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Every aspect of this Triple Lemon Poke Cake is vibrant and lemony!  With a flavorful base, tangy filling, and sweet homemade whipped topping, this dessert is a dream for lemon lovers!

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A slice of triple lemon poke cake with a bite out of it on a white plate with a thin slice of lemon on top.

When it comes to lemon desserts, there’s a fine line between too tart and too sweet.  This lemon poke cake recipe is the epitome of perfectly balanced desserts.

Some lemon poke cakes call for lemon Jell-o or lemon instant pudding, but I much prefer the fresh lemon flavor of lemon curd!  It’s got such a bright lemon flavor and brings this moist lemon cake to the next level!

Ingredients needed to make a moist lemon poke cake laid out on a white background.

Ingredients Needed (Amounts in Recipe Card Below)

  • Cake Mix – If you can find a box of lemon cake mix, that’s what I’d recommend, but a yellow or white cake mix will work great too! (There’ll still be plenty of lemon flavor from the filling and topping!)
  • Sugar – White granulated sugar
  • Eggs – I always use “large” eggs when baking
  • Lemon Juice – Fresh lemon juice is best!!  Depending on the size of the lemons, you’ll need 5-8 lemons.
  • Heavy Cream – I love the taste of real whipped cream, but you can also use a tub of Cool Whip if you prefer!
  • Fresh Lemon Zest 
A slice of triple lemon poke cake on a white plate with sprinkles, lemon zest and a thin slice of lemon on top.

How to Make Triple Lemon Poke Cake

Bake the Cake

Mix the cake batter according to the package instructions and bake in a 9×13-inch cake pan.  While the cake is baking, make the lemon curd.

Make the Lemon Curd

This filling that is truly the star of the show!  The fact that this lemon curd is made in the microwave makes it a little less intimidating and works like a charm!  

In a microwave-safe bowl, you’ll whisk together the sugar and eggs.  Then you’ll whisk in the lemon juice and melted butter until well combined.  Then you’ll microwave the mixture, whisking frequently until thickened.  

Thickened lemon curd on the back of a spoon.

You’ll know it’s done when the back of a spoon stays coated in the thickened lemon curd.  Let it cool as the cake bakes.

Fill the Cake

When the cake comes out of the oven, you’ll poke holes in it with the handle of a wooden spoon or a fat straw.  

Slowly pour the lemon curd over the cake, giving it time to soak into all of the holes.  Spread with a spatula to make an even layer on top.  Refrigerate for a few hours.

Make the Topping

When the cake is nice and chilled, you’ll make the whipped topping.  Grab a large mixing bowl and a hand mixer with a whisk (or a stand mixer).  

Add the whipping cream, sugar and lemon zest to the bowl and mix until stiff peaks form.  Spread over the top of the cake and refrigerate until ready to serve.

A cake topped with whipped cream, sprinkles and lemon zest and cut into squares.

Garnish the Cake

This cake doesn’t even need a garnish – it’s beautiful as-is!  However, if you want to add a little something on top, you can add yellow sprinkles, additional lemon zest or thin slices of lemon.

Other Poke Cakes I Love

5 from 2 votes

Triple Lemon Poke Cake

Author: Kelsey
15 people
Every aspect of this cake is vibrant and lemony!  With a flavorful base, tangy filling, and sweet homemade whipped topping, this dessert is sure to be a hit!!

