If you loved those strawberry shortcake crunch ice cream bars as a kid, you’ll LOVE this Strawberry Crunch Poke Cake! A moist and soft strawberry poke cake with a fluffy whipped cream frosting and a strawberry crunch topping!
Surprise, another poke cake recipe!
I know I just posted one, but I couldn’t help it – this one was too good not to post immediately. Like, STAT.
I didn’t realize, but I was apparently inspired by childhood ice cream treats because my last big baking day, I did not one, but two ice cream-inspired desserts. Stay tuned for the next one because like this one, it is equally delicious and game changing!
This cake reminds me of those quintessential childhood strawberry shortcake crunch ice cream bars – you know the ones with the crunchy strawberry shortcake topping on the outside of the ice cream bar? This has that same crunchy element but on top of the cake! The crunch adds a delightful texture to this cake since the cake is very moist – almost like a tres leches cake.
The Poke Cake
The cake itself is a white cake that you bake up with the usual ingredients: cake mix, eggs, oil, water. Bake it and let it cool completely, then poke holes all over the top with a fork and pour over your strawberry gelatin mixture. The mixture is just strawberry gelatin, boiling water to dissolve it, and some cold water to help bring it to temp. Cover the cake and let it set for a little bit, preferably overnight, in the fridge to really allow that strawberry gelatin mixture time to seep into the cake and transform it into a magical poke cake!
The frosting is to-die for – a mixture of cream cheese and whipped cream to offset some of the sweetness with an edge of tanginess from the cream cheese. Just beat together some cream cheese to whip it up, then whip some heavy cream, vanilla and confectioners’ sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold the two together and spread it over the cake! Easy!
The topping is quite possibly, and no offense to the rest of the cake, the best part and is the nostalgic piece for me! It consists of coarsely crushed Golden Oreos, melted butter, and more strawberry gelatin powder mixed together until it gets all combined and perfect. It tastes JUST like the ice cream bars but better, in my humble opinion! It really adds a great texture to this ultra moist and soft cake!
Sweet, moist, creamy, smooth and bursting with sweet strawberry flavor, you’re going to love this nostalgic Strawberry Crunch Poke Cake!
Strawberry Crunch Poke Cake
For the Cake:
- One (15.25) box white cake mix, plus ingredients on back of box to prepare white cake
- 3 oz box strawberry gelatin
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup cold water
For the Frosting:
- 8 oz (One package) cream cheese, softened
- 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Strawberry Crunch Topping:
- 18-20 Golden Oreos, coarsely crushed
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 3 oz box strawberry gelatin powder
- Fresh strawberries for garnish, optional but recommended
- Preheat oven to 350° degrees F. Liberally grease a 9x13 light metal rectangular baking pan with cooking spray; set aside. Prepare your cake mix according to package directions for a white cake. Add the cake batter to the prepared pan and bake according to package instructions (around 22-25 minutes or a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean). Cool completely, then poke holes all over the cake using the tines of a fork.
- In a small pitcher, combine the first box of a strawberry gelatin and the boiling water and whisk until powder is dissolved. Add in the cold water and whisk in until incorporated. Pour the liquid gelatin mixture evenly over the holes on the cake. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, up to overnight, to set.
- For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese with the paddle attachment until smooth and fluffy, about 30 seconds - 1 minute. Scrape out and set aside in a medium bowl. Add the heavy cream, confectioners' sugar and vanilla to the original stand mixer bowl and switch to using the whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed for approximately 5-7 minutes or until stiff peaks form.
- Fold the cream cheese mixture into the whipped cream mixture until no streaks of cream cheese remain and everything is evenly incorporated. Spread the frosting over the chilled cake in an even layer. Set aside.
- For the topping: Combine the coarsely crushed Golden Oreos, melted butter, and second box of strawberry gelatin powder (just the dry powder) in a medium bowl until combined and thoroughly coated. Drop handfuls of the mixture evenly over the frosted cake and press to adhere to the frosting. Top with fresh strawberries, if desired. Store any leftover cake covered in the fridge. The longer the cake sets in the fridge, the topping will soften some.
You guys are going to LOVE the addictive topping on this cake and how it brings back so many nostalgic childhood memories of eating those delicious ice cream bars!
Have a super sweet day!