Gluten Free, Dairy Free Poke Cake


Some of my fondest summer childhood memories involve my Grandma Olga’s 7 Up Cake. We had hot Cali summer’s and my birthday is in July. I would always request this cake for my birthday.

My Grandma is amazing. Most of these recipes that you find on the blog are inspired by her in some way. If the recipe itself isn't something she made then just her, is inspiring me to make food for my family. She is my inspiration.

I grew up being mostly raised in my grandparents house. My parents were kids when they had me and I am so incredibly blessed that my grandparents stepped into the role of "parent" and showed me how to be a loving and compassionate human being.

I watched my grandma take care of everyone. She is the most selfless person I know. Her and my Grandfather were madly in love and still are even though he has passed on. I watched my grandma practically live in the kitchen cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner for her 5 kids, my grandpa and me (and anyone else who stopped by). In fact, some of my happiest childhood memories in life took place in that kitchen.

I would break beans and shell walnuts with her. We would shred potatoes in this metal contraption. I would sit at the table and do my homework on a hot summer day with the sun beating through the window onto us and she would be cooking away at the stove. Sometimes we would watch her soap in the back room and cut coupons. She definitely taught me to be thrifty.

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After going gluten and dairy free I had to become creative to make these childhood favorites. Food is important to me. The taste, the creation but also the memory it triggers is a huge part of it for me. I have a few recipes that are difficult for me to make because of what it triggers and then there are some that I love making. The joy that takes over my mind as I share with my family something that I love so dear. Half the time their picky butts don't want to even try it because my family thinks that chocolate rules the world (it does to an extent) and this was one of those recipes. My Husband had some but since it doesn't look like what they were used to my kids only each had one slice. That's fine, I ate almost the entire damn cake and I loved it.

Every bite reminded me of being a young girl in my grandmas kitchen being loved by her. It reminded me of the birthday parties I got to have in her house. It reminded me of the huge dough boy pull that collapsed and flooded the house and how crazy that day was. It reminded me of how even though my childhood was so far from perfect, it was beautiful.

You can enjoy this cake anytime of the year but since it is a cold cake with cold pudding frosting, it was so incredibly refreshing. It is the perfect summer dessert. This would be a perfect treat for a summer BBQ or summer birthday party. You can also make it just because you want to. Most of the time that is the reason I make cake. Because I just want to eat all of the damn cake.




My Grandma called this a 7 up cake because you poke holes all over and make a Jell-O mixture with 7up to pour in them. You could use 7 up for this but I used La Croix because we do not drink soda (I gave that up about 5 years ago when I went GF). I am also using a brand of jello that does not contain food coloring because it affects my Son’s behavior so we avoid it at all costs. This jello molds fast, so I had to be ready to pour it into the holes as soon as I poured the hot water in it. If your Jell-O does the same be prepared otherwise it won't soak into the cake creating the moist flavor.


Ingredients:

Vanilla Cake Recipe (I tried this with a box cake and it was horrible! My vanilla cake recipe worked perfect.)

1 Box of Cherry Jell-O (The brand I use is in the link below)

½ Cup of La Croix or 7 Up

1 Cup Boiling Hot water




Frosting:


Whipped Coconut Cream



Directions:



Prepare cake and allow it to cool a bit. Poke holes all over the cake. I used a chop stick. For the jello, I boiled 1 cup of water and mixed it with the mix and immediately poured it into the holes. I then poured the half cup of La Croix into the holes. Put in fridge and allow the jello to set. The brand I used was set in 2 hours but others might take longer. (If you want a dye free brand the link is below)



Frosting:


Simply mix the coconut whipped cream with the pudding and smother the top of the cake with it. Allow to chill at least for 1-2 hours before serving. This is great to make the night before. Enjoy!