An easy 4th of July poke cake recipe made with jello and topped with cool whip and an American flag made of fresh strawberries and blueberries.
If you are looking for festive and patriotic 4th of July desserts this red, white, and blue jello poke cake recipe is for you.
All you need for this easy flag cake recipe is a box of white cake mix, eggs, oil, red and blue jello mix, Cool Whip, and water.
The light and fluffy flag cake is poked, filled with jello, and topped with cool whip and fresh fruit, like my strawberry poke cake.
Served chilled, this flag jello poke cake makes a perfect summer dessert for not only the 4th of July but Memorial Day, Flag Day, and Labor Day as well.
This section includes ingredient notes and substitution options. Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
- White cake mix— plus water, eggs, and oil as called for on the box. I used Pillsbury but any white cake mix will work.
- Cherry Jello mix— or strawberry Jello
- Berry blue Jello mix— or blue raspberry
- Water— you will need both boiling water and cold water to prepare the jello mix before pouring it onto the cake.
- Cool Whip— thawed in the fridge overnight. You can substitute with homemade whipped cream if you prefer but keep in mind that it doesn’t keep as well as Cool Whip does so you should wait to add it until you are ready to serve.
- Fruit— fresh blueberries and fresh, sliced strawberries for creating the American flag on top
How to Make 4th of July Cake with Jello
This section shows you how to make the recipe with step-by-step photos and instructions. For the full printable recipe, see the recipe card below.
Step 1: Prepare the cake mix in a 9×13 pan as directed on the package. Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes after removing it from the oven.
Step 2: Meanwhile, prepare the jello mixes by combining each with 1 cup of boiling water, whisking until dissolved, then whisking in ½ cup cold water. Using the end of a wooden spoon or a large straw, poke holes throughout the cake. Spoon the jello in the holes, alternating between blue and red jello.
Step 3: Cover and refrigerate the cake for at least 3 hours to allow the jello to set.
Step 4: Spread the whipped topping evenly on top cake and arrange the berries in a flag pattern as shown.
Slice, serve, and enjoy!
Cover and refrigerate leftover 4th of july poke cake for up to 3 days.
Tips and Tricks
- If you have a food syringe it makes filling holes with jello super neat and easy. Otherwise, a spoon works just fine.
- Try adding red, white, and blue sprinkles to the cake mix for a funfetti look.
- Rather skip the fruit? You can top the cake with red, white, and blue sprinkle instead (but it won’t be a flag cake).
- Switch up the jello flavors and colors for different holidays and events, like we did for this red and green Christmas poke cake.
Flag Poke Frequently Asked Questions
This cake is perfect for making ahead because it actually tastes better the next day after the jello has more time to infuse the cake with flavor. Prepare the cake the day before you plan on serving it and let it chill overnight. Then add the whipped topping and fruit just before serving.
I have found that the handle of a wooden spoon is usually the perfect size for poking holes in a poke cake. If you don’t have one no worries, you can use a chopstick, large fork, or straw instead.
Typically I have found 40-55 holes to be the perfect amount for poke cakes. However, if you are using a fork or something else that creates small holes you will like need more.
More 4th of July Dessert Ideas
- Patriotic berry trifle – an easy no-bake dessert perfect for a crowd
- 4th of July jello cups – another tasty option for enjoying jello on the fourth
- Firecracker cupcakes – vanilla cupcakes topped with “fireworks” made out of candy
4th of July Poke Cake
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- 1 box, 15 or 16 ounces white cake mix
- water, oil and eggs as called for on cake mix box
- 1 3 ounce box cherry Jello mix
- 1 3 ounce box berry blue Jello mix
- 2 cups boiling water, divided
- 1 cup cold water, divided
- 1 8 ounce Cool Whip, thawed
- 1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
- ½ cup fresh blueberries
- Prepare the cake mix in a 9×13 pan as directed on the package. Bake then allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes after removing it from the oven.
- Meanwhile, prepare the jello by combining cherry jello mix with 1 cup of boiling water and whisking until completely dissolved. Whisk in ½ cup cold water and set aside.
- Repeat the process to prepare the blue jello and set aside.
- Using the end of a wooden spoon, poke holes throughout the top of the cake.
- Spoon the jello in the holes, alternating between blue and red jello.
- Cover and refrigerate the cake for at least 3 hours to allow the jello to set.
- Spread the whipped topping evenly over the top of the cake.
- Arrange the blueberries and sliced strawberries in a flag pattern on top of the cake.
- Serve and enjoy!
The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by a third party and intended to serve as an estimate only. The accuracy of nutritional information is not guaranteed.
Elizabeth Anne Mohr says
I have the original 1990s recipe.l found it online.And the reason that l know it’s the original recipe is because the website that l had gotten the original recipe from.Had taken a picture of the original recipe. I don’t know if I can say another website on here.lf you want to know the website that l got the original recipe from l will tell you by email.If l get permission from the owner(s)to put up the website on here.Then please owners email me.And l will gladly put it on up.NOT a problem.Thank you,
Jaclyn Shimmel says
Hi Elizabeth and thank you for your comment. Jello poke cakes really are such a timeless classic. I believe that jello poke cakes actually date as far back as the 1970s. This strawberry jello poke cake uses the original recipe, which works with any flavor of jello.
Tiffany Willenbrock says
Hello, I know it’s last minute, I have the cake in the fridge now. Planning on bringing over to in-laws, should I decorate with whipped cream and fruit before going over or should I leave it in the fridge as is and by the time night rolls around after dinner, then head back to decorate and bring over straight away? My guess is no one will eat the cake until 7-8 after everyone is done with dinner. Just wondering, all I have is a cooler because my mil most likely doesn’t have room in her fridge for it. I didn’t want the flag to get ruined if it doesn’t stayed chilled enough.
Jaclyn Shimmel says
Sorry for the late reply but I would recommend keeping it in the fridge rather than the cooler for as long as possible and topping it just before serving.
I’ve made a few poke cakes each time it ends up being too moist and soggy! Help please!
Jaclyn Shimmel says
Poke cakes should be moist but shouldn’t be soggy. Did you keep the cake refrigerated?