Incredibly light and flavorful and PERFECT for summer, Cheesecake Strawberry Poke Cake is a white cake filled with strawberry jello with a layer of cheesecake pudding topped with velvety whipped cream and fresh strawberries.
What is a Poke Cake?
A “poke or jello cake” is a cake that you poke holes into after baking and fill with sweet, syrupy liquid like jello or pudding to add extra goodness and moistness to your cake.
Sounds crazy right….crazy FUN! I guarantee your kids will love to help you in the kitchen with this Strawberry Poke Cake Recipe.
Poke cakes are very popular for many reasons. They’re super easy to prepare, contain delicious fruit (who doesn’t love strawberries), quick and easy to make, and most importantly topped with whipped cream. 😉
Just like the first time I first tried a Berry Chantilly Cake, my life changed the first time I ate a poke cake. Taking a bite of that fruity, creamy, sweet, delicious ultra-moist cake, and it was over. I was hooked!
I love strawberries and have never met a strawberry recipe I didn’t love. Most strawberry poke cake recipes include the cake, jello, fruit, and whipped cream. I decided to take it up a notch by adding a layer of cheesecake pudding and….fuggedaboutit. You’re welcome! 😂
And for this recipe, the cheesecake pudding layer takes this cake from “wow” and sends it into the stratosphere!
Ingredients Needed For Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake
Here’s what you need in order to whip up this ultra delicious cake!
- White Cake Mix – a yellow or chocolate cake mix will work well too, depending on what kind of jello and fruit you’re using.
- Strawberry Jello – any flavor will work but you might want to change up the fruit pairing as well.
- Frozen, sliced strawberries
- Instant cheesecake pudding
- Cool Whip – buy it prepared to save time or make your own if you prefer.
- Strawberries for garnish
How to Make Strawberry Poke Cake
Follow these step-by-step instructions and you will have this strawberry jello poke cake recipe ready to serve before you know it!
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 13×9 pan with nonstick spray.
Prepare cake mix as directed on the box. Pour into the pan and bake until the toothpick comes out clean – about 30 minutes. Cool completely.
Poke holes in the cake. (I would use the handle of a wooden spoon for this step.)
Prepare the jello as directed on the box then pour over the cake. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Prepare pudding as directed and add in strawberries. Pour over the cake. Chill 1 hour.
Top with Cool Whip and cool for an additional hour. Garnish with fresh strawberries and serve! Then enjoy watching the look on their faces when they taste this cake and discover how incredible it is!
Strawberry Jello Poke Cake Recipe Tips
- You can use your own homemade cake recipe, but using a cake mix is a huge time-saver. A white cake mix is best for this recipe.
- The cheesecake pudding layer is optional. It adds such a delicious break from the norm that I highly recommend it (FYI, I will NOT be making strawberry poke cake without this layer again – it’s THAT good!).
- You can make your own homemade whipped cream or save time by using Cool Whip. If you have the time, homemade whipped cream tastes SO much better, but unless you compare them side by side, you won’t notice the difference.
- For an ultra-tender cake, let it sit for at least 2 hours before serving. If you are short on time, you could serve it after about 1 hour of chilling.
- Keep the dessert refrigerated as the frosting will soften if kept at room temperature for too long and could turn into liquidy mush.
- While frozen strawberries will work just fine in this recipe, I personally much prefer the texture that fresh strawberries lend to this dessert.
Possible Variations For Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake
Here are some fun ideas for adding variety to…
Be creative and see what different flavor profiles you can come up with. Why not try this cake with lemon, peach, raspberry or cherry jello!!!
Think outside the box and use a fun cake pan, not the standard 9 x 13-inch baking sheet.
Spell out someone specials name with a name cake pan and use a different flavor for each letter. You could also use number cake pans for someone’s age or a special year.
What about a cake pan in a fun shape such as a heart or a flower. The possibilities are as limitless as your imagination.
Here are some common questions I see from readers about this strawberry poke cake recipe – and their answers.
How do I store this cake?
This cake will need to be kept in the refrigerator. The Cool Whip topping and fruit is the main reasons it will need to be kept cool unless serving.
How long will this Strawberry Poke Cake recipe stay fresh?
Poke cake will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 days. You will need to make sure it is tightly covered in an air tight container.
If there is any left after 2 – 3 days, it may start to get too soft and mushy due to the fruit and pudding in the mix.
How to freeze the strawberry jello poke cake?
There are a couple different ways you can freeze a poke cake for later use.
The first method would be to prepare the cake as directed and let cool completely but do NOT add the frosting to the top.
The second method is freezing the cake with the frosting. You may need to do this in case of a lot of leftovers. Make sure the cake has been in the fridge so the frosting isn’t too soft before preparing to freeze.
Then, whether you choose to freeze before frosting or after, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap making sure cake is completely wrapped. Next, wrap it in aluminum foil or place in a freezer bag.
The poke cake can be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost completely before slicing or adding the whipped topping frosting.
Can I use other flavors of cake mix?
Absolutely! What flavors do you think would taste great together?
Yellow and chocolate cake mixes would be great alternatives. I personally think a chocolate cake with raspberry jello and fresh raspberries would be unbelievably delicious!
You simply can’t go wrong with any choice you make, but I personally LOVE a fresh strawberry poke cake!
If You Love Strawberry Poke Cake Try These Other Delicious Dessert Recipes:
- Heavenly, Scrumptious No-Bake Chocolate Lasagna
- Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream
- No-Bake Berry Cheesecake Parfait
- Rice Pudding Porridge with Dried Blueberries
- Easy and Delicious Slow Cooker Peach Crisp
Pin For Later!
- 1 box white cake mix
- 1 pkg strawberry jello
- 1/2 cup strawberries, frozen and sliced with sugar, thawed
- 1 box instant cheesecake pudding
- 2 cups cold milk (per package instructions)
- 12 oz Cool Whip
- Fresh strawberries for garnish
- Prepare a 9 x 13 pan with nonstick cooking spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare cake mix as directed on the box which will include the oil, eggs and water shown in ingredients list.
- Pour batter into pan and bake approximately 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cake cool completely.
- Poke holes in cake with the handle of a wooden spoon. Poke the holes approximately 1 inch apart.
- Prepare the jello as directed on box. Pour over the cake making sure to get some of the mixture in all the holes. Chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
- Prepare pudding as directed. Add in frozen strawberries and pour over cake in the same manner as the jello. Chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
- Top with Cool Whip and put in the refrigerator for an additional hour.
- Garnish with fresh strawberries and serve.