St. Patrick's Day Poke Cake

This quick and easy St. Patrick’s Day cake will make you feel like you've struck dessert gold.

Southern Living St. Patrick's Day Poke Cake sliced on a plate

Jessica Furniss

Active Time:
15 mins
Chill Time:
2 hrs
Total Time:
2 hrs 45 mins

You won’t need to find a pot o’ gold to make this fun St. Patrick’s Day delight.

Gelatin was once a delicacy reserved for the wealthiest of eaters, but as luck would have it, it eventually became available in grocery stores around the globe. Once the everyday home cook was able to get their hands on the affordable, jiggly concoction, we saw the wildest creations. (I’m looking at you, caviar congealed salad from Southern Living 1979.) While we don’t make savory gelatin snacks much now, Jell-O is still used to make delectable desserts and sweet treats.

This St. Patrick’s Day poke cake is not just festive, it highlights an uncommon way to use Jell-O! White cake, lime Jell-O, and Cool Whip come together for the perfect slice. The Jell-O makes the cake extra fluffy, tall, and super moist. You prepare the cake, let it cool, poke holes in the surface, then pour liquid Jell-O over the holes. After it sets in the fridge, you frost with whipped topping, decorate and dig in!

Southern Living St. Patrick's Day Poke Cake slices on plates with forks and extra sprinkles

Jessica Furniss


  • Cooking spray

  • 1 (15 1/4 oz.) box white cake mix (and all its ingredients)

  • 1 ( 3 oz. ) package lime gelatin (such as Jell-O)

  • 1 ( 8 oz. ) package Cool Whip , thawed

  • Sprinkles or candies of your choice, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 13- x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

  2. Prepare cake batter according to package directions. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes.

  3. Use a fork to poke holes all over the surface of the cake.

    Southern Living St. Patrick's Day Poke Cake process

    Jessica Furniss

  4. Prepare the Jell-O according to the package instructions, and immediately pour it over the slightly warm cake.

    Southern Living St. Patrick's Day Poke Cake pouring jello over cake

    Jessica Furniss

  5. Chill the cake in the refrigerator, covered, for 1 to 2 hours, until fully cooled.

  6. Frost the cake using the whipped topping and add sprinkles or St. Patrick’s Day candies to give it a festive touch.

    Southern Living St. Patrick's Day Poke Cake frosting the cake with cool whip

    Jessica Furniss

  7. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This cake will stay freshest for about 3 days in the fridge. It’s best to avoid the freezer, as it doesn’t freeze well.

    Southern Living St. Patrick's Day Poke Cake whole in the pan with sprinkles

    Jessica Furniss

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