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This festive 4th of July Poke Cake is perfect for a hot, summer day. The red & blue jello gives a traditional poke cake a patriotic twist. It’s great for parties all summer long from Memorial Day to 4th of July to Labor Day.
4th of July Poke Cake
This is such a fun and festive cake for summer. It’s cool and creamy and fruity too. It stays in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it so it’s perfect for a hot summer day.
I serve it all summer long for pretty much every occasion from pool parties to potlucks to picnics. There is never a bite left and every one oohs and awes over the colors of the cake once it’s cut and served.
Ingredient notes and substitutions:
- white cake mix
- large eggs
- vegetable or canola oil
- small box (3.4 oz) cherry gelatin
- small box (3.4 oz) berry blue gelatin
- whipped topping
- cream cheese
- powdered sugar
- vanilla extract
- Sprinkles (opt)
- Fruit (opt)
How to Make this Cake:
Combine cake mix, eggs, water, oil and beat with a handheld mixer until smooth (or make your favorite white cake recipe). Spread evenly into baking dish, bake cake. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Combine ½ of the package (about 2 tablespoons) red gelatin and boiling water and stir about 2 minutes until dissolved, add cold water and stir to combine. Using a wooden skewer or large fork, poke holes into cake about every 1/2 inch. Carefully pour gelatin over the cake. Repeat with blue jello. Place in refrigerator at least 3 hours or overnight to cool completely and set the jello.
To Make the Frosting: Mix the cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and mix again. Fold in whipped topping. Spread over cake. Serve with additional whipped topping, sprinkles or strawberries and blueberries.
What is a Poke Cake?
A poke cake is a cake that you poke holes in after it’s baked. The holes are then filled with a liquid or filling — like jello, condensed milk, pureed fruit, chocolate cream, or pudding. It infuses extra flavor into every bite. And it’s topped usually with some sort of whipped cream topping or frosting.
What do you use to poke holes in the cake?
To poke holes in the cake, it’s easiest to use the handle of a wooden spoon or bamboo skewers (depending on how thick the “filling” is). Poke holes at intervals and then fill with whatever sauce or topping you like, then cut into your cake to reveal the delicious surprise center.
Do Poke Cakes need to be refrigerated?
Yes, poke cakes need to be refrigerated whether they are covered in whipped cream, pudding, Jello, or something else.
Can Poke Cakes be frozen?
Yes, you can absolutely freeze a Poke Cake. It’s best to freeze the cake after adding the jello or other filling, but before the cream and any other toppings. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap before freezing and it will last up to one month.
- 1 white cake mix
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 small box (3.4 oz) cherry gelatin - you will use ½ the package
- 1 small box (3.4 oz) berry blue gelatin - you will use ½ the package
- 1 cup boiling water, divided
- ½ cup cold water, divided
- 1 (8 oz) container whipped topping, thawed
- 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Additional whipped topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a 13x9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Combine cake mix, eggs, water, oil and beat with a handheld mixer until smooth.
- Spread evenly into baking dish, bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes.
- Combine ½ of the package (about 2 tablespoons) red gelatin and ½ cup boiling water and stir about 2 minutes until dissolved, add ¼ cup cold water and stir to combine.
- Using a wooden skewer or large fork, poke holes into cake about every 1/2 inch.
- Carefully pour gelatin over the cake.
- Combine ½ of the package (about 2 tablespoons) blue gelatin and ½ cup boiling water and stir about 2 minutes until dissolved, add ¼ cup cold water and stir to combine.
- Carefully pour gelatin over the cake.
- Place in refrigerator at least 3 hours or overnight.
- In a mixing bowl, mix the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until smooth. Fold in whipped topping until smooth. Spread over cake.
- Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Store leftovers in refrigerator covered with plastic wrap.
- Serve with additional whipped topping, sprinkles or fruit.
Tip: Add jello to squeeze bottles to make adding the jello to the holes in the cake easier.
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