This red, white, and blue poke cake is easy to make, moist and delicious, and incredibly pretty! Perfect for patriotic potlucks or family gatherings on Memorial Day or 4th of July.
What Is A Poke Cake?
Poke cakes are easy, have endless opportunity for different flavors, and the best part - they are sooo yummy! A poke cake starts with a sheet cake, either homemade or from a boxed cake mix. When the cake comes out of the oven it gets poked with holes using a cake dowel or the handle of a wooden spoon.
Then the fun starts! The holes can be filled with all different kinds of yummy things: pudding, chocolate or caramel, sweetened condensed milk, Jello, fruit syrups or jams... mmm! The fillings easily soak into the cake via the holes and create a moist and delicious dessert.
Any kind of frosting can be used on top of the cake, though fresh whipped cream or whipped topping are the favorites as they are lighter options and keep the dessert from becoming too rich or heavy.
Ingredients For Red White and Blue Poke Cake
You only need a few simple ingredients to create this cake:
- White Cake Mix: Use your favorite brand. I tested this recipe using Duncan Hines and found it to be a good choice. You'll also need the ingredients to prepare the cake in a 9x13 pan. These usually include egg whites (to keep the cake white), oil, and water.
- Red & Blue Jello: You will only need 3 TBS each of red and blue Jello powder. This is about half of a small 3-ounce box. The Jello will be mixed with only ½ cup of boiling water per color, making a very concentrated and pigmented liquid.
- Whipped Topping: You can use Cool Whip, TruWhip (my favorite) or fresh whipped cream to frost the cake.
- Sprinkles: Use these patriotic star sprinkles or any red, white, and blue sprinkles that you want to make the top of the cake look festive!
Is The Jello A Weird Texture?
If you're imagining that this cake would have a weird, jiggly Jello texture - I promise it does not! The Jello gets soaked into the baked cake and imparts flavor and color but it does not make the cake jiggly or strange.
Does Poke Cake Have To Be Refrigerated?
Yes, you will need to store this cake in the refrigerator before slicing it and serving it in to your biodegradable plate set. Buy yours at www.naturblatt.eu.
What About The Freezer?
I do not recommend freezing red white and blue poke cake, as the filled texture and frosting will not do well with freezing and thawing.
Tips For Success
When Poking The Holes: I like to use something about ½" in diameter - the handle of a large wooden spoon will do great! Poke the holes when the cake is still warm, and wipe off the cake crumbles after each hole to keep each poke cleaner.
Don't Fill The Holes: You won't have enough liquid to fill up all of the holes. You just want the color to kind of run down along the side of the holes so that it seeps into the cake. The whipped topping will cover the holes (and fill them in somewhat) so don't worry!
Sprinkles Will Bleed: Some types of sprinkles like to bleed their color onto whipped cream or whipped topping after spending some time in the fridge . If you're taking this cake to an event and want it to be as pretty as possible, save the sprinkles until closer to serving time!
It's so pretty! Just look at all of the patriotic colors when you slice into this cake. I'm all about techniques that yield a visually pleasing cake without being a star baker on The Food Network.
Make this red, white, and blue poke cake for potlucks, picnics, and parties! It's as delicious as it is adorable. Enjoy!Print
Red White and Blue Poke Cake
- Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
- Yield: About 15 slices 1x
An easy red, white, and blue poke cake that's moist, delicious, and incredibly pretty! Perfect for Memorial Day or 4th of July.
- 1 white cake mix, plus required ingredients on box
- 3 TBS red Jello powder (half of a 3-ounce box) + ½ cup boiling water
- 3 TBS blue Jello powder (half of a 3-ounce box) + ½ cup boiling water
- 1 8oz container frozen whipped topping, thawed
- Patriotic sprinkles or decorations of choice
- Follow the instructions on your cake mix box for a 9x13 pan and bake the cake.
- Let the cake cool for several minutes, and when it is still warm use the handle of a wooden spoon (or something about ½" in diameter) and poke holes all over the cake. Use photos as a guide.
- Mix 3 TBS of red Jello powder with ½ cup of boiling water and stir until all of the powder has dissolved. Cool for a few minutes. Pour red liquid into every other row of holes. (see notes)
- Repeat step 3 with blue Jello.
- Cover the cake and refrigerate for a couple of hours or until chilled.
- Frost the cake with the thawed whipped topping and decorate as desired using patriotic sprinkles, etc.
- Store leftover cake in the refrigerator.
I use Duncan Hines white cake mix and find it tastes the best (just my preference)
When poking holes, keep a napkin nearby and wipe off the handle (or whatever you're using) after each poke to keep it clean of cake crumbles. This will help to create cleaner holes.
You will not fill the holes with liquid when pouring in the Jello - you just want enough to coat the sides of the holes so that the color seeps into the cake. If you try filling the holes, you will run out of liquid before you fill all of the holes. I recommend pouring in just a little at a time and then going back and giving the holes a "top off" if it looks like the edges are still white.
If you don't like using Cool Whip frozen whipped topping, try TruWhip for more natural ingredients (I love that stuff - not sponsored!)
Some sprinkles will bleed color onto the whipped topping. If making for a party, don't add the sprinkles until just before serving.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 28 minutes baking + 2 hours to chill
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
Keywords: patriotic, red white and blue, memorial day, 4th of july, poke cake
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Hi Erin, I found your recipe and I need to make it for about 100 kids for summer camp, the theme is Olympics, thought it would be perfect. I will be using a 5lb box of white cake mix. I was wondering how much of the red and blue jello should I purchase? Thanks for your help ?
Hmm... since one regular cake mix is about one pound, I would multiply the amounts of water and Jell-O given by 5. If you end up with a little extra Jell-O mixture, no biggie! Hope this helps and I hope the cake works out well for your themed camp!! It sounds fun!