5-Spice Cherry Poke Cake


5-Spice Cherry Poke Cake

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    What exactly is Chinese 5 spice? It's a blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, and Szechwan peppercorns. Sounds a little strange to put in a cake, but you'll be happily surprised with its sweet-spiced flavor. 

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    Servings and Ingredients

    Serves 20
    1 (16.5-oz.) box Hy-Vee yellow cake mix
    1 c. water
    ⅓ c. Hy-Vee vegetable oil
    3 Hy-Vee large eggs
    1 tbsp. Chinese 5-spice, plus additional for garnish
    1 c. boiling water
    1 (3-oz.) pkg. Jell-O black cherry mix
    ½ (16-oz.) pkg. Hy-Vee creamy vanilla frosting
    1 (8-oz.) container Hy-Vee frozen whipped topping, thawed, plus additional for garnish
    20 Hy-Vee maraschino cherries, patted dry, for garnish

    Things To Grab

    • 9x13-inch baking pan
    • Hy-Vee nonstick cooking spray
    • Stand mixer with paddle attachment
    • 2 medium bowls
    • Fork or skewer


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

    2. Place cake mix, 1 cup water, vegetable oil, eggs, and Chinese 5-spice in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on low speed until just combined. Then, beat at medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until light and fluffy.

    3. Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Bake 23 to 28 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center of cake comes out clean.

    4. In a medium bowl, pour 1 cup boiling water over black cherry Jell-O mix and stir to dissolve. Poke cake, using a fork or skewer, about every 1-inch, pushing about halfway through cake. Pour cherry mixture evenly over the top of the cake. Cool completely on a wire cooling rack.

    5. In another medium bowl, beat together vanilla frosting and whipped topping until smooth and combined. Spread an even layer onto cooled cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

    6. When ready to serve, cut into pieces. If desired, garnish each piece with a dollop of whipped topping, sprinkle of Chinese 5-spice, and a maraschino cherry.

    Nutrition facts


    230 Calories per serving
    1 piece

    Amounts Per Serving

    • Total Fat: 10g
    • Cholesterol: 30mg
    • Sodium: 190mg
    • Total Carbohydrates: 33g
    • Protein: 2g

    Daily Values

    Iron 6%
    Calcium 2%
    Vitamin D 0%
    Potassium 0%

    Recipe Source:

    Hy-Vee Test Kitchen