Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake

This Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake is made with a homemade vanilla cake that’s soaked with a mix of sweetened condensed milk and orange Jello powder. It’s topped with vanilla whipped cream for the perfect orange creamsicle cake recipe!

Need more orange creamsicle goodness in your life? Whip up my Orange Creamsicle Ice Cream Cake next!

Image of a Piece of Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake

Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake recipe

Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake Recipe

I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend. Ours was relatively laid back and involved plenty of food, friends and celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ! It was a beautiful day too – nice and warm. We took Jessie on a nice, long walk and then remembered that although we are excited about all the warm weather, she actually prefers winter. The sun is hot for her and she’s a spoiled indoor dog. 🙂 She does love a good walk though.

We also completed day 4 of my IVF shots (see my previous post: I won the infertility jackpot). So far things have gone pretty well. The first two days were a little more stressful because we hadn’t quite gotten the hang of mixing all the medicines and pulling everything into the syringes, but we’ve got it down pretty well now. The needles are small and the physical marks they leave behind are smaller. Emotional marks are yet to be seen, but so far all is well. We have a first monitoring appointment tomorrow to see how things are progressing.

I’ve been extra healthy recently in preparation for these couple of weeks, so sadly I didn’t get to eat a ton of this cake. I wanted to – creamsicles are definitely a fave – but I did get to taste it and it was delicious! Between my Orange Creamsicle Ice Cream Cake and this poke cake, it’s hard to decide which is more fun.

Image of a Slice of Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake on a PlateBest Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake recipe

How to Make The Best Orange Creamsicle Cake

One thing I’ll say for this cake is that it’s super easy to make! The vanilla cake is homemade, but you could swap it out for a cake mix if you really wanted to. Making the homemade cake is quick – no creaming or anything. You don’t even have to pull out your mixer if you don’t want to. Just mix the wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately, combine them, then add some water. A couple bowls and a whisk! I’ll note that the final batter is quite thin, so don’t be alarmed. It bakes up lovely!

When the cake comes out of the oven, poke holes all over it. I use a knife sharpening rod, but you could also use a straw or the end of a wooden spoon or something similar.

The mixture that’s poured over the cake is a mix of sweetened condensed milk, water and orange JELLO powder. You want to be sure to heat the water so that it’s hot enough for the JELLO powder to dissolve before you add it to the milk. You could heat it in the microwave or over the stove, as long as it will dissolve the powder. We don’t want a grainy cake.

Pour the mixture over the cake and allow it to soak into the holes while the cake cools. I think this cake gets even better as it sits.

The topping is a light vanilla whipped cream. It goes great with the orange-flavored cake and whips up quickly. Spread it over the cake and then top it as you like. I decided to pipe some swirls of whipped cream over the spots where I thought slices would be cut and add a little orange candy slice to each. Simple and fun!

This cake just screams summer and reminiscing about childhoods spent eating creamsicles! If you love the flavor as much as I do, you’ll love this cake!

Image of an Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake in a PanEasy Orange Creamsicle Poke


Read transcript
NOTE: Recipe updated 5/30/17 so that the orange mixture poured over the cake is a bit less thick. Some additional orange flavor was also added to the cake itself.

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Recipe

Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 29 minutes
  • Total Time: 59 minutes
  • Yield: 12-15 slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake is made with a homemade vanilla cake that’s soaked with a mix of sweetened condensed milk and orange Jello powder. It’s topped with vanilla whipped cream for the perfect orange creamsicle cake recipe!


Scale

Ingredients

CAKE

  • 2 1/2 cups (325g) all purpose flour
  • 2 cups (414g) sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (240ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp orange zest
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) water
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) fresh squeezed orange juice*

ORANGE MIXTURE

  • 3 oz package orange JELLO powder
  • 1 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

TOPPING

  • 2 1/4 cups (540ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup (115g) powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Orange candy slices

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare a 9×13 inch cake pan with non-stick baking spray.
2. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixer bowl and combine. Set aside.
3. Add the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, eggs and orange zest to a medium sized bowl and combine.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat until well combined.
5. Slowly add the water and orange juice to the batter and mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 28-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
7. Remove the cake from the oven and poke holes all over the top of the cake.
8. Add the JELLO powder to the boiling water, then stir until the powder dissolves completely. You don’t want it to remain grainy.
9. Add the orange mixture to the sweetened condensed milk and mix until well combined.
10. Pour the orange mixture over the top of the cake, allowing it to soak into the holes. Let cake cool completely.
11. To make the whipped cream topping, place the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract into a large mixer bowl. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
12. Spread the whipped cream over the top of the cake and top with swirls of frosting and orange candy slices.
13. Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve. Cake is best for 3-4 days.

