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Patriotic Poke Cake

Patriotic Poke Cake

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This Patriotic Poke Cake is the ideal dessert for Memorial Day or the Fourth of July. Your taste senses will be delighted by the brilliant and beautiful red, white, and blue cake with the cheesecake topping. Garnish it with red, white, and blue sprinkles to give it a festive look. Perfect to make ahead, too!

Patriotic Poke Cake

Independence Day is such a patriotic holiday that it deserves a special dessert.

This Red, White, and Blue Poke Cake is the perfect treat to make for the 4th of July.

You can make this cake the night before, but be careful with the sprinkles.

Some sprinkles will melt into the Cool Whip so those would need to be added to the top of your cake right before serving.

But some larger decorations may be too hard/crunchy when first added but may soften over time.

You can’t go wrong either way but just be aware of the type of decorations you’re adding.

Disclosure – I may get a small commission for purchases made through links in this post.

Patriotic Red White and Blue Poke cake

Key to Success #1 – Tint the Cake Batter Using Gel Food Coloring

We’re keeping things easy with this recipe by starting with a packaged cake mix.

Using a box of white cake mix, make the cake batter.

Add the ingredients listed on the container, which are often water, vegetable oil, and eggs.

After that, divide the cake batter into three bowls.

Tip! Scoop out batter into two different bowls for the red and blue batter. Leave the white batter in the mixing bowl. This will reduce the dirty dishes you have to clean.

Tint one bowl of batter red by adding 4-6 drops of red gel food coloring, such as Americolor Super Red.

colorful batter for red white and blue poke cake

Tint the other bowl of batter blue.

For my blue batter, I wanted more of a navy blue, but all I had was royal blue so I had to improvise.

To make navy blue batter, use three drops of Americolor Royal Blue plus two drops of the Fuchsia Pink and one drop of black.

These are the exact shades that I used:

Stir the gel food color into the cake batter until the batter color is consistent.

Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl so that you don’t miss any batter.

My favorite gel food coloring is from Americolor.

This brand is great because the colors stay vibrant and a little bit of color goes a long way.

I bought a student kit from Americolor about 3 years ago and I’m still using it today.

It’s got all the basic colors that I need for most treats that I’ve made.

Red White and Blue Poke cake

Key to Success #2 – Don’t Poke All The Way Through

Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes after it has finished baking before putting holes in it.

Poke holes 1 1/2 inches apart all over the top of the cake with the handle of a wooden spoon.

You may use any utensil with a small and round handle if you don’t have a wooden spoon with a small handle.

A wooden skewer would also work for poking holes in your cake.

Poke the holes in the cake approximately 3/4 of the way through.

You don’t want to poke all the way through the cake since you want the bottom of the cake to stay intact.

Patriotic Red White and Blue Poke cake

Key to Success #3 – Pour the Pudding While It is Only Slightly Thickened

To make the cheesecake layer, combine both boxes of instant cheesecake pudding mix with 3 1/2 cups of cold milk.

Whisk the pudding until the pudding mix is completely dissolved and the pudding begins to thicken slightly.

When you pour the pudding over the cake, it should still be mainly liquid.

Adding the pudding to the cake while it is still liquid allows it to absorb more moisture and flavor into the cake.

Once mixed with the chilled milk, the pudding will begin to firm up rapidly.

Spread the leftover pudding over the top of the cake using a spatula or knife, spreading it all the way to the edges.

Patriotic poke cake

Key to Success #4 – Decorate with Patriotic Sprinkles

Refrigerate the cake for at least 20 minutes after adding the pudding to ensure that it has thoroughly been set.

Spread a layer of Cool Whip on top of the cake, ensuring sure it reaches the pan’s sides.

Sprinkle red, white, and blue sprinkles or your favorite sweets on top of your poke cake.

The exact sprinkles mix that I used is linked below, but you can use any colorful seasonal sprinkles that you have on hand.

Patriotic Red White and Blue Poke cake

Save this Patriotic Red White and Blue Poke Cake recipe to your favorite 4th of July Recipes board or your Patriotic Desserts board.

Patriotic Red White and Blue Poke Cake
Red White and Blue Poke Cake with pudding

Patriotic Poke Cake

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes

This Patriotic Poke Cake is the ideal dessert for Memorial Day or the Fourth of July.

Your taste senses will be delighted by the brilliant and beautiful red, white, and blue cake with the cheesecake topping.

Garnish it with red, white, and blue sprinkles to give it a festive look.

Perfect to make ahead, too!

Ingredients

  • 1 box (16 oz) white cake mix + ingredients called for on the box
  • 2 boxes (3.5 oz each) instant cheesecake pudding mix
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tub (8 oz) Cool Whip whipped topping
  • Patriotic sprinkles
  • gel food coloring in red and blue

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish. Set aside.
  2. Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Divide the cake mix evenly into three separate bowls. Use gel food coloring in red and blue to tint two of the bowls of cake batter. Stir until each color is consistently distributed. Leave the other bowl of batter white. *See Note about the blue batter
  3. Working quickly, spoon each color of cake batter into the greased baking dish. Try to keep the red and blue batter separated by only spooning the colored batter onto the white batter. Continue spooning the batter into the dish until all batter has been added. Bake for 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes then use the handle end of a wooden spoon to poke holes about 1 1/2 inches apart all across the cake, poking about 3/4 of the way through the cake. Cool completely.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and both boxes of pudding mix until the mixture is just slightly thickened. Pour pudding over the cool cake. Spread the remaining pudding over the top of the cake.
  6. Refrigerate for 20 minutes until the pudding sets completely. Top with Cool Whip. Garnish with Patriotic red white and blue sprinkles or candies.

Notes

To make navy blue batter, use three drops of Americolor Royal Blue plus two drops of the Fuchsia Pink and one drop of black.

This cake can be made in advance. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

If using hard confetti sprinkles or hard candies, the candies will soften if you refrigerate the cake overnight before serving. Some sprinkles may melt into the Cool Whip so consider adding the sprinkles when you're ready to serve.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 265Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 589mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 1gSugar: 38gProtein: 4g

Nutrition Information Provided For Educational and Informational Purposes Only.

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