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Cherry Dream Cake

I serve this cherry cake for holidays because it's so festive and easy. No one will know your secret is adding a package of cherry gelatin to a boxed cake mix! —Margaret McNeil, Germantown, Tennessee
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. + chilling Bake: 30 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    20 servings


  • 1 package white cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 package (3 ounces) cherry gelatin
  • 1-1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups whipped topping
  • 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling


  • Prepare cake mix according to package directions, using a greased 13x9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Cool cake on a wire rack for 3-5 minutes. Poke holes in cake with a meat fork or wooden skewer; gradually pour gelatin over cake. Cool for 15 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Fold in whipped topping. Carefully spread over cake. Top with the pie filling. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 164 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 1mg cholesterol, 251mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 3g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 starch, 1 fat, 1/2 fruit.
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  • Carrie
    Jun 26, 2019

    Fantastic! My family devoured this cake, and my son called it, "The best dessert I've ever eaten in my life!" Pretty good marks coming from a dessert-loving kid. I followed the recipe as written. Do use all of the gelatin mix, even though the cake may initially appear soggy. It ends up luscious. The only tweak I would make in the future is to have a second can of pie filling on hand to completely cover the cake to the edges as needed. We are going to make this with strawberries next!

  • jenna
    Apr 25, 2019

    I made this cake exactly according to recipe. It was very easy and a beautiful presentation. Was gone in less than a day. I am making it again today because its too good to save for holidays only. But I will definitely be making for holidays as well.

  • Paula
    Jun 11, 2018

    I have made this but used store bought Angel food cake sliced in half. Only make the icing, no gelatin. Cream cheese, cream whip, powdered sugar, drizzle cherry pie filling and cool overnight ?n fridge.

  • rpontrelli
    Jun 28, 2017

    Made this with raspberry jello and pie filling because this is what I had. It was very good and would definitely make again. Maybe I will try blueberry next time. On the downside the raspberry pie filling did not look as good as the cherry would have looked but the taste was excellent.

  • angmclanc
    Jun 8, 2017

    I love poke cakes, and this one is really great with the cherry pie filling.

  • aliciaosu
    Apr 21, 2017

    We use reduced fat cream cheese (Neufch?tel) and real whipped cream that we whip up at home with a little sugar and vanilla and use either store bought or homemade cherry pie filling. We don't usually like cakes because they are too sweet but this is the best cake ever and we don't end up throwing any out like we do with the typical super sweet birthday cakes. Kids and adults all like it. This recipe is a keeper.

  • DM
    Apr 6, 2017

    Have made poke cakes before but welcome advice.Am not making this till tomorrow just fyi...Psalm 127-3 Did subbing butter for oil make the cake better/richer&moister? Also should I add powdered sugar to the cream cheese/cool whip mixture? I'm using the cherry jello & pie topping.Also I've read a few comments that say 1 21oz pie filling can isn't enough. That's all I have....will it be ruined??? Last ? I thought 8oz was a cup so I got a 16oz cool whip container. But 8oz is a cup of how much cool whip should I use? Plus whats the verdict cream cheese/cool whip mixture then CP filling on top or vice versa.Any comments suggestions welcome! once again am making this tomorrow (4/7/17)Thanks everyone ?

  • Psalm127-3
    Jul 24, 2016

    I'll be making this when we return from our RV vacation. husband saw picture of this dessert and said "yum".have all but cherry gelo&white cake mix-easy enuf to pick up. .**the cream cheese/whipped topping sounds perfectly sweet enuf to me because the C P filling is sweet.ok my update: made for a birthday party usual for me (because I can't leave recipes alone if I think I can improve on them with swap outs or additions) :I subbed melted BUTTER for oilcoconut milk for waterbeing short 1 1/2T of cream cheese I made up for it with 1 1/2T creme fraiche.**added 1/4c powdered sugar 1/2t vanilla to cream cheese/whipped topping mix because (to me) lackluster in flavor and needed a bit more sweetness.used 2 heavy duty 10" foil disposable cake cans so I could take 1 to birthday party (only 5 in attendance) and leave 1 at clue how it was gonna taste nor did I know what the texture would be. they were thrilled to receive this for the 85 year old birthday boy and couldn't wait to take it to next house where party was being held. still haven't heard their remarks but no matter-when we got home I cut a small piece (more like a giant bite) for my husband and he said "phenomenal".I'm not advising anyone to make it my may, do it how you want to.Thank you for sharing this recipe, please forgive for my rearranging&additions but this cake will be made many times in the future!

  • short on time
    Feb 23, 2016

    I didn't have any luck with the icing. I think I didn't let the cream cheese warm up enough before using and it ended up lumpy. Otherwise, it was very good. I think next time I will make it with just the whipping cream on top of the cherry pie filling.

  • rcoker09
    Dec 13, 2015

    Each person has his/her own tastes, but I was very disappointed in this cake. The cream cheese/whipped topping icing is not nearly sweet enough; it mainly tasted like I spread only cream cheese on the top. Just the whipped topping alone would have been better. And one can of pie filling was not enough to cover the cake as pictured. You definitely need two cans for presentation and taste. I will not be making it again.