Cherry Poke Cake Recipe – fluffy vanilla cake with dark cherry jello, topped with whipped cream topping and fresh sweet cherries. This is the one summer dessert you have to try!
Give me all the cherries (and peaches) because summer is here in a full swing!
I can never have enough of this seasons’ ripe and juicy fruit and always try to freeze a ton for the cold months. Cherries are summer’s little jewels and of course are the best enjoyed popped right into your mouth BUT they can also be gorgeous sitting on top of a piece of fluffy and light vanilla cake with cherry jello. Swoon!
This Cherry Poke Cake is very easy to make and each bite melts in your mouth. Perfect festive dessert for summer parties!
Since I don’t make traditional buttercream frostings any more ( don’t even ask me to buy it in a store), I prefer to mix whipped cream or whipped topping with pudding mix and juice like I did for my Pineapple Coconut Cake. However, for this Cherry Poke Cake I wanted the actual cake to shine and be the star, so I went simply with a layer of whipped topping.
TIP: If you love almond and cherry combo, use almond extract in place of vanilla for this cake. It is phenomenal!
Since my cherries were dark, I chose the dark cherry jello for this cake. It matches perfectly, don’t you think? It’s always so exciting to pull the first piece of a poke cake and see the gorgeous streaks of color. Festive and delicious! Of course, this recipe will work with any jello and any fruit.
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CHERRY POKE CAKE RECIPE
- 2 c all-purpose flour
- 3/4 c granulated sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 c vegetable oil
- 1 c buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract OR 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 3.5 oz package cherry jello (I used dark)
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 8 oz tub of whipped topping ( like Cool Whip) or 2 cups whipped cream
- 12 to 14 fresh cherries with stems , for decoration
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour a 9" x 13" baking pan.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and coconut). In another mixing bowl or large measuring cup, mix together buttermilk, oil, eggs and coconut extract.
The batter should be smooth and thick.
Place the batter into prepared baking pan.
Bake 28 - 32 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cool cake in pan for 15 minutes.
In the meantime, in a medium mixing bowl, stir together jello powder and boiling water. Stir until dissolved, about 2 minutes. Add cold water and stir.
Poke holes in cake using a fork or a wooden skewer. Pour jello over the cake.
Chill in fridge for 3 hours. (see note)
Spread whipped topping over cooled cake. Chill in fridge for 1 hour.
Slice cake into pieces. Garnish with fresh cherries just before serving.
If you are baking the cake in a glass pan, do not place in the fridge while it's still hot or it may crack. After pouring jello over cake, let the cake sit on the counter for another 15 to 20 minutes (preferably on a cooling rack). Then chill in fridge.