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Orange Creamsicle Cake starts with a simple box cake mix soaked with a mixture of orange gelatin and orange sherbet. It’s got a smooth, creamy orange creamsicle icing for the perfect refreshing dessert!

Orange Creamsicle Cake on a white plate with a silver fork next to it.

You wanna know what one of my favorite things to do is?? Dream up new recipe ideas and bring them to life! When I was in high school, I worked at an ice cream shop. One of my favorite fruity ice cream flavors was the orange dreamsicle, which was a vanilla ice cream swirled with orange sherbet. YUM!

Fast forward to turning this ice cream flavor into a cake. This easy orange creamsicle cake blew my expectations out of the water!! The vibrant orange and creamy vanilla flavors work together perfectly – orange desserts in the summer are just the best! It’s sure to be a huge hit at any gathering or special occasion!

Overhead view of an orange poke cake with an orange sherbet and pudding frosting on top.

Ingredients Needed

  • Box Cake Mix – Vanilla cake mix or white cake mix will work. You can also use a box of orange cake mix if you have that flavor on hand!
  • Oil, Eggs and Water, as listed on the cake mix boxes
  • A box of Orange Jello
  • Water
  • Orange Sherbet – If you don’t have orange sherbet, you can use orange soda instead (it’ll simply replace the melted sherbet)
  • Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
  • Milk
  • Whipped Topping, such as Cool Whip
  • Garnish – Mandarin oranges, orange zest, etc.

How to make an Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake

Bake the Cake

First, you’ll mix up a white or vanilla cake mix according to the box instructions. The box might give you the option of using whole eggs or just egg whites. You can do either option. Also, I find it easiest to make the cake batter in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or with an electric mixer.

Once the cake batter has been mixed, you’ll pour it into a 9×13″ pan and bake. You’ll know the cake is done when a toothpick pressed into the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.

A straw poking a cake.

As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, you’ll use the end of a wooden spoon, a wooden skewer or a straw to poke holes in the top of the cake.

Orange filling for a poke cake in a 2 cup liquid measuring cup.

Make the Poke Cake Filling

Next, it’s time to add all the yummy orange flavor! In a large bowl, stir together the boiling hot water and orange Jell-o until dissolved. (Don’t add cold water like the box instructs). Then stir in one cup of the orange sherbet until it’s totally melted.

Orange poke cake getting the orange gelatin mixture poured into it.

Pour the liquid jello mixture over the cake slowly, giving it time to soak into the holes. Then you’ll cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate the mixture for several hours before adding the final creamy topping layer!

Frosting to be used on an orange cake.

Make the Topping

Now that the cake is cool, you can make the topping! To do so, you’ll mix the remaining cup of sherbet (melted), the milk and the instant pudding.

Then fold in the whipped topping until it’s smooth and creamy and spread on the cake. Garnish the frosted cake with mandarin orange slices if you’d like!

Spreading the topping onto an orange poke cake.
Can I make this cake gluten free?

Yes. Making this a gluten free cake is actually quite simple! All you have to do is use a gluten free cake mix in place of the regular cake mix.

Can I lighten the cake up at all?

Sure. Use egg whites in the cake batter, use a sugar free orange gelatin, a sugar free pudding mix and a light whipped topping.

Does this cake need to be refrigerated?

Yes. This cake needs to be refrigerated because of the milk and whipped topping in the frosting. The texture of the cake is better when cold, anyways! 🙂

Can I make this into a layered cake?

Divide the cake into two parchment paper-lined round cake pans.  Poke the cakes and pour the liquid gelatin mixture on top.  Refrigerate to allow the jello to set before removing from the pans and decorating.  The frosting isn’t very sturdy so I recommend using just a little bit between layers and using most for the top and sides of the cake.

Other Flavors to Try

  • Raspberry Creamsicle – Use vanilla or white cake mix, raspberry gelatin and raspberry sherbet. Top with fresh raspberries.
  • Strawberries & Cream – Use vanilla or white cake mix, strawberry gelatin and strawberry soda (in place of the sherbet). Top with fresh strawberries.
  • Creamy Lemonade – Use a vanilla or lemon cake mix, lemon gelatin and lemon-lime soda (or lemon sherbet).
Orange creamsicle cake recipe on a plate with a bite out of it.

Other Delicious Summer Desserts

  • Creamy Lemon Pie – This is the ideal summer dessert. It’s creamy, cold and so refreshing, especially on a hot day!
  • Rainbow Sherbet Cake Roll – Colorful & fruity this dessert is perfect for the warm summer days!
  • Raspberry Cake – If you’re looking to use up some raspberries, this is the best cake!!!
  • Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes – These cupcakes have a soft, moist cake with a lemon curd filling and a cream cheese frosting – yum!
  • Berry Trifle – This gorgeous trifle is to die for!! It’s especially perfect for US holidays!
  • Strawberry Lemonade Cake – This cake has three cake layers and loads of flavor!

Orange Creamsicle Cake

Author: Kelsey
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Refrigeration Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 40 minutes
Orange Creamsicle Cake starts with a simple box cake mix soaked with a mixture of orange gelatin and orange sherbet. It's topped with a smooth, creamy orange creamsicle icing for the perfect refreshing dessert!


  • Oven
  • 1 9×13" pan


  • 1 box white cake mix plus eggs, oil and water as called for on the box
  • One 3 ounce box orange gelatin
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups orange sherbet divided
  • One 3.4 ounce box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • One 8 ounce tub whipped topping
  • mandarin oranges, for garnish if desired


  • Prepare and bake the cake according to the package instructions in a greased 9×13" pan.
  • While the cake is still hot, poke holes in the cake with the end of a wooden spoon or with a straw.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl, boil one cup of water. Stir in the orange gelatin until dissolved. Stir in one cup of the orange sherbet until melted.
  • Pour over the cake slowly, allowing the mixture to soak into the holes; refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  • In a large mixing bowl, melt the remaining cup of orange sherbet. Add the milk and pudding mix and whisk; let it set for a couple minutes to allow the pudding to thicken.
  • Add the whipped topping and fold in until smooth and well-combined.
  • Spread over the cooled cake and garnish with mandarin oranges, if desired.


Calories: 233.62kcal | Carbohydrates: 32.18g | Protein: 2.34g | Fat: 10.99g | Saturated Fat: 3.06g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.23g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4.17g | Cholesterol: 33.69mg | Sodium: 160.52mg | Potassium: 82.97mg | Fiber: 0.25g | Sugar: 13.35g | Vitamin A: 145.67IU | Vitamin C: 1.21mg | Calcium: 34.35mg | Iron: 0.59mg
“Dance Around the Kitchen” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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  1. Hi .. could you half the recipe for a 8×8 pan?? There’s only 2 of us … thanks

  2. Stephanie Aleksiejczyk says:

    I didn’t realize you could replace the sherbet with orange soda and I bought frozen orange juice because there was no sherbet. Can I use the orange juice instead

  3. Pamela Zambenini says:

    What size box of jello?

  4. Your recipe calls for orange sherbet, not sure what that is? Is it ice cream or gelatin or soda???
    Thank you