I was asked by a friend to make a jello cake, or poke cake, for her because her oven was broken. So I said of course I would. And then I told her don't laugh, but I've never made one. So I guessed and she confirmed my assumptions were pretty spot on. And for a second reference I googled it. Everyone has their own versions that are the best out there of course, so why not include mine? I don't make cakes from boxes, anymore. I used to do an altered version of box cakes, but it was too tiresome explaining to people that yes I use a box mix, but that was one ingredient out of 12 in the recipe I used. So I switched to all scratch recipes. The downfall? Cakes backed from scratch don't include all of those preservatives in box mixes and so the cake won't be as "fresh" for as long. The good thing is scratch cakes don't contain all those chemical preservatives! It's a catch twenty-two but what are you going to do? The only thing I don't love about the vanilla cake recipe that I use is, I can't get my cupcakes to dome nicely. You know, puff up and stay rounded. It's a science really. I just haven't found a way for it to work with that recipe. My white cake recipe will. Vanilla cake, nope. Oh well, moving on, as that is an entire other topic. So here's the recipe and what I did for the poke cup-cake in the picture.
1-box your favorite cake mix
(baked according to directions on box and cooled)
your favorite cake recipe baked in cupcakes or 9x13 pan, cooled
1 box Jello, strawberry (I used sugar free on mine)
1 cup boiling water
1 cup liquid bettercreme (or 1 tub cool whip)
While the cake/cupcakes are cooling, boil the water. Place the package of jello mix and whisk in the boiling water. Whisk until the jello is dissolved. Let cool slightly, about 3-5 minutes. Poke holes into the cake/cupcakes using a fork, chopstick, or bamboo skewer. Pour the slightly cooled gelatin over the cake/cupcakes evenly so the liquid flows into the holes and there are no empty spots. Refrigerate until completely cooled, about 2 hours. Remove from the refrigerator. In a bowl add the bettercreme, the zest from the orange, and the juice from half the orange. Whisk until soft peaks form. Ice your cake/cupcakes with the bettercreme. Garnish with an orange wedge. If you are using cool whip, stir in the zest and as much of the orange juice as you can while keeping the cool whip consistency. You don't want it too thin.
*bettercreme is a whipped icing that is stabilized and doesn't require refrigeration if kept under 75 degrees. I found it in the freezer section at my whole saler.
Enjoy this version of poke cake. I only had one bite. Just a bite because of my whole eating healthy thing I've got going on. I ended up with a few jumbo cupcakes out of my recipe, and so naturally I don't want them around as temptation. So I gave them away on facebook. I have my own cake page, for when I used to be able to make cakes for others, but you know, city wants their cut and I can't meet the required criteria of have an entire separate kitchen in my house with 5, yes I said 5, sinks! So now it's just for fun times.