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Easy Strawberry Poke Cake

Easy Strawberry Poke Cake is a retro-style dessert made with a box of cake mix, strawberry gelatin, and a whipped cream topping. And of course lots of fresh strawberries.


Easy Strawberry Flavored Poke Cake


It is just a matter of weeks before the pick-your-own strawberry field near my house opens. They are the plumpest, juiciest, reddest strawberries ever.

Spring should be full of plenty of strawberry treats.


This Easy Strawberry Poke Cake is similar to the Strawberry Tres Leches cake I made last year. To make a poke cake, you first bake an easy white cake using a box of cake mix. I’ve added a box of pudding mix, 4 eggs, vegetable oil, and milk to make sure the cake doesn’t come out dry.

poke holes in cake

Once cooked, you poke the cake all over with a serving fork or straw, just like you would a tres leches cake. Dissolve the strawberry flavored gelatin in water and pour on top of the cake. It seeps down into the holes creating a beautiful colored pattern and distributing that super sweet strawberry-flavored goodness throughout the cake.  Finish it off with some fresh whipped cream and fresh strawberries for a beautiful and delicious spring dessert.

You can make this recipe even easier by using cool whip to frost the cake instead of fresh whipped cream. But fresh whipped cream is one of my favorite things to make (and eat!) and it only takes a few minutes. The cream will whip up faster and better if you remember to chill the mixing bowl and whisk attachment for your mixer in the refrigerator before whipping the cream.


Try These Other Delicious Strawberry Desserts:

Watch the short video below to see how easy this recipe is!

Easy Strawberry Flavored Poke Cake

Easy Strawberry Poke Cake

This retro-style strawberry dessert is super moist with plenty of strawberry flavor and a whipped cream topping.
PREP: 3 hours 40 minutes
COOK: 40 minutes
TOTAL: 4 hours 20 minutes



  • 1 (15.25-ounce) box white cake mix
  • 1 (3.4-ounce) box vanilla instant pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 (3-ounce) box strawberry flavored Jell-O
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup cold water

Whipped Topping

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9X13-inch pan with cooking spray.
  • Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, vegetable oil, and milk until well mixed, about 2 minutes. Pour into pan and bake for 40 minutes.
  • Let cool for 20-30 minutes.
  • Using a serving fork or straw, poke holes all over cake.
  • In a medium bowl, mix Jell-O and boiling water until Jell-O is dissolved. Mix in cold water and pour mixture slowly over cake so that it sinks down in holes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours.
  • To make whipped topping, place heavy cream in a mixing bowl of an electric mixer and using a whisk attachment, beat on high until soft peaks form. Gradually add in sugar and continue to beat until cream gets thick.
  • Spread whipped topping on top of cake and top with sliced strawberries.


Place bowl and whisk attachment for beating cream in the refrigerator to chill before using.


Calories: 419kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: poke cake

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Originally published March 14, 2014

Easy Strawberry Poke Cake

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.

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37 thoughts on “Easy Strawberry Poke Cake”

  1. Carolyn Timko

    I love baking and could not believe how many people told me this was in the top dessert I made in the last couple of years. I made it for my family because it was effortless and I didn’t feel like baking that day. It is light and very tasty. I am serving it for my Christmas dinner dessert.

  2. I made this for a cookout for the 4th of July and it was a hit! Very easy, I made a flag on top out of fresh blueberries and strawberries

  3. Belinda Rosenberger

    I am getting ready to make this for a Memorial day picnic tomorrow . Was wondering if after you bake the cake , poke holes and pour the jello on the top of cake , and it chills . Can you spread strawberry glaze on it then the cool whip . Then finish it with fresh strawberries

  4. Luscious, delish, and very simple to make. Great dessert for company or just your family. Will definitely make again and again……….
    Make sure you follow only the instructions in the recipe and not the individual box instructions from the cake mix, Instant pudding, and strawberry jello. Everything 100% from full recipe to be followed. Even baking time and oven temperature.
    Give yourself a minimum of 3 hrs or more to refrigerate cake so jello in holes sets and cake gets cold before making whipped cream. Other than that time in fridge, it’s quick and easy. Loved it🍓🍓🍓

  5. Made this today for my 35th bday. I never had one and glad I made this one! It was soooo good. My mother suggested it, she said she used to make it when she was a kid. Brought back memories for her and new ones for me! Thank you!

  6. Ammie joseph

    I just love, love, love this cake because i love strawberries i make this cake at least 2 to 3 times a year. It is so easy and decilous . Sometimes i use the strawberry cake mix extra strawberry flavor.

  7. Came out perfect!!! I made it one time 3 years ago, and it became my daughter’s brand new favorite cake (and mine too!)
    She still talks about it to this day, and wanting me to make it again. I don’t know why I never did… I just lost my Pizzazz for baking I guess. but doesn’t make this cake any less credit-worthy. Try it, you won’t be disappointed!

  8. I am new to cooking & baking my question is ..I just took the cake out of the oven and made the jello and added a little pureed strawberries with the juice to the jello and poured it over the cake, was I suppose to wait till the cake was cooled before adding the jello?

    1. Christin
      Christin Mahrlig

      It’s best to let it cool some. I’ve never made it without cooling so I’m not sure how the cake will turn out. Did it turn out alright?

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