This pretty in pink Strawberry Crunch Poke Cake is a gorgeous spring dessert that’s luscious with strawberries and topped with fluffy Cool Whip frosting and crunchy golden Oreos.
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Looking for a unique yet totally irresistible dessert? This Strawberry Crunch Poke Cake is just what you want! It’s super easy, using a boxed cake mix for the cake, and is made up of ingredients you’ll find in your local grocery store.
Easy Strawberry Crunch Poke Cake Recipe
Have you ever made a “poke cake”? It’s one of my favorite ways to make cake. A poke cake is a cake that’s poked all over with the end of a spoon or a fork and then infused with flavoring, in this case, strawberry. We use a mix of strawberry gelatin and evaporated milk to give a rich creaminess to the cake. The longer the flavoring soaks into the cake the better, so try not to rush it!
Then, we take it even further. Golden Oreo cookies are crushed up and mixed with melted butter and more strawberry gelatin for extra sweetness and flavor. The contrast of the crunchy cookies against the moist cake is amazing! Cool Whip finishes off this cake and it’s topped with fresh strawberries for a beautiful and festive dessert.
There’s nothing complicated in this recipe, yet this is a stunner of a cake, and one you’ll be proud to serve at a spring or summer dinner party. You could even serve it on a casual weekday, as it’s beyond simple to put together. The leftover cake tastes great on day two and beyond, because the strawberry-milk mixture just keeps soaking into the cake and giving it even more flavor.
Ingredients for Strawberry Crunch Poke Cake
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
For the Cake
- White cake mix – From a boxed cake mix of your choice.
- Vegetable oil
- Whole milk – Whole milk is always best for baking.
- Eggs – Or use one of these egg substitutes for baking.
- Vanilla extract
- Strawberry gelatin
- Evaporated milk – Not condensed milk! They’re not the same.
- Cool Whip – While you can use homemade whipped cream, it won’t last as long, so Cool Whip is best.
Strawberry Crunch Topping
- Golden Oreos – Like the name sounds, these are not the black-and-white Oreo cookies but golden-and-white cookies.
- Butter – You can use salted or unsalted butter.
- Strawberry gelatin
- Fresh strawberries
You can try raspberry gelatin in place of the strawberry gelatin. It will still give the cake a pretty pink color and fruit flavor. Then, top the cake with fresh raspberries instead of strawberries.
- Use a yellow cake mix in place of white cake mix if you wish.
- Instead of Cool Whip, try this cake with delicious cream cheese frosting.
- You could try homemade or store-bought whipped cream in place of the Cool Whip for a similarly fluffy frosting.
How to Make Strawberry Crunch Poke Cake
- Prepare pan and heat oven: Preheat your oven to 350℉ and spray a 9×13 baking dish with baking spray. Set aside.
- Make the cake: Place the cake mix in a large mixing bowl, then whisk in the vegetable oil, whole milk, eggs, and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Bake the cake: Pour the cake batter into the greased baking dish and bake the cake for about 20-25 minutes.
- Cool the cake: Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely.
- Make the strawberry gelatin: While the cake is cooling, pour the strawberry gelatin into a pitcher.
- Prepare the strawberry flavoring: Bring the evaporated milk to a boil in a small pot then pour it into the pitcher. Whisk to dissolve the gelatin, then stir in the cold whole milk.
- Poke the cake: Poke the cooled cake all over with a fork or knife, making holes all over the cake. Pour the strawberry gelatin milk slowly over the cake, letting it soak into the cake as you pour.
- Chill the cake: Put the cake in the fridge and let it chill for 4 hours.
- Frost the cake: When the cake is cool, spread thawed Cool Whip over the top.
- Make the topping: In a large mixing bowl, combine the crushed Oreos, melted butter, and remaining box of gelatin powder. Sprinkle the mix over the top of the cake, covering the frosting evenly.
- Garnish: Top the cake with some fresh strawberries and enjoy!
How to Store
Store leftover cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. This cake can be frozen, but the texture upon freezing and thawing will be mushier, so I don’t recommend it.
A poke cake, or poke-and-pour cake, is a cake recipe that calls for holes to be poked in it after baking, usually with the handle of a wooden spoon or a wooden skewer. Then a liquid is poured over the baked cake to soak into the cake holes.
Poke cakes popped up in American kitchens around 1970, first appearing in a print advertisement intended to increase Jell-O sales. The ad illustrated the quick-and-easy cleverness of combining convenience foods—cake mix, Jell-O, and Dream Whip or Cool Whip—to create desserts.
Strawberry crunch is a mixture of ground-up shortbread cookies, freeze-dried strawberries, and butter. This nostalgic topping is perfect when sprinkled over ice cream, mixed into yogurt, or used to decorate cakes and cupcakes.
Strawberry Crunch Poke Cake
- 1 box (15.25 oz) white cake mix
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 3-oz. box strawberry gelatin
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1 cup cold milk
- 1 8-oz container Cool Whip, thawed
Strawberry Crunch Topping
- 20 golden Oreos, chopped into small pieces
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 1 3-oz box strawberry gelatin
- Fresh strawberries
- Preheat your oven to 350℉ and spray a 9×13 baking dish with baking spray. Set the pan aside.
- Start by making the cake. Add the cake mix to a large mixing bowl then whisk in the vegetable oil, whole milk, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk until the batter is smooth.
- Pour the cake batter into the greased baking dish and bake the cake for about 20-25 minutes. The top will be a light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake will come out cleanly.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely.
- While the cake is cooling, pour the strawberry gelatin into a pitcher.
- Bring the evaporated milk to a boil in a small pot then pour it into the pitcher. Whisk to dissolve the gelatin then stir in the cold whole milk.
- Poke the cooled cake all over with a fork or knife, making holes all over the cake.
- Pour the strawberry gelatin milk slowly over the cake, letting it soak into the cake as you pour.
- Put the cake in the fridge and let it chill for 4 hours.
- Once the cake has cooled, spread the thawed cool whip over the top of the cake.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine the crushed oreos, melted butter and remaining box of gelatin powder. Sprinkle the mix over the top of the cake, covering the frosting in the strawberry crunchies.
- Top the cake with some fresh strawberries as a garnish and enjoy!
- You can use yellow cake mix in place of white cake mix if desired.
- This cake is also delicious with cream cheese frosting in place of cool whip.