Gluten-Free! Soda Poke Cake

When we have folk over, I always try to have something for everyone with special dietary needs; like, vegetarian, or no ‘shrooms, or nut free, or… gluten-free. And so, for a family holidaze gathering, I set out to make a dessert that one sister-in-law, who cannot have gluten, would be able to enjoy while everyone else was snarfing down pies and cheesecakes and cookies and all the rest.

I had bought some gluten-free flour, but Lynn assured me that the g-f mixes were pretty good, and much easier to make.

So, I then got to thinking…

“Hmmm, a poke cake would be good, but how about I make everyone’s favorite version; a yellow and Seven Up soda cake cherry lemonade jello?”

I was uncertain if the gluten-free mix would work with the soda as well as the regular mix does, but, what the heck, it’s the holidaze! If you can’t experiment on your family, who can you experiment on?

•1 gluten-free yellow cake mix
•12 ox lemon-lime soda
•3 oz box Jello – not lite or lowfat!*
•1 cup boiling water
•1/2 cup cold water
•Thawed whipped topping

*Lite and/or lowfat gelatines are not gluten-free, as far as I have been able to discover.

Heat your oven to 350º and empty the cake mix into a large mixing bowl.

Pour in the 12 ounces of soda – and nothing else – then mix according to package instructions.

Well… the batter certainly looks good, and it smells really good so, let’s continue.

Apply cooking spray to your chosen cake pan(s) – I went with a 13×9 pan for ease for storage and serving given the sheer choices of my husband’s family’s holidaze dessert bar assortment.

Bake the cake according to package instructions, then remove from the oven and set aside to cool on a rack.

The cake didn’t rise quite as much as a regular one would, but still, smelled really, really nice, so, on into the breach, as it were.

Once the cake has cooled, stir the cup of boiling water into the jello for two minutes, until the jello has totally dissolved.

Stir in the 1/2 cup of cold water and set aside.

Using a roasting fork, poke holes every 1/2 inch all over the surface of the cake.

Pour the jello evenly over the cake, then cover and chill for at least three hours.

The original poke cake recipe says that, after chilling, you should spread the whipped topping over the cake, add sprinkles, then store in the fridge until ready to serve.

I prefer to leave the cake as is, and let each person choose the amount of whipped topping they like.

So far, the batter has smelled good, the baked cake has smelled really good, and the jello has been nicely soaked up.

Now, for the big test…

How does it taste?

You know what?

It really wasn’t too, too bad!

As my sister-in-law pointed out, a lot of these mixes are not gonna taste just like a regular cake – and it was a bit grainier or something – but the overall flavor was good, and she got to enjoy dessert along with the rest of the family.

I call that a win.

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