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Red, White & Blueberry Poke Cake Recipe

Red, White & Blueberry Poke Cake Recipe

A sweet treat in the summer, this patriotic poke cake with dazzling red and blue stripes is a fun one to make with the kids. —Elisabeth Schulz, Blossvale, New York
How to make candy stars >
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. + cooling Bake: 25 min. + chilling YIELD:12 servings


  • 1 package white cake mix (regular size)
  • 1-1/4 cups water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons strawberry gelatin
  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons berry blue gelatin
  • 2-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar


  • 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of two 9-in. round baking pans with parchment or waxed paper; coat paper with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, water, eggs and oil; beat on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium 2 minutes.
  • 2. Transfer to prepared pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pans on wire racks.
  • 3. For strawberry gelatin, in a small saucepan, combine strawberries, sugar and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 2-3 minutes or until berries are soft. Strain into a small bowl, pressing berries lightly; discard pulp. Add gelatin to syrup, stirring to dissolve completely. Cool to room temperature. Repeat steps to make blueberry gelatin.
  • 4. Using a wooden skewer, pierce tops of cakes to within 1 inch of edge; twist skewer gently to make slightly larger holes. Gradually pour cooled strawberry mixture over one cake, being careful to fill each hole. Repeat with blueberry mixture and remaining cake. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
  • 5. In a large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners' sugar; beat until soft peaks form.
  • 6. Run a knife around sides of pans to loosen cakes. Remove strawberry cake from pan; remove paper. Place cake on a serving plate. Spread with 1 cup whipped cream.
  • 7. Remove blueberry cake from pan; remove paper. Place cake over whipped cream layer. Frost top and sides with remaining cream. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Yield: 12 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 slice: 477 calories, 28g fat (13g saturated fat), 100mg cholesterol, 328mg sodium, 55g carbohydrate (38g sugars, 0 fiber), 4g protein.

Reviews for Red, White & Blueberry Poke Cake

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bigval1214 User ID: 8826770 250042
Reviewed Jul. 3, 2016

"Five star rating all the way ! Just made this cake and it turned out beautifully as well as delicious. The only deviations I made were adding additional powdered sugar to the frosting and keeping the pressed berries that the recipe states to discard. I spread the pressed strawberries and blueberries on their respective layers the next day after refrigeration overnight with the cake layers then frosted. Also, I would note that the recipe states to beat the heaving whipping cream until soft peaks form. I don't do my frosting this way, it tends to be too runny. Definitely beat til stiff peaks form and you'll have less likelihood of the layers sliding. Happy Fourth !"

Hollyaprille User ID: 8436510 228902
Reviewed Jul. 3, 2015

"This is the best cake. We make it every year for Independence Day. We use Angel Food cake instead and layer that. It's great"

Kristenait User ID: 8372562 226275
Reviewed May. 13, 2015

"loved the poke cake recipe my family enjoyed I used raspberries instead just as delicious"

Krislos User ID: 7880372 139000
Reviewed Jul. 7, 2014

"A standard poke cake, with a twist. The addition of the fresh strawberries and blueberries add a nice touch. Also, well worth it to make your own whip cream icing so you can make it as sweet or not sweet as you like. To keep your cake layers from slipping(and this goes for any layer cake) simply insert a wooden skewer cut to size through the middle of both cakes."

Chickermunker2 User ID: 7847785 125074
Reviewed Jul. 4, 2014

"This shall henceforth be known as my Fail cake. I was going to lactose free so used almond milk in the cake and Lactose-Free Frosting instead of Whipping Cream. The blueberry syrup was too thin and the strawberry syrup was too thick and neither filled the holes; the bottom edge of the cake was soggy; and no matter how thick I made the frosting it slid off of the jello-skinned cake. Oh well, it was a nice try."

Bakeandbakemore User ID: 7400845 213364
Reviewed Jun. 28, 2014

"I have used a 13x9 pan, poke and pour the blue gelatin, chill, then poke and pour the red. Top with whipped cream, no worries about sliding layers."

SteffyGirl User ID: 7854541 138999
Reviewed Jun. 18, 2014

"This was awesome!! I made this for the kids for a 4th of July cook out and I couldn't keep the adults out of it! Now I have to make 2 for this year."

Libbylou0227 User ID: 660862 183386
Reviewed Sep. 12, 2013

"I made this for our 4th of July last year and still remember it 15 mo later... cool and refreshing... really terrific!"

