Red White & Blue Poke Cake slice

If you’ve never made a poke cake before, you have to try it!  They are easy to make and so good, the Jell-O keeps the cake extra moist!

To make it really quick, this recipe starts with a boxed cake mix but if you have a favorite white cake recipe, by all means use that!  Once the cake is done baking you’re going to poke it all over, the more holes the better!  I use the end of a chopstick but the end of any sort of spoon will work perfectly!  You’ll want your holes in somewhat of rows so you can alternate the red & blue Jell-O as you pour it over.  I found it worked best to put the Jell-O in a squeeze bottle (you can grab them on Amazon or even use a ketchup squeeze bottle from the dollar store).

Items You’ll Need For This Recipe

* White Cake Mix * Red & Blue Jell-O * 9×13 Pan *

Red White & Blue Poke Cake slice
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Red White and Blue Poke Cake

If you’ve never made a poke cake before, you have to try it! They are easy to make and so good, the Jell-O keeps the cake extra moist!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 20 minutes
Servings 26 servings


  • 1 box white cake mix plus ingredients called for on the box


  • your favorite homemade white cake recipe
  • 1 package red Jell-O 4 serving size
  • 1 package blue Jell-O 4 serving size
  • 1 tub dessert topping


  • 2 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar


  • Prepare and bake cake in a 9×13 pan according to package directions or recipe.
  • Let cake cool 15 minutes. Using a chopstick or similar tool, poke holes all over the cake (I did 15 rows of 12).
  • Mix red Jell-O with ¾ cup boiling water until dissolved. Add ½ cup cold water. Pour red Jell-O into every other row of holes.
  • Repeat with blue Jell-O. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
  • If using, whip heavy cream & powdered sugar on medium until stiff peaks form. Spread over cake. Keep refrigerated until serving.
5 from 31 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 155 | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 146mg | Potassium: 29mg | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 335IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. This cake is awesome! I make it every year on the 4th and it’s a huge hit! this year I’m over thinking something. when you put the cake in overnight… do you cover it or leave it uncovered?

  2. There was a recipe I used awhile back in time. It was angelfish cake mix, 1 can crushed pineapple juice and all, and…something else. Can’t remember. Help plz!!

  3. Do I put the cool whip on top and put in frig for 4 hrs or overnight or put cool whip on after it’s been in the frig?

    1. Hi Bethany, we refrigerate it overnight or for 4 hrs first, then add the whipped topped after it’s cooled in the fridge.

  4. I made everything according to the directions. It was Soggy and unappetizing   I would not recommend cool whip for a topping, and I didn’t even use all of the jello because it made the top of the cake too mushy to put any topping on.  I am disappointed in the results. 

    1. As with most poke cakes, this cake does need to sit once the Jello is added. The jello will run into the holes you’ve poked into the cake adding color and flavor to each bite. Once it sits, the Cool Whip is soft enough to spread across the top for serving. Hope that helps.

    2. It sounds like you used the package directions for the jello. Which uses twice as much water than the cake recipe calls for. Which makes the cake soggy and the jello doesn’t set right.5 stars

  5. Holly, have you ever tried mixing a box of french vanilla (or regular vanilla) pudding with milk as directed, then add the cool whip for your topping ? If not, that is the way we make our “strawberry pop cake”. It is delicious !!

  6. Yum! I’ve used pudding in cake recipes before, but I’ve never thought to try jello! What an interesting way to add color and moisture to a cake!

    1. This cake is best made ahead of time. It doesn’t get soggy but the Jell-O does soak into the cake making it moist and delicious.

      You can make the cake and cheesecake topping up to a few days ahead. I would suggest putting the fruit on the day you are serving or one day ahead so the strawberries don’t get wilty looking.

  7. Great recipe, I’m going to try and make for July 4th. I have a question about pouring the Jell-O in, how do you know when to stop pouring? Does it start coming out of the hole that was poked?
    Thank you.

    1. You’ll just divide it evenly over the cake. So if you’re doing every second row you’ll just continue going over those rows until you run out of Jell-O. I use a little squeeze bottle to make the pouring easy.

  8. This is probably a dumb question, when I pour both Jell-O mixtures into the cake won’t it make purple because it combines?

  9. Thank you for sharing this recipe! My store only had the 8 serving size box jello. Is it ok if I only use half of the box to make the jello?

  10. Not sure if this will make a difference. My jello came in 3 oz. boxes, do I still do 3/4 hot and 1/2 cold? Should of thought of asking this sooner. Geez!!

    1. Went ahead with the 3/4 hot and 1/2 cup cold. Looks good! Will let you know how it turns out. Thanks for the recipe!

  11. Love the red, white and blue! Great idea with the squeeze bottles for the jello. I know what I’m making for the 4th.