This patriotic poke cake is perfect for summer holidays! It is a flavorful, light, and delicious cake that is served cold so it is so refreshing! Perfect for Memorial day, the fourth of July or any other day where you want to celebrate the red white and blue!
Poke cakes are such a good dessert choice for so many occasions. I love that you can pick the perfect colors and flavors for parties and holidays, and create a delicious cake that is great for any celebration! For this red white and blue poke cake we’ve got red and blue jell-o, white cake, and festive sprinkles to create a patriotic perfect dessert that everyone loves!
Often poke cake is frosted with cool whip. It is quick, easy and delicious. But for this recipe I’ve topped the cake with a whipped cream frosting that is made with cream cheese. It is essentially stabilized whipped cream and it compliments this cake beautifully. It is light, fluffy, and it holds up to summer heat without melting quickly so it is great for sitting at a pot luck or picnic.
This cake does need time in the refrigerator so make sure you plan ahead so you have enough time!
Here’s what you’ll need for this poke cake
For the Cake
White Cake Mix- Use your favorite boxed cake mix or if you have a from scratch cake recipe you love you can use it too
Vegetable Oil, Eggs & Water – Follow the box directions or your recipe to bake the cake.
Blue Gelatin- Your favorite brand of gelatin in a blue flavor
Red Gelatin- There are several flavors of red, strawberry, cherry, raspberry, pick your favorite red flavor!
Water- Tap water or bottled water works!
For the Frosting
Cream Cheese- Brick cream cheese, it needs to be cold for this recipe.
Heavy Whipping Cream- The whipping cream needs to be nice and cold for this recipe
Vanilla- For white frosting you can use clear vanilla, brown works too but results in a cream colored frosting. I used brown in these pictures
Red White & Blue Sprinkles – Use your favorite sprinkles!
Here’s how to make this poke cake-
First you’ll need to bake your cake according to the recipe or package directions in a 13×9 inch baking pan. Let the cake cool completely.
Once the cake has cooled we’re going to poke holes for the gelatin. I like to use a drinking straw for a lot of small holes, alternately you can use the handle of a wooden spoon for larger holes, if you want tiny holes you can use a wooden skewer. It just a matter of personal preference. I did 12 rows of 15 with a straw. I try to make even lines but they don’t have to be perfect.
Dissolve the blue Jell-O in in boiling water and allow it to cool enough to handle safely. Now decide what kind of pattern you want to make with the gelatin. You can fill in every other row, or every other hole. I did every other hole to create a bit of a checkerboard. You can use a spoon to carefully pour jello in the holes or use a dropper, syringe to be precise. Another great idea is to use a squeeze bottle and fill it with the jello to fill the rows of holes.
Once you are done with the blue, repeat the same process with the red JellO filling the empty holes.
When you are done, cover the cake with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. I like to make this the night before and then frost while I’m prepping for our 4th of July gathering.
If you want to use whipped topping to top your cake you can, Just thaw it spread it on like frosting add some sprinkles and you’re good to go!
However, if you want to make my favorite whipped cream icing this is how you do it.
You’ll need to use a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer.
For the best results you’re going to want to chill your bowl and make sure your ingredients are nice and cold. So take a large bowl and stick it in the freezer for at least 15 minutes before making your frosting.
In your chilled bowl with an electric mixer beat the cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy and soft peaks form.
With the mixer on low speed slowly pour in the heavy cream and mix until well incorporated and smooth. Then turn the mixer on high and whip until stiff peaks form.
Spread the frosting across the cake, or pipe it on using a piping bag.
Sprinkle on sprinkles.
Keep the cake refrigerated until ready to serve.
- Other Posts You’ll Love
- Strawberry Shortcake Poke Cake
- 4th of July Mini Fruit Pizzas
- 4th of July Ice Box Cake
Variations and Ideas-
This cake is such a perfect way to celebrate patriotic holidays and it is also a great way to highlight delicious summer berries. You can decorate the top of your cake with fresh strawberries, blueberries, cherries or raspberries. Want to get super creative? Arrange your berries in the shape of the American flag to celebrate the patriotic colors!
You can also chop the berries and serve them on the side in separate bowls so that everyone can choose how they want to top their cake! This is an easy dessert to make a crowd happy especially when they can personalize it!
Another fun addition is literally a cherry on top! I like to keep a little of my frosting in a piping bag and add a swirl and maraschino cherries to the top right before serving!
Make cupcakes! You can create red white and blue poke cupcakes! Just bake your favorite cake into cupcakes and then follow same steps as the cake! Cup cakes are a great addition to a dessert table at any party!
- For the Cake-
- White Cake Mix
- Oil, Eggs & Water to bake cake according to directions
- 3 oz. Box Blue Jello
- 3 oz. Box Red Jello
- ¾ Cup of Water for each color of Jello
- For the Frosting
- 8 oz. Cream Cheese (cold)
- 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream (cold)
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
- Red White & Blue Sprinkles
- Bake cake according to package or recipe directions in a 13x9 inch
- Allow cake to cool completely.
- With a drinking straw, or end of a wooden spoon poke even rows of holes across the cake.
- Dissolve the blue Jello in ¾ cup of boiling water. Fill the holes in every other row with the dissolved blue Jello. You can carefully pour
or spoon it in or use a dropper or squeeze bottle.
- Repeat with the red Jello filling the empty rows of holes.
- Cover the cake and place it in the fridge overnight or for
at least 4 hours.
- Once the cake has cooled it is time to make the frosting.
- Place your mixing bowl in the freezer for about 15-30 minutes before making the icing. Make sure all cream cheese and whipping cream are cold.
- In the chilled bowl cream together cream cheese, vanilla,
and powdered sugar until well mixed and light and fluffy. With the mixer on
low/med slowly pour in the whipping cream and mix until well incorporated and smooth.
- Turn the mixer to high and whip until stiff peaks form.
- Spread evenly across the top of the cake or pipe it on with
an icing bag.
- Sprinkle with red white and blue sprinkles.
- Keep covered and refrigerated until ready to serve.