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With a lemon cake base, strawberry Jell-O and real strawberry pieces, this moist Strawberry Lemonade Poke Cake is light, flavorful and a “piece of cake” to put together!

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A slice of strawberry lemonade poke cake on a white plate with a lemon curl and diced strawberries on top.

​Especially on a warm summer day, there’s something perfect about a light and fruity dessert to finish off a meal!  This poke cake has all the flavors of my layered Strawberry Lemonade Cake recipe, but in different form.  

It’s full of flavor, filled with Jello and topped with a smooth, creamy lemony topping – just delightful!

Ingredients needed to make Strawberry Lemonade Poke Cake on a white backdrop.

Ingredients Needed

  • Cake Mix – Lemon cake mix is my go-to, but you could also use a yellow or white cake mix and use lemonade for the water when you mix up the batter.
  • Lemon Zest – You’ll use the zest in the cake batter and on top for garnish.  You’ll need the zest of about one whole lemon.
  • Strawberry Gelatin – aka Strawberry Jell-O.
  • Water – You’ll need boiling hot water and cold water.
  • Strawberries – You can use fresh strawberries or frozen, thawed and drained strawberries.
  • Instant Lemon Pudding Mix 
  • Powdered Sugar 
  • Milk – 2% or whole is my preference for this cake.
  • Whipped Topping – aka Cool Whip.

How to Make Strawberry Lemonade Poke Cake

There are really three main steps when making this cake recipe.

Make the Cake

You’ll mix up the cake mix according to the box directions and add some lemon zest to boost the flavor.  Bake the cake in a 9 by 13-inch pan greased with nonstick cooking spray.

Once the cake comes out of the oven, you will poke it with the handle of a wooden spoon or a thick straw and set aside.

​Make the Filling

In a bowl, whisk together the strawberry jello mix and a cup of water (boiling) until the gelatin is dissolved.  Then you’ll stir in the cold water and diced strawberries.

Pour this mixture over top of the cake slowly and cover with a lid or plastic wrap.

A poke cake filled with strawberry jello and diced strawberries.

​Let the cake cool in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight to give the gelatin a chance to set up.

Make the Fluffy Lemon Frosting

In a large bowl, whisk together the pudding mix, powdered sugar and cold mix.  Let it set for about 5 minutes.

Fold in the whipped cream then spread over the cake.

A cake topped with a lemon frosting, diced strawberries and lemon zest.

How to Garnish this Delicious Dessert

I like topping this cake with diced or fresh sliced strawberries and a little lemon zest!  You could also top with sprinkles or keep it plain!

A sliced of Strawberry Lemonade Poke Cake with a bite out of it on a white plate garnished with diced strawberries.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does jello cake need to be refrigerated?

Yes!  This cake will stay good in the fridge for 3-5 days.

Can I freeze jello cake?

I don’t recommend it.  The freeze/thaw process will make the cake a bit soggy and the texture simply won’t be the same!

Why is my poke cake soggy?

A poke cake with Jell-O should be moist, but not soggy.  If it is, make sure you used the correct amount of water when mixing up the gelatin and gave the cake plenty of time to chill in the fridge for the gelatin to set.  

A sliced of Strawberry Lemonade Poke Cake with a bite out of it on a white plate garnished with diced strawberries and a lemon curl.

Other Easy Poke Cake Recipes

A slice of strawberry lemonade poke cake on a white plate with a lemon curl and diced strawberries on top.

Strawberry Lemonade Poke Cake

Author: Kelsey
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Chill Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 55 minutes
24
With a lemon cake base, strawberry Jell-O and real strawberry pieces, this moist Strawberry Lemonade Poke Cake is light, flavorful and perfect for any occasion!

Equipment

  • One 9×13-inch pan

Ingredients
 

Cake

  • One box lemon cake mix plus ingredients listed on box
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

Filling

  • One 3 ounce box strawberry Jell-O
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2/3 cup cold water
  • 1 cup finely chopped strawberries

Topping

  • One 3.4 ounce box instant lemon pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • One 8 ounce tub whipped topping
  • additional diced strawberries and lemon zest for garnish optional

Instructions

Make the Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350℉ and grease a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray.
  • Mix the cake mix according to the package instructions then stir in the lemon zest.
    One box lemon cake mix, 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake as package instructions state.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and use the end of a wooden spoon to poke holes into the cake.

Make the Filling

  • Pour the strawberry Jell-O into a mixing bowl; pour the boiling water on top and whisk until the sugar in the Jell-O is dissolved.
    One 3 ounce box strawberry Jell-O, 1 cup boiling water
  • Stir in the cold water and the diced strawberries.
    2/3 cup cold water, 1 cup finely chopped strawberries
  • Slowly pour the mixture over the cake, allowing time for it to soak into all of the holes.
  • Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.

Make the Topping and Garnish the Cake

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the instant lemon pudding mix, powdered sugar and milk. Let set for 5 minutes to thicken.
    One 3.4 ounce box instant lemon pudding mix, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 cup milk
  • Fold the whipped topping into the pudding mixture until combined.
    One 8 ounce tub whipped topping
  • Spread over the chilled cake.
  • Top the cake with diced strawberries and lemon zest, if desired.
    additional diced strawberries and lemon zest for garnish

Nutrition

Calories: 188kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 2.2g | Fat: 7.7g | Saturated Fat: 2.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2.8g | Cholesterol: 28.8mg | Sodium: 150mg | Potassium: 48mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 13.5g | Vitamin A: 31.9IU | Vitamin C: 4.3mg | Calcium: 26.7mg | Iron: 0.14mg
“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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