Strawberry-Colada Jello Poke Cake
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Our Strawberry-Colada Jello Poke Cake Recipe is simple and surprising! Strawberry Poke Cake is a southern favorite. We love to add pineapple and coconut as well, for a truly festive flavor!
What Is Poke Cake?
If you don’t live in the south, you might be asking this question… What (the heck) is a poke cake recipe?
A Poke Cake is a very popular type of sheet cake in the southern United States.
Poke Cake refers to any type of cake recipe where holes are poked into the surface of the cake. Then some sort of filling is poured over the cake to fill in the holes.
The holes can be filled with chocolate, caramel, cream, or fruit filling. They create marbling or stripes throughout each slice of cake.
The cake is frosted so that the unique pattern is a surprise when you lift each piece of cake out of the pan!
Jello Cake Recipe… The Best Kind Of Poke Cake
Although I’m a big fan of chocolate, caramel, and cream fillings, I believe Jello Cakes make the very best Poke Cakes, because the filling sets in place, so it doesn’t continue to saturate and disintegrate the cake.
Once the liquid jello is poured over the cake, it should be refrigerated so the jello immediately solidifies in the holes.
You can add any flavor of fruity gelatin to a poke cake. Or mix flavors to create tantalizing combinations like we did today!
Jello Cakes must be refrigerated. However, it’s best to let them warm at room temperature before serving, for the best taste and texture.
Strawberry Poke Cake
Strawberry Poke Cake is probably the most popular version of Jello Cake, followed closely by Coconut Poke Cake and Pineapple Poke Cake.
Although we love classic Strawberry Jello Cake, we thought it would be fun to play mixologist with this quirky cake and combine all the most-loved flavors.
After all, what do you get when you blend strawberry, coconut, and pineapple?
Our Best Poke Cake Recipe
When you look at the gelatin section at the grocery store, you will notice there is no such thing (yet) as Strawberry-Colada Jello.
I had to do some doctoring to create this flavor combination.
I used half a box of Strawberry Jello and half a box of Pineapple Jello for the filling. I then added coconut milk to the cake batter mixture and the jello mixture to get a deep coconut flavor.
Notice, we’re just using a boxed white cake mix here. Although I’m a firm believer in making cakes from scratch, there is so much going on in a Jello Cake, making the batter from scratch is not really worth the extra effort.
Our Best Jello Cake Recipe starts with a light coconut cake.
Then strawberry-pineapple-coconut jello mix is poured over the top to fill in the holes.
Most easy Poke Cake recipes just have Cool Whip spread over the top. Yet I felt we needed something a little more tangy and decadent… Like Homemade Cream Cheese Whipped Cream!
It’s not cream cheese frosting. And it’s not just fresh whipped cream. It’s a thick luxurious blend of sweetened cream cheese, beaten into homemade whipped cream.
The topping is my favorite part of the cake, don’t skip it!
Strawberry Pineapple Poke Cake Ingredients
For the Poke Cake
- White cake mix
- Thick coconut milk
- Coconut oil, melted
For the Strawberry Jello Cake Filling
- Strawberry Jello mix
- Pineapple Jello mix
- Boiling water
- Thick coconut milk
For the Cream Cheese Whipped Topping
- Heavy cream (cold)
- Cream cheese, softened
- Powdered sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Toasted coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
- Fresh strawberries, halved
How To Make Poke Cake
- Whisk & Bake – Whisk the four cake ingredients together. Then pour into a baking dish and bake until fluffy.
- Mix the Jello Cake Filling – Pour half a box of strawberry jello and half a box of pineapple jello into the pitcher. (You can save the rest to make a batch of strawberry-pineapple jello later.) Pour the boiling water into the jello mix and stir vigorously. Then stir in the coconut milk.
- Poke Holes – Use a fork to poke holes, over the entire surface of the cake.
- Fill the Holes – Pour the jello filling over the surface of the cake.
- Whip – Beat the cream cheese on high to fluff. Then mix the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Slowly add the heavy cream, a little at a time, until incorporated. Then turn the mixer on high to beat into firm whipped cream.
- Assemble – Once the cake is cold, spread the cream cheese topping over the surface of the cake. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and strawberry halves.
