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Lemon Poke Cake

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This easy Lemon Poke Cake has bursts of lemon in every layer and topped with a creamy whipped lemon frosting. This moist lemon cake does not disappoint. Perfect for all of your summer dessert needs.

I may have received product samples from these sponsors to help in the creation of #LemonWeek recipes. All opinions are my own.

Lemon Poke Cake with lemon cookies image with text

#LemonWeek 2022 is in full swing thanks to our hosts, Lynn from Fresh April Flours and Rebecca from Devour Dinner.  This week is sponsored by Rodelle and La Tourangelle. Come join me and my fellow Lemon Week bloggers as we bring you recipes from appetizers to drinks to entrées and desserts! So much lemony goodness to be found.

Monday, I shared this Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake ice cream recipe that will be the hit of your summer desserts! Today’s it is a classic poke cake but with LEMON in every layer and in the frosting, too. Come back on Friday to get the recipe for a healthy Lemon Smoothie. You will also have the opportunity to enter a giveaway from our two sponsors! More on that in a bit. Let’s get to making this cake!

lemon poke cake topped with lemon cookies

Lemon Poke Cake

A poke cake is such a classic cake that I tend to forget to make them. This Lemon Poke Cake changed all that and I intended to make more of them. A poke cake is simple a cake “poked with holes” that are filled with a pudding of some flavor, and then topped with a whipped cream frosting. Poke cakes are best made in a 13×9 inch pan but I’ve made cupcakes with them too, though it’s been a long time.

You can definitely make the cake and the frosting from scratch but I like to use a few shortcuts. I used a lemon cake mix which I add even more lemon flavor to and a boxed instant lemon pudding mix. I did make the whipped frosting from scratch but you most definitely could use a frozen (thawed) whipped topping. Add crumbled lemon Oreo cookies to the top like I did, or simply add some lemon zest or sprinkles.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I will have a cake that will stick in the pan even if I sprayed it with nonstick spray or used butter and flour. It just happens. I’ve used La Tourangelle’s baking spray several times now and not one cake, muffin, or cupcake stuck to the pan! I’m impressed and sold.

This Lemon Poke Cake is great to take to summer BBQs, cookouts (Memorial Day is approaching!), potlucks, and delicious and easy enough to make for dessert any day. It does need a few hours to chill so I find it best to either make the cake in the morning or the day before.

lemon poke cake

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1 box (15.25 ounces) lemon cake mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3.4 ounce box instant lemon pudding mix, (1 small box)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract

For the frosting:

  • 1 (8 oz package) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
  • 16 ounces heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 12-15 lemon cookies, crushed
Deiss zester with a bowl of lemons

How to Make Lemon Poke Cake

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13×9 inch baking pan with non-stick spray or use the La Tourangelle’s all purpose baking spray. Set aside.

Step 2

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, water, oil, and eggs. Beat until just combined and then add the lemon extract and lemon zest. No need for a stand mixer for this. I used a hand held electric mixer.

Step 3

Pour cake batter into prepared baking pan. Bake according to box directions, about 21-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes back clean. Remove from oven. Cool 5 minutes.

lemon cake batter in baking pan

Step 4

Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke hole all over the cake. Don’t be shy when doing this.

poke holes in cake with wooden spoon

Step 5

Make the pudding: In a medium size mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, mix together the pudding mix and milk until thickened but, still pourable. Spread pudding over the cake gently pushing into the holes. Cool cake to room temperature.

adding the lemon pudding to cake

Step 6

To make the frosting: In a medium size mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer, cream together cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon extract. Add the heavy cream and continue to beat on medium-high speed until fluffy and soft peaks form. Mix in the 2 tablespoon lemon zest by hand.

Step 7

Frost the top of the cake. Crush the lemon cookies in a ziplock bag and sprinkle over frosting. Chill for 4 hours or overnight before serving.

lemon poke cake with lemon cookie crumbles

Tips, Tricks, and FAQs

  • You can use a golden yellow cake if you can’t find lemon.
  • The baked cake will store for about 5 days in the refrigerator.
  • Lemon curd can replace the pudding, or if your prefer use vanilla pudding.
  • Frozen whipped topping (thawed) can be used in place of making homemade.
  • Milk – you can use whole, 2%, or even skim.
lemon poke cake topped with lemon cookies

