Christmas Poke Cake


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Christmas Poke Cake is a moist & tasty holiday cake made with cake mix and Jello. Make this easy recipe for a simple Christmas Jello dessert. Jello poke cakes are easy and tasty desserts you just have to try!

Piece of Christmas Poke Cake with a fork.


Poke Cakes are one of the easiest vintage desserts to make. Holiday versions are always great for parties and potlucks. This Christmas Poke Cake with red and green Jello colors is so festive and it happens to be one of my favorites to make for Christmas dessert.

Other Christmas Cake recipes that I have shared like Red Velvet Poke Cake Recipe or Zinger Poke Cake recipe work well for the holiday too. Both of those poke cakes are impressive. Since they start with a boxed cake mix, they are easy to make too!

Closeup of Christmas Jello Poke Cake on a white plate.

Poke Cakes involve poking cake and adding Jello Gelatin or pudding to make your cakes way more moist and tasty. For this Christmas Poke Cake, we went with some cherry Jello and lime Jello. Combined with a white cake mix, you get all those classic Christmas colors.

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Colors aside, our finished Christmas Jello Poke Cake ended up so moist with a good touch of tasty fruit flavors. It was so easy to make too: if you’re in need of some easy Christmas desserts, something like our Christmas Jello Cake might be the perfect choice. You get to take a few shortcuts and still get a tasty Christmas Jello dessert that’s going to leave people coming back for seconds!

Whole piece of Christmas Jello Cake on a white plate.

Why you’ll love this Christmas Poke Cake with Jello

  • You’ll have a hard time finding an easy cake recipe that’s this simple and tasty at the same time. Using cake mix, turning it into poke cake, and adding the Jello is such a dead simple to get a moist and delicious cake without a bunch of extra effort. You can save even more time by going with a simple Cool Whip topping like we did here!
  • Flavor-wise, our Christmas Jello Cake is definitely a treat. White cake mix is one of our favorites and it pairs really well with the lime and cherry Jello mix. Of course, you can also swap out Jello flavors and find a flavor combo you like even more.
  • Jello Poke Cake recipes will hold up really well in the fridge. Since it’ll last a good 4-5 days in the fridge at least, you could easily prep this Christmas Cake like a make ahead poke cake. If you want to prep it even further in advance, you can even give freezing it a shot!

Christmas Poke Cake Ingredients

One of the best part about our Christmas Poke Cake recipe is that it uses a couple of kitchen hacks and shortcuts to make things quick while bringing tons of flavor. For ingredients, here’s what you’ll need:

Christmas Poke Cake Ingredients
  • Cake Mix – You’ll also need all the other cake mix ingredients to go with it as well. That’s usually some vegetable oil and a few eggs. I highly suggest using only egg whites with the white cake mixes, it keeps your cake from losing the bright white color.
  • Cherry Jello Mix
  • Lime Jello Mix
  • Cool Whip – Or any other frozen whipped topping brand you can find.
  • Sprinkles – While not totally necessary, some white, green, and red sprinkles can help bring a bit more holiday colors and flair to ur Christmas Poke Cake.

See recipe card for quantities.

How to make Jello Poke Cake for Christmas

Process to make Jello Poke Cake for Christmas.

Making a Christmas Poke Cake with Jello isn’t all that hard- using cake mix really helps speed things up and cut down on prep time. Here’s all you have to do:

  1. Prepare cake mix according to box directions. Allow cake to cool completely before using something like skewer or chopstick to poke holes all over the cake. Pierce holes all the way to the bottom.
  2. In two separate containers, mix Jello Mixes with boiling water. Stir until dissolved and then add cold water. Pour mixtures in alternating strips over the cake. Put cake in fridge and let chill for 1 hour.
  3. Frost cake with Cool Whip and then optionally top with your favorite Christmas sprinkles. Let refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving.


While we have kept this Christmas Red and Green Poke Cake recipe pretty simple, there’s room to change ingredients around if the need pops up. Just in case you need to make some quick substitutions, here’s some you can try:

  • Cake Mix – We went with a Pillsbury White Cake Mix for this recipe but there’s plenty of other cake mix flavors and brands out there you can try. Avoid chocolate cake mix and stick with lighter colored flavors like vanilla cake mix or even a yellow cake mix in a pinch.
  • Jello Mix – Our main focus here was getting some red Jello and some green Jello. Of course, there’s plenty of different flavors that come in these colors that you can try. For red, consider Strawberry Jello, Raspberry Jello, or maybe even a Cranberry Jello. You don’t even have to stick with the Jell-O brand: we’ve seen Sonic Green Apple Gelatin and Jolly Rancher Green Apple Gelatin in stores before. Try some different flavor combos out!
  • Cool Whip – We went with Cool Whip just to keep our cake topping simple and light. You could easily use any sort of canned frosting or make some sort of cake frosting from scratch. Go with buttercream frosting, cream cheese frosting, or any other even Homemade Whipped Cream.


