A light vanilla cake marbled with raspberry jello and topped with whipped vanilla frosting. This raspberry poke cake is quick to make, uses simple ingredients, and is sure to please a crowd.
What is Poke Cake?
Poke cake, quite simply, is a cake that has been poked with holes and filled. The filling is usually made with jello or pudding, but I’ve seen poke cake done with caramel or even jam.
The holes allow the filling to soak into the cake making it extra moist and super flavourful.
While this cake uses raspberry jello, it is easy to swap that for any flavour you like such as strawberry, orange, or lemon.
Why this recipe works
Simple ingredients – This cake doesn’t require any fancy ingredients. I’ve used a simple boxed cake mix and the filling and topping are made with jello and pudding mix and frozen whipped topping.
Easy – You don’t have to have any special baking or decorating skills to make this cake. Anyone can make it.
Quick – The cake comes together quickly. Once the cake is cool you can fill it and frost it. Then you just need to wait a few hours for the filling to absorb and set.
Endless variety – Once you know how to make a poke cake, the flavour combinations are truly endless. You can use any cake and any filling you like to create your favourite.
If you like easy desserts with jello make sure you also try our easy dessert parfaits.
9×13 Vanilla cake – I’ve used a box this time, but you can use any 9×13 cake recipe or simply buy a pre-made, non frosted cake.
Jello powder – I’ve used the raspberry jello to make the raspberry poke cake.
Instant vanilla pudding – This is used for the frosting. White chocolate flavour is also delicious, or you can raspberry if you want to add more raspberry flavour.
Milk – I’ve used 2%, but you can use skim, 1% or whole milk with the same results.
Frozen whip topping – Make sure it’s fully thawed. You could use whip cream instead if you wish.
Food colouring – Optional to make the frosting pink.
If you would rather make your cake from scratch, instead of using a box, you can use any 9×13 vanilla or yellow cake to make this raspberry poke cake.
Begin by baking your cake according to the directions on the box or the recipe you are following.
Let the cake cool completely before you proceed to add the filling.
Using the end of a wooden spoon or a chopstick, poke rows of holes in the top of cake about an inch apart.
Mix the jello with the boiling water and then drizzle over the cake making sure to get it in all of the holes.
In a large bowl, beat the milk and pudding mix until it begins to thicken then fold in the whipped topping.
Divide in into two bowls and add a drop or two of red food colouring to one bowl and mix.
Drop the whipped topping onto the cake alternating colours then gently swirl to cover the top of the cake.
Dividing the whipped topping and colouring half allows you to swirl the topping giving it a slight marble effect. You can skip this step and colour all of it or just leave it white if you prefer.
Refrigerate the cake for at least 3 hours before serving to allow the filling to set before serving.
I usually just decorate the top of this cake with a few pretty sprinkles and serve it with a big bowl of fresh raspberries.
But just like most cake, this raspberry cake is great with a big scoop of ice cream on the side.
Yes, you will want to store this cake in the refrigerator. It should keep for about 5 days.
Yes you can. It is best to freeze it after you have let the jello set and for best results I recommend freezing it before you frost it. It should keep for about 3 months in the freezer as long as it is tightly wrapped.
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Raspberry Poke Cake
- 1 box vanilla cake mix (9×13 cake) and ingredients to make it
- 1 (3 oz) box raspberry jello
- 1 Cup boiling water
- 1 (3.4 oz) box vanilla instant pudding
- 1 Cup milk
- 1 tub frozen whipped topping thawed
- 1-2 drops red food colouring optional
- raspberries for garnish, optional
- edible sprinkles for garnish, optional
- Bake the cake according to the directions on the box or your favourite 9×13 white or yellow cake recipe. Let cool completely before proceeding.
- Using the handle of a wooden spoon or a chopstick, poke rows of holes in the top of the cake about an inch apart.
- In a small bowl, mix the jello with the boiling water then drizzle over the cake being sure to fill all the holes.
- In a large bowl, whisk the vanilla pudding with the milk just until it begins to thicken then fold in the whipped topping.
- Divide the topping into two bowls and add a drop or two of red food colour to one bowl to make a pink topping.
- Drop the topping onto the top of the cake alternating colours, then gengly swirl together to cover the cake.
- Place the cake in the refrigerator and allow to set at least 3 hours before serving.
- Serve topped with fresh raspberries and a scoop of ice cream, if desired.