July 4th Poke Cake

Get ready for the 4th of July or any other red, white and blue holiday with this fun, festive and simple gift July 4th Poke Cake! Your guests will love it and you will make it year after year.

Slice of red, white and blue poke cake on a plate

Celebrate Independence Day in style with this delicious 4th of July poke cake recipe! This patriotic dessert is a crowd pleaser that will add a festive touch to any party or gathering. It starts with a moist vanilla cake, followed by strawberry and blue raspberry jelly, topped with fluffy whipped cream. This dessert is sure to be a hit with your family and friends.

The jelly’s red and blue colors pair well with the white cake and whipped topping to make it fun and festive for the holidays. Best of all, it’s easy to make and can be made ahead of time, giving you more time to enjoy the festivities. So fire up the grill, set off the fireworks and enjoy this delicious dessert with your loved ones!

what you will need

Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for measurements and full instructions!

  • White cake mix and ingredients as listed on the packet – and the brand of cake mix you like
  • Water
  • Strawberry jelly
  • Blue Raspberry Jello – or any other blue flavored jello
  • whipped cream
  • powdered sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • Festive Sprinkles

How to make poke cake for July 4th

  • Make the cake – Follow the directions on your cake mix, using the required egg whites, vegetable oil and water. Bake in a 13 x 9 inch skillet until done. Let it cool down for about an hour, you can do it before then.
  • poke holes – Once the cake has mostly cooled, you want to poke holes all over it. I like to use a chopstick because I think it’s the perfect size. But you can also use the handle of a wooden spoon or a knife. Just poke a few holes in the top of the cake.
  • Fill in the holes – Start by mixing red jelly with 1 cup of boiling water and stir well until jelly has dissolved. Stir in 1/2 cup cold water. Then, using a straw or meat injector syringe, fill half of the holes with red jelly. Repeat the process with the blue jelly.
  • frost – Prepare the whipped cream by whipping the cream until stiff. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and mix well. Spread on the cake. Sprinkle with festive sprinkles if desired.
  • Cool – Let the cake rest in the fridge for 2-3 hours so that the jelly mass sets and cools down. Then slice to serve.

How do you fill the holes?

Traditionally, when baking a poke cake, you simply pour the jello mixture evenly over it and let it sink into the holes. However, since you want to switch colors, it’s a bit more complicated with this cake. There are several ways to do this.

Use a straw – Make your jelly in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Then insert a straw into a hole in the cake and pour jelly into the straw. Repeat for about half of the holes.

Injection – If you have young children, you may have a medical dispenser syringe included with the children’s medicines. Or if you’re an avid griller, you might have something like this meat injector that works just fine. Just fill the syringe and squirt into the cake’s holes.

squeeze bottle – Another alternative is a spice-style squeeze bottle. If you have these handy, they work really well.

garnish cake

For this cake I simply garnished it with homemade whipped cream. You can mix it up and top it with your favorite white frosting, or you can use Cool Whip if you want a shortcut.

Storing your 4th of July poke cake

This cake is best stored in the fridge. Cover airtight and keep for 2-3 days. If you want to make this ahead of time I would freeze the day you can or at least wait until the day of your party to add the sprinkles. The crumbles may “bleed” a little in the fridge and your cake won’t be quite as pretty.

Leftover jelly

Be careful, there will be some jello left over. You don’t have to use all of the red or blue batter for the cake. You only need about half each. Traditionally, a poke cake is made in a 1-3 ounce pack, but since we’re using the two colors, we’ll have more of them. You can make layered cups similar to these red, white, and blue jelly shots, but without the alcohol. Or you can simply prepare the jelly and enjoy.

More fun summer treats

preparation time
20 minutes

cooking time
25 minutes

Extra time
2 hours

total time
2 hours 45 minutes


  • 1 (15.25 oz) white cake mix plus ingredients listed on package

  • 1 (3 oz) package strawberry jelly

  • 1 (3 oz) package Blue Jello

  • 2 cups boiling water, divided

  • 1 cup cold water, divided

  • 1 cup cream

  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 tablespoons of festive sprinkles


An 8-ounce container of Cool Whip can be used in place of homemade whipping cream

See the blog post for tips on filling the holes with red and blue jelly

Nutritional Information



serving size


amount per serving

calories 156total fat 6gSaturated Fatty Acids 3gtrans fats 0gunsaturated fat 2gcholesterol 13 mgsodium 200 mgcarbohydrates 25gfiber 0gSugar 15gprotein 1g

Nutritional Disclaimer: All information presented on this website is for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on Dinnersdishesanddesserts.com should be used as a general guide only.

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