Beach Poke Cake

This beach theme poke cake would be a hit at a beach theme party or under the sea theme party! Kids will have fun decorating the top of this beach cake with teddy grahams, gummy sea creatures, and graham cracker sand.

slice of beach theme cake on white plate

This idea came me to when I was lying in bed.

It takes me forever to fall asleep, meanwhile Ryan is out in like minutes.

But there were a few minutes before Ryan fell asleep where he was helping me brainstorm ideas, and he mentioned making a poke cake. Then all of a sudden I was like “A BEACH POKE CAKE!”

The whole idea is really cute. It would be the perfect cake to make for a ocean beach birthday party. We don’t have kids yet, but it will be fun to make themed treats for their birthdays!

how to make a poke cake, cake in glass 9x13 inch pan with fork poking holes in cake, blue jello mixture being poured over cake

How to make a poke cake

A poke cake is really easy to make. It starts with a baked cake, you could use a box cake mix, homemade cake mix, or a doctored up cake mix.

Once the cake is cool, use a fork or straw to poke holes all over the cake.

Next you add the filling mixture. This could be jello powder mixed with water, instant pudding or fruit puree. There are a ton of different recipes. Pour or spread the filling over the cake and let it seep into the holes!

Then you’ll frost the top of the cake – with whipped cream, cream cheese whipped cream, buttercream, etc, there are so many options.

Add any garnishes you’d like and PRESTO! It’s done. And so good.

beach theme cake, teddy grahams on fruit roll up towels sitting on graham cracker sand under a toothpick umbrella

How to make a beach cake

To make a beach cake with jello you’ll need..

Cake

a box of white or yellow cake mix plus the ingredients listed on the back

Filling

a box of blue raspberry jello and water

Frosting

heavy cream, cream cheese powdered sugar, and blue gel food coloring (or you could use cool whip and cream cheese, or just cool whip!)

Decorations

Graham cracker crumbs, teddy grahams, gummy life savers, gummy sharks or other sea creatures, fruit roll ups, blue sprinkles and umbrella toothpicks

The decorations are the best part! You can decorate it however you want. Want half of the cake to be the beach? Add lots of graham cracker crumbs. Want to use gold fish or swedish fish? Do it!

beach theme cake, teddy graham in gummy life saver swimming

Tips for making a beach theme cake with teddy grahams

1. Refrigerate the cake after you add the filling. You want to give the beach cake with teddy grahams time to chill before adding the frosting,

2. Once you spread on the frosting, add the graham cracker crumbs so the crumbs will stick to the frosting. If you refrigerate the cake after you put on the frosting and before you add the crumbs, the frosting will be cold and the crumbs will not stick.

3. Do not add the fruit roll up beach towels and then refrigerate overnight. The fruit roll ups become mushy and slimy. So add that decoration shortly before serving.

Aerial photograph of beach theme cake on blue background

Can I make a beach poke cake ahead of time?

Yes, you can make the cake portion of the recipe 2 days in advance, wrap it well and store in the fridge. OR You can make the cake portion and frost the cake 1 day in advance, again, covering it tightly and storing in the fridge.

Should I refrigerate a poke cake?

Yes, most poke cakes will need to be refrigerated because that will help to set the filling, whether it be jello, pudding or fruit puree.

slice of beach theme cake

Looking for more beach dessert ideas?
Under the sea graham crackers
Octopus Cupcakes


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slice of beach poke cake on white plate with text overlay
Beach Poke Cake

Beach Poke Cake

Yield: 9x13 inch cake
Additional Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours
This beach theme poke cake would be a hit at a beach theme party or under the sea theme party! Kids will have fun decorating the top of this beach cake with teddy grahams, gummy sea creatures, and graham cracker sand.

Ingredients

  • 15.25 oz box of white cake mix (plus ingredients listed on back)
  • 3 oz box of blue raspberry jello
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 8 oz softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (16 oz) heavy cream
  • blue gel food coloring

Decorations

  • Graham cracker crumbs, teddy grahams, gummy life savers, gummy sharks or other sea creatures, fruit roll ups, blue sprinkles and umbrella toothpicks

Instructions

  1. If using a box of cake mix, follow the directions on the back of the box to prepare and bake the cake. If you’d like to make a doctored up white cake mix, we have an awesome recipe that we love!
  2. Allow the cake to cool to room temperature. Then using a fork, straw or wooden dowel, poke holes all over the cake about 1/2 inch apart. Make sure the holes go all the way to the bottom of the cake.
  3. Prepare the filling, in a bowl combine the blue raspberry jello powder and 1/2 cup boiling water, stir with a spatula until the gelatin dissolves. Pour this mixture all over the cake, then cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. 
  4. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract using an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add the heavy cream, pouring in 1/4 of the cream at a time, beating until completely smooth. Repeat until all the cream has been added. Add in a small amount of blue gel food coloring. Gel food coloring works the best because a little goes a long way to make a bright color. Spread the frosting over the top of the cake.
  5. Add the graham cracker crumbs, creating a beach. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  6. Before serving add fruit roll up beach towels, teddy grahams, teddy grahams in gummy life savers, gummy sharks, blue sprinkles and umbrella toothpicks.

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