Today we are putting a fun twist on the traditional cake with this fireball cake recipe! It's a classic poke cake recipe with a fierce Fireball whiskey flavors. The cherry jello helps make this a moist cake while the cool whip topping smooths out the fiery notes of the Fireball. It's a perfect grown up cake option.
Ready to add a little spice to your dessert table? This Fireball Poke Cake is here to turn heads and spice up taste buds at your next adult gathering.
This isn't your average cake, it's a deliciously daring twist on the traditional poke cake, infused with the bold flavor of Fireball whiskey and the sweet tang of cherry Jell-O.
Topped with a cloud-like Cool Whip frosting this cake is sure to become a memorable highlight of any celebration.
For this recipe we're using cake mix, but feel free to use your favorite white or yellow cake recipes.
What You'll Love About This Recipe
- Unique Flavor: The combination of Fireball whiskey and cherry Jell-O creates a unique taste that's both spicy and sweet.
- Moist and Rich Texture: The poke cake method ensures every bite is infused with flavor and moisture, making it irresistibly delicious.
- Perfect for Adult Gatherings: This cake is a great way to add a fun and adult twist to any party or celebration.
- Easy to Customize: With optional garnishes like red hots and sanding sugar, you can easily decorate the cake to fit the theme of your event.
Bold White Cake Mixes: Look for high-quality cake mixes for a light and fluffy base. These mixes are the foundation of your cake, so choosing ones with good flavor will make all the difference. However, yello cake mix will work too.
Large Eggs: Fresh, room-temperature eggs will help your cake rise perfectly.
Whole Milk: Adds moisture and richness to the cake batter. Opt for whole milk for the best flavor and texture.
Vegetable Oil: Keeps the cake moist. You can use any neutral-flavored oil.
Cherry Jell-O: Select a brand you trust for the best cherry flavor, which will be enhanced by the Fireball whiskey.
Fireball Whiskey: The star ingredient, providing a warm, spicy kick. Feel free to adjust the amount according to your taste preference.
Cool Whip: For a light and creamy topping that complements the spicy cake base. Ensure it's well-chilled for easy spreading.
Optional Garnishes: While optional, red hots and red sanding sugar not only add a festive touch but also a contrasting texture and a burst of sweetness. Choose based on the occasion and your preference for added flair.
- Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer: Essential for thoroughly mixing the cake batter to a smooth consistency. A stand mixer makes the job easier, but a hand mixer works just as well.
- Pourable Measuring Cup: Ideal for evenly distributing the Jell-O and Fireball mixture over the cake. A 2-cup size is recommended for ease of handling.
- Wooden Spoon: The handle end is perfect for making evenly spaced holes in the cake. Ensure it’s clean and smooth to avoid tearing the cake.
- 9x13 Cake Pan: The ideal size for this recipe, allowing for even baking and sufficient depth for the Jell-O mixture to be absorbed.
Preheat and Prepare: Start by heating your oven to 325°F (163°C). Thoroughly coat your 9x13 cake pan with nonstick cooking spray to prevent sticking. This step ensures your cake comes out perfectly after baking.
Mix the Batter: In a large bowl, blend the cake mixes, eggs, oil, and milk. Use your mixer on a medium setting to achieve a smooth, lump-free batter. Be careful not to overmix; stop once the ingredients are just combined to keep the cake light and airy.
Bake: Transfer your batter into the prepped pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake for about 1 hour. Check for doneness with a toothpick— it should come out clean when the cake is ready. This ensures a perfectly baked center without drying out the edges.
Cool and Poke: Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Then, take the end of a wooden spoon and poke holes throughout the cake, about ½ to 1 inch apart. Make sure not to push all the way through; stopping halfway keeps the Jell-O mixture within the cake, enhancing its flavor and moisture.
Jell-O Mixture: Dissolve the cherry Jell-O in boiling water, stirring until completely melted. Stir in the Fireball whiskey. Slowly pour this mixture over the cake, filling the holes. This step infuses the cake with a delightful blend of flavors.
Chill: Cover the cake and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, allowing the Jell-O to set. This chilling time is crucial for achieving the perfect texture and flavor infusion.
Frost and Garnish: Once set, spread the Cool Whip over the cake evenly.
If using, sprinkle red sanding sugar and red hots over the top for a decorative and flavorful finish. This final touch makes the cake visually appealing and adds a layer of sweetness.
And that's it! Your fireball cake is ready to serve!
