The 1970s was a weird time for food.
It was a decade during which people seemed to enjoy serving particularly un-appetizing-looking gelatinous foods. So it’s no surprise then that the Jell-O poke cake burst onto the scene during this time. Ideal for family gatherings at the holidays, this cake allowed bakers to add some colour to their baked goods.
The idea behind the Jell-O poke cake was simple: Bake your basic cake mix as you normally would, then use a fork to poke holes into the cake, and pour warm Jell-O mix over the cake. After cooling the cake for several hours, most bakers topped it with Cool Whip.
The Jell-O was a fool-proof way to improve cake by making it fruitier (albeit artificially) and more moist.
If you did it right, your cake came out looking it had brightly-coloured icicles dripping down from the top of it.
Now, a version of the Jell-O poke cake is making a comeback. It’s called poke cake, and while the process generally remains the same, Jell-O is no longer the choice of filling for this more modern cake’s holes.
The holes are poked with the end of a wooden spoon and then filled with anything from caramel…
… to fruit…
… to sweetened condensed milk, which is most commonly used in red velvet poke cake.
Here’s to poking, filling, and enjoying!
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