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Easy 3 Ingredient Gelatin Poke Cake

It’s easy to dress up a boxed cake mix to bake a gelatin poke cake. I have a ways to go before getting more comfortable baking from scratch. In the meantime, we treat ourselves to easy dessert solutions.


Pink Lemonade Jello Poke Cake

When I asked Rissa to help me bake a cake she got very excited. I had picked up a couple box mixes from ALDI and one had a recipe for a gelatin poke cake on the back. The original plan was to make a white cake with strawberry jello. Unfortunately I was a bit tired and Rissa was TOO excited so she kept hanging off me and begging to “do it.”

So 3 egg whites ended up being 3 eggs added (which was exactly what we had left). I figured it wasn’t a huge deal and let my daughter mix the batter. I thought it seemed thick, but dumped it into a pan anyway. But there was only enough for one 8×8. That couldn’t be right….

I added only 1/4 cup of water instead of 1 and 1/4. A great lesson in reading directions closely. I tried to save the batter by adding the missing cup. Oh what a fail that idea was…. It wouldn’t mix in and the batter looked like lumpy dumplings in a bowl of skim milk.

It was ruined. How the hell does one mess up a box mix cake? I mean seriously?

I got upset and dumped it in the trash. Thoughts of chucking my mixing bowl against the wall danced in my head until my toddler wailed. She didn’t understand why mommy was throwing away the cake batter she stirred. She was crying like I was punishing her or something.

Quickly I composed myself and explained it was not her fault but mommy messed it up. I didn’t have any more eggs so I could not make a new one… Except mommy knew a special trick.

We still had pink lemonade cake mix and frosting that I bought before getting gestational diabetes with my last pregnancy. Plus we had soda. Cake night saved!

3 Ingredient Gelatin Poke Cake


  • Any box mix (I used Pillsbury Pink Lemonade mix
  • One can of soda; diet or regular (I used Mountain Dew)
  • Any flavor gelatin (I used strawberry jello)


  1. Pour cake mix into a bowl. Crack open the soda and stir it into the mix.
  2. Bake the cake as directed on the box and based on your cake pan(s)
  3. 20130224-234911.jpg

  4. Let cake cool for about 15 minutes then poke holes in it.
  5. Mix the gelatin as directed on the box (dissolving in hot water then stirring in cold) then pour it over the cake
  6. Refrigerate for at least 4 hrs so the gelatin firms up
  7. Frost it! Eat it!

What kinds of last minute substitutes have you used while baking?

Amina Bai Advany Maglajlić

Sunday 31st of March 2013

Thank you soooo much. I have read so many poke cake recipes and I've made 3 and every time it's been a fail. What have I done so exceptionally wrong? I needed to let the cake cool before pouring on the jello and then it needs to cool the 4 hours before serving. Such a simple step and so many poke cake recipes do not say that. Just so you know you can also make the jello with one can of soda (I used cream soda and it was amazing) tasted great never set properly though, however it set better than the other 2 :)

Darcy Zalewski

Tuesday 2nd of April 2013

Glad to have helped! Sometimes steps that seem obvious need to be written out.


Monday 25th of February 2013

So easy and so fun, and you can do so many different flavor combinations!

Darcy Zalewski

Wednesday 27th of February 2013

That's what I love about this recipe - it's so versatile yet simple.


Monday 25th of February 2013

What a fun idea for a cake! My kids would love making this.

Darcy Zalewski

Wednesday 27th of February 2013

Since the stirring and measurements are pretty easy it is definitely a good one for the kids to help with (especially the really young crowd like mine).