Halloween Jello Poke Cake | Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Halloween Jello Poke Cake

No tricks, just treats when you make this easy, festive, and fun Halloween Jello Poke Cake! Three fruity flavors and colors turn this cake into a not-to-scary sweet delight perfect for your Halloween parties!

Two pieces of Halloween Jello Poke Cake by Renee's Kitchen Adventures on white plates one in the front and one in the back

The inspiration for this jello poke cake came from a vintage recipe for a Christmas Jello Poke Cake.

Maybe you remember it?

Strands of red and green jello poking through a white layer cake frosted with Cool Whip.

I remember my mom making that cake for the holidays when I was young. Everyone loved that cake! Not only was it pretty, but it was delicious too!

So why not take that cake and create a jello poke cake with a Halloween theme?

Pan of Halloween Jello Poke Cake by Renee's Kitchen Adventures with a few pieces cut out to show the colors of the gelatin in the cake

What is a Jello Poke Cake?

A Jello Poke cake is a prepared cake (usually white) poked on the top with holes to allow a liquid flavored gelatin mixture to soak into the cake leaving colored streaks in the inside of the cake. The streaks are flavored with whatever flavor gelatin mixture you choose to use.

The holes poked in the top of the cake can be made with various utensils. I like to use the round handle of a wooden spoon to make them, but you can also use a fork, skewer, or the thick end of a chopstick.

The size of the hole will determine the area of color and flavor that seeps into the cake. The bigger the hole, the more color and flavor.

Poke cakes were created as a way to increase slumping JELL-O sales in the 70's. A favorite flavor combination for jello poke cake was white cake drenched in strawberry gelatin topped with a fluffy layer of Cool Whip. Throwback Thursday anyone?

Over the years, gelatin was replaced with pudding and pudding poke cakes began to appear too. One of my favorite pudding poke cakes is my Skinny Almond Joy Poke Cake. It tastes just like the popular candy bar. And my recipe for Easy Mexican Hot Chocolate Poke Cake will satisfy your sweet-spicy cravings. 

Today, it seems like the sky's the limit when it comes to poke cakes. Just do a search on Pinterest or check out my Poke Cake Pinterest board and see what I mean!

Piece of Halloween Jello Poke Cake by Renee's Kitchen Adventures on a white plate with a bite on the fork ready to eat

How to make a Jello Poke Cake

Begin by gathering up the ingredients needed:
  • white cake mix - Any brand will work! 
  • eggs for cake - Choose large sized eggs whenever baking. Most boxed mixes and recipes are formulated using large sized eggs. 
  • oil for cake - Flavorless oils like vegetable or canola oil work best in a white cake mix
  • JELLO gelatin powder, strawberry, orange, and lime - Choose the small box of each. You won't use up all of the gelatin in the box. Save the leftover powder to make more Jello poke cakes!
  • blue food coloring
  • Cool Whip - Regular, Light, Sugar Free. Any variety will work in this recipe. 
  • Halloween themed sprinkles - The addition of sprinkles is optional, but it makes the cake festive! 
Once the cake has cooled in the pan for at least 30 minutes, poke holes with the round handle of a wooden spoon in 1 to 2-inch intervals all over the surface of the cake. Making the holes deep, and almost to the bottom of the cake. (Don't worry, you won't see the holes in the finished cake. They'll be covered with Cool Whip.)

Process image of Halloween Jello Poke Cake by Renee's Kitchen Adventures plain white cake in pan with holes poked in it ready for gelatin

Prepare the gelatin by dissolving each flavor in a small bowl with hot water. Stir until gelatin is completely dissolved. Add blue food coloring to the red gelatin to make purple.

Process image of Halloween Jello Poke Cake by Renee's Kitchen Adventures  with gelatin dissolved in three small bowls and ready for cake

Spoon gelatin into the holes and over the entire cake, alternating colors. Use all the gelatin mixtures until they are gone. When you are finished, the cake should look like the image below.

Chill cake in the refrigerator for 1 hour to allow the gelatin to set.

Process image of Halloween Jello Poke Cake by Renee's Kitchen Adventures  over head view of cake poked with holes and gelatin poured over it in alternating colors and flavors

Once the gelatin is set, frost the cake with Cool Whip and decorate with Halloween themed sprinkles.

This vintage cake recipe is the perfect recipe to make with kids! Watch their delight as you cut into the cake and the colors appear like magic!

And don't forget, if you make this cake, share your creation on instagram with the hashtag #RKArecipes or in my Facebook Group Renee's Kitchen Cooking Club!

More Jello Poke Cakes you might enjoy!

Halloween Jello Poke Cake, Jello Poke Cake, Jello Poke Cake Recipe
Dessert, cake, Halloween
Yield: 24 servings
Author: Renee Paj
Halloween Jello Poke Cake

Halloween Jello Poke Cake

Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 1 HourTotal time: 1 H & 30 M
This delightfully fruity and festive jello poke cake is the perfect treat to celebrate Halloween! Orange, strawberry, and lime flavors make it a fun!


  • 1 - 15 oz. to 16 oz. white cake mix, prepared according to package directions
  • 3 TBSP Orange flavored JELLO gelatin powder
  • 3 TBSP Lime flavored JELLO gelatin powder
  • 3 TBSP Strawberry flavored JELLO gelatin powder
  • 2 to 3 drops of blue food coloring
  • 1 cup hot water, divided
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip
  • Halloween Sprinkles, if desired


  1. Bake cake according to directions on cake box. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack for at least 30 minutes.
  2. With the round handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes in the top of the prepared cake almost all the way to the bottom of the cake in 1" intervals (see image in blog post above).
  3. Prepare jello by placing 3 TBSP of each flavor in individual small bowls. (Orange gelatin powder in one bowl, Lime gelatin powder in another small bowl, and Strawberry gelatin powder in a third small bowl.)
  4. Pour 1/3 cup of water into each bowl with the gelatin powder. Stir until gelatin is dissolved.
  5. Add 2 - 3 drops of blue food coloring to the bowl with the strawberry gelatin mixture. Stir to make a purple color.
  6. Carefully spoon the gelatin. into the holes in the cake, alternating with the different colors/flavors, until the entire cake is saturated. (see image in blog post above).
  7. Place cake in refrigerator for one hour to allow jello to set.
  8. Frost top with Cool Whip and decorate with Halloween Sprinkles, if desired.


Make sure the gelatin is completely dissolved into the hot water before spooning over cake. Add more or less blue food coloring to make whatever shade purple you desire. I used 3 drops.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

4.79 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

2.68 g

Carbs (grams)

13.56 g

Fiber (grams)

0.26 g

Net carbs

13.30 g

Sugar (grams)

9.18 g

Protein (grams)

1.92 g

Sodium (milligrams)

66.34 mg

Cholesterol (grams)

0.38 mg

Nutritional Information is an estimate and may not take into account the ingredients added to make the cake.

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Pin Halloween Jello Poke Cake to your Halloween Pinterest Board! 

Halloween Jello Poke Cake by Renee's Kitchen Adventures pin for Pinterest with image of cut piece of cake and text overlay

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