A strawberry poke cake iced with whipped cream reads on a marble cutting board. Fresh strawberries decorated the top of the gluten-free cake. More fresh strawberries are in a bowl and on a wooden board behind the cake.
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My great-aunts used to cook up a storm for my childhood birthdays and Jelly Cakes were always a favourite of mine. I don’t always have time to dip each piece of cake in jelly and then in coconut, so this gluten-free strawberry poke cake is a delicious compromise.

For those not familiar with poke cakes, they’re a type of cake that is made by “poking” holes in a baked cake and then filling those holes with a topping or filling. The holes are typically made with the end of a wooden spoon or a fork, and the filling can be anything from jelly or custard to caramel or even condensed milk. As the filling is poured into the holes, it seeps into the cake, adding moisture and flavour to each bite. The result is a moist, flavorful, and visually stunning cake that is perfect for any occasion.

Strawberry Poke Cake

Recipe Cara Boatswain | Photography by Brandee Meier
Gluten-free cake + jelly! What's not to love about a gluten-free poke cake?!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Baked Goods, Dessert
Servings 10 people


  • 130 g butter or dairy-free margarine plus extra to grease
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • cups 225g gluten-free self-raising flour
  • ½ cup milk or dairy-free alternative
  • 85 g gluten-free strawberry jelly crystals
  • 1 cup boiling water


  • 300 ml thickened cream or dairy-free cream, we like Vegan Life Whipping Cream
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free icing sugar
  • fresh strawberries to serve (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 180°C and line a 27.5 x 17.5cm (base) brownie pan with baking paper.
  • Place butter and vanilla in a bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat until creamy. Add sugar and eggs and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Add half of the flour along with half of the milk, beat to combine, then repeat with remaining flour and milk. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 30-45 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Poke holes halfway into the cake using the end of a wooden spoon.
  • Combine jelly crystals and boiling water in a jug. Whisk until crystals are completely dissolved, then pour over the top of cake. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • Combine cream and icing sugar in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Spread over cake, then return to the refrigerator until needed. Serve sliced into squares with fresh strawberries (if desired).
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