Strawberry Poke Cake

This Strawberry Poke Cake uses just four ingredients and is a hit at parties and potlucks! It’s a moist, refreshing dessert you’ll definitely want seconds of! 

slice of Strawberry Poke Cake on a white plate with a bite missing

Easy Strawberry Poke Cake Recipe

I’m a huge fan of poke cakes because they’re incredibly moist and tender. If you’re not familiar, poke cakes are cakes that have holes poked into them after baking and a sweet sauce is poured in, which both flavors the cake and keeps it squishy soft. No chance of a dry cake.

Normally the sweet sauces that I’ve used in poke cakes are sweetened condensed milk, caramel sauce, and peanut butter. Strawberry is a first for me, and it certainly won’t be the last.

This strawberry Jell-O poke cake is super moist yet light, airy, and not heavy in the least. It’s refreshing on a warm day because it’s stored in the fridge and served chilled. It’s the kind of cake you’ll want to take a fork right into the cake pan and keep straightening the rows.

I love the tie-dyed appearance of the white cake with red Jell-O streaks. I used regular (not sugar-free) Jell-O and can’t speak to the results if you use sugar-free. The strawberries and whipped cream (err…whipped topping) is such a classic and perfect combination!

slice of Strawberry Poke Cake garnished with diced strawberries

How to Make Poke Cake

The strawberry refrigerator cake is incredibly easy and uses only four main ingredients: cake mix, strawberry Jell-O, Cool Whip, and strawberries. Yes, plenty of baking shortcuts makes this a fast, easy, and foolproof strawberry poke cake that’s perfect for spring and summer parties or potlucks.

To make this cake, prep a 9×13-inch pan and preheat the oven. Then, make the cake according to the package instructions and bake. Once the cake comes out of the oven, immediately poke holes all over it with a fork. 

Once the holes have been poked into the cake, make the strawberry Jell-O and slowly pour it evenly over the cake (the Jell-O mixture will be liquid, you don’t need to let it chill in the fridge). Cover the cake with plastic wrap or foil, and let it chill in the fridge for a few hours. 

Remove cake from the fridge and spread the whipped topping over the cake. Refrigerate for another 2 hours before slicing, garnishing with strawberries, and serving.

Tips for the Best Strawberry Poke Cake

If you want to keep this strawberry Jell-O poke cake more homemade than semi-homemade, you can make a double batch of this scratch vanilla cake rather than cake mix.

And although you could whip your own cream, it will likely deflate within a day and you’ll have a #cakefail on your hands. I prefer Cool Whip because it’s much more stable and doesn’t deflate.

Also, don’t add the strawberries until immediately prior to serving because they can get a little mushy if they’re sitting in Cool Whip in the fridge.

Strawberry Poke Cake

More Poke Cake Recipes: 

  • Pineapple Poke Cake with Pineapple Glaze –  Fast, easy, one-bowl, no mixer, from-scratch cake that’s easier than a mix! The glaze soaks into every inch and you’ll be in juicy pineapple heaven!
  • Caramel Cream Poke Cake – A creamy caramel mixture soaks into soft yellow cake before being topped with whipped cream and more caramel! An easy cake that’s a guaranteed winner especially with caramel lovers!
  • Honey Bun Poke Cake — Tastes like a Honey Bun in cake form!! Sweet, rich, decadent, and reminds me of the Honey Buns I used to eat as a kid! Fast and EASY!!
  • Orange Poke Cake with Honey-Orange Glaze — BOLD orange flavor in this EASY, 100% scratch, no mixer poke cake!
  • S’mores Poke Cake — S’mores by way of an unapologetically rich and decadent poke cake. Two of my favorite things married into one glorious and easy dessert!
  • Coconut Caramel Poke Cake — An incredibly EASY super moist cake thanks to a creamy caramel mixture that’s poked into the cake!
Strawberry Poke Cake

Strawberry Poke Cake

This Strawberry Poke Cake uses just four ingredients and is a hit at parties and potlucks! It's a moist, refreshing dessert you'll definitely want seconds of! 

