Strawberry Poke Cake


What makes this poke cake so special? After this lightened-up cake is baked and cooled, it's poked with holes (hence the name!) that are filled with fresh pureed strawberries thickened with gelatin to prevent the cake from getting soggy. The end result? Sweet strawberry flavor inside and out!

Strawberry Poke Cake
Prep Time:
25 mins
Additional Time:
1 hr 25 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 50 mins
1 cake
Nutrition Profile:


  • Baking spray with flour (see Tip)

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • ½ cup unsalted butter

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 4 teaspoons baking powder

  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 1 ½ teaspoons lemon extract

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, plus 1/2 teaspoon, divided

  • 2 ¼ cups sugar, divided

  • 2 ½ pounds fresh strawberries

  • 1 (.25 ounce) envelope unflavored gelatin

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

  • Whole-milk vanilla Greek yogurt or whipped cream for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat bottom and sides of a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with baking spray; set aside. Heat milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the butter melts and the mixture is warm, 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside. Sift together flour and baking powder in a medium bowl; set aside.

  2. Beat eggs, lemon extract, salt and 1 tablespoon vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute. Gradually add 2 cups sugar, beating on medium speed. Beat until all the sugar is incorporated; increase speed to medium-high; beat until the mixture becomes fluffy and lighter in color, 2 to 3 minutes more. Gradually add the milk-butter mixture, beating on low speed until combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and place it on a work surface. Using a spatula, gradually add the sifted flour mixture in 4 batches, folding until incorporated (use a whisk toward the end of mixing to evenly combine). Pour the mixture into the prepared pan; smooth the top. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack, about 30 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, trim strawberries, and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices, transferring the sliced strawberries to a medium bowl as you work. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 cup sugar to the strawberries; toss to evenly coat. Let stand for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. Drain, reserving the juices. Set aside 3 cups strawberries. Place the remaining strawberries, the reserved strawberry juices and gelatin in a food processor or blender; process until smooth, about 1 minute. (You will have about 2 cups strawberry sauce.) Set aside until ready to use.

  4. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes 1/2 inch apart over the surface of the cooled cake. Pour the strawberry sauce over the cake, letting the sauce fill the holes. Chill the cake for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.

  5. Arrange the reserved 3 cups strawberries in rows over the chilled cake; sprinkle the cake with mint. Dollop with yogurt (or whipped cream), if desired, and serve.


Tip: When using cake pans, they must be greased and floured to create a thin layer of protection against the oven's heat. For greater convenience, use a cooking spray that has flour in the mix, such as Pam for Baking, Baker's Joy or Crisco No-Stick Flour Spray.

To make ahead: Refrigerate cake, uncovered, for up to 4 hours or cover with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Dollop with yogurt or whipped cream just before serving, if desired.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

277 Calories
8g Fat
47g Carbs
6g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 18
Serving Size 1 slice
Calories 277
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 47g 17%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 29g
Added Sugars 25g 50%
Protein 6g 11%
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 77mg 26%
Vitamin A 291IU 6%
Vitamin C 37mg 41%
Folate 85mcg 21%
Sodium 205mg 9%
Calcium 101mg 8%
Iron 2mg 9%
Magnesium 17mg 4%
Potassium 165mg 4%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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