The recipe prices will vary based on fluctuating grocery costs. Please use what is posted as a guide.
This 4th of July Poke Cake is a festive addition to your Independence Day spread. It’s easy to make and delicious.
It serves 12 and costs about $13.07 to make; that’s around $1.08 per serving!
For more fun Fourth of July treats, try our Patriotic Oreo Cream Cheese Truffles and our Patriotic Jello Parfait.
July 4th Poke Cake
Easy desserts are one of our favorite things ever! But, with everything going on in our lives, can we use the easy button for one thing?
The Fourth of July is a busy time. Pool parties, family time, and fireworks! It is all so fun, but sometimes it can be plain exhausting.
We are here to help save you some time and energy to enjoy the holiday. Our Jell-O poke cake recipe is light, refreshing, and even patriotic in its design. This dessert is perfect for the 4th of July, Memorial Day, and even Labor Day!
Pin this recipe to save for later. We think you will find that you will want to make our Jell-O Poke Cake not only for the 4th of July but also for birthdays, celebrations, and just because! So don’t just take our word for it. Make it and find out for yourself!
It might become your new favorite summertime dessert because of its fresh flavor and creamy texture. A white cake mix is baked and filled with raspberry and berry blue Jell-O.
The Jell-O makes the fun design when you cut the cake, making it extra moist. The poke cake is then frosted with a Cool Whip frosting and topped with strawberries and blueberries to make the American Flag, making it perfect for the 4th of July or any other patriotic holiday.
Ingredients & Estimated Cost:
- 15 oz white cake mix – $1.00
- 3 1/2 cups water – $0.00
- 1/2 cup sour cream – $0.72
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil – $0.16
- 3 large eggs – $0.10
- 3 oz package raspberry Jell-O mix – $0.92
- 1 box white chocolate or cheesecake flavored instant pudding – $1.19
- 3 oz package berry blue Jell-O mix – $0.92
- 2/3 cup milk – $0.11
- 8-ounce tub Cool Whip – $1.84
- 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries – $1.82
- 1/2 cup blueberries – $0.63
To learn more about how we price our recipes, check out Budget Recipes Explained.
- First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Next, mix cake mix, water, sour cream, vegetable oil, and eggs, then pour into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer.
- Bake for about 29 minutes, and then move the cake to a wire rack to cool.
- Use a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the cake.
- Then make the filling in a small bowl and pour the Jell-O mixture into every other poked hole in the cake. Repeat the process with the remaining Jell-O mix.
- Cover the cake and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Before serving, make the frosting and spread it evenly over the cake.
- Finally, arrange the strawberries and blueberries in a flag pattern on the cake. Use the blueberries as the stars and the strawberries as the stripes. Serve and enjoy!
***For complete recipe instructions, see the recipe card below.
Recipe Variations and Substitutions
If you don’t like the flavor of Jell-o, then you can use pureed fruit instead. To do this, add about 1 cup of strawberries to a blender with 1-2 Tablespoons of orange juice. Blend until smooth, and then spoon the berry mixture into every other hole poked into the cake. Repeat the process with blueberries.
Serve: As with most recipes with dairy products, you shouldn’t leave this 4th of July Poke Cake out for longer than 2 hours.
Store: Cover the cake with plastic wrap or foil and store it in the refrigerator. The cake will keep for about 2-3 days.
Freeze: Because of the dairy in the frosting, we do not recommend freezing this cake.
A poke cake is just as it sounds! It’s a cake that has holes poked into them after baking it. You then fill the holes with a filling mixture such as pudding or fruit.
Using the end of a wooden spoon is the perfect size for poking holes in a cake. It leaves just enough room for filling the cake holes with the Jell-O mixture. Then, poke the holes, going almost to the bottom of the cake, covering the entire cake in even rows.
We thought poke cake was invented by a toddler getting into the cake when her mom wasn’t looking! But upon further research, it appears as though the Jell-O company first created this cake.
After making a Watergate cake in the 1970s after the infamous presidential scandal, they took their creation one step further. With the creation of the poke cake, they wanted to show the world that Jell-O could fill any void, literally! Make a hole in a cake and fill the void with Jell-O. Genius, right?!
Get Kids Involved
Ages 2-3: They love poking the holes in the cake! Ask them to count the number of holes they are poking for a fun counting game.
Ages 4-5: Let them help make the Jell-o mixture and pour it into the holes. They can also help mix together and spread the frosting.
Ages 6-8: Let them use their artistic skills to create the stars and stripes with the strawberries and blueberries.
Ages 9-11: Supervise them while they prepare the entire recipe. Remember to have them read it twice before beginning the recipe.
Ages 12+: Let them prepare the entire recipe, unsupervised, while you do the happy dance in the corner!
This recipe serves a crowd. It is perfect for parties or potlucks because it serves so many for just $1.08 per serving.
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4th of July Poke Cake
- 9 x 13-inch pan
- wire rack
- Wooden spoon
- small bowl
- Medium bowl
- measuring cups
- Liquid measuring cup
- 15 oz white cake mix
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 3 oz package raspberry Jell-O mix or any red color flavor
- 3 oz package berry blue Jell-O mix or any blue color flavor
- 2 cups boiling water divided
- 1 cup cold water divided
- 1 box white chocolate instant pudding
- ⅔ cup milk anything but skim
- 8 ounce tub Cool Whip
- 1 ½ cup sliced strawberries
- ½ cup blueberries
- Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9×13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- Whisk together cake mix, water, sour cream, vegetable oil, and eggs in a large bowl. Whisk rapidly for 1 minute, or until no flour pockets remain. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer.
- Bake for 29-34 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- Use the handle of a wooden spoon or the handle of a butter knife to poke holes all over the cake.
- Add the red Jell-o mix and 1 cup of boiling water to a small bowl. Whisk until combined, and then whisk in ½ cup of cold water.
- Use a tablespoon to pour the Jello-o into every other poked hole.
- Repeat the process with the remaining Jello-o mix.
- Cover the cake with foil or plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- In a medium bowl whisk together pudding mix and milk until smooth. Fold in the Cool Whip.
- In an even layer, spread the frosting over the cake.
- Arrange the strawberries and blueberries in a flag pattern on the cake using the blueberries as the stars and the strawberries as the stripes. Serve immediately.
Jess Jankowski says
It is so fun to make!
This is such a versatile cake! It’s always a hit and it’s perfect for any occasion!
Jess Jankowski says
We love how versatile it is!
Such a fun dessert to make! Its so moist and tasty and festive too!
Jess Jankowski says
It’s so fun to make! And even better to eat!