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4th of July Poke Cake

A fun and easy dessert for 4th of July, Memorial Day, or Labor Day. Make it ahead of time for a stress-free summer party.

When you need a no-fuss summer dessert that’s still festive and pretty, turn to this cool and creamy Patriotic poke cake recipe.

square of cake with topping and sprinkles

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

  • It’s beautiful and festive with color from the Jello swirls and the sprinkles
  • It’s simple to make and can be prepared ahead of time for a stress-free party
  • This cake is moist, creamy, and delicious

This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.

ingredients for cake on counter

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You’ll need the following for this festive summer cake:

  • White cake mix
  • Ingredients to prepare cake mix (typically egg whites, water, and oil)
  • Berry blue jello mix
  • Strawberry jello mix
  • Water
  • Whipped topping such as Cool Whip
  • Patriotic sprinkles
  • 9 x 13 baking dish
  • Mixing bowl
  • Small bowls
  • Spatula


Step One Make the cake

mixing bowl of batter and baked cake

To make the boxed cake, simply follow the instructions on the package for a 9 x 3 baking dish. Remove the cake from the oven and poke it all over with a skewer or straw. Allow 30 minutes for cooling in the pan after following the directions on the box.

Step Two: Prepare the blue and red jello liquid

bowls of blue and white jello spooned on to cake

Make the liquid for the Jello. In two separate bowls, combine 1/4 cup of hot water with each portion of Jello powder. Then stir in 1/4 cup of cold water.

Pour the liquid over the cake. Using a spoon, distribute the mixture over the cake. You don’t have to use all of the liquid. Cover the cake and refrigerate for 4 hours. The Jello needs this chilling time to set up and keep its pattern in the cake.

Step three Top and serve!

9 x 13 dish of frosted cake

Add a topping of cool whip and sprinkles. Refrigerate again if not used right away.

🥫 Storage instructions

The cake needs to be refrigerated and stay delicious in the fridge for two days. After that, it will start to get overly soft.

Poke cake does not freeze well.

baking dish with missing cake pieces

🔍 FAQs

Can I use frosting instead of whipped cream?

Yes, you can use frosting or a different topping instead of whipped cream. But it will be pretty sweet!

Do I have to use the blue Jello?

Nope, you can do just red and add a blue frosting or extra blue sprinkles to the top of the cake, so you still get that 4th of July effect!

Is this a make-ahead dessert?

Yes, You can make up this cake two days in advance. Keep it covered in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

  • Make sure to grab a box of white cake mix so that the swirled colors from the blue and red Jello come through.
  • Use a spoon or spatula to pour, rather than pouring directly from the bowl, to control the amount that goes on the cake.
  • For a decorative flourish, use fresh raspberries or blueberries to create the shape of a flag on top of your Jello poke cake!

📘 Related Recipes

🍽 Serve it with

square piece of cake with patriotic sprinkles

📖 Here’s the recipe

square cake on plate
5 from 1 vote

4th of July Poke Cake

Print Recipe
A fun and easy dessert for 4th of July, Memorial Day, or Labor Day. Make it ahead of time for a stress-free summer party.
Prep Time:30 minutes
Cook Time:20 minutes
Chilling time:1 day 21 hours
Total Time:1 day 21 hours 50 minutes
Click here to grab a free seasonal e-cookbook!


  • 9 x 13 baking dish
  • Mixing bowl
  • Small bowls
  • Spatula


  • 1 box White cake mix
  • Ingredients to prepare cake mix (typically egg whites, water, and oil)
  • 3 tablespoons Berry blue jello mix
  • 3 tablespoons Strawberry jello mix
  • 16 ounce Whipped topping such as cool whip
  • Patriotic sprinkles


  • Make the boxed cake. Bake cake as directed on box in a 9×13 pan, and allow it to cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes. Poke it evenly with a skewer or straw.
  • Make the Jello liquid. In separate bowls, combine each portion of Jello powder with 1/4 cup of hot water. Add 1/4 cup of cold water to each.
  • Pour over cake. Using a spoon, pour the mixture over the cake. You dont have to use all the liquid. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.
  • Top and serve. Top with cool whip and sprinkles. Serve immediately or refrigerate again.


Try not to mix the colors as you pour, or you’ll have some purple spots.
If you prefer to frost your cake with frosting, that works too.
See this recipe for tips on arranging a flag design on your cake using raspberriess and blueberries.  


Calories: 269kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 27mg | Potassium: 29mg | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 21IU | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 4th of july poke cake, easy summer dessert, patriotic poke cake, red white and blue poke cake
Servings: 16 slices
Calories: 269kcal
Author: Katie Shaw
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