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Strawberry Jello Poke Cake recipe is an easy dessert made with white cake mix, strawberry Jello and Cool Whip whipped topping for frosting. Top this delicious cake with fresh strawberries for a simple spring dessert or perfect summer dessert!

strawberry jello poke cake recipe with cool whip and fresh strawberries

Easy Strawberry Jello Poke Cake is a super easy dessert that’s been around for ages. It’s light, fluffy and makes a delicious Easter dessert similar to strawberry shortcake. Actually, this easy strawberry cake is perfect anytime!

Jello poke cake recipes are so easy that my kids love to make them. We make Lime Jello Poke Cake for St. Patrick’s Day and Red, White and Blue Poke Cake for the patriotic holidays. Sometimes, I use syrup instead of Jello when I make strawberry poke cake with chocolate frosting.

You can also make a layered poke cake if you want to get fancy. My grandma used to make a layered Jello poke cake with red and green Jello during the Christmas holidays. You can find our family favorite Oreo Poke Cake and more poke cake recipes on my easy desserts page!

box of white cake mix, butter, eggs, strawberry jell-o, water and cool whip


You only need a few simple ingredients for this easy strawberry poke cake recipe. They should be easy to find in your grocery store.

  • White cake mix — or vanilla cake mix or yellow cake mix. Use your favorite brand of boxed cake mix.
  • Strawberry Jell-O — look for the 3-oz box of Jello or generic strawberry gelatin
  • Water — hot water and cold water to mix the gelatin
  • Eggs and butter or oil for the cake

You will also need a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and a straw or wooden spoon to make the cake.

How to make Strawberry Jello Poke Cake

First, you follow the directions on the back of the box of cake mix to make the cake.

Then, you let it cool slightly, and poke holes into the baked cake with a large drinking straw or the handle of a wooden spoon.

We like to make the holes bigger so that you get wider ribbons of Jello. But, that’s just us.

poke holes in cake with straw

Next, you mix up the Jello gelatin powder in a medium bowl. Just add the gelatin, and pour very hot water or boiling water over the powder.

Mix until the gelatin is mostly dissolved. Then, add the cold water, and mix until the gelatin is completely dissolved.

mix strawberry jell-o gelatin with water

Pour the liquid jello mixture all over the top of the cake. Make sure  you get the Jello into the holes.

You can also use a spoon to spread it evenly over the top and make sure the holes are filled with Jello.

Place the poke cake into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. This will allow the Jello to firm up.

pour jello mixture over poke cake

Then, you can frost this delicious poke cake with your favorite frosting. I usually use Cool Whip to frost poke cakes since I want to keep everything nice and light and fluffy.

You can also use whipped cream if you’re serving the cake right away.

Decorate the poke cake with festive sprinkles and fresh strawberries before serving.

strawberry poke cake with cool whip frosting and sprinkles

How to Store

Store this delicious cake in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container. Poke cakes stay fresh for up to 4 days, if they last that long!

Recipe Variations

I almost always use a cake mix when I make any flavor of Jello poke cakes. But you can use a homemade cake from scratch if you prefer.

Use your favorite frosting for this strawberry Jello cake recipe. You can use homemade whipped cream instead of Cool Whip or cream cheese frosting.

Use chocolate cake mix to make a rich, chocolate strawberry Jello poke cake.

slice of strawberry jello poke cake with fresh strawberries on plate


Can You Make Strawberry Poke Cake Ahead of Time?

Yes! Make the cake a day ahead of time, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. If you’re using whipped topping or frosting, frost the cake and refrigerate until ready to serve. I recommend adding fresh strawberries right before serving so that the juice doesn’t make the frosting soggy.
If you want to use real whipped cream, add that right before serving. You can also serve the poke cake with fresh strawberries on the side.

Does Poke Cake Need to be Refrigerated?

You need to refrigerate the cake while the Jello sets and if you’re using Cool Whip or whipped cream. You can leave the poke cake out while you’re serving it or for a potluck. Poke cakes go fast!

More Jello Recipes

5 from 13 votes

Strawberry Jello Poke Cake

By: Dee
Strawberry Jello Poke Cake recipe is an easy dessert made with white cake mix, strawberry Jello and Cool Whip whipped topping for frosting. Top this delicious cake with fresh strawberries for a simple spring dessert or perfect summer dessert!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
refrigeration time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 12


  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • cup melted butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 3-ounce box strawberry Jello gelatin
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 1 8-ounce tub Cool Whip whipped topping or any whipped topping
  • fresh strawberries for garnish
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  • Preheat oven to 350 ℉
  • Grease or spray a 9 X 13 pan with cooking spray
  • Add the cake mix, eggs, water, butter (or oil) to a large mixing bowl, and beat with hand mixer until well combined
  • Pour batter into prepared baking dish, and bake for  28 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean and top springs back lightly when touched 
  • Remove from oven, and allow to cool slightly
  • Use the handle of a wooden spoon or a wide drinking straw to poke holes evenly in the cake 
  • Add the strawberry gelatin powder to a medium mixing bowl, stir in boiling water, and mix until powder is completely dissolved
  • Stir in cold water
  • Pour gelatin over cake and into holes, making sure gelatin covers cake 
  • Place in refrigerator, and refrigerate until completely cooled, about 2 hours
  • Top with whipped topping or whipped cream, and garnish with fresh strawberries before serving



If using cake mix to make the cake, follow the directions on the box for best results.
Store the poke cake in the refrigerator, and use within 4 days for best flavor.
You can make strawberry Jello poke cake a day ahead of time and frost and decorate before serving.


Calories: 244kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 61mg, Sodium: 382mg, Potassium: 41mg, Sugar: 18g, Vitamin A: 295IU, Calcium: 103mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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strawberry jello poke cake with strawberries on a white plate

This delicious strawberry poke cake recipe was first published in 2019 and updated in 2023.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Mimi says:

    I used a strawberry cake mix and strawberry jello. It turned out great! I think next time I’m going to use lemon jello with the strawberry mix, to make a strawberry lemonade cake!!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      That sounds absolutely delicious, Mimi. So glad you liked the cake!

  2. Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert says:

    This is such an amazing flavor ! Would love to try it!
    This looks incredibly delicious!5 stars

  3. Taylor says:

    Perfect dessert to bring to potlucks! Easy and delicious!5 stars

  4. Paula says:

    Such great family gatherings memories around poke cakes. Looks delicious.

  5. Jade Manning says:

    This looks like it could finally satisfy my sweet tooth if the kids don’t eat it all first haha!!5 stars

  6. Allison says:

    I love this cake for spring and summer. Easy and delicious!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      It’s super easy to make! Thanks, Allison.

  7. Sara Welch says:

    This is such a perfect spring treat! My kids would love this for an after school special snack!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      Thanks, Sara. My kids would love it for a snack, too! 🙂

  8. Jen says:

    I want a big piece of this cake! This will be perfect for Easter.5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      Thanks, Jen! It’s one of our favorite Easter desserts!