Need a refreshing sweet treat? This strawberry crunch poke cake recipe is light, refreshing and delicious. You’ll love the cookie crumble on top.
Do you remember those little Good Humor strawberry shortcake ice cream bars? They were my favorite, and I still enjoy one on a hot summer day here and there. The strawberry flavor, the cookie crumbles, the creamy ice cream center. What’s not to like?
Flavor: This poke cake has a strawberries and cream flavor thanks to the strawberry jello, heavy cream, sandwich cookies and whipped topping.
Texture: The cake is smooth and creamy. The topping is cool, and the strawberry crunchy cookie topping gives a good texture.
Method: This starts with a box cake mix. It bakes in a 9×13″ baking pan. You will need to leave time for the cake to cool before adding the topping.
Although you can use any flavor cake mix, white cake mix works best so that you can see the contrast of the strawberry jello. I used a 15.25 oz box cake mix. Strawberry cake mix makes an intense strawberry flavor.
Heavy cream is the milk we recommend, but you can use whole milk or half and half if you’d like. Heavy cream is what gives this that classic strawberry crunch bar flavor.
Cool Whip is a quick and easy topping. You can make your own whipped topping by beating cold heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar until peaks form.
Golden Oreos or a generic brand of vanilla sandwich cookies will both work. You can also use vanilla wafers but your crumble will be more of a crumb topping than a crumble topping since there is no frosting in the vanilla wafers.
You’ll need 2 small boxes of strawberry gelatin. One gets drizzled over the baked cake. The other gets mixed into the strawberry crunch topping.
How to Make Strawberry Crunch Poke Cake
Make the cake. Use heavy cream, oil and eggs along with the cake mix for an excellent flavor and texture.
Bake the cake, then use a wooden chopstick or end of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the top of the cake.
Make a mixture 1 cup of boiling water and a small box of Jello. Mix well, then drizzle in heavy cream. This gives the syrup a creamy texture that gives a hint of ice cream flavor.
After the cake cools completely, frost with Cool Whip.
Then make the strawberry cookie crumbles in a food processor. It’s easy and these little crumbles are bursting with strawberry flavor. I promise, you’ll love them!
Cover the top of the cake with the strawberry crumbles. Refrigerate until serving.
Don’t over mix your batter and don’t over bake your cake. In either case you will end up with a dry, crumbly cake that doesn’t taste nearly as good as it will if mixed and baked properly.
When poking holes in your cake you want holes about the size that a chopstick would make. And avoid poking the hole all the way through the cake or your strawberry liquid will go right through and you won’t have stripes of it in your cake but a layer on the bottom. You can use the end of a wooden spoon as well.
Don’t skip the cooling period if you want those beautiful poke holes all over your cake. If the cake is too warm the gelatin liquid will simply sink to the bottom and you’ll have a bottom layer of strawberry but not the lines that you want in a poke cake.
Thaw the whipped topping in the refrigerator for several hours before you attempt to spread it on the cake. There’s no easy way to quickly thaw whipped topping and have it keep the same texture, so plan ahead.
If you don’t have a food processor, put the cookies in a large, sealable plastic bag, seal it and crush them with a rolling pin. This will provide a crumble with pieces of various sizes, instead of a consistent size, but that does add texture to the cake.
Room temperature: Do not store this cake at room temperature.
Refrigerator: This will last chilled in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Please be aware that the crumble will soften the longer it is stored and may become mushy.
Freezer: You can also cut and wrap the cake in individual pieces in order to freeze them. They will keep, if well wrapped, for about 3 months in the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator and serve chilled. The whipped topping may get watery if frozen and thawed.
Strawberry Crunch Poke Cake
5 from 7 votes
Need a refreshing sweet treat? This strawberry crunch poke cake recipe is light, refreshing and delicious. You'll love the cookie crumble on top.
Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit and grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl beat together the cake mix, eggs, 1 ½ cups of heavy cream and vegetable oil with a hand or stand mixer until fully smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed
Spread the cake batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top bounces back when gently tapped or a toothpick comes out of the middle of the cake with only a few crumbs. Do not overbake.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for 20 minutes.
Make the jello syrup:
Once the cake has cooled for 20 minutes, poke several large holes all over it with the bottom of a stirring spoon. Do not poke all the way to the bottom of the cake, only poke about ¾ of the way down.
Pour the strawberry gelatin powder into a medium bowl and whisk in the boiling water until dissolved.
Gradually add in the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream, whisking constantly, until it is all added and combined. You should have a dark pink, creamy liquid.
Pour the strawberry gelatin mixture mixture over the cake slowly, being sure to fill the holes as much as possible and avoiding the edges of the cake.
Spread any remaining liquid sitting on the top of the cake into the holes.
Cover well and place in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours or overnight.
Frost the cake:
When ready to cut and serve the cake, remove from the refrigerator, uncover and spread the whipped topping all over the top.
Make the strawberry crunch crumbles:
Place 20 of the cookies in a food processor and pulse 1-2 times to begin to crush them.
Add in the strawberry jam and pulse several more times until the cookies are roughly crumbled and the syrup is mixed in.
Remove half of the cookie crumbs and set aside (it should be about 1 ½ cups removed and 1 ½ cups left in the food processor.)
To the crumbs in the food processor, add the box of strawberry jello powder and the heavy cream. Close the food processor and pulse until you have pink coarse crumbs.
Add the white cookie crumbs back in to the food processor. Add the remaining 5 Oreo cookies. Pulse 2-3 times to blend the mixture. You should have a nice mix of strawberry and vanilla crumbles.
Sprinkle the topping evenly over the whipped topping, spreading gently if necessary to reach all the edges, and then cut and serve. Garnish with fresh strawberries and whipped topping, optional.
Store this cake covered in the refrigerator until serving.
Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.
The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 15 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**