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Strawberry Poke Cake Recipe

Strawberry Poke Cake Recipe

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 cake that's made from a convenient boxed mix. —Mary Jo Griggs, West Bend, Wisconsin
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 25 min. + chilling YIELD:10-12 servings


  • 1 package white cake mix (regular size)
  • 1-1/4 cups water
  • 2 eggs
  • 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


  • 1. 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.
  • 2. Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • 3. Using a serrated knife, level tops of cakes if necessary. Return layers, top side up, to two clean 9-in. round baking pans. Pierce cakes with a meat fork or wooden skewer at 1/2-in. intervals.
  • 4. 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.
  • 5. Dip bottom of one pan in warm water for 10 seconds. Invert cake onto a serving platter. Top with reserved strawberries and 1 cup whipped topping. Place second cake layer over topping.
  • 6. Frost cake with remaining whipped topping. Chill for at least 1 hour. Serve with fresh berries if desired. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 12 servings.

Recipe Note

Editor's Note: This cake was tested with Pillsbury white cake mix.

Nutritional Facts

1 piece: 376 calories, 14g fat (7g saturated fat), 35mg cholesterol, 301mg sodium, 56g carbohydrate (37g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.

Reviews for Strawberry Poke Cake

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missteddybear User ID: 8940173 263684
Reviewed 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 User ID: 7269420 261256
Reviewed Feb. 13, 2017

"not my favorite. too much work involved."

dig1 User ID: 6907234 260932
Reviewed Feb. 7, 2017

"I love this recipe."

cindiak User ID: 221828 249226
Reviewed 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."

Bristoltn63 User ID: 8825408 246940
Reviewed 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 User ID: 8210981 246835
Reviewed 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 User ID: 2195390 246387
Reviewed 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 User ID: 8819077 246137
Reviewed 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!"

papa2evan User ID: 6413638 235712
Reviewed Oct. 27, 2015

"I take a cup of milk, & a pkg. of cheese cake flavored pudding mix, beat for a couple of minutes & fold into cool whip. Gives it a strawberry cheesecake flavor."

millsmagaw User ID: 8417887 228852
Reviewed Jul. 2, 2015

"I have made this recipe for years. It's one of my most requested cakes. I add 1 package of vanilla pudding with 1 cup of milk to the cool whip. Gently fold together. I'm always coming home with an empty plate."

grannysue4 User ID: 7455994 222690
Reviewed Mar. 13, 2015

"I have made this cake several times for our family Easter dinner and for serving at church and everyone loved it. It is so light and flavorful that it just melts in your mouth. I have always used a 9x13 pan and cut the cake in half and slid a foil lined piece of cardboard under the top half to continue with the poke process. Before sliding the top half back into place I take a flat spatula and run it under the cake to make sure it is loose from the foil. It has always worked out great doing it that way."

Queenlalisa User ID: 15400 55352
Reviewed Apr. 5, 2014

"This is a wonderful cake for Spring and Summer. I love to make it with orange jello and mandarin oranges too. So light and good. It is great with sugar free cake mix, sugar free jello and sugar free whipped topping also."

MamaNalo User ID: 7730338 55326
Reviewed Mar. 23, 2014

"5 star"

cast_iron_king User ID: 1236761 34641
Reviewed Mar. 9, 2014

"I made a more plain version of this with cherry gelatin. I was serving it with ice cream so I eliminated the fruit and did the whole thing up in a 9x13 plan. It was a hit and so easy. I will continue to refer to this recipe I'm the future."

Debiana User ID: 1536180 104137
Reviewed Aug. 9, 2013

"I made this several times (once using 2 9 inch cake pans, and several times in a 9 x 13 pan) I did not use canola oil though, I used vegetable oil. Ive also made this exact version, using berry flavored jello and blueberries. Thank you for sharing this recipe! A definite keeper!!!"

pupfoster1 User ID: 5300586 83843
Reviewed Jun. 11, 2013

"I had to rate this on looks and reviews alone but am tempted to make it---with FRESH strawberries. They are in season here right now and it seems a shame to use frozen when sweet fresh ones are available right now. Has anyone tried it this way?"

