Orange Crush Poke Cake


Everyday Culinary Delights 👩‍🍳


The Orange Crush Poke Cake is a delightful dessert that captures the essence of summer in every bite. This cake, known for its moist texture and refreshing orange flavor, has become a favorite at gatherings, offering a sweet escape from the heat. The recipe combines the simplicity of a boxed cake mix with the zest of orange soda and orange Jell-o, resulting in a dessert that’s both easy to make and irresistibly delicious.

What sets this cake apart is the unique method of “poking” holes into the baked cake and filling them with a vibrant orange gelatin mixture. This technique ensures that each slice is infused with a burst of orange flavor, reminiscent of the nostalgic orange push-up pops many of us enjoyed as children. The cake is then topped with a light whipped cream, adding a creamy texture that complements the tangy orange filling perfectly.

For those interested in the origins of poke cakes and how they’ve evolved into the diverse and beloved desserts we enjoy today, a visit to the history of cakes provides fascinating insights. Additionally, exploring the history of orange soda can offer a deeper appreciation for the key ingredient that gives the Orange Crush Poke Cake its signature flavor.

History and Origin

The concept of poke cakes, such as the Orange Crush Poke Cake, traces its roots back to the 1970s when it was popularized as a novel way to add moisture and flavor to the standard cake. This method involved poking holes in a freshly baked cake and pouring a liquid or filling over it, allowing the mixture to seep into the cake and infuse it with added moisture and taste. The Orange Crush Poke Cake elevates this concept by incorporating the zesty taste of orange, making it a refreshing choice for any occasion.

The use of orange soda in the cake not only adds a unique flavor but also pays homage to the classic American love affair with flavored sodas. The inclusion of orange Jell-o further intensifies the citrusy taste, creating a dessert that’s both vibrant in flavor and appearance. This cake is a testament to the ingenuity of home bakers who experiment with different ingredients to bring a twist to traditional recipes.

The popularity of poke cakes can be attributed to their versatility and the endless possibilities for customization. From the choice of cake base to the variety of fillings and toppings, each element can be tailored to suit personal preferences or seasonal themes. The Orange Crush Poke Cake, with its bright orange hue and creamy topping, is a perfect example of how a simple idea can be transformed into a delightful dessert that appeals to both the eyes and the palate.

For those interested in exploring more about the versatility of gelatin in desserts, the gelatin desserts page offers a wealth of information. Additionally, understanding the role of whipped cream in enhancing the texture and flavor of cakes can inspire bakers to experiment with their creations.

Ingredients List 

Creating the perfect Orange Crush Poke Cake begins with gathering the right ingredients. This cake combines the ease of a boxed cake mix with the vibrant flavors of orange soda and gelatin, creating a dessert that’s both simple and sensational. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • White Cake Mix: The base of your cake, providing a blank canvas for the orange flavors to shine. You’ll also need the water, oil, and egg whites called for on the package directions.
  • Cold Orange Soda: Used to enhance the orange flavor in both the cake and the gelatin mixture. Orange Crush soda is recommended for its strong flavor, but any brand of orange soda can be used.
  • Orange Jell-o Gelatin Mix: This is poured over the cake after baking, infusing it with a bright orange flavor and color.
  • Whipped Topping: A light and fluffy topping that complements the tangy sweetness of the orange cake.
  • Orange Sprinkles: For garnish, adding a fun and festive touch to the finished cake.

Each ingredient plays a crucial role in creating the delightful taste and texture of the Orange Crush Poke Cake. From the moistness of the cake base to the tangy punch of the orange gelatin and the creamy sweetness of the whipped topping, every component comes together to create a dessert that’s as enjoyable to make as it is to eat.

