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Orange Crush Poke Cake Recipe

Introduction to Poke Cakes

Poke cakes, a delightful twist on traditional cakes, have charmed dessert lovers for decades. Originating in the 1970s, this ingenious creation became an instant hit due to its unique preparation method and irresistible moistness. The concept is simple: once baked, the cake is “poked” with holes, allowing a delicious filling—be it jell-o, pudding, or sweetened condensed milk—to seep in, infusing the cake with flavors and keeping it incredibly moist. This method not only adds a depth of flavor but also creates a wonderfully tender texture that enhances the overall eating experience. Poke cakes are celebrated for their versatility, allowing for countless flavor combinations, making them a perfect choice for any occasion, from casual gatherings to festive celebrations. Their enduring popularity is a testament to their deliciousness and the joy of discovering the myriad of flavors hidden within each bite.

Why Orange Crush Poke Cake?

Among the myriad flavors of poke cakes, the Orange Crush Poke Cake stands out as a uniquely delightful treat. This cake captures the essence of the beloved Orange Crush soda, combining it with the soft, airy texture of a poke cake to create a dessert that’s both refreshing and nostalgically sweet. The choice of Orange Crush as a key ingredient harks back to sunny days and carefree moments, offering a taste of childhood joy in every slice. Its bright, citrusy flavor, infused throughout the cake, not only appeals to the palate but also brings a vibrant pop of color to the table, making it an eye-catching centerpiece for any gathering. The Orange Crush Poke Cake is more than just a dessert; it’s a celebration of flavor, combining the comfort of familiar tastes with the excitement of creating something new and delightful. Its unique charm lies in its ability to evoke memories while creating new ones, making it a beloved choice for both young and old.

Recipe Overview

Ingredients Breakdown

Creating an Orange Crush Poke Cake requires simple, accessible ingredients, making it an easy yet delightful treat to prepare. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 box white or vanilla cake mix: This serves as the cake’s foundation, offering a neutral base that complements the vibrant orange flavor. Alternative: For a homemade touch, you can use your favorite white cake recipe as the base.
  • 1 cup water: Needed for the cake mix. Alternative: For a richer taste, substitute with milk.
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil: Essential for a moist cake texture.
  • 3 egg whites: To keep the cake light and fluffy. Alternative: Use a whole egg if preferred, though it may slightly alter the cake’s color.
  • 1 package (3 oz) orange gelatin mix: This infuses the cake with a bright, orange flavor. Alternative: Any brand of orange gelatin will do, or use a different flavor for a new twist.
  • 1 cup Orange Crush soda: To dissolve the gelatin and add to the cake. Alternative: Any orange soda can be used, such as Fanta or Sunkist, depending on your preference or availability.
  • 1 tub (8 oz) whipped topping: For frosting the cake. Alternative: Homemade whipped cream can be used for a richer topping.

Step-by-Step Recipe

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan or line it with parchment paper for easy removal.
  2. Prepare the Cake Mix: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, and 3 egg whites. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
  3. Bake the Cake: Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
  4. Poke Holes: Once slightly cooled, use the handle of a wooden spoon or a skewer to poke holes all over the top of the cake, about 1 inch apart.
  5. Prepare the Gelatin Mixture: In a medium bowl, dissolve the orange gelatin mix in 1 cup of boiling water. Once fully dissolved, stir in 1 cup of Orange Crush soda. Pour this mixture evenly over the poked cake, ensuring it seeps into the holes.
  6. Chill the Cake: Allow the cake to cool completely at room temperature. Then, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to let the gelatin set.
  7. Frost the Cake: Once the cake is chilled and set, evenly spread the whipped topping over the surface. For an added touch, garnish with orange zest, sprinkles, or thin orange slices.
  8. Serve: Keep the cake refrigerated until ready to serve. Cut into squares and enjoy the burst of citrusy goodness with every bite.

This Orange Crush Poke Cake recipe is not only simple to follow but also versatile, allowing for personal touches and variations. Whether for a special occasion or a casual dessert craving, it promises to deliver a refreshing and nostalgic treat that’s sure to delight.

Baking Tips and Tricks

Ensuring Moistness and Flavor

To guarantee your Orange Crush Poke Cake emerges from the oven with the perfect level of moistness and packed with vibrant orange flavor, consider these tips:

  • Poke Depth: When creating holes in your cake, make them deep enough to allow the orange gelatin mixture to penetrate well into the cake, enriching every bite with flavor.
  • Even Distribution: Pour the orange gelatin mixture slowly and evenly over the cake, ensuring it fills all the holes and seeps into the cake evenly. This step is crucial for achieving uniform moistness and flavor throughout.
  • Chill Thoroughly: Letting the cake chill for at least 2 hours after adding the gelatin mixture is essential. This not only sets the gelatin but also enhances the cake’s overall texture and taste.
  • Ingredient Temperature: Use room temperature ingredients (eggs, water, soda) to ensure a smoother batter, which contributes to a more evenly baked cake.