Get the Full (Printable) Strawberry Jello Cake Recipe Below!
What Do You Use To Poke Holes In A Cake?
The best option is normally a fork. That is what should be used for a Jello Cake.
However, when using a thicker filling you might want to use a chopstick to create larger holes.
What Does Gelatin Do In A Cake?
In the case of Poke Cakes, the gelatin fills in the holes, creating color and flavor variation, in unique marbled patterns.
It also creates sections with a slightly denser texture. Yet because the gelatin absorbs into the cake, it does not leave true pockets of firm Jello.
Does Poke Cake Need To Be Refrigerated?
Yes, Poke Cake is definitely a Refrigerator Cake.
However, it tastes best at room temperature, so make sure to let it sit out and warm 20-30 minutes before serving.
How Long Does A Jello Cake Last?
You can keep the Jello Cake in the refrigerator for up to one week.
If you wrap the cake well in plastic, you can freeze it for up to 3 months.
Then thaw the cake at room temperature before serving.
Love Strawberry Cake? Check Out Our Other Options!
- Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Bundt Cake
- Homemade Strawberry Layer Cake
- Strawberry Lemonade Cake
- Angel Food Cake with Balsamic Strawberries
- Ricotta Crepe Cake with Strawberry Sauce
Strawberry-Colada Jello Poke Cake Recipe
For the Poke Cake:
- 16.25 ounce white cake mix
- 1 cup thick coconut milk (or milk)
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
For the Strawberry-Colada Jello Cake Filling:
- 1 1/2 ounces instant strawberry Jello mix (from a 3 oz box)
- 1 1/2 ounces instant pineapple Jello mix (from a 3 oz box)
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup thick coconut milk
For the Cream Cheese Topping:
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream (cold)
- 5 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/2 cup toasted coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, halved
- For the Poke Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9X13 inch baking dish and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the white cake mix, coconut milk, eggs, and coconut oil together until smooth. Pour in the baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool.
- For the Jello Cake Filling: Once the cake is mostly cooled, set out a large measuring pitcher. Pour half a box of strawberry jello and half a box of pineapple jello into the pitcher. (You can save the rest to make a full batch of strawberry-pineapple jello later.)
- Pour the boiling water into the jello mix and stir vigorously to dissolve. Then stir in the coconut milk.
- Use a fork to poke holes, 1/2 – 1 inch apart, over the entire surface of the cake. Make the holes deep so the jello goes all the way through the cake.
- Slowly pour the jello cake filling over the entire surface of the cake. It's ok if it runs down the insides of the pan, because it will absorb through the bottom. Cover the refrigerate for 45-60 minutes so the jello will set.
- For the Cream Cheese Topping: Meanwhile, pull out a stand mixer. Place the softened cream cheese in the bowl and beat on high to fluff the cream cheese. Then add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat again to incorporate. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the heavy cream, a little at a time, so the cream cheese blends in smoothly. Once the mixture looks smooth, turn the mixer on high to beat into firm whipped cream.
- Assembly: Once the cake is cold, spread the cream cheese topping over the surface of the cake. Sprinkle with toasted coconut. Arrange 15 strawberry halves over the top of the cake, one for each piece. Loosley cover and chill until ready to serve.
- Serving: ALL cakes taste best at room temperature (or close-to room temperature) even those that need to be chilled. Take the cake out of the refrigerator 20-30 minutes before serving. Then cut and serve.
Making this recipe? Follow us on Instagram and tag @ASpicyPerspective so we can share what you’re cooking!
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Hi! I absolutely love your recipes! Wondering if you think a gluten free cake mix would work with this? Thanks!
I haven’t personally tried this with a GF mix, but it should work. If you give it a try, please report back! :)
Did you use sweetened coconut milk? And I’m assuming it’s the canned kind, like the Thai kitchen brand?
Buy thick unsweetened coconut milk in a can. You could use sweetened coconut milk, but the cake doesn’t need the extra sugar.
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This is tropical goodness in such tasty flavors.
Such a stunning summer cake. It was delicious too.
I loved it!! Taste so good! My family loved it!
The cake has such good flavor, and it is super simple to make as well!