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How to Make Jello Cake

Updated on April 24, 2015

Jello Cake

Picture of cherry jello cake
Picture of cherry jello cake | Source

Jello cake (also known as jello poke cake) is one of the easiest cake recipes to make. The addition of jello creates, not only a unique ribbon look to the cake, but also produce a delicous and moist cake every time.

There are literally millions of recipes for jello cake. Don't believe me, google "Jello Cake" and you will get over 10 million hits.

One of the best things about jello cake is you can make it different each time. There are dozens of flavors of jello to choose from and dozens of cake recipes, when combined, make the jello cake possibilities endless.

This recipe uses store bought cake and store bought jello, but feel free to use your own custom cake recipe. The instructions are interchangeable.

Cherry Jello Confetti Cake

Picture of slice of cherry jello cake
Picture of slice of cherry jello cake | Source

Cherry Jello Cake Recipe

One of our favorite jello poke cake recipes is cherry jello and confetti cake.

For this cherry jello cake recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 Box Cherry Jello - Jello mix and hot water
  • 1 Box Pillsbury Funfetti Cake Mix - eggs, vegetable oil, and water
  • Stick Butter - just to grease pan

We used an 11 x 9 inch cake pan for our cake. But you can also use a round cake pan or a square cake pan.

We used the larger pan because we wanted thinner cake pieces. The jello cake was for a 3 year old's birthday party and we wanted smaller pieces for the children.

Mix Pillsbury Confetti cake
Mix Pillsbury Confetti cake | Source
Using stick butter, grease bottom and sides of pan
Using stick butter, grease bottom and sides of pan | Source
Pour batter into greased baking pan
Pour batter into greased baking pan | Source
Poke holes in cake using toothpick or fork
Poke holes in cake using toothpick or fork | Source
After the cherry jello has been poured evenly over cake.
After the cherry jello has been poured evenly over cake. | Source
Once cake has called, spread thin layer of Cool Whip
Once cake has called, spread thin layer of Cool Whip | Source

Step 1: Make the cake

Whether you are using store bought cake or a box cake the steps are the same. You make the cake first.

For this recipe, we just followed the recipe on the back of the Pillsbury Funfetti Cake box.

We used the stick butter to grease the bottom and sides of the pan to keep the cake from sticking.

Also, the instructions say to cook from 22-25 minutes. Since the jello helps keep the cake moist already, we baked the cake closer to the max time than the minimum time. Around 24 minutes.

Allow the cake to cool before poking the holes and adding the jello.

Step 2: Poke holes in the cake

Make sure the cake is cool and has set before you begin poking holes in it. If you do it too soon, it can cause the cake to fall and not form properly.

We used a toothpick to poke holes in the cake, to create really tiny ribbons of color in the cake. We created rows of holes using the toothpick. Each hole in the rows were close together (1/4 inc) but the rows were about an inch apart. This is time consuming.

For a faster preparation, use a fork to poke holes in the cake. Making rows of holes about 1 inch apart.

Step 3: Make the jello

Make sure the cake is nice and cool before you prepare the jello. You want to be able to pour the jello on the cake while it is hot, but you want to give the cake a chance to set and cool before hand.

To prepare the jello, simply follow the instructions on the box of the jello.

Once the jello is prepared simply pour over the cake, making sure to cover the entire cake evenly. The jello will seep into the cake.

Step 4: Refrigerate jello cake

Once you have poured the jello over the entire cake, cover the cake and place in the refrigerator to cool. You can leave the cake in to refrigerate overnight before you apply the cool whip if you want.

I recommend allowing the cake to refrigerate for at least an hour or two, before you try to spread the cool whip.

Step 5: Spread the Cool Whip

Once you jello cake has been refrigerating for at least an hour or two, it should be cool enough for you to spread the Cool Whip.

I typically take the Cool Whip out of the freezer about 30 minutes prior to applying to the cake. This allows the Cool Whip to soften to make spreading easier.

Use a spatula to spread a thin (or thick) layer of Cool Whip across the top of the cake.

Step 6: Enjoy

Once the Cool Whip has been applied, there is nothing stopping you from digging into this deliciously moist cherry jello cake. Enjoy!

Jello Cake Variations

There are too many jello cake combinations to mention. When making jello cake, have fun and be creative. Try different flavor jellos with different flavor cakes.

For toppings, we like the Cool Whip because it's not too sweet. Sometimes using frosting with the jello makes it way to sweet.

Use fresh fruit toppings, or cherry sauce, or caramelized bananas. The possibilities are endless!


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    • Novel Treasure profile image

      Novel Treasure 5 years ago from US

      We have whipped cream but the kind that comes in a can, which is not the same as cool whip. Cool whip is a lighter, more easily spread type of topping. I have never had real whipped cream so I don't know how similar it is to cool whip. I guess I would compare it to like a meringue maybe??

    • profile image

      Yveske 5 years ago

      Looks like a fun cake to make with/for the kids.

      Is cool whip like whipped cream? You see it a lot in recipes but it seems it is a US thing. Case cool whip is nowhere to be found in Belgium/Europe.