Lemon Poke Cake

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4.78 from 35 votes
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This lemon poke cake with Jello couldn’t be easier to make. You start with a boxed cake mix and simply bake, poke, pour, chill, frost, and enjoy!

Lemon Jello Poke Cake

I am a lemon dessert fanatic. Lemon cake cookies, lemon lush, lemon bars–I simply can’t get enough of that sweet and tart combo.

If you love lemon like I do you are going to go crazy for this lemon poke cake recipe!

Lemon sheet cake with slice cut out and served on plate

While you can enjoy it all year long, like my strawberry poke cake, this dessert really makes a perfect light and cool dessert for spring and summer.

Bring the lemon jello cake to a potluck, serve it at your BBQ or holiday party, or make it to enjoy at home with the family. No matter the occasion, jello poke cakes are always a hit!

Pudding poke cakes like my Snickers poke cake and OREO pudding poke cake are also super delicious, so be sure to give the recipe a try as well!

Lemon Poke Cake Recipe

Start by gathering your ingredients.

Box of Betty Crocker White Cake Mix, Cool Whip, oil, Lemon Jell-O Mix, Lemon Frosting, and 3 eggs

Lemon Poke Cake Ingredients

  • White cake mix (plus vegetable oil, water, and eggs as directed on the box)
  • Lemon Jello
  • Cool Whip
  • Lemon Frosting

Helpful Kitchen Supplies

sheet cake with holes poked in the top about 1/2 inch apart

How to Make Lemon Poke Cake With Jello

  1. BAKE: Prepare boxed cake mix in a 9 x 13 pan.
  2. POKE: Use a fork or the bottom of a wooden spoon to poke holes in the cake.
  3. POUR: Mix Jello with water then pour on top of the cake.
  4. CHILL: Place cake in the fridge for 3 hours to chill.
  5. FROST: Beat Cool Whip and icing together, then top the cake with the creamy lemon frosting.

Lemon Poke Cake

Recipe Tips

  • If you prefer less of a lemon taste skip the lemon frosting and top cake with 8 oz of cool whip instead.
  • Or if you want to up the lemon flavor try the recipe with lemon cake mix.
  • Garnish with lemon zest or fresh lemon slices, if desired.
  • Cool Whip not available in your area?  Try this easy Cool Whip replacement.

More lemon desserts you will love

Lemon Poke Cake
4.78 from 35 votes

Lemon Poke Cake

Author: Jaclyn
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Chill Time 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 45 minutes
This lemon poke cake with Jello couldn't be easier to make. You start with a boxed cake mix and simply bake, poke, pour, frost, and enjoy!


  • 16.25 ounce white cake mix plus ingredients called for on box
  • 3 ounces lemon Jell-O mix
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 4 ounces Cool Whip thawed
  • 16 ounce lemon frosting


  • Prepare and bake cake in a 9x13 pan as directed on the cake mix box. Allow cake to cool for 15 minutes.
  • Poke holes throughout the top of the cake using a large fork or the end of a wooden spoon.
  • Add Lemon Jello mix to a medium-sized bowl. Pour boiling water over gelatin and stir well for 2 minutes or until all the powder dissolves.
  • Pour or spoon Jello evenly over the top of cake. Chill cake in the refrigerator for 3 hours.
  • Beat Cool Whip and lemon frosting together in a medium-sized bowl. Frost cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


  • Store the cake covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • For less lemon flavor top cake with 8 oz of Cool Whip and skip the lemon frosting.
  • For more lemon flavor use a lemon cake mix instead of white cake mix.
  • Garnish with lemon zest or fresh lemon slices if desired.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 421kcal
Lemon Poke Cake

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Lemon Jello Poke Cake

4.78 from 35 votes (31 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. Hello there Jaclyn,

    I plan to make the jello lemon cake to take to a barbecue on Saturday, April 23, 2022. Do I let the jello cool before pouring on the cake?

    Thank you
    Have a Great Day?

    1. Hi! No, you do not have to let the jello cool before pouring it over the cake. Just mix the jello up and pour it on top. I hope that you enjoy the cake this weekend!

  2. So made this today and was not happy! Followed the recipe exactly and now I have a lot of holes in my cake! I wasn’t planning on frosting it so it’s a good thing I was only making it for my husband and me. I think you should state that this cake definitely needs to be frosted!!!!

      1. I have made this cake years ago and I never had it look like it did today. Sorry but I still think you should strongly recommend that it is meant to be frosted or have a topping of some sort.
        I have been baking for 60 years and I quest I’ll just use my tried and true recipes.

      2. 5 stars
        We all know by your photo that the holes are big. Loved this cake Thanks

    1. love poke cakes .These cakes are always so moist and cool whip on top.Everyone loves them.They can be made in so many variations.

  3. This recipe is wonderful and the cake is delicious. If someone can’t tell from the PICTURE OF THE CAKE WITH HOLES IN IT that there will be holes… that’s on them. lol

  4. We’ve made this cake for years. My husband requests lemon cake, lime jello, whip cream and instant vanilla pudding frosting. Yummm

  5. I’m confused,do you make jello as the box says or only use 2 cups boiling water???

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