[email protected] User ID: 5326454 183267
Reviewed Jul. 23, 2013

"I made this for our 4th of July barbeque. It was a huge hit. Several people said it was the best cake they had ever had. It was delicious!"

Moonbeam81 User ID: 6987090 195389
Reviewed Jul. 5, 2013

"I made this for a 4th of July BBQ and it pleased a couple of hard to please children. It tasted great and the syrups are well worth the effort. I made it with the heavy cream and had no issues with the cake falling down or sliding. Just gotta make sure to beat the cream and sugar enough :)"

kengrants User ID: 4608201 213363
Reviewed Jul. 3, 2013

"This cake is super yummy! I read some of the other reviews and here's my opinion on this recipe. First, if you beat your whip cream 'til it's good and stiff, then your layers won't slide. (Be careful not to go too long or you'll have butter.) The fruit syrups are well worth the effort. They give it a REAL fruit flavor, so it doesn't taste artificial from the jello. It all depends on what you like. If you like cool whip & jello, then there are easier recipes to make... but, if you like the real, homemade flavors of fruit & cream then this is the cake to make! It's wonderful. Also, if the whipped cream isn't sweet enough for you then just add some sugar. I ended up adding about a tablespoon more. I also added a tablespoon of vanilla to mine... yum!"

Queenlalisa User ID: 15400 119057
Reviewed Jun. 27, 2013

"I forgot to say that I don't put the added sugar in the Jello mixture. It is really good with sugar free Jello too and sugar free whipped topping."

Queenlalisa User ID: 15400 183264
Reviewed Jun. 27, 2013

"I make this cake a lot. At Christmas I replace the blue with green jello. If I am in a hurry I just use store bought whipped topping."

MsSherm User ID: 1004877 122712
Reviewed Jun. 19, 2013

"This old recipe has been around forever, can't anyone think of something new? And as for the frosting, Cool Whip makes frosting now, no need to make real whip cream these days, dear."

aspear User ID: 1898268 200138
Reviewed May. 20, 2013

"My daughter and I made this cake together. It came together easily. One word of advice-- she made her holes bigger than I did & her half turned out better. :D"

Nancysh1 User ID: 6761247 138998
Reviewed Sep. 1, 2012

"Why is the recipe on line different than the one In TOH magazine?"

Mama24kiddos User ID: 6775374 195388
Reviewed Aug. 18, 2012

"This recipe was a lot of work and not to sure it was worth. I used a spring foam pan which worked really well and put parchment paper on the bottom and that worked great taking it out. However when I got to the frosting it was more like whip cream and was too runny I used a little more confectioners sugar but it didn't help and when I was done frosting the cake I had to put it in the freezer because my cake was sliding down. I wouldn't try this recipe again:("

PuckBunny User ID: 6709581 199620
Reviewed Jul. 27, 2012

"I used organic jello with this and it turned out just fine."

playlawyer User ID: 6752420 197976
Reviewed Jul. 19, 2012

"Way more trouble than it's worth. The strawberry and blueberry mixtures settled on the bottom and the cake looked awful."

administrator User ID: 1996148 139980
Reviewed Jul. 18, 2012

"I wish I could say mine came out looking this beautiful, but it did taste great. I should know since I ate so much of it. It was for my son's birthday on the 4th of July, so I always try to make something red/white/blue. The only part of the recipe I actually used were the gelatins as I prefer not to use box mixes for my family. However, the next time I make this I think I will try it with a box mix to see what the difference is. Also, I didn't use all of the liquid. You could probably cut the gelatin ingredients in half and it would be perfect. It definitely is a fun cake to present."

kemmage666666 User ID: 6777292 195383
Reviewed Jul. 17, 2012

"I made this for my son's 4th of July birthday when he requested a "red, white and blue" cake. Everyone loved it, and my six sons quickly ate the entire cake!"

