Looking for a fun patriotic cake to be the centerpiece of your Independence Day party? This 4th of July poke cake featuring America’s colors is the perfect treat for your Fourth of July cookout or Memorial Day celebration! And it is easy to make using a boxed cake mix, Jello, and just a few other ingredients.
This is a show-stopping dessert that looks complicated but doesn’t take much effort at all! A white cake is poked and filled with red and blue Jello. Top it off with whipped frosting and make a flag out of fruit.
The Jello drips down into the cake to provide bursts of red and blue color in the white cake. It is the ultimate patriotic poke cake!
For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below
Box of White Cake Mix – Use your favorite! I prefer Duncan Hine’s mix.
Water, oil, and egg whites – The cake will be baked following the directions on the box, and these are the typical ingredients.
Jello – Use cherry or strawberry Jello for the red color and blueberry for the blue color.
Whipped topping – Whipped topping, like Cool Whip, is used for a simple frosting.
Strawberries and blueberries – The fruit is arranged to make the flag pattern on top.
How to Make
1. Bake the Cake
Prepare a 9 x 13-inch pan by spraying it with cooking spray. Then bake the cake mix as directed on the box.
Note white cakes usually specify using just egg whites, not the entire egg. This helps keep the batter bright white, so the Jello shows up better.
Once it is done baking, let it cool, in the baking dish, for 20 minutes.
2. Make the Gelatin
In a mixing bowl, combine the red Jello with 1 cup of boiling water and stir until it is dissolved. Then stir in 1/2 cup of cold water and set it aside. Repeat the process with the blue Jello in a separate bowl.
3. Fill the Cake
Use the end of a wooden spoon or a large straw to poke holes evenly all over the top. Then fill the holes with the jello mixture, alternating red and blue. You can use a spoon to add the liquid Jello or a small syringe, like a child’s medicine syringe.
Once all the holes are filled, put it in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours so the Jello can set.
4. Make the Flag Pattern
Spread the whipped topping, like Cool Whip, over the top to cover the holes. Then slice the strawberries and arrange them with the blueberries to make a flag pattern. The blueberries are the stars, and the strawberries make the red stripes.
Serve this red, white and blue poke cake any time you want a patriotic dessert! Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Flag Day – there are plenty of holidays to choose from!
I like to add extra blueberries and strawberries for serving to make the cake even more delicious.
Does Jello Poke Cake Have to be Refrigerated?
Yes, this definitely has to be refrigerated because of the whipped topping. If you are serving it at a picnic, keep it in a cooler until it is time for dessert. If you have leftover cake, it will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Can you Freeze Jello Poke Cake?
The poke cake can be frozen, but do it before it is frosted. To freeze, wrap it in plastic wrap and then add a layer of aluminum foil. Or, use an airtight container if you have a large enough one.
It will keep for up to 2 months in the freezer. To thaw, leave it on the counter overnight. Then frost and decorate it.
Use Up Any Extra Ingredients
You will probably have extra Jello. Just add it to dessert cups or a shot glass to make a cute red and blue layered Jello dessert.
Give this dessert a funfetti look by adding red, white, and blue sprinkles to the batter before it is baked.
Skip the flag pattern and cover the whipped topping in sprinkles. Or you can use sprinkles to create a flag pattern.
Switch the recipe up for different holidays using different color gelatin. Make it for graduation by using Jello in the school’s colors. Or use red and green Jello for Christmas. Poke cakes are fun and easy to make!
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4th of July Poke Cake Recipe
- 1 box (15.25 ounce) white cake mix
- Water, vegetable oil and eggs use what is called for on the cake mix box (mine called for 3 egg whites, ½ cup of oil, and 1 cup of water)
- 1 box (3 ounce) cherry or strawberry gelatin
- 1 box (3 ounce) blueberry gelatin
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 cups cold water
- 1 container (8 ounces) whipped topping thawed
- 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
- ½ cup blueberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Prepare the cake mix following the package instructions.
- Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Let it cool for 20 minutes.
- To make the Jello in a medium mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of boiling water with cherry jello and stir until dissolved. Whisk in ½ cup cold water to the cherry gelatin and set aside.
- In another bowl, repeat the above with the blue Jello and set it aside.
- Use the end of a wooden spoon or a large straw to poke rows of holes all over the entire cake.
- Spoon the Jello in the holes. Alternate red and blue until they are all filled.
- Refrigerate the dessert, covered, for 3-4 hours to allow the gelatin to set.
- Frost with the whipped topping.
- Slice the strawberries. Then arrange your blueberries in one corner as stars and make rows of strawberries for a flag pattern on top.
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Nutrition facts are estimates.