Strawberries. These add a delicious touch to your poke cake!

Easy Instructions

Step by step photos showing how to make jello poke cake with strawberry gelatin mix.
  1. Bake Cake. Bake up your cake mix in a 9×13 pan according to the instructions on the box. A white cake is best to showcase the color. But a yellow cake will work too in a pinch.
  2. Poke holes. Use a fork or a wooden spoon handle to poke holes all over the cooled cake.
  3. Add JELL-O. Combine the strawberry gelatin mix with boiling water. Pour it slowly over the cake and into the holes you made.
  4. Chill. Spoon cool whip over the top of the strawberry poke cake. Add fresh strawberry slices. Refrigerate the cake for at least four hours before serving.

Tips and Tricks

  • Refrigerate overnight. I like to bake the cake the day before and let it chill all night in the fridge. It tastes amazing cold!
  • Storing leftovers. Leftover Strawberry Poke Cake should be kept covered and stored in the fridge.
  • Garnish. Add sliced fresh strawberries for a fruity finish.
  • Got extra Jello? Try our broken glass jello next for a fun treat. Use any combo of flavors/colors! Or give our layered strawberry lasagna recipe a try next.
Clear glass baking dish with strawberry poke cake and one slice removed.

Recipe FAQs

Can I make this with a from-scratch cake instead of a mix?

Yes, you can use your favorite white or vanilla cake recipe for a 9 x 13 pan in place of the boxed cake mix if desired.

How deep do I need to poke the holes?

I poke them about an inch below the surface, but it doesn’t matter too much. Just make sure to poke lots of them!

What do you use to poke holes in poke cake?

I use the tines of a fork or the point of a meat thermometer! The handle of a wooden spoon works perfectly too.

How do you serve poke cake?

I slice and serve my Strawberry Poke Cake straight from the pan. The JELL-O makes the bottom soft so it doesn’t hold up well if you try to flip it out.

How long does poke cake keep in the fridge?

Covered, this poke cake is best enjoyed within 3 days.

Slice of jello poke cake on spatula being lifted out of pan.

More Poke Cake Recipes

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Strawberry JELL-O Poke Cake

4.80 from 5 votes
By: Aimee
A light and refreshing Strawberry JELL-O Poke cake. Sweet white cake is topped with strawberry gelatin , Cool whip and fresh strawberries for a delicious treat!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Chill Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 16 servings


  • 1 box White Cake Mix, prepared with ingredients 18.25 ounce
  • 1 box JELL-O Strawberry gelatin mix 3 ounce
  • 1 cup water boiling
  • 8 ounce Cool Whip thawed
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries sliced
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  • Bake cake in a 13×9 baking dish, as directed on box. Cool completely.
  • Poke holes over cooled cake using a fork or wooden spoon handle (the end of a meat thermometer works great too).
  • 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. Refrigerate for 4 hours, or overnight.
  • When ready to serve, add fresh strawberries on top! ENJOY!


  • Refrigerate overnight. I like to bake the cake the day before and let it chill all night in the fridge. It tastes amazing cold!
  • Storing leftovers. Leftover Strawberry Poke Cake should be kept covered and stored in the fridge. Best if eaten within 3 days.
  • Garnish. Add sliced fresh strawberries for a fruity finish.
  • Whipped cream can be used to replace the Cool Whip.


Serving: 1slice, Calories: 197kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 268mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 23g
Course: Cake
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

Love easy strawberry desserts? This classic Strawberry JELL-O Poke Cake is for you! The soft, moist cake is full of strawberry flavor and covered in cool whip frosting.

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on June 6, 2021

Comments & Reviews

  1. Do you leave the cake in the pan that you bake the cake in. I flip my cake onto a cake board to take to different functions but notice that the bottom (top before flipping) gets all mushy with the Jello. Do you have any suggestions as to what I can do so that it won’t be a mess when it’s served.

    1. I do leave mine in a pan. The bottom is soft from the JELL-O. You could purchase some 13×9 sized disposable pans and use those when taking the cake somewhere. Then you don’t have to worry about leaving the pan behind!

  2. 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?

    1. 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

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

    1. I’m so glad you made the cake and loved it! Thanks for coming back and letting me know!

  7. I’ve never heard of adding gelatin to poke cakes, but it sounds like a wonderful way of adding other flavors easily to cakes!

  8. 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.

    1. 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

      1. 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.

  9. What a sweet cake! I love the pink colors, so festive and summery and a cinch to make. That’s always the best dessert.

    1. I love an easy dessert that tastes awesome. This cake fits the bill! Thanks for stopping by Cathy!

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