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Old Fashioned Cherry Poke Cake

This is such an easy and fun cake to make. It’s a shortcut recipe but, no one would know from looking and tasting this fabulous old fashioned cherry poke cake. It’s the best! 

Course Cake, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cake mix, cherry cake, cherry pie filling, cherry poke cake, cool whip topping, Jello, poke cake
Servings 12
Author Pam


  • 1 box cake mix, any of the white or vanilla flavors, plus ingredients on the box
  • 1 small box chery or black cherry sugar free Jell-O mix, 3 ounce box
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 can cherry pie filling, 21 ounce can, save one tablespoon for cool whip topping
  • 1 8 ounce tub cool whip
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 ice cubes
  • 1 or 2 drops pink food gel or color, this is optional
  • aerosol whipped cream plus a maraschino cherry for garnish, this is optional 


  1. 1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees, spray a 13 X 9 cake pan with cooking spray and set aside.

    Prepare cake mix with ingredients on back of box. Add in the 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Bake as per directions on box.After you take the cake out of the oven. Let pan cool on a wire rack for a little while. About 15 minutes should be good.While the cake is cooling, get your Jell-O mixture ready. In a medium to large heat proof bowl, pour box of Jell-O into the bowl, add boiling water and using a whisk, mix until dissolved completely. Add in the two ice cubes just to cool down the mixture. If they don’t dissolve quickly, take them out with a spoon then mix again. With the handle of a wooden mixing spoon or a wooden skewer, poke holes all over the cake. If using the wooden skewer make sure you poke a lot of holes. If using a wooden handle, poke holes about 1 inch apart.Now, pour the dissolved Jell-O over the cake and let it seep into the holes. Sometimes I move the cake pan or tap the bottom lightly to make the Jell-O seep down faster. Try to pour right after you make the Jell-0 because it can start to set up fast. Place in fridge for about 10 minutes. Take out and spread the can of cherries over the entire cake. Remember to save a tablespoon or so to use in the frosting.

    Put the cake back in the fridge for at least an hour. When you take it out, the cake should be cooled. Open up the Cool Whip container and mix in the 1 tablespoon of the cherry filling. Mix until the frosting turns a little pink. Or use the optional food coloring for a darker tint. Now, spread over the entire cake. Put back in fridge and let set up at least 2 hours. Take out and cut into squares, add the squiggle of optional whipped cream and a cherry for garnish. That’s it, take a bite and enjoy this delicious cake.