Jasminesmom User ID: 7230247 77236
Reviewed May. 16, 2013

"At first I was skeptical because of the cost of all the ingredients, the amount of time needed between the different steps & all the sugar but OMG this was ABSOLUTELY AWESOME!! This cake was very impressive (& I do not impress easily.) Not sweet at all, very light tasting & a beautiful, professional looking cake. I made this cake for Mother's Day & everyone loved it. This cake would be perfect for any special occasion. I did add fresh, sliced strawberries along the top of the cake with a whole, unhulled strawberry in the middle. Will be making this cake often."

messyd User ID: 4434027 104070
Reviewed Apr. 24, 2013

"I have made this for years but I have added cream cheese pudding to the whipped cream or some cream cheese. If I use frozen strawberries, I allow some strawberries lay on top of cake before I put the whipped cream on that has a little cream cheese. I put the strawberries in the jello first."

kkutz User ID: 4198388 36551
Reviewed Feb. 9, 2013

"i have made this a few times it was a huge hit very good and easy to make!"

amberjcarothers User ID: 4822390 204830
Reviewed Dec. 26, 2012

"I made this cake for a potluck at work , it looked beautiful ! My coworkers couldn't wait to try a piece , I left the room for a minute to get a cake server and when I returned the cake was already gone ... they had scooped it out with their forks."

suefryray User ID: 2823055 36549
Reviewed Aug. 29, 2012

"Made this last week and was told it was "fantastic." I was asked to make it again this week. It is a very pretty cake and very easy to make."

cheesecakes User ID: 864021 48072
Reviewed Jul. 17, 2012

"This wasn't as hard as I thought it would be and everyone loved it!! Really pretty!!!"

heynay75 User ID: 4869483 131931
Reviewed Jul. 10, 2012

"OMG!! This was heaven! My husband devoured the cake! I made a few substitutions to make a bit healthier. Instead of oil, use the same amount of unsweetened apple sauce, use egg whites, use one box of sugar free gelatin and puree strawberries and add less water (just enough so the strawberry mixture can be poured over cake), I also used unsweetened strawberries and sprinkled a little bit of splenda over the strawberries and ff whip topping. This is a keeper in my house!!"

jnlmedows User ID: 3841861 55292
Reviewed Jul. 8, 2012


I did another twist on this recipe i used only fresh strawberrys 2 one lb containers added four sliced bananas I used 3 boxes strawberry/banana gelatin made it as 2 9x9 single layer topped each with 8oz whipped topping"

jefinch2 User ID: 1908971 83841
Reviewed Jul. 1, 2012

"Paula4452 I Googled Cream cheese Mascarpone frosting and found this recipe along with one for Red Velvet cake. Haven't tried it, but sounds like what was mentioned in reviews. Recipe: 8 oz cream cheese and 8 oz tub Mascarpone cheese. Beat until smooth. Add: 1 t. vanilla and 1 c. powdered sugar. Beat. Add: 1 1/2 c. whipping cream (not whipped). Beat until thick enough to spread. Would have to be refrigerated. Think I'll try this -- sounds good."

tessiehr User ID: 410240 34638
Reviewed Jun. 30, 2012

"My daughter and I have a daycare and I made this for the kids and my husband and son-in-law, they all loved it. So easy to make."

Paula4452 User ID: 2159793 131929
Reviewed Jun. 29, 2012

"Azcooki can you give me that frosting recipe Sounds deelish"

jofra User ID: 5803626 83839
Reviewed Jun. 29, 2012

"Everyone liked this cake better than a strawberry short cake. It was real easy to make. Would definitely make it again. JC"

davinda User ID: 4455659 55289
Reviewed Jun. 18, 2012

"Made this for my birthday and it was a hit! I would make it again!"

MommaRie4 User ID: 6684128 85097
Reviewed Jun. 4, 2012

"Made in the 9"x13" pan. Easiest way to serve my favorite dessert, strawberry short cake."

Sharryj349 User ID: 381161 92067
Reviewed Jun. 2, 2012

"easy and yummy"

Lori Ellen User ID: 4878732 60526
Reviewed May. 29, 2012

"I made this for a Memorial Day get-together and everyone loved it! I made it in a 9 x 13 pan and actually used it as a birthday cake. I had quite a bit of the strawberry liquid left over; I gently ladled the juice over the cake with a big spoon and stopped when the holes seemed filled. Great summer flavor. easy to do because of the cake mix."

