American Flag Poke Cake

This blog post is written by my lovely contributor Mendy Hendrix
I decided to take advantage of our bountiful summer fruit and celebrate this patriotic holiday weekend America style.  We are headed to a pool party tomorrow, so I recruited the help of my 3 year old daughter and my 7 year old son to help me make an American Flag Poke Cake. Shhhhh, don’t tell them, but it’s also a great way to break out a healthy snack, as we work on this patriotic dessert!
Poke Cake What you Need
First, Phoebe helped me prepare the strawberry jello.  Simply, follow the jello box directions.  Just don’t put it in the fridge to firm.  Leave it in the saucepan to cool while the cake bakes.  If you don’t want “caught red handed” fingers, catch her before she dips and licks the jello package.  LOL!
Next, I pulled out my trusty Simple White Cake recipe.  I’ve used this recipe several times for cupcakes and cakes.  It’s so yummy and moist.  I even passed it to my sis for birthday cupcakes.  You can’t go wrong because you always have these simple ingredients laying around!
Simple White Cake
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1¾ tsps baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350○ F. Grease and flour 9x9 inch pan or line muffin pan with liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together sugar and butter. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to creamed mixture and mix well. Finally, stir in milk till batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in preheated oven. For cupcakes, bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back to touch.
  4. (Tips: I used margarine instead of butter, which turned out fine to me. And, if you have self-rising flour, just omit the baking powder.)

Once the cake is done, and you let it cool for atleast 15 to 20 minutes, round up the troops because it’s poking cake time!  Arm them with old chopsticks, which you know you have laying in the silverware drawer from that last chinese take out night some years ago.  Or, you can use scewers or something of the sort.  Just be sure you make them stand still.  “You”ll poke your eye out!”

Then, have them start poking holes in the cake.  The goal here is to have holes a couple inches apart, all over, but don’t go chopping, so it doesn’t tear up. This way, you can pour the liquid jello mix all over the cake so it seeps in the holes!
Poke Cake Before Iced
Now, let it chill in the fridge, uncovered until the jello is set.
Once chilled, set out your cool whip and let it thaw for a few minutes, then give a good stir.  Now, just spread in over your cake then place back in fridge while you prepare your stars and stripes.
Wash your fruit.  Remove stems and cut your strawberries from top to bottom.  You need thin slices to lay out in lines across the cake for your “stripes” on the American flag.  Reserve the top left corner for the blueberries or “stars” on the flag.
American Flag Poke Cake
Once you have decorated your cake, place back in the fridge to chill for atleast an hour.  If you cut your strawberries on a paper plate and let them sit on the plate for a good 15 minutes or so, it will soak up some of the strawberry juice.  This will help them not bleed into the white icing.
American Flag Poke Cake
I really hope your friends and family enjoy this patriotic dessert.  Most of all, I hope you have some great family time making this with the kids.  Mine really enjoy being in the kitchen and baking with mom!
Mendy Signature **P.S.** I decided to double the recipe, allowing me to use a 9×13.5 inch cake pan.  I used 3/4 of the batter foe the cake, and the other portion to make mini cupcakes for the kids. Bake at 12-15 minutes.  I put a dab of cool whip on top, cut a slit on top, placed a sliced strawberry in the slit and a blueberry on each one.  Then sprinkled the remaining fruit slices and berries around the cupcake platter.  The kids devoured them!
Bite Size Snacks
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  1. This has been my favorite cake ever since I was a child! So cool and yummy on a hot summer day.

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