I love making this cake for holidays, like memorial day and veterans day, and especially for the 4th of July. It’s a simple process, and the kids can help with the decorating with very minimal help from Mom or Dad. This method has been around since I was a kid, so I don’t know who should get credit for the idea. The basic cake is a Poke Cake.First, bake a white, or yellow, cake, you can use a box mix or make it from scratch. The choice is yours. I listed a box mix in the instructions because it makes everything simple.Once the cake is baked, allow it to cool, then stab it with a meat fork or the handle of a wooden spoon making indentations into the top of the cake. My mom always said not to penetrate the bottom of the cake, but on times, my exuberant kitchen help has stabbed the cake all the way to the bottom, so I’m not sure it matters.
Mix a 4 serving size of a red or blue colored gelatin with 1 cup boiling water. I used a box of cherry jello. Once it is mixed well, pour it over the top of the cake, making sure that you move from side to side, as you pour to ensure that the entire surface of the cake is covered. Pour slowly to allow it to soak into the cake.
Once you have completed this step, cover the cake and place it in the refrigerator for 1 – 2 hours until the gelatin has set up. At this point, you can cover the cake and stick it into your freezer for up to two weeks before your event. Just take it out the morning of the event and decorate it.
To decorate your cake, arrange a small field of fresh blueberries that have been washed and dried in rows in the top left corner of your pan. This is your field of stars. A word of warning here. One year, Food Critic was helping me to decorate this cake, and he was adamant that there must be fifty blueberries in the field. Sue Chef tried to tell him that he blueberries were the background, the space between them was the stars. It took a while before I convinced him that it was okay for the cake not to be a perfectly accurate flag. It was a representation, not an actual flag.
Remove the “cap”, the leaves and small tough part, from the top of your strawberries and slice them in half. Arrange the strawberries in rows like red stripes. I find that it helps to do the top and bottom rows and then a row in the middle and fill it in by dividing the remaining area with a row of strawberries until there is no more room for red stripes. In my photo, you will notice that we didn’t do it that way, so our bottom row is actually made from strawberries that have been cut into quarters. We could have left the bottom row white, but Food Critic likes his cake to be symmetrical. No one noticed the quartered berries. They devoured the cake.
Cover the cake and store in the refrigerator or in a cooler until serving time. When you cut into the cake, it will have streaks of color from the jello that make the cake more colorful and add extra flavor to what would otherwise have been a plain white cake.
This cake is always a hit with our guests. It’s simple to make, and it’s a fun way to get you children in the kitchen to help with getting ready for your holiday barbecue. They love to decorate this cake, and they can almost do it on their own. Almost, because in my house, if unsupervised, all of the strawberries will end up in Bus Boy’s belly.
Here are the printable instructions. Let us know if you’ve ever tried this cake before or if you have any other holiday favorites. Baker’s Man said to tell you that this cake was good, and he doesn’t like strawberries.
Thanks for visiting Patty Cake’s Pantry.
- 1 (15.25 ounce) box of white cake mix
- Ingredients needed to make the cake
- 1 (4 serving size) package of red or blue flavored gelatin
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 (8 ounce) container of frozen whipped topping, thawed
- ½ - ¾ cup fresh blueberries
- 15 - 20 fresh strawberries, capped and cut in half
- Prepare cake mix according to package directions and bake in a 9X13 inch pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.
- Remove cake from oven and allow to cool completely.
- Poke the top of the cake with a meat fork, chop stick, or the handle of a wooden spoon. Puncture the surface of the cake and about half way down about every ½ to ¾ inches.
- Dissolve the flavored gelatin in 1 cup boiling water and mix well to combine.
- Slowly pour the gelatin and water mixture over the top of your cake, making sure to cover the entire surface and to allow the gelatin time to absorb into the cake.
- Cover the cake and place in the refrigerator for 1 - 2 hours or until the gelatin has set. The cake can be frozen at this point for up to two weeks in a well sealed, and covered pan.
- On the day of your event, remove the cake from the refrigerator (or freezer) and frost the top with the whipped topping.
- Arrange blueberries in the top left corner of the cake for the field of stars, and arrange the halved strawberries in stripes.
- Cake should be eaten within 3 days. (The berries don't last long)
- Store the cake, covered, in the refrigerator or a cooler until serving time.