With a box cake mix, two types of Jello, and whipped cream, this Red White and Blue Poke Cake is the perfect dessert for your 4th of July get-together! It’s flavorful, super moist, and festive!
Easy Red White and Blue Jello Poke Cake
I was first inspired to make this Red White and Blue Jello Poke Cake for Memorial Day and can say that it’s definitely going to be on the dessert table for 4th of July!
Poke cakes are my favorite way to turn a box mix into something a bit fancy and festive. I love making things from scratch but I find no shame in taking a few shortcuts, when the end result is just as delicious!
In this case, I turned boxed white cake mix and jell-O into a multi-color, festive and flavorful dessert! The jell-O comes through not just in color but in flavor too, adding hints of berry and cherry to a vanilla cake. The jell-O also helps make the cake super moist, and when you serve it chilled, it’s a refreshing dessert for a hot summer picnic!
What is Poke Cake?
Poke cakes have actually been a thing since the 1970s, but in recent years have become a fad again. A poke cake is simply a cake that you poke holes into, then pour something – usually, a liquid or semi-liquid – over it and into the holes. The most popular poke cake additions are pudding and jello.
The end result is a super easy cake that’s extra flavorful and moist, and if you start with a white cake, you can even play around with colors, like we do in this 4th of July poke cake.
There’s only 5 ingredients in this poke cake, plus the ingredients needed to make your box cake, like eggs, oil, etc.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Box white cake mix + ingredients to prepare it – Of course, if you want to, you can certainly make a cake from scratch instead.
- Berry Blue Jell-O – Adds the blue color to the cake.
- Cherry Jell-O – Adds the red color to the cake.
- Whipped Topping – Such as Cool Whip. Or use our homemade whipped cream, if you prefer.
- Patriotic sprinkles – You can find festive flags and other shapes, or just stick with red white and blue sprinkles.
How to Make Red White Blue Jello Poke Cake
Making this patriotic poke cake is as simple as making a box cake! Just prepare the cake, add the jell-O and the whipped topping. Dessert is served.
(Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details and don’t miss the helpful tips and video below.)
- Make the cake. Prepare the cake mix according to the package in a 9×13 pan, and allow to cool for about 25 minutes.
- Prepare the Jell-O. Use 1 cup of boiling water and 1/2 cup of cold water for each box.
- Add the Jell-O to the cake. Use a straw or small wooden spoon handle to poke holes all over the cake. Then pour or spoon the blue Jell-O over part of the cake, and the red Jell-O over the other part, making sure to get liquid into the holes. Refrigerate for a minimum of 6 hours.
- Add whipped topping and serve. Spread the Cool Whip on top. Add patriotic sprinkles, if desired, cut and serve.
Tips for Success
This red white and blue cake is simple to make, but these few tips will help you make the best cake possible every time!
- Use white cake. Be sure to use white cake to get the truest red and blue jell-O colors.
- Ignore the Jell-O box instructions. Be sure to follow the instructions in this recipe for preparing the jell-O, as you use less cold water than the box directs.
- Prepare the night before. I recommend letting the cake chill for at least 6 hours but overnight is best! It gives the jell-O time to set and infuse into the cake.
Video: Red White & Blue Poke Cake
- Wait to add the Cool Whip and sprinkles to this cake just before cutting and serving.
- I typically cut this cake into squares, with the size varying depending on how many I’m serving. Cut into normal-sized pieces, you’ll end up with about 10 slices of cake but you can easily double or triple that by making smaller slices.
- Take care not to leave the cake at room temperature or outside in the heat for too long, due to the jell-O and whipped topping.
How to Store & Freeze Leftover Cake
Store any leftover red white and blue cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Due to the jell-O and whipped topping, it should not be left out on the counter.
You can freeze this poke cake in a tightly sealed container for up to a month. Thaw in the fridge before serving. You should freeze it without the whipped topping and sprinkles.
More 4th of July Recipes:
- 4th of July Caramel Corn
- Red White and Blue Muddy Buddies
- Frozen Chocolate Banana Pops
- Dessert Fruit Kabobs
- Red White and Blue Cheesecake Parfaits
Red White Blue Poke Cake
- 15 once box white cake mix + ingredients to make it (such as eggs, oil, etc – whatever it lists on the box. Or use a from scratch white cake, if preferred.)
- 3 ounce box Berry Blue Jello
- 3 ounce box Cherry Jello
- 8 ounce tub Cool Whip , thawed (or use homemade whipped cream, if preferred)
- patriotic sprinkles
- Prepare white cake mix according to package directions, baking in a greased 9×13 pan. Allow cake to cool for about 25 minutes.
- Using a straw or the handle of a small wooden spoon, poke holes all over the surface of the cake.
- Prepare each box of Jell-o using 1 cup of boiling water + 1/2 cup of cold water. (This is 1/2 cup less cold water than what is called for on package instructions.)
- Carefully pour or spoon the blue Jello over a portion of the cake, making sure to get the liquid into the holes.
- Carefully pour or spoon the red Jello over the other portion of the cake, making sure to get the liquid into the holes.
- Refrigerate the cake for at least 6 hours or ideally overnight – this allows the Jell-o to set up within the cake.
- Spread the top evenly with the Cool Whip.
- Add red, white, and blue patriotic sprinkles and/or stars on top.
- Cut into squares and enjoy!