MollieDi User ID: 5304424 183119
Reviewed Jul. 12, 2012

"The cake came out GREAT and everyone relly LOVED it! A few changes that I did: 1) I baked the cake according to the box' insturctions (Duncan Hines). 2) I used 8" pans. 3) I couldn't find berry jello so I added 1 packet of knox gelatin and blue food coloring w/ the blueberries. 4) Since I had the knox gelatin out, I just used 1 packet w/ the strawberries instead of strawberry jello. 5) After the cakes cooled, they sat in the fridge for 1 hour. 6)I didn't use all the liquid... just enough to fill the holes and spread over the layer (I think all the mix would have been way too goooy). 7) I used twice as much powder sugar for the icing. Will do again and again... maybe change the colors up for other holidays!!"

kmarqui User ID: 3651843 195382
Reviewed Jul. 8, 2012

"easy cake to make, delicious to eat and happy kids! I'll be making this again for sure."

ccorrieri User ID: 6366589 197972
Reviewed Jul. 8, 2012

"I didn't see the recommended change in gelatin amount and agree that the layers were a little moist and difficult to get out of the pan. I also added fresh fruit (cut strawberries and whole blueberries) in the middle layer and on top, which I highly recommend. People loved the cake, it was a big hit and I'd definitely make it again.

*The whipped cream topping was tough on a hot day, but I think it was the perfect match for the fruity taste. I think regular buttercream frosting would've been too sweet."

jen.thompson User ID: 629842 152655
Reviewed Jul. 6, 2012

"Lots of work/steps involved. My family wasn't impressed. The whipped topping was tasteless -Not sweet."

nkadlec User ID: 3718067 125059
Reviewed Jul. 6, 2012

"First the cake tasted great, but was highly disappointed after putting so much time and effort into the cake for it to remain stuck in the pan. I allowed the cake to stay inverted until it fell free from the pan on its own however it crumbled apart and was ruined. I followed the directions in the June/July issue which varies from online. I've decided when I bake it next time I will let the cake cool then remove it from the pan to line the pan with parchment paper before pouring Jell-O onto the cake. I really wish that I had tested this recipe last week so that I could have presented it when I needed it. Also I think I?ll skip the fresh fruit syrup and use the fruit to garnish the top of the cake."

vewebber58 User ID: 998755 119055
Reviewed Jul. 5, 2012

"The cake was good....moist, and I like using real whipped cream instead of Cool Whip. I'm not sure I'd go to the trouble of using real fruit again, as we couldn't really taste it very well. Would probably just use Jello."

vewebber58 User ID: 998755 183113
Reviewed Jul. 4, 2012

"I'll with hold judgement right now on how the cake tastes, as I made it and it's in the refrigerator chilling for later today, but I was disappointed in how thin the layers are. If I make it again, I'll use 8" cake pans. Other than that, the layers held together for me and though it was a little more trouble making the fruit syrup, it wasn't that time consuming. I did mash the fruit gently with a potato masher, then strained it all through a fine sieve and stirred it to get as much liquid through as worked great. There was a little too much whipped cream, some was left over, but my daughter frosted the cake and I think she could have used more whipped cream in the middle. No problem...we just put the extra in a container and stuck it in the fridge. We'll decorate it with some blueberries and strawberries before serving it. I hope it tasted was a little more trouble than a regular poke and pour cake, but maybe it will be worth it."

Beth2muchsweets User ID: 6570277 127205
Reviewed Jul. 4, 2012

"I had no problem with it to moist it was perfect for that. The whip cream frosting would be nice but it was so hot so next time I will use a frosting."

lisadough User ID: 2436555 188983
Reviewed Jul. 4, 2012

"I am an experienced baker, and have made many poke cakes in the past, but I have to say this is probably one of the worst poke cake recipes I have ever made! WAY too much trouble to make fruit "syrup"- I should have just followed the regular poke cake recipe for jello. cake completely fell apart coming out of the pan- it was against my better judgement to leave it in the pan while the jello was "jelling"- which it never did. I expect more from "Taste of Home" and am usually very pleased with the recipes I find here, but this is a major disappointment. Now i have a mess to serve to my guests this afternoon!"

[email protected] User ID: 77962 138996
Reviewed Jun. 29, 2012

"This cake is delicious, but partly because I made the cake from scratch instead of using a boxed mix. I also liked the cooked fruit mixed with the Jello--it gave it a nice authentic fruity taste. However, whipping cream tends to run and slide, and the finished product is nothing as beautiful as what the Taste of Home food stylist created for the photo shoot! That being said, it was a hit with adults and kids alike at a dinner party tonight."

KScales User ID: 3262967 122711
Reviewed Jun. 29, 2012

"Due to some of the comments here, we have reviewed and retested this recipe again. To minimize the cake layers from being too moist, we've reduced the amount of gelatin mixtures by 25% from what was originally printed in the magazine.