* Be sure to use a fresh orange for the juice, not store-bought juice. Store-bought juice has additional sugar and other things added that will affect the way the cake bakes.


Keywords: orange creamsicle cake, orange creamsicle, orange cake, orange cake recipe, orange dessert, poke cake recipe, poke cake

Enjoy!

Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake - a moist, from-scratch vanilla cake soaked with orange JELLO and topped with whipped cream!

Close-up Image of a Slice of Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake

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Recipe rating

46 Comments
  1. Margaret Weiss

    Made this today. Used half regular sugar half Splenda to just lessen the sugar content. Also used sugar free jello and that turned out fine; was thicker then the photos even with warming it up but still went well with the cake. I made some candied orange peel to add to the decorations instead of the candy orange gummies. Husband and toddler loved it. The dog was also happy it was a non chocolate dessert so he could clean our plates.

  2. darlene

    I have been asked to make a birthday cake and it HAS to be orange cake and orange icing and has to be decorated like a birthday cake. Would this recipe stand up as a 3 layer – 8 inch cake? I’m leaning on no, but you would know what the consistency of the cake is and how well it would hold up. Thanks!

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, it would work. I’ve used it as a layered vanilla cake here. This orange version would be fine. You could also still poke the layers and drizzle them. The topping would even work to frost the cake, if you wanted. Alternatively, I have these Orange Cream Cupcakes and it could be doubled to make an 8 inch layer cake as well.

      1. Darlene

        Thank you!! You are awesome!! Absolutely love your recipes, I’ve only used maybe 10 lol!! Thanks again!!!

  3. Nancy R

    I’m of the “quick and easy boxed cake mix” crowd along with a couple of the other ladies.

    What are your thoughts on using a lemon cake mix? Also, thoughts about using mandarin oranges on top instead of orange candy slices? And one more thing, what if you used evaporated milk rather than condensed? It wouldn’t be as sweet but it is thinner. Thanks!

    1. Lindsay

      The lemon cake mix would totally depend on your taste preference. It’ll definitely add lemon flavor to the cake. Mandarin slices should be fine. And you’re right that evaporated milk would be thinner and less sweet. That wouldn’t be my preference but you could try it.

    1. Lindsay

      The whipping cream for the topping? It’s made to use for making whipped cream, so if whipped at a high enough speed when cold, it should make whipped cream. Did you include the powdered sugar? That’ll keep it thick and from wilting.

  4. Carolyn Garcia

    Hi, Lindsay I just found your website and I see alot of wonderful recipes so now I have alot of recipes to try I want to thank you for opening your website to all of us. Again thank you . May our Heavenly Father watch over you and place his healing hands upon you. GOD BLESS YOU. Sincerely, Carolyn
    Garcia

  5. Jesal

    Hi, this cake looks lovely! Do you think using just the orange cake recipe will take ok (without the pokes?) I want to use it as one of the tiers for a fondant covered cake…also I’m wondering with regular shortening cream, will the cake be strong enough to hold the top tiers? (Again without pokes) 

  6. Kelly

    Hi! I saw this recipe on Facebook and decided to try it out. I was very surprised at how moist the cake turned out (very good!). As I was reading the comments, I did notice that my orange mixture also didn’t soak in. It did go in the holes very well but any extra just formed a layer over the top of the cake. I scooped off what I felt was neccessary so I don’t think it’s a huge deal. I used ShopRite brand condensed milk. I also didn’t know there was a difference between heavy cream and heavy whipping cream (I’m not much of a baker) but it still turned into whipped cream so it was fine! Overall, the cake tasted very good and I’m sure it’ll be a big hit in my house. I will be trying your other poke cake recipes as I am very fascinated 🙂

    1. Lindsay

      As long as most of the mixture went into the holes, it’s fine. It won’t all necessarily soak in. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, absolutely. Even though I didn’t have the same issue people are having, it’s on my list to mess around with the recipe this week and see what I can figure out. In the meantime – I used Eagle Brand. You could also try upping the amount of water a bit – to maybe 1/2 cup.

