Jello Poke Cake
Jello Poke Cake

This Jello Poke Cake recipe is an easy way to make an elegant retro recipe dessert using white cake mix drizzled with black cherry and lime gelatin over each round of cake.

The gelatin seeps down into the poke holes in the cake making the pretty design. The jello poke cake is then frosted with a whipped cream or frozen non-dairy whipped cream for a super easy and pretty dessert will surley impresse!

Want to learn how to make the perfect poke holes for your cake? Be sure to read on to find out my secret!

Jello Poke Cake
Jello Poke Cake was a really popular recipe when I was a young girl in the 70’s. It seems gelatin itself was a huge ingredient back in the day! My mom made this cake, my Nanny made it and Grumpy tells me his mom made it also. I have a feeling that back in the “day” there weren’t too many homes that didn’t have this cake grace their table at one point in time.  It also happens to be one of Grumpy’s favorite recipes!
To get the desired effect, I suggest that you use the wider end of a chopstick to make your poke holes, and make a lot of them. I would also not “pour” the jello over the cake, I would use a tablespoon and gently spoon it over top, being sure to spoon right over those poke holes so the jello will seep down through them. Just look at those beautiful lines in that cake!
Jello Poke Cake
I have never been a big cake mix from a box fan, however, when it comes to making this recipe, I truly recommend it. There is something about the texture of the boxed mix that differs in the way the jello soaks through the cake compared to a homemade cake. Yes my friends, there is a time and place for everything, and the time and place for a cake mix, in my book, is definitely for this recipe.
Jello Poke Cake

Jello Poke Cake

Jello Poke Cake

Jello Poke Cake

A retro cake from the 70's made with a white boxed cake mix and a variety of flavored gelatin.
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Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Jello Poke Cake
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 42 minutes
Servings: 12


  • 1 15.25 ounce box white cake mix
  • 1 3 ounces box black cherry gelatin
  • 1 3 ounces box lime gelatin
  • 2 cups hot boiling water
  • 1 8 ounces container frozen whipped topping


  • Make the white cake mix per box instructions, following directions for
    baking in round cake pans. Let cakes cool completely. Poke holes in cake
    using the wide end of a chop stick. Push the chop stick through the
    cake all the way to the bottom of the cake. Repeat several times on cake
    layer. Set cakes aside.
  • Place black cherry jello powder and lime gelatin powder in two separate
    mixing bowls. Pour 1 cup hot boiling water over each bowl of jello
    powder, stirring until gelatin has dissolved. Let cool slightly (about
    10 minutes).
  • With a tablespoon, spoon the black cherry gelatin over 1 round of cake
    and then the lime gelatin over the second round. Cover cake with plastic
    wrap and store overnight in the refrigerator to allow gelatin to set.
  • At least an hour before serving, layer and frost cake with cool whip.
    Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve. Store any leftovers in
    refrigerator. The cake will store for several days in the refrigerator.

About the Author: Shelby Law Ruttan

Shelby is the author/owner of Grumpy's Honeybunch. Established in 2007, she shares and preserves family recipes as well as recipes for cooking light and keto. She is an experienced, self-taught home cook who loves to share recipes with others. You can see her work on websites such as Veal Made Easy, Parade, Community Table, SoFab Food, Yummly, and FoodGawker.


  1. Renee March 8, 2015 at 11:27 am - Reply

    Oh all the fun flavor and color possibilities of this cake. No wonder it has been so popular since it was created.

  2. Liz Berg March 8, 2015 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    This is such a delicious blast from my past! My mom would bake this one in a 9 x 13 and I think she'd ice it with Cool Whip, too! I think my kids (and hubby) would love your cake 🙂

  3. Stacy March 8, 2015 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    I love your cake with the two layers and the different colors in each, Shelby! I've had this before but it was a sheet cake. Yours is so much prettier!

  4. Deanna Samaan March 8, 2015 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    My mom never made a poke cake! I did not know what one was until Paula Deen! Now I know I really missed out as a kid! This looks amazing!

  5. Laura Dembowski March 8, 2015 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    What a pretty, colorful cake! I'm all about things with bright colors.

  6. Camilla Mann March 8, 2015 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    I had never heard of a poke cake till I lived in Oklahoma for a year. I don't think I've ever seen one though. I LOVE the colors.

  7. Heather King March 8, 2015 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    Poke cakes are so much fun because of the colors and flavors.

  8. Diana @DandelionGreens March 8, 2015 at 7:43 pm - Reply

    How fun… and pretty! Loved desserts like this when I was young.

  9. Sue Lau March 8, 2015 at 9:11 pm - Reply

    Jello cake brings back many memories working as the Baker's assistant. This kind of cake was always popular, and we liked that because it was very easy too!

  10. Wendy Klik March 9, 2015 at 12:39 am - Reply

    I like how you used two different flavors of gelatin on your cake. Very pretty.

  11. Laura Hunter March 9, 2015 at 7:53 am - Reply

    I have never heard of jello poke cake. Bet my daughter would love to help make this.

  12. Cindy Kerschner March 9, 2015 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    Great colors, gives me hope for spring!

  13. Mary Ellen March 9, 2015 at 10:07 pm - Reply

    I love a good poke cake and I shouldn't be surprised that Grumpy does too. LOL. Had a great time with you last weekend!

  14. Valerie Cathell Clark March 10, 2015 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    I helped my mom make this cake a few times! Brings back memories and it's still a light and refreshing dessert! Great post!

  15. [email protected] March 10, 2015 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    I haven't had poke cake since I was a kid- I bet my daughter would love this!

  16. Bobbi Burleson March 11, 2015 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    I can't believe I have never had a poke cake!! Yours is so pretty I just want to grab it off my screen 🙂

  17. Lauren Everson March 12, 2015 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    I've never had a poke cake before, but this looks like such a fun way to color coordinate for any party!

  18. Julie March 14, 2015 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    How fun!!!

    -Julie @ Texan New Yorker

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  28. Anonymous October 5, 2019 at 8:31 pm - Reply


  29. […] Poke Cake recipe starts with a white cake recipe that becomes a canvas for colorful lines of jello throughout […]

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Shelby Welcome! I'm Shelby, author of Grumpy's Honeybunch. I have been sharing family favorite recipes since 2007. I started the Keto Diet in October 2017 and since then I have been creating Keto ... read more

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