We also found 9-in. cake pans performed better and we've clarified the method a bit to instruct users to make larger holes and gradually pour the gelatin. And refrigerating the layers overnight is best.
This changes have been reflected on the recipe here. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Taste of Home Test Kitchen"

dennisji User ID: 6752942 197968
Reviewed Jun. 28, 2012

"love the look of this cake....doing it again for the 4th of July but using a buttercream frosting I think so it will hold up in the heat a little better. To help with the 'too moist' issue...don't pour all the gelatin on ...just enough to go into the holes...or even try to just put it into the holes. I also didn't find the blueberry gelatin the first time I made it and used lemon with the blueberries...VERY YUMMY!"

bethavan User ID: 4641824 187236
Reviewed Jun. 26, 2012

"Made this for a group picnic on Memorial Day. It received rave reviews!"

funfections User ID: 4689018 138993
Reviewed Jun. 25, 2012

"This is the best poke cake. I've made it twice this month. The flavor of the gelatin is enhanced by the fruit. The whipping cream icing is so much better than just using store bought whip cream."

jmh75 User ID: 6575409 213362
Reviewed Jun. 14, 2012

"I've seen this recipe before on a popular cooking show on PBS that perfects old recipes. They call for only 2 Tbsp. of sugar with the strawberries, not a cup and 2 Tbsp. Also, they make the cake from scratch, which is more dense than box cake mixes. I've made theirs before and it was not soggy at all. Cut out the extra cup of sugar and it should be better."

ffshelly User ID: 6348308 183112
Reviewed Jun. 14, 2012

"some hints from my mom who has made these cakes forever.......the cake has to be very cool before adding the jello......she puts it in the refridgerator for about an hour after it is room temp......second the jello can not be screaming hot when it goes over the cake or it will just soak into the layers and not make the pretty ribbons........she also uses a whole package of jello for each layer, not just a tablespoon. Whipped cream can be stabilized by adding a tablespoon of plain geleten which has been softened in 2 tablespoons of cold water then heated until totally dissolved.....slowly add to the whipped cream during the last couple of seconds of will get very thick very fast. Hope this helps :)"

shelbee User ID: 4574240 200137
Reviewed Jun. 13, 2012

"I have made cakes like this in the past. Solution to the soggy layers is to use a funnel and place in holes of cake and then pour the gelatin mixture into the hole. I have never poured the gelatin mixture all over the cake. Hope this answers the sticky situation for those that had soggy cakes."

kelkelgil User ID: 2354321 138968
Reviewed Jun. 13, 2012

"This cake was also a nightmare for me. Next time I would use more jello and less juice and not pour all of the mixture into the cake. The cake was soggy and I had liquid seeping out all over the bottom of the cake plate. The icing wasn't "stiff" enough so I mixed it with some cool whip. I would like to try this again, and tweak it a little."

Karsit1 User ID: 5013334 183108
Reviewed Jun. 6, 2012

"I have no idea what I did wrong but this cake turned out to be a nightmare. I couldn't get the cakes out of the pan, even though i greased them very well. When I finally did get them out of the pan, they were very wet and crumbly. I did however frost it anyway but after i let it set in the fridge, right before serving it, the strawberry jello mixture from the lower cake must have not set because the whole bottom of my cake platter had about a quarter inch of the unset jello mixute which obviously made the bottom of the cake too soggy to even serve. I would like to make it again but can someone please tell me what I did wrong?"

LK3607 User ID: 6718929 197967
Reviewed May. 31, 2012


Jill McL User ID: 1119266 213361
Reviewed May. 30, 2012

"Mine didn't look quite as pretty as the one in the picture, but my family sure devoured it. Think I'm going to play with the syrup mixture a little to get it thicker next time."

natarach User ID: 6712316 122708
Reviewed May. 27, 2012

"This was a total disaster for me. I followed the instructions exactly. I probably shouldn't have poured all of the liquid on top of each layer...because the cake stuck to the pan and came out in clumps & i did grease & flour both.

it sure looked pretty in the magazine."

rushedmomof3 User ID: 6699024 139978
Reviewed May. 18, 2012

"This cake is just perfect for Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day or just whenever you want to feel festive. I found it easy to make and it was super yummy and a huge hit!! I can't wait to make it again and again all summer long :)"

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