Easy Recipes: Jello Poke Cake

Before I became a stay-at-home-mom I worked in Dallas for a pharmaceutical distributor. My boss used to talk about this cake she would make for her kids for their birthday. At this point her kids were already grown adults, but they still would request this cake for their birthday.

She always said it was super simple to make and I remember it required poking holes in a cake and pouring Jello over it.

It sounds simple, fun and yummy and I have wanted to make one for a long time but did not have an official recipe other than what I knew from conversations.

I Googled Jello Poke Cake and found some great inspiration to get me going.

Yesterday Luke and I made this cake together. He wants to be a chef when he grows up, ya know.


  • white or yellow boxed cake mix (and the ingredients listed on the box to make it)
  • 3 oz box Jello
  • 1 c boiling water
  • 1/2 c cold water
  • 12 oz container whipped topping
  • toothpick

Bake the boxed cake mix according to the direction on the back of the box.

I baked it in a 9×13 cake pan.

When it is done, let it cool.

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Once it is cool, poke holes in the cake using a toothpick.

Left to right, top to bottom, lots of holes.

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Mix your 3 oz box of Jello, we used strawberry, with 1 cup boiling hot water and 1/2  cup cold water.

I accidentally used too much water, but it turned out just fine (and sweet).


Pour the Jello liquid evenly over the cake.

Cover it and pop in the fridge for 2-3 hours to let it chill.

poke cake

When you’re ready to frost it, cover the top of the cake in thawed whipped topping.

How easy and beautiful is that?

I really like how it looks in a glass dish.

Serve and enjoy.

When you cut the cake into slices it will have the color of the Jello running through it. Beautiful!

My kids thought this was just too cool and super yummy.

I thought it was light and perfect for summertime.

These are the two recipes that inspired me: Kraft and How Mom Did It.


  1. Kim Idell says

    It is yummy Crystal! My mother in law makes it. The only difference is she adds frozen strawberries to the jello mix. Yummmmm!

    • says

      Kim, I found a recipe online that called for a layer of crushed strawberries.
      It looked amazing, but I wanted to keep it as easy as possible. Plus I was not sure how the kids would react to the crushed fruit.


  2. Kirk says

    For a recipe that combines two childhood favorites, cake and jell-O, it is no wonder that the kids of the pharmaceutical distributors would ask for it even if they were adults themselves now. It will surely be a hit with a lot of kids and kids at heart.
    Kirk recently posted..guitar tabs booksMy Profile

  3. Mixed Kreations says

    Looks yummy! I made a cake similar to this years ago, but it had crushed pineapple too. It was a big hit.

  4. says

    So pretty! We have a family member’s birthday to celebrate on Monday–perhaps I’ll make a poke cake for him? I think you’re right about it being pretty in the glass dish, too. Glad you linked to Food on Fridays–it’s always fun to get new ideas!

  5. says

    Hi Crystal,
    I just love a Jello Poke Cake, it is a great summertime dessert. Hope you are having a fantastic week and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen
    Miz Helen recently posted..Apricot EmpanadasMy Profile

  6. Chris says

    So glad I found your site. I too added too much water to the jello and was going to scrap the whole thing. Glad I didn’t. :)

  7. Jerry Justice says

    I have made this cake for years , my mom got the original recipe and it called for different flavors and colors , they called it a Rainbow Cake … We did not like the other flavors so Mom just used cherry or strawberry hello…

  8. Carla says

    I have made this for years, with all flavors of jello. The one difference is that I add jello to the whipped topping. A lot of times using 2 different jellos, especially at Christmas.


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