Strawberry Poke Cake Recipe
One easy way to elevate a simple sheet cake is to infuse it with strawberry-flavored gelatin. The method of poking holes in the cake and pouring gelatin into them serves two purposes: giving the cake a poppy pink-striped look when you cut into it, and ensuring you get that nostalgic strawberry flavor in every bite. Like many gelatin-based dishes, poke cakes were likely popularized in the 20th century as part of an advertising push for Jell-O mixes.This recipe is adapted from April Anderson, an owner of Good Cakes and Bakes, a bakery in Detroit, whose mother used gelatin mixes to punch up some of her desserts. The basic poke cake formula is made to be modified: If you don’t like strawberry-flavored gelatin, try lemon or cherry.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9- by 13-inch baking pan.
- In a bowl, using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using a hand mixer, patiently beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed for 3 to 4 minutes, until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each to make sure it is well combined before adding the next. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk to the egg mixture, mixing on low speed after each addition until just combined. (This helps incorporate everything well and avoids over-mixing.)
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, spread in an even layer and bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, 45 to 60 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
- While the cake is baking, prepare strawberry gelatin according to package instructions and set aside to cool.
- Once the cake has cooled for 15 minutes, use the handle of a wooden spoon or thick skewer to poke holes all over the cake an inch apart. Pour the gelatin over the top of the cake, making sure it gets into the holes and refrigerate the cake for 3 to 4 hours, until firm.
- One hour before serving, spread whipped cream over the cake and decorate with strawberry slices. Refrigerate for an hour, until ready to serve. This cake keeps well in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
Yield: One 9- by 13-inch cake (12 servings)
- 1cup/225 grams unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
- 1½cups/300 grams granulated sugar
- 4large eggs
- 1teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3¼cups/415 grams all-purpose flour
- 2teaspoons baking powder
- ¾teaspoon kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal)
- 1cup/240 milliliters whole milk
- 1(3-ounce/85-gram) package strawberry-flavored gelatin (such as Jell-O)
- 3cups whipped cream
- 1cup fresh strawberries, sliced