Required Tools and Equipment 

To prepare an Orange Crush Poke Cake, having the right tools and equipment is as essential as the ingredients themselves. Here’s a list of kitchen essentials that will make the baking process smooth and enjoyable:

  • 9×13 Cake Pan: The ideal size for baking this cake, ensuring even cooking and sufficient space for the poke technique.
  • Electric Mixer: Crucial for mixing the cake batter to the right consistency, ensuring a smooth and airy texture.
  • Mixing Bowls: Needed for preparing both the cake batter and the orange gelatin mixture.
  • Medium Saucepan: Used for boiling water to dissolve the orange Jell-o mix.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Accuracy is key in baking, making these tools indispensable for measuring ingredients.
  • Wooden Skewer or Fork: For poking holes in the cake, allowing the orange gelatin to seep through and infuse the cake with flavor.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Bake the Cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). This ensures the cake cooks evenly from the moment it’s placed in the oven.
  2. Prepare your 9×13 cake pan by spraying the bottom with non-stick cooking spray. Using a clear glass pan can help you see when the sides of the cake are perfectly golden.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the white cake mix with the water, oil, and egg whites specified on the package. Use your electric mixer to beat the mixture on low speed until everything is thoroughly combined.
  4. Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. This is the perfect time to let the cake’s flavors begin to meld together.
  6. Allow the cake to cool in the pan. This step is crucial for the poke process, as a warm cake will better absorb the orange gelatin mixture.

Make the Filling

  1. Bring 3/4 cup of water to a boil in your medium saucepan. This will be used to dissolve the orange Jell-o gelatin mix.
  2. Dissolve the orange Jell-o in the boiling water, stirring until there are no granules left.
  3. Add the cold orange soda to the mixture, combining it well. The soda not only adds flavor but also helps cool the mixture slightly, making it ready to pour over the cake.
  4. Poke holes in the top of the cooled cake using a wooden skewer or fork, spacing them about every 1/2 inch. This allows the orange gelatin mixture to penetrate deep into the cake, infusing it with flavor.
  5. Pour the orange gelatin mixture evenly over the cake, ensuring it seeps into the holes. This step is what gives the Orange Crush Poke Cake its distinctive moist texture and flavor.
  6. Let the cake cool completely, typically about 1 hour, to allow the gelatin to set.

Add the Topping and Chill

  1. Spread the whipped topping over the cooled cake with a spatula, creating a smooth and even layer. The whipped topping adds a creamy texture that contrasts beautifully with the moist, tangy cake.
  2. Chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours. This not only helps set the cake but also enhances its flavors, making each bite a refreshing experience.
  3. Before serving, garnish with orange sprinkles. This not only adds a pop of color but also a slight crunch that complements the softness of the cake and the creaminess of the topping.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve the cake chilled, cutting it into squares for easy serving.
  • Pair it with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk to balance the sweetness.
  • For an extra touch of elegance, garnish each plate with a slice of fresh orange or a sprig of mint.

This detailed guide to making an Orange Crush Poke Cake is designed to be easy to follow, ensuring that bakers of all levels can create a dessert that’s sure to impress. From the tangy orange gelatin filling to the light whipped topping, each element combines to create a cake that’s as visually appealing as it is delicious. Remember, the key to the perfect poke cake lies in the details—take your time with each step to ensure the best results.

Variations and Add-ins 

The beauty of the Orange Crush Poke Cake lies in its versatility. While the classic recipe is delightful, there are numerous ways to customize this cake to suit your taste or occasion. Here are some creative variations and add-ins:

  • Cake Base Variations: While white cake mix is traditional, experimenting with yellow or French vanilla cake mixes can add depth to the cake’s flavor. For a fun twist, add a few drops of orange food coloring to the batter to enhance the cake’s vibrant color.
  • Soda Options: While Orange Crush soda is recommended for its bold flavor, don’t hesitate to try other brands like Fanta or Sunkist. Each brand brings a slightly different orange flavor profile to the cake.
  • Filling Flavors: Beyond orange Jell-o, consider using other gelatin flavors like lemon for a citrusy twist or strawberry for a fruity contrast. For a creamier texture, substitute the gelatin with vanilla pudding mixed with a bit of orange extract or juice.
  • Toppings and Frostings: While whipped topping is light and airy, opting for vanilla frosting or cream cheese frosting can offer a richer taste. For a unique combination, chocolate frosting pairs surprisingly well with the orange cake, creating a chocolate-orange flavor reminiscent of gourmet chocolate oranges.
  • Garnishes: Beyond orange sprinkles, consider topping your cake with fresh orange zest, mandarin orange segments, or even chopped candy pieces for added texture and flavor. Fresh berries also make a beautiful and tasty addition.

