Red White and Blue Poke Cake with Sprinkles

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How to make a red, white, and blue poke cake for the 4th of July and patriotic celebrations. Easy Jello cake dessert recipe with whipped cream and sprinkles.

Jello cake is such a refreshing dessert; there's really no other way to describe it. And this 4th of July Jello cake is the perfect summer dessert.

slice of red white and blue poke cake with whipped cream and sprinkles on white plate with fork

I've loved Jello cake ever since I was a little girl. It was Mom's go to dessert back in the day, and I remember the excitement I felt as I watched her cover it and place it in the fridge to chill for dessert.

This 4th of July poke cake is made with a white cake mix. Once it's baked, you poke a few holes and turn it into a red, white, and blue Jello cake by alternately pouring blue and red Jello over the tiny holes, so it soaks down into the cake.

I like to spread whipped topping all over the top of the cake and then chill it overnight so everything really melds together to create a cold, refreshing, flavorful dessert.

Then when it comes out of the fridge, sprinkle a few patriotic sprinkles on top, and you've got a beautiful holiday dessert.

A patriotic poke cake is the perfect way to celebrate Independence Day with friends and family. It also works wonderfully for Memorial Day, Veterans Day, or any other type of patriotic remembrance or celebration.

Another one of my favorite red, white, and blue desserts is strawberry Jello flag cake covered in whipped cream, strawberries, and blueberries.

sliced 4th of July poke cake in blue baking dish

WHERE CAN I FIND THE ACTUAL RECIPE CARD?

If you’d rather skip all of my poke cake tips, important baking info for this recipe, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to the cake recipe – just scroll down to the bottom, where you’ll find a printable recipe card.

INGREDIENTS YOU'LL NEED:

  • White cake mix – I also love using a French vanilla cake mix.
  • Water
  • Eggs
  • Canola oil
  • Blue Jello – I use Berry Blue.
  • Red Jello – I use strawberry, but you can use cherry or raspberry too.
  • Cool Whip – You can also make Dream Whip or homemade whipped cream.
  • Patriotic Sprinkles – I used these mini star sprinkles.

Remember, all of the ingredient amounts you’ll need are in the printable recipe card below.

KITCHEN TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT YOU'LL NEED:

Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer and Large Bowl

Spatula

9×13 Baking Dish or Cake Pan

Pyrex Measuring Cups – I also used a funnel pitcher, which worked great for pouring the Jello where I wanted it.

HOW TO MAKE A RED WHITE AND BLUE POKE CAKE

Before you get started, go ahead and pre-heat your oven to 350° F, or whatever temperature it says on your cake mix box.

Then just follow these steps…

  1. Mix together the cake mix, water, eggs, and canola oil.
mixing cake mix with water, eggs, and canola oil in metal KitchenAid mixing bowl
  1. Pour the cake batter into a greased 9×13 baking dish or cake pan, and bake according to the package directions on your cake mix.
white cake batter in 9x13 baking dish on white marble countertop
  1. When the cake is fully baked, remove it from the oven, and allow it to cool for 15-20 minutes.
white cake baked in 9x13 baking dish
  1. Meanwhile, mix half of the blue Jello mix (1.5 ounces) with 1/2 cup boiling water 'til the Jello mix dissolves. Then add 1/4 cup cold water, and mix well.
stirring berry blue Jello in glass Pyrex measuring cup with fork
  1. Then mix half of the red Jello mix (1.5 ounces) with 1/2 cup boiling water 'til the Jello mix dissolves. Add 1/4 cup cold water, and mix well.
stirring red strawberry Jello in funnel pitcher with fork
  1. Poke holes all over the top of the slightly cooled but still warm cake with a fork. I find that a fork works really well, but you can also use the handle of a wooden spoon or a wooden skewer if you want bigger holes.
poking poke cake with fork in 9x13 baking dish
  1. Carefully and slowly pour the blue and red Jello mixture alternately over the entire cake. I skip around with the red Jello, and then I fill in the rest of the cake with the blue. A funnel pitcher works great for this.
red white and blue Jello cake with red and blue Jello soaking into cake in baking dish
  1. Allow the cake to cool completely.
  2. Then spread Cool Whip or whipped topping over the top of the entire cake.
spreading Cool Whip whipped topping with spatula over top of patriotic poke cake in baking dish
  1. Chill the cake for at least 4 hours, or better yet overnight, before serving.
  2. Before serving, sprinkle patriotic sprinkles all over the top of the cake, as many or as few as you want. Then slice and serve the cake.
4th of July poke cake covered in whipped topping and mini star sprinkles, sliced in blue baking dish

Just a note: I like to wait until after chilling to add the sprinkles, so they don't bleed into the whipped cream and ruin the look of the cake.

WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVER JELLO MIX

I just take my leftover Jello mixes, put them together in a bowl, and make Jello according to package directions. It makes a mixed berry Jello that almost tastes like grape, and my boys love it.

You can also use it to make a batch of Jello Jigglers, or make festive layered Jello cups.

slice of red white and blue patriotic poke cake on white plate with fork

HOW TO CHANGE JELLO CAKE TO FIT OTHER HOLIDAYS

Poke cake opens up a whole new world of possibilities for other holidays too. It's a way to add some festive fun to your holiday dessert table, no matter what you're celebrating.

Here are a few ideas that will hopefully spark your imagination…

  • Valentine's Day – Make it with red Jello and cover with pink whipped cream and Valentine sprinkles.
  • St. Patrick's Day – Use green Jello, and sprinkle the top with edible gold confetti and shamrock-shaped sprinkles, or better yet Lucky Charms type cereal marshmallows. You can also make lime vanilla poke cupcakes or use all the rainbow colors of Jello and make a rainbow Jello cake.
  • Easter – Think pastels… Lemon, Berry Blue, Strawberry, Lime, and Grape Jello, along with Easter sprinkles, will make a beautiful Easter poke cake.
  • Halloween – Use orange and purple Jello, or use green and purple Jello, combining forces to make it fit whatever theme you're going for. You can add Halloween sprinkles and candy corn too, and you can even color the Cool Whip to make it purple, green, or orange.
  • Christmas – Go with red and green Jello, and top it off with Christmas sprinkles galore.
red white and blue Fourth of July poke cake with bite taken out with fork on white plate

MORE 4TH OF JULY DESSERTS:

GET THE PRINTABLE RECIPE

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Yield: 15

Red White and Blue Poke Cake with Sprinkles

Red White and Blue Poke Cake with Sprinkles

How to make a red white and blue poke cake for the 4th of July and patriotic celebrations. Easy Jello cake dessert recipe with whipped cream and sprinkles.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Chill Time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 box (16.25 ounce) white cake mix*
  • 1 cup water*
  • 3 large eggs*
  • 1/2 cup canola oil*
  • 1/2 box (1.5 ounces) blue Jello
  • 1/2 box (1.5 ounces) red Jello
  • 1 cup boiling water, divided
  • 1/2 cup cold water, divided
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip*
  • 1/3 cup sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350° F, or whatever temperature it says on your specific cake mix box.
  2. Mix together the cake mix, water, eggs, and canola oil.
  3. Pour the cake batter into a greased 9×13 baking dish or cake pan, and bake according to the package directions on your cake mix.
  4. When the cake is fully baked, remove it from the oven, and allow it to cool for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, mix half of the blue Jello mix (1.5 ounce) with 1/2 cup boiling water 'til the Jello mix dissolves. Then add 1/4 cup cold water, and mix well.
  6. Then mix half of the red Jello mix (1.5 ounce) with 1/2 cup boiling water 'til the Jello mix dissolves. Add 1/4 cup cold water, and mix well.
  7. Poke holes all over the top of the slightly cooled but still warm cake with a fork. I find that a fork works really well, but you can also use the handle of a wooden spoon or a wooden skewer if you want bigger holes.
  8. Carefully and slowly pour the blue and red Jello mixture alternately over the entire cake. I skip around with the red Jello, and then I fill in the rest of the cake with the blue. A funnel pitcher works great for this.
  9. Allow the cake to cool completely.
  10. Then spread Cool Whip or whipped topping over the top of the entire cake.
  11. Chill the cake for at least 4 hours, or better yet overnight, before serving.
  12. Before serving, sprinkle patriotic sprinkles all over the top of the cake, as many or as few as you want.* Then slice and serve the cake.

Notes

*I also love to use French Vanilla cake mix.

*Amounts may differ on the water, eggs, and canola oil, depending on the brand/type of cake mix you use. Follow package instructions for your specific cake mix.

*You can also make Dream Whip or homemade whipped cream.

*Just a note about sprinkles: I like to wait until after chilling to add the sprinkles, so they don't bleed into the whipped cream and ruin the look of the cake.

WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVER JELLO MIX

I just take my leftover Jello mixes, put them together in a bowl, and make Jello according to package directions. It makes a mixed berry Jello that almost tastes like grape, and my boys love it. You can also use it to make a batch of Jello Jigglers, or make festive layered Jello cups.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

15

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 283Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 281mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 0gSugar: 22gProtein: 3g

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