I’m so excited to share with you today an easy and luscious Lemon Poke Cake Recipe.  I made a Christmas Poke cake for the holidays and everyone loved it so I knew immediately that I had to create a lemon one for the Spring and Summer. 

A piece of this lemon poke cake on a white plate with 2 forks and a lemon next to it.
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What is a poke cake?

A poke cake is a cake that has hole 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.  

Easy Lemon Desserts:

I love lemon desserts.  They are probably one of my favorite sweet treats to enjoy.  These desserts are so light and packed with tons of lemon flavor. 

Since I love them so much, my kids have learned to love them too since I always have them around. 

Here are a few of my all time favorite lemon desserts and this poke cake is now on this list as well! 

If you are a lemon lover as much as I am, I hope you try these dessert recipes as well.  They are all so delicious and irresistible. 

A side view of this lemon poke cake, showing the lemon jello in the cake with the frosting on top.

Equipment Needed:

Here is what you’ll need in your kitchen to make this easy lemon poke cake recipe.

That’s all you’ll need to create this easy and delicious lemon cake recipe.  

A piece of this lemon poke cake on a white plate with 2 forks and 2 lemons next to it.


So to make the cake portion of this recipe, you only need a few ingredients. 

  • Lemon Cake Mix 
  • Ingredients needed to make the cake based on the package instructions (eggs, oil, water, etc.) 
  • Lemon Jello Mix 
  • Water (Does this even count as an ingredient!) 
A side view of this lemon poke cake, showing the lemon jello in the cake with the frosting on top and the piece of cake is on a serving spatula.

You also need a few ingredients for the topping.  This is probably my favorite type of this recipe so don’t skip this part! 

  • Container of Lemon Frosting – I used Lemon buttercream frosting but I think lemon cream cheese frosting would work great as well.  
  • Container of Whipped Topping (aka Cool Whip) 

Ok, now that you see how simple the ingredients are, I hope you’re no longer scared to try this delicious and easy lemon poke cake recipe.  

A side view of this lemon poke cake, showing the lemon jello in the cake with the frosting on top.

How to make lemon poke cake: 

This cake recipe really is pretty simple to make but tastes like it took forever to create which I love!

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

Then poke holes all around the cooled cake with a fork and set aside.  I used the opposite end of the fork to make the holes.  You want medium size holes for the jello to seep in.  A wooden spoon would work great for this as well.  

I recommend poking the holes in the cake while the cake is still slightly warm. If you wait until the cake cools, the top of the cake will crumble.

The opposite side of a fork poking holes into the cake

Then in a small bowl whisk together the jello mix and hot water until the jello mix is completely dissolved. Then whisk in the cold water.  Gently pour the jello mixture over the cake.

Next place the cake in the refrigerator to chill for 2-3 hours to allow the jello to solidify.  

Now it’s time to make the frosting!  Yummy! 

In a separate mixing bowl, add the lemon frosting and beat with a hand mixer until light and fluffy.

Then fold in the whipped topping into the frosting.  I used a spatula to fold it in and it worked perfectly.  Once they are both well combined, spread the frosting over the chilled cake.

The cake cooked in a 9X13 pan and topped with the lemon frosting

After the frosting is on, place the cake back in refrigerator for about 2 hours to chill.  Now the cake is ready to serve and enjoy! 

When not serving, I store this cake in the refrigerator.

A piece of the lemon poke cake being served from the 9X13 baking dish


What to serve on top of lemon jello poke cake: 

I love serving this recipe as in immediately from the refrigerator as it’s good still cold. 

You can top the cake with fresh lemon slices or lemon zest to add more color to the top.  The yellow makes it look beautiful and perfect to serve at your Spring and Summer parties. 

Also, it’s delicious served with ice cream or fresh berries on top. 

A bite of this lemon poke cake on a fork

Variation Ideas:

Here are a few ideas to change up this cake recipe to make it your own and to ensure that you’ll family will love it.  

  • Use a lemon pudding mix instead of the jello mix.  You’ll want to mix the pudding mix and milk based on the package instruction and 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.
  • Top with a lemon glaze instead of the frosting. I created a glaze by mixing lemon juice with powdered sugar and topped the cake with this instead of the frosting.  It is still delicious. 
  • You can easily use homemade whipped cream instead of the cool whip in this recipe.  I love making my own.  It’s easily and delicious. 

There are tons of ideas to change up this recipe easily to make this cake one of your all time favorites! 

A side view of this lemon poke cake, showing the lemon jello in the cake with the frosting on top.

How to Store:

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!

Print this Triple Lemon Poke Cake Recipe below:

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Lemon Poke Cake recipe

4.91 from 10 votes
This lemon poke cake recipe 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)


  • 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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More Poke Cake Recipes:

This lemon poke cake recipe is an easy and delicious lemon dessert that is simple to make. Triple lemon poke cake is perfect for your next party. You’ll love this delicious jello poke cake recipe. #dessertsonadime #pokecakerecipes #dessertrecipes


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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 cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families.

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