Strawberry Lemon poke cake made with lemon cake mix, fresh strawberries, Jell-o, and cool whip. Fun & fruity moist cake recipe perfect for a crowd!
We love pudding poke cakes and this one is a sweet and tart blend of perfection. It’s ready to hit the dessert table at your next BBQ, potluck, or holiday family gathering. Made with a few simple ingredients and kept chilled in the fridge, it’s the perfect way to cool down after a hot day in the sun!
What is a poke cake?
A poke cake is a cake that has been baked in a large pan (usually a 9×13 baking dish) then after cooling, it’s literally poked either with the back end of a wooden spoon, a toothpick, or even a clean finger. After that, a liquid (usually pudding or jello) is poured over the top so that it can soak into the cake. Topped off with some whipped cream spread over the top and chilled for a few hours before serving. This cake is a wonderful blend of easy instructions, tasty goodness, and versatility.
Lemon poke cake ingredients
-Lemon cake mix: You will need 1 box of lemon cake mix for the cake base. You can use a vanilla cake mix and add in 2-3 tsp of lemon extract.
-Pudding: Use a 3.4-ounce box of vanilla pudding (just the dry mix) in the cake for better flavor. For a stronger lemon flavor, use lemon pudding mix instead.
-Oil: You will need ½ cup of vegetable oil but you can also use melted butter or olive oil if desired.
-Milk or water: To give our cake moisture we will use ½ cup each of milk and water or you can use 1 cup of either depending on what you have on hand.
-Eggs: You will need 2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk so that the cake has enough of a binder to hold together and leaven properly.
-Powdered sugar: to make our lemon glaze sweet and smooth, you will need ½ cup of powdered sugar.
-Lemon juice: Adding 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to the powdered sugar will give us a sweet and tart lemon flavor
-Sweetened condensed milk: You will need 1 14-ounce sized can of condensed milk to spread over the cake.
-Cool whip: You will need about 3 cups (one 8 ounce tub) of cool whip (or homemade whipped cream) to spread over the top of the cake.
-Strawberry jello: Adding a small 3oz of strawberry jello into the cool whip gives us a pink color and strawberry flavor that pairs great with all of the lemon.
-Strawberries: Garnish the top of your cake with fresh sliced strawberries if desired.
How to make a strawberry lemon poke cake
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
Whisk cake mix and pudding mix together in a large bowl.
Add in vegetable oil, milk, water, eggs, and egg yolk. Whisk until just combined.
Pour the batter into your prepared baking dish and place it into the oven for 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and come out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and place it onto a cooling rack to cool for 15 minutes.
While the cake is cooling, whisk together your powdered sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. After the cake has cooled, use a chopstick or end of a wooden spoon to poke holes into the cake. You want a lot of holes but don’t poke so many that the cake will fall apart.
Pour your glaze over the cake, then pour the sweetened condensed milk over the cake. Spread with a spatula to get it to coat the entire top surface and fall into holes as you go.
Cover the cake and place it into the fridge for 2 hours to cool.
In a bowl, fold together the strawberry jello and cool whip. Once the cake has chilled, spread the strawberry cool whip over the top of the cake and top with fresh sliced strawberries.
Slice and serve.
Strawberry Lemon Poke Cake
- 15.25 oz Lemon cake mix
- 3.4 oz vanilla pudding
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup water
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 TBSP lemon juice
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
- 3 cups cool whip
- 3 oz strawberry jello
- Sliced strawberries for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9×13 baking pan with baking spray and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the cake mix and vanilla pudding together.
- Add in the vegetable oil, milk, water, eggs and egg yolk and whisk just until combined.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan.
- Place into the oven to bake for 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and place onto a cooling rack to cool for 15 minutes.
- While the cake is cooling, whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice. Once the cake has cooled, using a chopstick or end of a wooden spatula to poke holes throughout the entire cake. Be sure to poke enough holes so that the cake is able to absorb the lemon glaze and sweetened condensed milk but don’t poke so many that the cake will fall apart.
- Pour the lemon glaze over the surface of the cake. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the cake and spread with a rubber spatula or back of a spoon.
- Cover and place the cake into the fridge to cool for 2 hours. Add the strawberry jello to the cool whip and fold it together.
- Once the cake has chilled, spread the strawberry cool whip over the cake. Top with sliced strawberries.
- Tips: As with any other cake, do not overmix this one or the cake will be crumbly.
- When making the lemon glaze, if you find that it is too thick, simply add lemon juice ½ tsp at a time, whisking after each addition. If you find that the glaze is too thin, add powdered sugar a tsp at a time, whisking after each addition.
- The longer the cake chills in the fridge after it has been poked and drizzled with lemon glaze and sweetened condensed milk, the better it is. I like to place the cake in the fridge overnight before frosting it with the strawberry cool whip.
How long is poke cake good for?
This poke can last up to 5 days in the fridge if stored in an airtight container. This means you can easily make it the day before any event.
Can you freeze poke cake?
Yes, this cake is freezer friendly. If you plan to freeze it, cover it well and freeze for up to 3 months.
When should you poke a poke cake?
You should aim to poke the cake after it has cooled enough that if you touched the pan with your hands it wouldn’t hurt. While the cake may be warm for a few hours after baking, about 1-2 hours after being pulled from the oven is fine for continuing with the poking and decorating.
More poke cake recipes
- OREO POKE CAKE
- CHOCOLATE CARAMEL PEANUT BUTTER POKE CAKE
- COCOA PUFFS PUDDING POKE CAKE
- STRAWBERRIES & CREAM POKE CAKE
- CHRISTMAS JELLO POKE CAKE
- RASPBERRY JELLO POKE CAKE
- MINT CHOCOLATE POKE CAKE
- PEPPERMINT OREO POKE CAKE
- LEMON POKE CAKE RECIPE
- FRUITY PEBBLES POKE CAKE
- PUMPKIN POKE CAKE
- PEACHES AND CREAM POKE CAKE
- S’MORES POKE CAKE
- PINA COLADA POKE CAKE
- BOSTON CREAM PIE POKE CAKE
You’re going to love this easy and summery strawberry lemon poke cake recipe. It’s the perfect blend of sweet and tart with creamy goodness in every bite.