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lemon poke cake

Lemon Poke Cake

Lemon Poke Cake is fluffy and light, stuffed with lemon curd, creamy milk pudding, and topped with a homemade lemon whip.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Lemon Poke Cake
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Chill: 8 hours
Total Time 9 hours 30 minutes
Servings 12 slices
Calories 289kcal
Author Catalina Castravet


Lemon Cake:

  • 1 box White cake mix Lemon or Yellow cake mix also work
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 3 lemons zested
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup sour cream

Pudding Layer:

  • 1 box 3 ounces lemon Jell-O
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 small box lemon instant pudding mix
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 2 cups lemon curd

Whipped Cream Topping:

  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar


Lemon Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9x13 baking dish.
  • Combine all Lemon Cake ingredients in a bowl and stir until smooth. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs.

Pudding Layer:

  • Mix lemon Jell-O with boiling water and cool to room temperature.
  • When the cake is done, use the back of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the cake.
  • Pour lemon Jell-o mixture on top of the cake into the holes.
  • Next spread the lemon curd evenly on top.
  • Mix the instant pudding mix with cold milk together until thick, and then IMMEDIATELY pour over the cake. Refrigerate the cake for a few hours or better overnight.
  • Beat heaving whipping cream with the lemon zest and powdered sugar until stiff and spread over the cooled cake.
  • Top with lemon slices chill for one more hour and serve.



  • Fill the holes on the warm cake, not when it has already cooled down. This way, the sponge absorbs it better and you get a moist and flavorful texture, not a soggy one. 
  • Move quickly right after mixing the instant pudding, because you don’t want it to solidify before it gets a chance to get absorbed.
  • For a more beautiful presentation, decorate with these Chocolate Dipped Candied Lemons!


Calories: 289kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 178mg | Potassium: 207mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 262IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 136mg | Iron: 1mg