This Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake has the nostalgic flavors of an orange creamsicle ice pop from childhood but in a dreamy and delicious cake!
During summers as a kid, my siblings, friends and I were always swimming in my Grammie’s pool. After a few hours, she’d emerge with a basket full of assorted ice pops, ice cream bars and the like, or offer to make up scoops of ice cream cones. Every day we’d select a different frozen treat du jour; some days I opted for a cookie dough ice cream scoop, and others I went right for the creamsicles.
Nothing beats the classic, nostalgic combination of bright, zesty orange and creamy, rich vanilla flavors! This cake combines that childhood fave flavor into a fun new treat.
Poke cakes are certainly nothing new – in fact, they are a nostalgic treat in and of themselves. You typically prepare a box cake mix according to the package instructions, bake it, and then poke holes all over the baked cake using the handle of a wooden spoon or a skewer. Once the cake has been “poked”, you’ll pour over a liquid-y Jello mixture using any flavor you like (today we’re obviously using orange!) and then cover and refrigerate the cake.
After the cake has had time to set in the fridge, the cake will have this marbled appearance where the Jello was poured and poked into the cake. You’ll just need to frost it and you’re done!
Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake
Of course, today’s flavor is Orange Creamsicle, so we’re working with orange and vanilla flavors – arguably the best combo! You’ll prepare a box of vanilla cake mix according to the package directions. (Any brand works!). Then you’ll make up your Jello mixture. For this recipe, we’re going to use orange gelatin as well as some orange juice for added orange flavor + some orange extract for a little extra boost.
You’ll whisk together the orange Jello, water, OJ and orange extract and pour it over your baked and poked cake. Allow your cake to cool in the fridge for a few hours. For a little extra orange-y goodness, I spread the top of the cake with some chopped mandarin oranges, but this is optional. After, I frosted the cake with fresh vanilla whipped cream.
This cake is light, fluffy, fruity, and oh so delicious! I know you’re going to be making this Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake again and again this summer!
Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake
- One box vanilla cake mix, plus ingredients on the back of the box to prepare a 13x9 cake
- 3 oz (1 small box) orange gelatin
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 tsp orange extract, optional but recommended
- 1 can (10.5oz) mandarin oranges, drained and chopped (optional)
- 1¼ cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Prepare the cake batter according to the package instructions and bake in a 13x9" baking pan until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist, but not wet, crumbs. Cool for about 15 minutes, then use the handle of a wooden spoon or a skewer to poke holes all over the cake.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the orange gelatin powder and boiling water until dissolved, about 1 minute. Stir in the orange juice and orange extract, if using, and whisk for another minute until fully incorporated. Pour the orange Jello mixture evenly over the cake, trying to fill the holes as much as possible with the mixture. Cover and refrigerate the cake for at least 2 hours, up to overnight, to allow the cake to set and absorb the flavors.
- Just before you're ready to serve, spread the chopped mandarin oranges over the surface of the cake in an even layer (if using). Then, prepare your whipped cream frosting.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy whipping cream, confectioners' sugar and vanilla extract on high speed for about 5-7 minutes or until stiff peaks have formed. Spread the whipped cream evenly over the cake. Cut into slices to serve, and store any leftover cake covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.
This cake totally reminds me of my childhood summer days and I know it’ll bring you fond memories, too!
Have a super sweet day!