The most important tip for making Fireball Poke Cake is to ensure even distribution of the Jell-O mixture. Take your time pouring it over the cake, aiming to fill every hole. This guarantees that every bite is infused with the vibrant flavor and moisture that make this cake so special.
- Milk Alternative: If whole milk isn't available, you can use 2% milk or a dairy-free alternative like almond milk. The cake will still be delicious but slightly less rich.
- Oil Substitute: Canola oil or melted butter can replace vegetable oil, offering a slightly different flavor and texture.
- Alcohol-Free Version: For a non-alcoholic cake, substitute the Fireball whiskey with cherry syrup or a cinnamon-infused water mixture to mimic the spicy flavor profile.
- Spice It Up: Add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the cake batter to amplify the warm, spicy notes complementing the Fireball whiskey.
- Berry Twist: Swap cherry Jell-O for raspberry or strawberry for a different fruity flavor that still pairs wonderfully with the cinnamon whiskey.
- Chocolate Fireball Cake: Use chocolate cake mix instead of white for a decadent twist. The richness of chocolate and the kick of Fireball create an irresistible combination.
Need to make and store your cake ahead of time? Or maybe you just have leftovers. Here's our storing tips:
Fridge Storing Option: Store the cake covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The Cool Whip topping keeps it moist, and the flavors meld beautifully over time.
Freezer Storing Option: Freeze the cake without the Cool Whip and garnishes in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and add the toppings before serving. This method is great for making ahead and enjoying later.
- 2 White Cake Mixes 14.25 ounces each
- 6 Large Eggs
- 1 Cup Whole Milk
- 1 Cup Vegetable Oil
- 1 Box Cherry Gelatin 3 ounces
- 1 Cup Boiling Water
- 1 Cup Fireball Whiskey
- 1 Tub Cool Whip 16 ounces
- Red Hots optional for garnish
- Red Sanding Sugar optional for garnish
- Preheat oven to 325°F and grease a 9x13 cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mixes, eggs, oil, and milk. Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the mixture until no lumps remain. Do not overbeat.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let rest for about 20 minutes or until cooled.
- Using the handle end of a wooden spoon, make holes in the cake, about every ½ inch to an inch. Do not press it through all the way to the bottom, just a little over halfway through.
- Set cake aside and place the jello in a medium mixing bowl. Pour the boiling water over the top and stir until the jello is fully dissolved. Add the Fireball and give a slight stir.
- Using a pourable measuring cup (I use a 2-cup size) slowly pour the jello over the cake, covering every inch and ensuring it gets in every hole.
- Cover and place in the fridge for 2 hours or until set.
- Coat the top of the cake with cool whip, then sprinkle with red sanding sugar and red hots, if desired. Slice, serve, and enjoy!
Yes, substituting Fireball whiskey with another type of alcohol is perfectly fine and can tailor the cake to your taste preferences or what you have on hand. If you're looking for a similar warmth and spice, cinnamon schnapps is an excellent alternative. Bourbon can also add a rich, deep flavor that complements the cherry Jell-O nicely. Remember that the choice of alcohol will significantly impact the cake's final taste, so choose something that pairs well with cherry and vanilla flavors.
Creating a non-alcoholic version of this cake is simple and can still yield a delicious dessert. Instead of Fireball whiskey, you can use cherry juice or a mix of water with cinnamon-flavored syrup to mimic the spicy note of the whiskey. This adjustment makes the cake suitable for all ages while still retaining the unique flavor profile that makes the cake special. The key is to balance the sweetness and cinnamon flavor to closely match the original recipe's taste.
Absolutely! Using a homemade cake mix is a great option for those who prefer to avoid preservatives or want more control over the ingredients. A homemade mix can be tailored to your preferences and dietary needs. Just ensure that your homemade mix yields the same amount as the packaged ones called for in the recipe. This might require some adjustments to proportions but can lead to a cake that's just as delicious, if not more so, because of the personal touch.
If Cool Whip is unavailable or you prefer not to use it, whipped cream is a fantastic substitute. You can whip heavy cream with a bit of sugar and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. This homemade version can be more flavorful and less sweet than Cool Whip, offering a fresher taste and a similar texture. Just be aware that homemade whipped cream may not hold up as long as Cool Whip, so it's best used shortly before serving the cake.
The Fireball Poke Cake can be prepared up to 2 days in advance, which is great for planning ahead for events. After assembling, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator. This resting period can actually enhance the flavors, as it gives more time for the Jell-O and Fireball mixture to infuse the cake. Just remember to add any garnishes like red hots and sanding sugar close to serving time to maintain their texture and appearance.