Here’s a couple ideas you can try out to spice up your Christmas Poke Cake next time:

  • Christmas Poke Cake with Pudding – While we usually make poke cake with Jello, we’ve also made a few poke cakes with pudding before. This usually involves using an instant pudding mix, mixing it up, and pouring it over the poked cake just like the Jello. Your only issue here is finding good red and green instant pudding mix flavors. Red Velvet Instant Pudding Mix is one option but maybe the easiest route is just adding some red and green food coloring to some vanilla instant pudding.
  • Eggnog Cake – Building off the instant pudding idea, another tasty option you can try is an Eggnog Poke Cake. Mix your instant pudding mix with eggnog instead of milk- vanilla, white chocolate, and cheesecake pudding mix are your best bets. Use that you fill your poke cake and top with whatever frosting you prefer.
Poke cake for Christmas with red and green Jello on a plate with a fork.

Storage / Freezing

Storage: You’ll want to keep your Christmas Poke Cake in the fridge between slices. Since it’s a Jello poke cake, it’ll hold up for a good little while refrigerated. Keep it in an airtight container if possible and it’ll stay good for 4-5 days- maybe up to a week if you keep it well! This also makes it a good candidate for serving it as a make-ahead poke cake.

Freezing: You can also try freezing your Red and Green Jello Cake. If you can, skip frosting your cake before covering with plastic and keeping in the freezer. Store for up to a month in the freezer and allow to thaw in the fridge before frosting and serving.

Red and Green Cake on a white plate.

Top tip

Ditch the egg yolks that your cake mix calls for. Only use the egg whites to keep your cake bright white.

Other Christmas Dessert Recipes

Looking for other Christmas Dessert recipes? Try these:

Other Poke Cake Recipes

Here are some more of our favorite Poke Cake Recipes that we have shared:

Text on image Christmas Poke Cake Easy Recipe.
5 from 3 votes

Christmas Poke Cake

By: Jen CIncyshopper
Christmas Poke Cake is a moist & tasty holiday cake made with cake mix and Jello. Make this easy recipe for a simple Christmas Jello dessert. Jello poke cakes are easy and tasty desserts you just have to try!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Refrigerate Time: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 12 servings


  • 1 box White Cake Mix plus box ingredients
  • 1 cup Water boiling, divided
  • 1/2 box 3 oz Cherry Jello Mix
  • 1/2 box 3 oz Lime Jello Mix
  • 1/2 cup cold Water, divided
  • 8 oz Frozen Whipped Topping , thawed
  • Christmas Sprinkles


  • Prepare cake mix (using directions for egg whites only) in a 13×9″ cake pan.
  • Allow to cool for 20 minutes.
  • Poke top of your cake all over with the handle of a wooden spoon.
  • Mix Cherry Jello mix with 1/2 cup boiling water in a large cup.
  • Add 1/4 cold water and mix well.
  • Mix Lime Jello mix with 1/2 cup boiling water in a large cup.
  • Add 1/4 cold water and mix well.
  • Gradually pour cherry and lime Jello mixtures over alternating rows cake.
  • Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes to finish cooling.
  • Spread whipped topping evenly over top of cake.
  • Sprinkle with Christmas sprinkles to garnish.


Ditch the egg yolks that your cake mix calls for. Only use the egg whites to keep your cake bright white.


Calories: 197kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 3mg, Sodium: 315mg, Potassium: 21mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 25g, Vitamin A: 33IU, Calcium: 113mg, Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Jen Cincyshopper

A lover of food and frugal living. A wife to a wonderful hubby, momma to 5 fun kiddos. Welcome to my blog. You will find REAL TASTY RECIPES. Be sure to subscribe to my email list and follow me on social media, to never miss a recipe.

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  1. Poke cakes aren’t something we do in Australia Jen, but I think it sounds so easy and fun!
    Thanks for sharing your Christmas Poke Cake recipe at Create, Bake, Grow & Gather this week. I’m delighted to be featuring it at tonight’s party and pinning too.
    Merry Christmas ~ Kerryanne

  2. We love poke cakes at our home and this looks like a refreshing holiday version! Can’t wait to give it a try… pinning!