Lemon Poke Cake is packed with tons of lemon flavor in every bite. From the moist lemon cake to the lemon topping, it is one of the Best Lemon Desserts.

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I’m so excited to share with you today an easy and luscious Lemon Poke Cake Recipe.  You only need a few ingredients for this cake recipe and it turns out perfectly.

Poke Cake Recipes are my go-to for an easy dessert. I also make this Easy Pineapple Poke Cake Recipe and Lime Jell-O Poke Cake Recipe. They are so good. If you love lemon, also try this yummy Lemon Pudding.

What is a poke cake?

A poke cake is a cake that has holes poked into it while it’s still warm.  

Then a liquid is poured over the cake to seep into the holes.  This is generally, a jell-o mix, pudding mix or sweetened condensed milk. 

This process makes the cake packed with flavor and very moist as well.


How to make lemon poke cake

Step 1. First, bake the cake according to the boxed cake mix instructions for a 9X13 sheet cake pan. Remove the baked cake from the oven and let it cool for about 5 minutes.

Step 2. Then poke holes all over the cooled cake. A handle of a wooden spoon works great for this as well.  

Step 3. Next, use a small bowl and whisk together the jello and hot water until dissolved. Then whisk in the cold water. 

Step 4. Gently pour the jello mixture over the cake. Place the cake in the refrigerator to chill for 2-3 hours.

Step 5. While the cake sets, make the frosting. In a separate mixing bowl, add the lemon frosting and beat with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Fold in the cool whip.

Step 6. Spread the frosting on the cake. Then place the cake back in fridge for about 2 hours to chill.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Use an instant lemon pudding mix instead of the jello mix.  You’ll want to mix the pudding mix and milk based on the package instruction. Pour the pudding mixture evenly over the baked cake.  If you make a lemon pudding poke cake, I recommend creating larger holes in the cake to make sure it’s able to pour into the cake easily. 
  • Use canned lemon pie filling instead of the jello mix.  For this variation, I recommend stirring the pie filling in with the cake mix batter prior to baking it instead of pouring it over the top. 
  • I used a lemon cake mix, but if you can’t find one in your area, a yellow cake mix would work great in this recipe. You could also add in 1-2 tsp of lemon extract to give it a strong lemon flavor. This is great with vanilla extract as well.
  • Top with a lemon glaze instead of the frosting. I created a glaze by mixing fresh lemon juice with powdered sugar and topped the cake with this instead of the frosting.  You can also add lemon curd or fresh lemon zest to this glaze.


Store any leftover cake in the refrigerator, covered for up to 3-4 days.

You can also freeze this cake for up to 3 months. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and freeze. Let the cake defrost at room temperature and then it’s ready to enjoy!

More Poke Cake Recipes

It’s your turn to try this easy cake. Please leave a comment once you do.

Lemon Poke Cake

4.91 from 11 votes
This Lemon Poke Cake is an easy and delicious lemon dessert that is simple to make. Triple lemon poke cake is perfect for your next party.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Chill 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 45 minutes
Servings 12
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 334


  • For the cake:
  • 1 box lemon cake mix
  • ingredients needed to make cake; eggs, oil and water
  • 1 3 oz package lemon jell-o
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 cup cold water
  • For the frosting:
  • 1 tub lemon frosting
  • 1/2 tub 4 oz whipped topping (COOL WHIP)
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  • Bake cake according to package. Remove from oven and let cool about 5 minutes.
  • Poke holes all around the cake with fork, set aside.
  • In bowl whisk together jello and hot water until jello is dissolved. Whisk in cold water then pour over the cake.
  • Place cake in refrigerator to chill for 2-3 hours.
  • To make frosting in bowl add your frosting and beat with hand mixer until fluffy.
  • Fold in the whipped topping then spread over chilled cake.
  • Place back in refrigerator for about 2 hours to chill.
  • Top with lemon slices if you would like.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 334kcal, Carbohydrates 53g, Protein 2g, Fat 13g, Saturated Fat 2g, Cholesterol 1mg, Sodium 376mg, Potassium 30mg, Fiber 1g, Sugar 34g, Vitamin A 8IU, Calcium 96mg, Iron 1mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Desserts on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you create delicious desserts on a budget and do not require a ton of time. Together, we are going to make something sweet that the entire family will love!

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