Wednesday #LemonWeek Recipes

  • Lemon Layer Cake by Fresh April Flours
  • Lemon Chess Pie by Palatable Pastime
  • Lemonade Cake by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
  • Crepes with Lemon Curd and Mascarpone by Art Of Natural Living
  • Braided Lemon Bread with Blackberries by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
  • Chicken Costoletta by Cheese Curd In Paradise
  • Lemon Lush by Devour Dinner
  • Lemon Cheesecake Bars by Best Cookie Recipes
  • Lemon Pudding Cake by The Freshman Cook
  • Lemon Cheesecake Bombs by Simply Inspired Meals
  • One Pot Lemon Garlic Pasta Recipe by The Fresh Cooky
  • Lemon Loaf Cake by A Day In The Life On The Farm
  • Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Pudding Cookies by The Spiffy Cookie
  • Lemon Blueberry Crumb Bars by An Affair From The Heart
  • Mini Lemon Cheesecakes by Kathryn’s Kitchen Blog
  • Lemon Sorbet by Jen Around The World
  • Lemon Blueberry Waffles by Lemon Blossoms
  • Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cookies by Home Cooked Harvest
  • Lemon Rosemary Marmalade by That Recipe
  • Lemon Crepes by The Redhead Baker
  • Glazed Lemon Bundt Cake by Jonesin’ For A Taste
  • Lemon Coriander Soup by Magical Ingredients
  • lemon poke cake

    The lemon pudding drips down into the poke cake’s holes, and absorbs into the cake making it even more moist. Bursts of lemony goodness in every bite, even in the frosting.

    lemon poke cake with lemon cookie crumbles

    Lemon Poke Cake

    This easy Lemon Poke Cake has bursts of lemon in every layer and topped with a creamy whipped lemon frosting. This moist lemon cake does not disappoint. Perfect for all of your summer dessert needs.

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    Course: Dessert

    Cuisine: American

    Keyword: dessert, lemon, lemon cake, lemon poke cake, poke cake

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook Time: 25 minutes

    Servings: 12 people

    Ingredients

    For the cake:

    • 1 box (15.25 ounces) lemon cake mix
    • 1 cup water
    • 3 eggs
    • cup vegetable oil
    • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
    • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

    For the pudding:

    • 1 box (3.4 ounce) instant lemon pudding mix
    • 2 cups milk

    For the frosting:

    • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
    • 2 cups powdered sugar
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
    • 16 ounces heavy cream
    • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
    • 12-15 lemon cookies, crushed

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13×9 inch baking pan with non-stick spray or use the La Tourangelle’s all purpose baking spray. Set aside.

    • In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, water, oil, and eggs. Beat until just combined and then add the lemon extract and lemon zest. No need for a stand mixer for this. I used a hand held electric mixer.

    • Pour cake batter into prepared baking pan. Bake according to box directions, about 21-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes back clean. Remove from oven. Cool 5 minutes.

    • Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke hole all over the cake. Don’t be shy when doing this.

    • Make the pudding: In a medium size mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, mix together the pudding mix and milk until thickened but, still pourable. Spread pudding over the cake gently pushing into the holes. Cool cake to room temperature.

    • To make the frosting: In a medium size mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer, cream together cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon extract. Add the heavy cream and continue to beat on medium-high speed until fluffy and soft peaks form. Mix in the 2 tablespoon lemon zest by hand.

    • Frost the top of the cake. Crush the lemon cookies in a ziplock bag and sprinkle over frosting. Chill for 4 hours or overnight before serving.

    Notes

    You can use a golden yellow cake if you can’t find lemon.
    The baked cake will store for about 5 days in the refrigerator.
    Lemon curd can replace the pudding, or if your prefer use vanilla pudding.
    Frozen whipped topping (thawed) can be used in place of making homemade.
    Milk – you can use whole, 2%, or even skim.

    Check out the amazing prizes you can win in our #LemonWeek Giveaway!

    Prize #1: Rodelle Prize Pack

    Rodelle Prize Pack includes:

    • 2 count Gourmet Madagascar Vanilla Beans
    • 2oz Almond Extract
    • 4oz Natural Baker’s Extract
    • 4oz Vanilla Paste
    • 8oz Gourmet Vanilla Extract
    • 25oz Organic Baking Cocoa

    Prize #2: La Tourangelle Prize Pack

    La Tourangelle Prize Pack includes:

    • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • Roasted Walnut Oil
    • Regenerative Sunflower Oil
    • 4oz Vanilla Paste
    • Fleur de Sel Almond Butter

    Terms and conditions: This #LemonWeek is sponsored by Rodelle and La Tourangelle which starts 5/23/2022 and ends 6/3/2022 at 11:59pm ET. Enter to win a prize pack from Rodelle or La Tourangelle that include baking and cooking ingredients. This giveaway is open to anyone 18 years or older in the United States. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Two (2) winners will be selected and sent prize packages directly from the giveaway sponsors. The #LemonWeek bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #LemonWeek posts or entry.

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    lemon poke cake with lemon cookie crumbles

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