Ingredients
 

Cake

  • 1 box lemon cake mix* + ingredients called for on the box

Lemon Curd

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup butter melted

Topping

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Instructions

Cake

  • Prepare the cake mix in a 9×13 pan, according to the box instructions.
    1 box lemon cake mix* + ingredients called for on the box

Lemon Curd

  • While the cake is baking, grab a medium sized microwave-safe bowl and whisk together the one cup of sugar and eggs until completely combined.  Then whisk in the lemon juice and melted butter.
    1 cup sugar, 3 eggs, 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1/2 cup butter
  • Microwave on high in 1 minute intervals, stirring each time, for 2 minutes.  Then microwave in 30 second intervals until the mixture has began to boil.  When you take it out of the microwave to stir, you'll notice it has thickened slightly**.  Set aside.
  • When the cake comes out of the oven, immediately take a butter knife or meat fork and poke holes all around the cake.
  • Pour the warm lemon curd slowly over the entire cake, giving it time to soak into the holes a bit; refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Topping

  • Once the cake has had enough time to cool, pour the whipping cream, sugar and lemon zest into a bowl and use a hand mixer (or a stand mixer) to beat until stiff peaks form.  
    1 cup whipping cream, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Spread the whipped topping over the cake.  Top with yellow sprinkles and lemon slices, if desired.

Notes

*If you are unable to find lemon cake mix, yellow cake mix will work too. It won’t be quite as lemon-y in the end, but will still have loads of lemon flavor!
*You can make this 24 hours in advance.  If you make it too much earlier than that, the whipped cream will begin to flatten a bit and get too soft.
*Feel free to use an 8 ounce tub of whipped cream (aka Cool Whip) in place of the homemade whipped cream.  Stir in a little lemon zest and you’re good to go!
**If your lemon curd isn’t completely smooth, simply run it through a fine mesh sieve to remove any unwanted chunks.

Nutrition

Calories: 362kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 2.5g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 8.7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6.6g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 66.5mg | Sodium: 127mg | Potassium: 46.2mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 27.7g | Vitamin A: 140IU | Vitamin C: 6.5mg | Calcium: 18.6mg | Iron: 0.2mg
“Dance Around the Kitchen” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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A piece of Triple Lemon Poke Cake on a plate with a fork and topped with a lemon slice.
A vertical close up shot of a slice of Triple Lemon Poke Cake.

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Recipe Rating




14 Comments

  1. Deanna Richeson says:

    5 stars
    This is the best cake ever!! Light and great lemon flavor! We loved it. Thanks Kelsey for sharing.

  2. You can add lemon pudding to the cake mix as well…that will make it even more lemony!! 🙂 I usually do a bundt cake variety with my cakes now, but will have to give the poke cake a try.

    1. Oh that’s a great idea, especially if you can’t find lemon cake. Adding lemon pudding mix to a white cake would be tasty, I’m sure! 🙂

      1. How would make the filling on the stove top? I don’t own a microwave!

  3. Karen Lemon says:

    I poke holes in the cake and pour prepared lemon Jello on it. Let sit in the refrigerator then frost with whipped cream. It is a great summer dessert.

    1. Jello Cake was one of my favorites growing up – however my mom always made strawberry or raspberry. I’ve never had it with lemon jello but sure does sound delish for summer!

      1. I make a lemon cake and poke holes in the cake.I then pour lime jello over all the 9×13 cake. It cools then I add Cool Whip over the top of the cake. It is a good quick summer treat..

  4. I was going to make this for Easter, have you ever doubled the lemon filling? Would it be to much, you think? My mom loves lemon 🍋 thank you

    1. Hi Sharon! I’ve never doubled the lemon filling – I’m thinking that would be too much. If you wanted a little extra, you could do 1 1/2 batches of the lemon filling and pour however much you want over the cake. Just refrigerate the leftovers and spoon it over ice cream, angel food cake, or just eat it with a spoon 😉 Yum! I hope your mom loves it!

  5. Can the egg mixture be heated up on a stovetop? I don’t have a microwave.

    1. Hi Patsy – Yes! Take a large saucepan and put a little water in the bottom (about an inch) and bring it to a boil. Set the glass bowl (with the lemon curd ingredients whisked together) on top, creating a double-boiler. Stir until thickened (the curd should coat the back of a spoon). Once it is poured onto the cake and refrigerated, it will set up even more. I hope you enjoy it!!

  6. Sandy Schnepf says:

    5 stars
    Can you just use cool whip for the top of the cake??