Shirley Temple Poke Cake | i should be mopping the floor

Shirley Temple Poke Cake

This Shirley Temple Poke Cake Recipe has all of the flavors of
the classic Shirley Temple a moist and delicious cake.

When I was a kid, going out to dinner was always a special occasion. And ordering a fancy drink made the meal even more fun! From about the age of three on up, I would always order a Shirley Temple drink. And you guys, to this day, I sometimes still order these as a treat. They're a bit of nostalgic taste that just take me back. The original version is a sweet concoction of 7 Up, Grenadine and Cherries. Sometimes Ginger Ale is used as well. The entire thing is just so yummy and the perfect drink for a kiddo.

I thought it would be super fun to create a cake with all of the flavors of my childhood favorite. And, I truly love the actress that inspired the original drink. She was a precious child and amazing lady.

While a classic Shirley Temple often has grenadine as an ingredient, that's not always easy to find. The liquid from Maraschino Cherries is often used in its place, and that's what I did here. I also highly recommend 7Up over Sprite in this particular has that classic Shirley Temple taste.

- one box mix of white cake
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1 jar of Maraschino Cherries, chopped roughly {save liquid}
- 7 Up {ice cold}
- 3 oz. box of cherry flavored Jell-O
- 1 tub Cool Whip Vanilla Frosting

Mix cake batter somewhat according to box directions, using oil and eggs mentioned above, but substituting water with all of the juice from the jar of cherries {which provides about 1/3 cup} and the rest of the amount with 7 Up. For instance, my cake mix called for one cup of water, I used the 1/3 cup of cherry juice and then 2/3 cup of 7Up to get the full amount of liquid. After batter is completely mixed, fold in chopped cherries. Bake according to package directions. Cool cake completely. {Just FYI, you'll want to bake the cake in the pan you will serve out of. This is not a "turn-out" cake, it will remain in the pan because of the addition of Jell-O. I think glass casseroles work well for poke cake recipes.}

Once cake is cool, use the wrong end of a wooden spoon and poke holes all over the cake. Let that sit out while you prepare the Jell-O {it's okay if it gets a little dry, that will help the liquid to absorb}. 

Prepare Jell-O by boiling one cup of water. Add boiling water to bowl with powdered Jell-O in it and mix until Jell-O is dissolved. Quickly add one cup of chilled 7 Up and mix until incorporated.

Pour liquid Jell-O all over the top of the cake, letting it seep into all of the poked holes. Refrigerate overnight. Frost with Vanilla Cool Whip Frosting.


  1. This is one time I honestly wish I could reach through my computer screen. LOL This cake looks so yummy. I've pinned it.

  2. I'm making this cake as we speak! Its so cute & my little ones requested the Shirley Temple drink to have with it. Thanks for sharing & I can hardly wait til its done!

  3. I simply HAVE to make this cake Kristi! It looks incredible!

  4. This post made me smile. I loved Shirley Temple growing up. I had a Shirley Temple doll with a red and white polka dot dress. My mom sewed a dress for me to match the doll's outfit. I HAD to wear it every day! So, of course, I was very much into having a drink called "Shirley Temple." Love how you've turned the beverage into a really fun cake! Thank you for sharing it with See Ya in the Gumbo.

  5. What an amazing recipe. Your photos are perfect too. So glad you shared at Weekend Potluck. (Did I miss seeing a link back within your post? This recipe is definitely 'feature worthy'.)

  6. Um .... yum!! So creative and I want some right. now.!! Thanks so much for stopping by Cook It! Craft It! Share It! last week to share this!! Hope you're having a great week!

  7. Going to try this...looks so good! ~yummy!~ Pinning to my cake board!

  8. Jell-O poke cakes were popular in the 80's. I would make layer poke cakes. Popular at Christmas time, was white cake using red & green Jell-O.

  9. You said you substitute the water in the cake mix with the cherry juice and the rest of the amount with the 7-up. Then you said, "For instance, my cake mix called for one cup of water, I used the 1/3 cup of cherry juice and then 2/3 cup of water to get the full amount of liquid." One place you said water and the other place you said 7-up. I was just wondering which I should use in the cake batter?

    1. Yes, that should read 7up not water on that second part...thank you for letting me know! I will correct it now! :)

  10. YUM!!! I have always loved Shirley Temples growing up! I’d love for you to share this at my Saturday Dishes Link Party this weekend! It’s a themed link up & this week’s theme is Memorial Day & Grilling! Feel free to share other old or new posts that fit the theme as well if you have them! (:

  11. Shirley Temples I had were always made with ginger ale. So I guess I could substitute that for the 7UP. Looks yummy!

  12. My family & I have been making poke cake for over 45 yrs! We call it Pollyanna Cake named for the girl who gave us the recipe. We use a yellow cake mix (we like French Vanilla the best) When done, poke holes with silverware meat fork for lots of holes. We mix ahead strawberry jello (1 cup of boiling water) & 12 oz of strawberry soda to pour over hot cake. We top our cake with a mixture of instant French Vanilla Jello pudding (we short the milk by 1/4 cup) which is folded into Cool Whip. We sometimes freeze it to take to an event elsewhere so that we don't have to use an ice chest to carry it. It is the preferred dessert for every & all occasions in our family-nothing else will do. We've done a low sugar version, too, & no one was the wiser (Pillsbury No sugar added cake mix, sugar free Jello & sugar free instant pudding, sugar free soda & sugar free Cool Whip.) People who say that they usually don't like desserts that much change their minds once they have a taste. It's light, cool,
    not overly sweet & just melts in your mouth.

  13. When do you take out of freezers? Party at 6pm. Put in frig. To thaw or on counter?

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Can't find vanilla cool whip frosting what can I use???

  16. What size jar of cherries did you use? Thanks