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Strawberry Poke Cake

That classic spring treat—strawberry shortcake—takes on a wonderful new twist with this recipe. Strawberry gelatin and strawberries liven up each pretty slice of this lovely layered strawberry poke cake that's made from a convenient boxed mix. —Mary Jo Griggs, West Bend, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 25 min. + chilling
  • Makes
    12 servings


  • 1 package white cake mix (regular size)
  • 1-1/4 cups water
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen sweetened sliced strawberries, thawed
  • 2 packages (3 ounces each) strawberry gelatin
  • 1 carton (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
  • Fresh strawberries, optional


  • In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, water, eggs and oil; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes.
  • Pour into 2 greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25-35 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Using a serrated knife, level tops of cakes if necessary. Return layers, top side up, to 2 clean 9-in. round baking pans. Pierce cakes with a meat fork or wooden skewer at 1/2-in. intervals.
  • Drain juice from strawberries into a 2-cup measuring cup; refrigerate berries. Add water to juice to measure 2 cups; pour into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; stir in gelatin until dissolved. Chill for 30 minutes. Gently spoon over each cake layer. Chill for 2-3 hours.
  • Dip bottom of 1 pan into warm water for 10 seconds. Invert cake onto a serving platter. Top with chilled strawberries and 1 cup whipped topping. Place second cake layer over topping.
  • Frost cake with remaining whipped topping. Chill for at least 1 hour. Serve with fresh berries if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.
Editor's Note: This cake was tested with Pillsbury white cake mix.
Test Kitchen Tips
  • This recipe was tested with Pillsbury white cake mix.
  • When making this recipe, be sure to gently fold in the whipped topping just until it’s blended. The topping will deflate if it’s overhandled.
  • These are our best 10 cakes, according to our readers.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 piece: 376 calories, 14g fat (7g saturated fat), 35mg cholesterol, 301mg sodium, 56g carbohydrate (37g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.

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    Average Rating:
    • Carla
      Apr 1, 2018

      Light and refreshing cake to serve.!!#@*!!!.....I'd rate this cake one of the bests......and I've cooked and baked for several years.

    • missteddybear
      Mar 20, 2017

      kdorfman, just get a cake mix, bake it according to directions, then make up strawberry jello, and pour over poked cake(after it's cooled down) and refrigerate.

    • Kdorfman
      Feb 13, 2017

      not my favorite. too much work involved.

    • dig1
      Feb 7, 2017

      I love this recipe.

    • cindiak
      Jun 8, 2016

      I love making poke cakes. This version is one of my favorites, tastes just like strawberry shortcake. I also make a version using lemon cake mix and raspberry jello.

    • p2jkennedy
      Apr 22, 2016

      No comment left

    • Bristoltn63
      Apr 11, 2016

      Absolutely the most interesting recipe I've found in a long time! This recipe it not only going to be one I keep, adding it too my favorites list

    • DavidG615
      Apr 9, 2016

      Made so many times. I used it in the restaurant so many times and it's the first thing to go so good!!!

    • maebaby
      Mar 31, 2016

      This was so surprising, it was light and not too sweet. I used fresh strawberries, after blending and crushing the strawberries, I added stevia to sweeten and refrigerated them over night, I also used sugar free jello and cool whip. It worked beautiful! Great recipe!

    • Mdickins
      Mar 27, 2016

      Made this cake today for Easter dessert and it was a big hit. A delicious, moist, professional looking cake. Would def make again. The only changes: mistakenly bought whole unsweetened frozen strawberries but added my own sugar and water to make juice and made fresh whipped cream for the icing. This cake is a keeper!