This recipe appears in:American Classics: Holiday Jell-O Poke Cake
The basic recipe is simple: 1 box white cake mix + 1 box Jell-O = fun. (Make that 2 boxes if you want some dual color action in your cake). After baking and cooling the cake you poke the surface with a fork and then pour liquid Jell-O goo over the top. Refrigerate for 3 hours then frost al gusto (the folks at Kraft recommend Cool Whip—personally, I recommend pretty much anything other than Cool Whip).
You can use any flavor of Jell-O that you wish. And you can always sub a favorite juice with some gelatin for the boxed stuff to make it a little more fruity and a little less sweet.
- For the Cake
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 5 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk
- 1 (3 ounce) package of red Jell-O (I used Black Cherry)
- 1 (3 ounce) package of lime Jell-O
- For the Frosting
- 1 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Set oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two cake pans and set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.
In bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together on high speed until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Reduce mixer speed to medium and add eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition until incorporated and scraping down sides with a rubber spatula as needed. Once eggs have been added, mix in vanilla. Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk a third at a time on low speed, mixing until just incorporated.
Pour batter into prepared pans and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, approximately 45 to 50 minutes. Cool ten minutes in pan. Then loosen sides and remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
While cake is cooling, bring 1 cup water to boil (if you want to use 2 flavors you'll need 2 cups of boiling water). Add boiling water to a small bowl (or bowls, if you're using multiple flavors), pour in the Jell-O and stir until dissolved. Once cake has cooled return it to a cleaned pan, top side up. Use a fork to poke holes in the top of the cake at regular intervals then pour 1/2 cup of Jell-O evenly over the top of each layer (if you are using two flavors you will have extra Jell-O which you can use or dispose of as you wish). Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or up to overnight.
For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter on medium until well softened. Add sugar and continue beating until incorporated then add vanilla and cream until thoroughly combined. Frost cake and serve.