If you are looking for a patriotic and super easy dessert, this 4th of July Poke Cake Recipe is the one to try! With only a few ingredients, it is so easy but tastes delicious.

Close up image of a piece of Red White and Blue Cake on a white cake stand with a firework.
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This patriotic poke cake is amazing and always a hit at any party, cookout or 4th of July bash I bring it to. The red, white and blue inside the cake is so festive and the entire cake is tasty.

The kids love to help and it’s a great cake recipe. It is so fun seeing the cake turn different colors from the red and blue jello. Also try Patriotic Oreo Balls, 4th of July Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods and Red White and Blue Rice Krispie Treats.

Why We Love This Recipe

I love that you only need a handful of ingredients to make this, but you have a really pretty dessert. This is our go to cake for July 4th, Memorial Day and more.

Poke cakes are so easy to adapt for what you have on hand or other occasions or holidays. We love this 4th of July cakes start with a box cake mix. Then add in your Jello mixes to give it that red and blue color.

This is our go-to dessert for all of our 4th of July activities. We love it that it is easy to make, and it is budget friendly. The ingredients are simple, and it taste so much better than store bought.

I also make Easy 4th of July Cookies.

Ingredients needed - Cake, cool whip, red jello and blue jello, sprinkles

Ingredients

  • White Cake Mix. You also need all the ingredients needed on the back of the box
  • Red Jello Mix and Blue Jello Mix. Store brand is fine.
  • Cool Whip. You can also use Homemade Whipped Cream Recipe.
  • Red, white and blue sprinkles. Choose your favorite patriotic sprinkles.

Get the complete list of ingredients at the bottom of the page.

Variations

  • Change the Frosting – We used cool whipped cream but you can make your own whipping topping or use a buttercream frosting.
  • Add Fruit – Add some strawberries and blueberries with the sprinkles. You can even make an American Flagg with the fruit.
  • Use Different Color of Jello – When make a poke cake the options are endless. Poke cakes can be made for any celebrations or family movie night.
Close up image of a piece of Red White and Blue Cake on a white plate.

Step By Step Instructions

  • Step 1. Go ahead and make the cake according to the box instructions using a 9×13 pan. Let the cake cool completely.
  • Step 2. Next, poke holes all over the cake. I like to use a wooden spoon to poke the holes throughout the cake.
Close up image red and blue jello in two separate bowls.

Step 3. Make the gelatin as directed on the back in the box in separate bowls with a cup of cold water.

Close up image of a spoon of red jello being poured over the cake.

Step 4. Next, alternate pouring the red jell-o and blue jell-o mixture over the cake. We like to alternate the flavors per rows on the cake. Only use ½ half of each of the jello mixes. The full amount is not needed.

A close up image of a cake that has holes poked in it with red and blue jello poured over it.

Step 5. Then chill the cake in the refrigerator.

Close up image of a frosted cake in a cake pan.

Step 6. Top with the whipped topping and sprinkles.

Storage

Cover the cake in plastic wrap or foil. Store inside an airtight container. Refrigerate the leftovers up to 3 days. It will get soggy the longer it sits.

Pro Tips

  • Refrigerate the cake before adding topping. The jello needs time to soak into the cake. Don’t skip this step.
  • Poke holes all over the cake. You want the gelatin to soak into the entire cake.
  • Only use half of the jello. You will only use half of the mixture on the cake. Using the whole thing will make it soggy.
Close up image of a piece of Red White and Blue Cake on a white plate.

FAQs

Does this 4th of July poke cake need to be refrigerated?

Yes, refrigerate the cake until ready to serve. This is the best cake and so easy to make with just a few ingredients.

I think it is best prepared a day ahead of time. This allows the flavors to really soak into the cake and it tastes even more delicious. Letting the jello soak into the cake for several hour or overnight really helps with the flavoring. Plus it makes the colors so vibrant.

It is also nice to make in advance because it saves you time on the day of the party or cookout. You can just grab it from the fridge and go!

What is a Poke Cake?

A poke cake is a cake that you poke holes into after baking. It is then filled with different flavors of Jell-O, caramel sauce, strawberry sauce, really anything you like.

The cake is poked all over to allow the jello mixture to saturate the cake. The flavor gets in the cake for an amazing dessert. The kids love to help with this part and it is so fun to do. They take turns doing so it takes about 15 minutes.

What do you use to poke holes in a cake?

You can use a fork to poke the cake or really anything you have. The handle of a wooden spoon also works as well.

We prefer to use a wooden spoon because it makes larger holes in the cake. This allows the jello to really get into the cake.

This is such an easy recipe so just use what you have and make this amazing cake.

Storage

Store any leftovers in the refrigerator covered. You can cover with saran wrap or with the lid that came with your pan.

Also see How Long Does Cake Last in the Fridge.

More 4th of July Desserts

It is the perfect patriotic cake recipe. Make it today for an easy dessert. Please leave a comment once you try it.

Close up image of a piece of Red White and Blue Cake on a white plate.

4th of July Poke Cake Recipe

4.84 from 6 votes
If you are looking for a patriotic and super easy dessert, this 4th of July Poke Cake Recipe is the one to try! With only a few ingredients, it is so easy but tastes delicious.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Chill 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 35 minutes
Servings 12
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 370

Ingredients

  • 1 White Cake Mix and all the ingredients needed on the back of the box
  • 1 Red Jello Mix
  • 1 Blue Jello Mix
  • 1 Cool Whip – 8 oz
  • Red white and blue sprinkles
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Instructions

  • Prepare cake mix as directed and bake in a 9×13 pan. Let cool for 15 minutes.
  • Poke cake with the end of a wooden spoon throughout the cake. I spaced the holes about 1″ apart on the cake.
  • Prepare both jell-o mixes as directed on the back in the box in separate bowls.
  • Then take turn spooning the jello mixes over the cake alternating the flavors per rows on the cake. Only use ½ half of each of the jello mixes as the full amounts are not needed.
  • Then chill the cake for 3 to 4 hours in a refrigerator and top with the cool whip.
  • Sprinkle the top with your favorite 4th of July sprinkles! Serve and Enjoy!

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts

Calories 370kcal, Carbohydrates 57g, Protein 4g, Fat 15g, Saturated Fat 2g, Cholesterol 3mg, Sodium 400mg, Potassium 47mg, Fiber 1g, Sugar 37g, Vitamin A 33IU, Calcium 115mg, Iron 1mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Desserts on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you create delicious desserts on a budget and do not require a ton of time. Together, we are going to make something sweet that the entire family will love!

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