Decoration Ideas

A beautifully decorated Orange Crush Poke Cake can turn this simple dessert into a stunning centerpiece. Here are some creative ideas:

  • Citrus Garnish: Top your cake with thinly sliced oranges, lemons, or lime for a fresh, citrusy look. The vibrant colors add a beautiful contrast against the whipped topping.
  • Edible Flowers: For an elegant touch, decorate your cake with edible flowers. Their natural colors and delicate shapes bring a sophisticated flair to your dessert presentation.
  • Theme Sprinkles: Customize your cake with themed sprinkles to match any occasion. Whether it’s a birthday party or a holiday gathering, choosing fun, festive sprinkles can make your cake even more special.
  • Orange Zest Swirls: Before serving, add fresh orange zest swirls to the whipped topping. This not only adds a pop of color but also a burst of fresh orange aroma and flavor, enhancing the overall sensory experience.

Variations and Serving Suggestions

Variations of the Recipe

The beauty of the Orange Crush Poke Cake lies in its versatility. Experimenting with alternative sodas and Jell-O flavors can lead to delightful variations:

  • Alternative Sodas: Swap Orange Crush for other citrus sodas like Fanta, Sunkist, or even a lemon-lime soda for a twist. Each soda brings a unique flavor profile that can make the cake more personalized.
  • Different Jell-O Flavors: While orange is classic, trying other Jell-O flavors such as lemon, lime, or strawberry can create exciting new cakes. Match the Jell-O flavor with the soda for a harmonious taste or mix them for a fun, fruity combination.
  • Layering Flavors: For a more complex flavor profile, layer two different Jell-O flavors by pouring half the quantity of one flavor and letting it set in the fridge before adding the second layer. This technique creates a visually stunning and tasty dessert.

Serving Suggestions

The presentation of the Orange Crush Poke Cake can enhance the overall dining experience. Here are some suggestions for serving this delightful dessert:

  • Chilled: Serve the cake chilled to maintain its moistness and refreshing flavor, especially during warm weather.
  • Garnishes: Accentuate the citrus theme with garnishes like orange slices, mint leaves, or even a sprinkle of grated orange zest right before serving.
  • Pairing: Complement the cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream for added richness. The coolness of the ice cream pairs wonderfully with the tangy citrus cake.


  • Can the Orange Crush be substituted with another soda?
    Yes, any citrus-flavored soda works well as a substitute for Orange Crush. Lemon-lime sodas or other orange sodas like Fanta or Sunkist are excellent choices.
  • Can the cake be made from scratch instead of using a box mix?
    Absolutely. A homemade white or vanilla cake recipe can replace the boxed mix for those who prefer baking from scratch. Just ensure the cake is suitable for poking and soaking up the Jell-O mixture.
  • How to store the Orange Crush Poke Cake?
    Store the cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The cold environment helps keep the cake moist and the flavors intact.
  • Can I make the Orange Crush Poke Cake in advance?
    Yes, making the cake a day in advance allows the flavors to meld together beautifully. Just add any fresh garnishes before serving to maintain their texture and appearance.

Orange Crush Poke Cake Recipe

Delight in the nostalgic and refreshing taste of the Orange Crush Poke Cake. This dessert is perfect for any occasion, blending the citrusy zest of Orange Crush soda with the tender texture of a poke cake. Ideal for summer gatherings or as a comforting treat, this cake promises a burst of orange flavor in every bite.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
Calories 267 kcal


  • 9x13 inch baking pan
  • Electric mixer
  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Skewer or fork


  • 1 box white or vanilla cake mix
  • 1 cup water for cake mix
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 package 3 oz orange gelatin mix
  • 1 cup Orange Crush soda
  • 1 tub 8 oz whipped topping
  • Optional garnishes: orange zest orange slices, sprinkles


  • Preheat Oven: Set your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease your 9x13 baking pan.
  • Mix and Bake: In a bowl, combine cake mix, water, oil, and egg whites. Beat until smooth, pour into the pan, and bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  • Poke and Soak: Poke the cake all over with a skewer. Mix the gelatin with boiling water until dissolved, then stir in the soda. Pour over the cake evenly.
  • Chill: Allow the cake to cool, then refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • Decorate: Spread whipped topping over the cake. Add any optional garnishes.
  • Serve: Enjoy chilled, slicing into 12 portions.


  • Alternative Sodas: Feel free to use any citrus-flavored soda as an alternative to Orange Crush.
  • Homemade Cake Mix Option: For a homemade touch, substitute the boxed cake mix with your favorite white cake recipe.
  • Storage: Keep the cake refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days for optimal freshness.
  • Make Ahead: This cake can be made a day in advance, adding fresh garnishes before serving to maintain their crispness.
Keyword Citrus Dessert, Easy baking, Orange Crush Poke Cake, Refreshing Dessert, Summer Cake