These variations allow you to tailor the Orange Crush Poke Cake to your preferences, making it a versatile dessert that can be reinvented time and again. Whether you’re serving it at a summer BBQ, a birthday party, or as a refreshing treat, there’s a variation that’s sure to delight your guests.

Incorporating these suggestions not only adds depth to the article but also encourages creativity in the kitchen, ensuring that the Orange Crush Poke Cake remains a favorite for all occasions.


Q: Can I make the Orange Crush Poke Cake ahead of time?
A: Absolutely! Making the cake a day in advance allows the gelatin to fully set and the flavors to meld together, often resulting in a more cohesive and delicious dessert. Just be sure to keep it refrigerated until serving.

Q: What if I don’t have orange soda? Can I use something else?
A: Yes, if orange soda isn’t available, you can substitute it with a mixture of orange juice and a bit of carbonated water for the fizz. This alternative maintains the orange flavor while adding a natural sweetness to the cake.

Q: Can this cake be frozen for later use?
A: The Orange Crush Poke Cake freezes well without the whipped topping. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. When ready to enjoy, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and add the whipped topping before serving.

Q: Is it possible to make a lighter version of this cake?
A: For a lighter version, consider using a low-calorie cake mix, sugar-free orange gelatin, and a light whipped topping. These substitutions can help reduce the overall calorie content without compromising the taste.

Q: How do I ensure the gelatin mixture evenly distributes through the cake?
A: When poking holes in the cake, make sure they are evenly spaced and go almost to the bottom of the cake. Pour the gelatin mixture slowly over the cake, giving it time to seep into the holes. This method ensures every bite is infused with the delicious orange flavor.

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Orange Crush Poke Cake

  • Author: Megan
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


The Orange Crush Poke Cake is a vibrant, refreshing dessert that combines the lightness of a fluffy white cake with the zesty punch of orange soda-infused gelatin. Topped with a creamy whipped layer and garnished with playful orange sprinkles, this cake is a celebration of flavors and textures.



1 box white cake mix
3 egg whites
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
3/4 cup cold orange soda
3.5 ounces orange Jello gelatin mix
3/4 cup boiling water
12 ounces whipped topping
Orange sprinkles for garnish


Bake the Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray the bottom of a 9×13 pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, beat the cake mix, water, oil, and egg whites with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan.
Make the Filling: In a medium pot, bring 3/4 cup water to a boil. Dissolve the orange Jello gelatin mix in the boiling water. Add 3/4 cup cold orange soda. Using the tines of a fork or a wooden skewer, poke holes in the top of the cake about every 1/2 inch. Pour the dissolved orange gelatin over the top of the cake. Let cool completely, about 1 hour.
Add the Topping and Chill: Spread whipped topping over the cooled cake. Chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Before serving, sprinkle with orange sprinkles.


  • Ingredient Flexibility: This recipe is wonderfully adaptable. Feel free to experiment with different cake mixes and soda flavors to create a dessert that caters to your specific taste preferences.
  • Make Ahead: The cake benefits from being made a day in advance, allowing the flavors to meld and the gelatin to set perfectly.
  • Serving Suggestions: For an extra touch of elegance, serve each slice with a dollop of whipped cream and a fresh orange slice on the side.
  • Storage: Leftover cake can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days. For longer storage, freeze the cake without the whipped topping.
  • Dietary Adjustments: For a lighter version, opt for sugar-free gelatin, a low-calorie cake mix, and light whipped topping. These substitutions can help accommodate dietary preferences without sacrificing flavor.
  • Creative Garnishes: Don’t hesitate to get creative with garnishes. Fresh fruit, zest, or even chocolate shavings can add an extra layer of flavor and texture to this delightful cake.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American


  • Calories: 267 kcal per serving

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