Home Desserts Lemon Poke Cake with Lemon Glaze

Lemon Poke Cake with Lemon Glaze

This lemon poke cake is insanely easy to make. Better yet, it requires fewer than ten ingredients and minimal effort.

And it’s bright, refreshing, and citrusy to the max.

Moist Lemon Poke Cake
Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox.

If you need a sweet treat that’s perfectly balanced and airy, this lemon poke cake recipe is for you!

It’s the absolute pinnacle of lemony deliciousness. And it all starts with a box of cake mix!

Yes, really.

Of course, you can make it from scratch if you like. But if you’re in a rush, you won’t be disappointed here.

Lemon Pudding Poke Cake Recipe

Poke cakes are some of my all-time favorite desserts. They’re infinitely soft and moist – even if you accidentally overbake the sponge.

The extra pudding in the yellow cake mix brings a ton of flavor and plenty of moisture.

And since this cake is all about lemon, you’ll also add a yummy lemon glaze!

So it’s zippy, light, and ideal for any occasion.

What Is a Lemon Poke Cake? 

A lemon poke cake features a sponge base, such as vanilla or lemon, with instant pudding mixed into the batter for moisture and flavor. You’ll poke holes over the top while the cake is still warm. Then spread lemon glaze over the surface, which seeps into the sponge, making it incredibly tender.

Some recipes call for pudding to be spread over the top. And you can totally do that if you want it extra creamy.

But I find the glaze is more than enough.

Lemon Poke Cake Ingredients - Boxed Yellow Cake Mix, Lemon Pudding Mix, Water, Vegetable Oil, Eggs, Lemon Juice and Confectioners Sugar


Here are the seven ingredients you’ll need to make this cake: 

  • Boxed Yellow Cake Mix – Yellow cake is the perfect base for this poke cake because it’s lightly sweet and allows the lemon pudding to shine. And since you’ll add a lemon glaze, there’s more than enough citrus flavor.
  • Instant Lemon Pudding Mix – This gives the cake its bright, lemony flavor and plenty of moisture.
  • Water, Vegetable Oil, and Eggs – You’ll need these to make the cake. Use the box for quantities.
  • Lemon Juice – Lemon pudding is zesty but creamy. So if you want more punch, use real lemon juice for the glaze. It’ll bring that lip-puckering sweetness we all know and love.
  • Powdered Sugar – To make the icing thick but pourable.
  • Optional Extras – Feel free to top this with Cool Whip, fresh fruit, or even more pudding if you like it extra rich.
Homemade Lemon Poke Cake in a White Casserole

How to Make Lemon Poke Cake 

Making this cake is super simple. Here’s what you’ll do: 

Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox.
  1. Preheat the oven and prep a baking dish. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175°C). Then lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray or butter. 
  1. Make and bake the cake. Make the yellow cake batter using the instructions on the box. But don’t forget to add the dry pudding mix – that’s the key!
  1. Make the lemon glaze, poke holes in the cake, and pour. While the cake bakes, make the lemon glaze. When the cake comes out of the oven, let it cool for about 5-10 minutes. Poke holes evenly over the top using the handle of a wooden spoon and pour the glaze over the surface.
  1. Leave the cake to cool, then serve. Once the glaze is spread over the cake, set it aside to cool. Finally, pop it in the fridge for a couple of hours.

This cake is excellent as is. But if you want to make it more impressive, add a thick layer of Cool Whip or whipped cream. Then, top it off with fresh fruit.

Slice, serve, and dig in!

Homemade Lemon Poke Cake

How to Store Poke Cakes

To Store:

It’ll be fine for a couple of hours at room temperature – after it’s been chilled and without any extra toppings, like Cool Whip.

After that, simply cover the baking dish with a lid or plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge for 4-5 days.

To Freeze:

The cake alone will freeze well if you let it cool and double-wrap it in plastic and foil.

Unfortunately, the glaze might not freeze – or rather thaw very well. So if you can, leave it off and add it when you’re ready to serve.

That said, if you let the cake cool completely, wrap it in plastic and foil, and freeze it for under two months, it should be okay.

The trick is to let it thaw slowly in the fridge overnight.

Tips & Variations 

Here are a few final tips and variations to keep in mind before you dive into this recipe: 

  • Use room temperature ingredients. Working with room-temperature ingredients is just easier and keeps you from overmixing the batter.
  • Use a fork, a wooden spoon, or straws to poke the holes. Holes made with a fork will be smaller, so you won’t get the same infusion of flavor. If you don’t have a wooden spoon, try a straw. And be sure to make the holes even with about an inch between each one. 
  • Use freshly squeezed lemon juice. This’ll give you the brightest taste. Roll the lemon on the counter before juicing it, and remember to strain away any seeds.
  • Add lemon zest to the cake. Lemon pudding has a very creamy finish. So if you want a really bright kick of citrus, add fresh lemon zest to the cake.
  • Use lemon curd instead of glaze. It’s even more lemony!
  • No pudding? No problem! Try lemon Jello instead of pudding. The cake won’t be as creamy, but it’ll still taste great. 

Finally, add a few decorations if you want something more jazzy. Grate some fresh lemon zest on top, or buy some yellow sprinkles or edible glitter.

You’re limited only by your imagination. 

More Cake Recipes You’ll Love

Carrot Cake
Banana Pudding Poke Cake
Orange Cake
Apple Dump Cake

Lemon Poke Cake with Lemon Glaze



Prep time


Cooking time





This lemon poke cake is insanely easy to make, requiring fewer than ten ingredients and minimal effort. It’s bright, refreshing, and citrusy to the max.


  • 1 (18.25-ounce) package of yellow cake mix

  • 1 (3.4-ounce) package of instant lemon pudding mix

  • 3/4 cup water

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 4 eggs

  • 1/3 cup lemon juice

  • 2 cups powdered sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175°C) and lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
  • Combine the cake mix and instant pudding in a large bowl.
  • Add the water, oil, and eggs, and beat until smooth.
  • Pour the batter into the greased pan, then bake for 40 to 45 minutes. The cake is ready when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Take the cake out of the oven and leave it to cool for 5-10 minutes.
  • Mix the lemon juice and powdered sugar in a medium bowl until smooth and pourable.
  • Poke holes evenly over the top of the cake with the handle of a wooden spoon.
  • Pour the glaze over the cake and use a spatula to spread it evenly over the surface.
  • Let the cake cool completely, then slice, serve, and enjoy!
Lemon Poke Cake

Did you like the recipe?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 6

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.


Share on social media:

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

author avatar
NaTaya Hastings
NaTaya Hastings is a food and recipe writer for Beauty Eval. She’s an educator, boy mom, dog mom, and whatever-stray-enters-the-yard mom. As a result, she's constantly cooking for both humans and animals.

Luckily, she enjoys it!

Though born, raised, and still living in Alabama, her specialty is NOT down-home Southern cooking. Instead, she loves to experiment with Asian, Mexican, Italian, and other ethnic cuisines. She has two mottos when it comes to cooking. “The more spice, the better!” and “There’s no such thing as too much garlic!”

She’s also pretty good with desserts. Especially the easy, no-bake ones.

Her favorite things are cuddling with her four giant dogs, traveling, reading, writing, and hanging out in nature. She’s also pretty excellent at Dominoes.

1 thought on “Lemon Poke Cake with Lemon Glaze”

Leave a Comment