Yield: 20 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Chill Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • one 15.25-ounce box white cake mix, plus ingredients to make the cake (likely 3 egg whites, water, and oil)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • one 3-ounce package strawberry Jell-O
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • one 8-ounce container whipped topping, thawed (I used fat-free)
  • fresh strawberries sliced for garnishing, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×13-inch pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Make cake according to package directions (likely adding 3 egg whites, water, and oil) and bake as directed.
  3. Remove cake from the oven when it’s done (probably about 23 to 28 minutes) and use a fork to poke holes all over the cake.
  4. To a large microwave-safe measuring cup, add 1 cup water and bring to a boil, about 90 seconds on high power.
  5. Add the Jell-O and whisk to combine until Jell-O has fully dissolved.
  6. Add 1/2 cold water and whisk to combine.
  7. Slowly and evenly pour the Jell-O water over the cake, taking your time to evenly distribute it. Cover and place cake in the fridge for about 3 hours.
  8. Remove cake from the fridge, evenly spread the whipped topping over the surface, cover cake, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (overnight is even better) before slicing, garnishing with strawberries, and serving.

Notes

  • Don’t add the strawberries until immediately prior to serving because they can get a little mushy if they’re sitting in Cool Whip in the fridge.
  • Cake will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • If desired, you can make your cake from scratch using this Vanilla Cake Recipe

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

20

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 141 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 3mg Sodium: 102mg Carbohydrates: 19g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 14g Protein: 2g

Even More Strawberry Desserts: 

Check out 40+ Strawberry Recipes HERE!

Strawberry Custard Bars — Easy no mixer bars with a shortbread crust, one pound of fresh berries, a layer of sweet custard, and creamy whipped topping! A perfect warm weather dessert that everyone loves!

Strawberry Custard Bars - Easy no mixer bars with a shortbread crust, one pound of fresh berries, a layer of sweet custard, and creamy whipped topping!! A perfect warm weather dessert that everyone LOVES!!

Strawberry Lemonade Bars – Imagine crossing lemon bars with a strawberry pie. These easy bars taste like strawberry lemonade! Sooo good!

Strawberry Lemonade Bars - Imagine crossing lemon bars with a strawberry pie. These easy bars taste like strawberry lemonade! Sooo good!

Strawberry Cheesecake Bars – Soft, buttery bars topped with cheesecake and swirled with strawberry jam! The best of all worlds in these fast, easy, and amazing bars!

Strawberry Cheesecake Bars - Soft, buttery bars topped with cheesecake and swirled with strawberry jam! The best of all worlds in these fast, easy, and AMAZING bars!!

Strawberry Sweet Rolls with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze – Soft, buttery rolls filled with strawberry jam and topped with a sweet and tangy cream cheese glaze!

Strawberry Sweet Rolls with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze averiecooks.com

20 comments on “Strawberry Poke Cake”

  1.  This is a very pretty cake for spring and summer and the marbled look caught my eye right away! I think cool whip and jello are great for making something a little lighter without sacrificing flavor.

  2. Ooh, this looks springy and light! I laughed about your “straightening the rows” comment. I’ve done that once or twice in my life …

  3. Yummmy! This cake is so pretty and perfect for my next gathering.

  4. Instead of the cold water, try using 1/2 to 1 cup of Strawberry soda pop. It enhances the flavor of the strawberry jello and gives it a nice punch, and then instead of just coolwhip for the topping, I make a pkg of instant vanilla pudding but only use 1/2 of the milk, when it is thick, I then add in 1 12oz pkg of coolwhip and continue to ice the cake. It is still very light and fluffy and ooooh so good. I have also used lime jello and just used sprite for the soda.

  5. hey girl- this cake looks amazing!

  6. Love that beautiful cake!!! It looks so yummy. Definitely going to try making it for my sister coming birthday party:)

  7. If you are what you eat…I want to be THIS. Pretty in pink and oh so delicious! 

  8. STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM POKE CAKE looks delicious! I would love to try this soonest.

  9. I am about to use strawberry cake mix, berry blue jello, and lemon frosting (think primary colors!). Fingers crossed for me! :D

  10. This loooks fantttastic, the kids would love it definitely!

  11. How far do you poke the holiest? All the way to the bottom m? Looks great btw!

  12. What is the purpose of using foil in the pan

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