Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake is a refreshing summer dessert. Fluffy vanilla frosting and orange flavor makes this cake taste just like the frozen treats from your childhood. This poke cake recipe is the perfect dessert for summer picnics and potlucks.
Love orange desserts? You need to try this Orange Creamsicle Fudge too.
Orange Creamsicle Cake
Poke cakes are one of the easiest desserts to make when you need a quick dessert. It’s so easy to transform a simple box mix into a decadent and dreamy dessert that will wow everyone.
I love how refreshing a poke cake is on a hot day. There is seriously something so good about eating cold cake when it is warm outside. Please tell me I am not alone in my love of eating things like this S’mores Cake and this Lemon Poke Cake.
A few weeks ago one of my friends was talking about this Orange Creamsicle Cake that she had made. Unfortunately, she doesn’t live close enough for me to just go eat hers, so I decided to make an easy Jello cake the very next day.
Jello poke cakes are a delicious way to add flavor and color to a box cake mix.
What is a poke cake?
Well, a poke cake is exactly what it sounds like. After the cake has finished baking, you use the prongs on a fork or the handle on a wooden spoon to POKE holes all over the top of the cake.
This makes holes in the cake for whatever filling you are pouring on top to soak in better. The flavor possibilities for these chilly moist cakes are endless.
Common things to pour on poke cakes:
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Instant Pudding
- Cream of Coconut
- Canned Frosting
- Peanut Butter
- Pureed fruit
Basically, any liquid that you can pour and that will soak into the warm cake is fair game.
What You’ll Need
This Jello cake comes together with just a few ingredients. Orange gelatin and vanilla pudding give this vintage cake recipe that delicious creamsicle flavor.
- Vanilla Cake Mix – a box mix makes this cake so easy to make
- Orange Juice – adds more orange flavor to the poke cake recipe. BRUCREW TIP: You can also use orange soda.
- Orange Jello – mix the dry Jello powder with hot water to dissolve it
- Instant Vanilla Frosting – makes the frosting thick and sweet
- Milk – whole, 2%, or 1% milk can be used
- Cool Whip – adds a light and fluffy texture to the pudding mix frosting
How to make the Best Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake
This orange Jello poke cake is very easy to make and assemble because it starts with a box cake mix. To add a little bit more orange flavor to the cake use orange juice.
- Prepare the vanilla cake mix using orange juice instead of water.
- Let the cake cool for about 5 minutes, then use a fork to poke holes all over the top of the cake.
- Mix together a box of orange Jello and hot water, then pour it slowly over the holes in the cake.
- Place the orange poke cake in the fridge and let it chill completely.
- Whisk together a box of instant vanilla pudding and milk, then fold in an entire container of Cool Whip. If you are completely against it, you could use this Whipped Cream recipe instead.
- Spread the fluffy pudding mousse on top of the orange creamsicle cake and chill it again.
- Right before serving add a little orange candy slice to the top of each square. You could also use mandarin orange slices if you like.
- Add 2 tablespoons of orange zest to the cake batter to give this orange Jello cake an even stronger orange flavor.
- Do not over poke the dreamsicle cake with your fork. If you have too many holes, you will not see the orange strips very well.
- Make sure you let the orange Jello cake cool for several hours before adding the pudding frosting.
- Run a sharp knife under hot water and dry it off before cutting a slice. Do this between each cut to keep your squares neat and clean.
- To make a lighter more diet-friendly cake, use sugar-free mixes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does a poke cake need to be refrigerated?
Yes, this creamsicle orange poke cake has Jello in the cake and instant vanilla pudding in the frosting, so it needs to be kept in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Can a poke cake be made ahead of time?
A poke cake can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. In fact, it is actually best if it is made early, so the flavors have time to chill and deepen.
More Poke Cake Recipes
- White Chocolate Pudding Cake
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Poke Cake
- Chocolate Coconut Cake
- Chocolate Poke Cake
Other Orange Desserts
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- 1 white cake mix
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 - 6 ounce box of orange Jell-O
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 - 3.4 ounce box instant vanilla pudding
- 1 cup milk
- 1 - 8 ounce container Cool Whip, thawed
- orange candy slices
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick spray.
- Mix the cake mix according to the back of the box, but substitute orange juice in place of the water called for.
- Bake for the time required on the back of the box. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes.
- Use a fork to poke holes over the top of the cake.
- Dissolve the orange Jell-O in boiling water. Pour the Jell-O over the top of the cake, making sure it goes in the holes. Cool completely in the refrigerator.
- Whisk together the vanilla pudding mix and milk. Fold in the Cool Whip.
- Spread over the top of the cooled cake. Cut into 24 pieces. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
- Garnish with pieces of the orange candy right before serving.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 38Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 27mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 1g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and are not guaranteed to be accurate. If you need special diet advice, please see a registered dietician.
(original photo from June 2013)
*The post for this Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake was originally published June 19, 2013. The photos were updated March 2018 and the post was updated and republished May 8, 2021.