Linda32 User ID: 176412 55287
Reviewed May. 25, 2012

"I've been making poke cakes in various flavors for years. My favorite combo is lime Jello with lemon cake. However, I make mine in a 9x13-inch sheet cake pan. Also, for the frosting I stir a small box of dry vanilla instant pudding mix into the Cool Whip. Delish!"

AzCooki User ID: 6125583 36548
Reviewed May. 21, 2012

"The only thing I changed was the frosting. I made a Mascarpone/Cream Cheese/Real Whipped Cream Frosting that was perfect for this yummy cake. This frosting needs to be refrigerated for at least 30 mins before use. Much much better than using frozen oil type topping. If you're going to make a great cake use a great frosting. This really compliments the cake."

Montgrandma User ID: 4715369 103966
Reviewed May. 21, 2012

"My family loves poke cakes. The gelatin makes the cake stay moist and adds a lot of flavor."

nancy52317 User ID: 1217978 34637
Reviewed May. 20, 2012

"I save a teaspoon or so of the jello powder and sprinkle it into or on the whipped topping for flavor and color. I have made this cake with lime, orange or cherry jello, it is so good and moist."

AP13 User ID: 6498884 83837
Reviewed May. 20, 2012

"To leahrusshome: Can you share your recipe for strawberry pudding? I didn't see a mix for this on the grocer's shelf today.

Thank you."

sosa User ID: 3172900 36519
Reviewed May. 20, 2012

"I did not make this yet, I will make it for either Memorial Day or the 4th of July. I am going to use blueberry sugar-free jello on one layer and cherry in the other. Ice with cool whip and I will have red, white and blue. I am using suger-free jello because my granddaughter is a diabitic. I will let you know how this turns out."

administrator User ID: 1996148 103965
Reviewed May. 20, 2012

" This turned out to be gorgeous - I took leahrusshomes suggestion of strawberry pudding on board and it was utterly sublime. I'll never miss wimbledon if this is how we get to eat strawberries in America!"

Ohio46 User ID: 6664480 103945
Reviewed May. 20, 2012

"I am surprised to see this cake featured as it has been around since Tag was a pup. Should be filed under vintage instead of touting it as something exciting."

leahrusshome User ID: 6581374 83831
Reviewed May. 20, 2012

"We've been making this recipe (or a version of it) for many years. The one thing that we've added is, between the cake & the whipped topping, a layer of strawberry pudding."

cadamsorama User ID: 1532981 108846
Reviewed May. 15, 2012

"Absolutely a divine dessert. I did swap the oil in the cake for apple sauce and I used 3 egg whites in lieu of two whole eggs since it is a white cake."

kaitlyn'smommy User ID: 3996686 48071
Reviewed Jul. 4, 2011

"The cake was moist and refreshing. Will definitely make again"

salsadelinda User ID: 2012361 126070
Reviewed Apr. 3, 2011

"It has become a tradition to make this cake every year for friends. People rave about this cake. It is very light and refreshing. Instead of using cool whip I use fresh heavy whipping cream which give the cake a special homeade taste!"

Angelique177 User ID: 5111761 48055
Reviewed Jun. 15, 2010 Edited Jan. 31, 2014

"This cake has quickly become a family favorite. My husband sometimes complains that some cakes are too dry. Because of the jello, this cake always comes out moist. It is easy to make and uses ingredients I usually always have on hand. I have substituted various kinds of jello and fruit filling. I have had great success with raspberry and orange."

lakemaas User ID: 4292641 55281
Reviewed May. 14, 2010

"I made this cake for a fundraiser to benefit our local Humane Society and received great reviews. Its fresh, light and refreshing."

eversbeaver User ID: 2223765 108655
Reviewed Nov. 30, 2009

"Made this for my sister's birthday. Very good will make again. I did buy 2 of the smaller whipped topping "extra creamy". Glad I did, didn't quite use the entire second one, but my cake needed it."

mcgee64 User ID: 582153 41363
Reviewed Oct. 14, 2009

"This cake was great! I can't wait to make it again."

thu7de User ID: 2666031 48050
Reviewed Mar. 31, 2008

"I just made this over the weekend. My family loved it. I should have been more attentive to the time however, I did not take into considerations the total 3 hours chilling. It gives a very pretty presentation."

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