  7. JENNIFER LYNN JONES

    Can you make this cake with yellow cake mix instead and use cool whip ad still get the same results for the cake.

    1. Lindsay

      You could just use water instead. The flavor will be slightly different since it isn’t milky, but it’ll still be plenty orange.

    1. Lindsay

      That depends on your definition of sweet. 🙂 I don’t think it’s too sweet, but it definitely is sweet.

  8. Ann Marie

    Don’t know what I did wrong but the orange mixture didn’t soak into the cake :(. Mine doesn’t look anything like yours & I followed all the steps. What the heck?

    1. Lindsay

      Hmmmm, that seems strange. Was the sweetened condensed milk somewhat thick? Some brands are thicker than others. Maybe try heating it up a little before pouring it over the cake, just to make sure it’s thin enough to get into the holes.

    2. Lauren

      That’s what happened to me too. I was just reading the comments to find out if it had happened to anyone else. Mine actually turned into the consistency of a fruit snack (but I decided to put it in the fridge after it sat out about half an hour). It was a super thick mixture though. It went into the holes, but didn’t absorb into the cake, so there were gummy blobs throughout the cake. But im glad it wasn’t just me. I was wondering what I did wrong.

      1. Lindsay

        Hmmm, did you by any chance leave out the water part of the mixture? When I initially tested this, I just used the sweetened condensed milk and orange jello and it did sit on top. When I added the water, it helped the jello dissolve better and it also thinned the mixture out a bit and it went into the holes great the next several times I made it.

      2. Lauren

        I mixed the jello with 1/3 cup hot water and mixed that until it dissolved, then added the milk. :-/ It did go into the holes, it just didn’t absorb. I might try it again and just thin the mixture out more, it might have been that the sweetened condensed milk was thicker than other brands.

    3. Lindsay

      Just wanted to let you know I went back and played with the recipe. While there was some orange mixture on top, I found that most of it soaked into the holes. However to make sure it wasn’t an issue, I’ve altered the ingredients and retested a bit so that everything should soak into the cake. If you decide to give it another try, I hope you enjoy it!

  9. Juliet

    Everything will be well and you will get your heart desire. You will be smiling from ear to ear before you realise it. God is good.
    the cake looks incredible and I am in Love with your homemade cake mix.

  10. Jacki

    Do you think this cake would translate well into cupcakes?  I was thinking of making a heavy cream and cream cheese frosting for them so it could be piped. Thoughts?

  11. jessi

    Love this so beautiful orange poke cake!!! Definitely going to try making it very soon. Thanks for sharing. Good luck with your IVF. Hope for a good news:)

    1. Lindsay

      I would think maybe orange juice, but I haven’t tried it to see how it’d work out. If you’d be interested in an orange layer cake, I have one in my cookbook. 😉 It’s made with fresh oranges and zest.

      1. Aizlyne

        Unfortunately you need the gelatin in the jello to make the liquid solidify. Or you will have just a soggy cake. You could use unflavored gelatin mixed with OK,  but I think you really need that artificial orange flavor of the Jell-O to make it taste like a Creamsicle 

      2. Lindsay

        That’s not really accurate. There are lots of poke cakes that don’t use any kind of gelatin and the result is moisture much like a tres leche cake. It’s not soggy. Certainly I do think the artificial orange flavor makes it taste more creamsicle-like, but it’s not an issue as far as texture and moisture is concerned.

  12. Brittany

    I am so happy you made an orange poke cake! What a great idea! I’ve made your orange cake from your cookbook and it was delicious! I love orange desserts so definitely can’t wait to make this one! 

    I’m praying for you during your IVF, thanks for sharing your experience and all your updates! 

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad to hear you love the orange cake in the book – one of my faves! I was afraid it’d get overlooked, so I’m glad you are loving it! 🙂

      Thank you for the prayers! All is going well so far. 🙂

  13. Lianne

    Oh this cake sounds yum! I love fruit flavours for the spring and summer months! Good luck with your IVF I’m sending positive thoughts your way ????
    Lianne | Makes, Bakes and Decor

  14. Vivian | stayaliveandcooking

    Sounds like you had quite the weekend! I hope all is well and no emotional marks were left – I can imagine it being a bit of a hassle at first.
    As for this cake, it looks totally delicious! Love the vibrant colours, and I’ve actually been thinking about ways to use Jello powder in recipes. This is so clever!
    Enjoy your week and thanks for sharing 🙂

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12