3 layers of lemon in this Triple Lemon Poke Cake. Lemon cake infused with lemon jello, topped with lemon curd and Cool Whip.
As soon as the warmer weather hits, I start craving all things lemon. Sometimes I want a 100% from scratch, double layer lemon cake with lemon frosting. And other times I need something quick, easy and refreshing.
This Triple Lemon Poke Cake fits that second category. It bakes up so pretty, you’d never know it started with a box cake mix!
Why you’ll love this cake:
- Triple the lemon flavor: lemon cake, lemon jello and lemon curd.
- Semi-homemade with a cake mix.
- Recipe variations using homemade lemon curd and whipped cream.
- A great make ahead cake.
- Refreshing and cool for summer.
Lemon Curd in Cake
You may think that lemon cake with lemon Jello set inside is enough of a blast of lemon. But I LOVE lemon curd. It’s sweet & tangy and oh so smooth. It’s perfect for adding to desserts, so I knew a layer of curd on top of this poke cake would be amazing.
I used two 10 ounce jars of lemon curd when I pictured this cake. Dickinson’s lemon curd is a great brand. You can also make your own homemade lemon curd. Use about 1 3/4 cups.
Tips for Making Triple Lemon Poke Cake
- Plan a little in advance for making this cake. You’ll have to let the cake cool, so leave yourself at least 2-3 hours for baking and assembling the cake. Most of that will be hands-off time.
- I used a lemon cake mix. Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines both have great cake mixes. If the ounces are off slightly, it’s ok. You can just prepare the lemon cake as it says on the back of the box you buy.
- Jello will soak into the cake easily. Use just a fork, toothpick or wooden skewer to poke holes into the cake. You don’t have to wait until the cake is completely cooled. Letting it sit for about 5 minutes after it comes out of the oven should be fine.
- Wait until the cake has cooled for an hour before spreading on the lemon curd and cream. If you want, you can make a homemade whipped cream instead of using Cool Whip.
You can make this cake up to a day in advance. Cover it and refrigerate until serving.
Triple Lemon Poke Cake
For the cake:
- 1 box lemon cake mix 15.25 ounces
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 3 large eggs
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
For the Jello Layer:
- 3 ounces lemon jello
- ½ cup boiling water
- ½ cup cold water
For the Lemon Curd Layer:
- 1 3/4 cups lemon curd (2 10 ounce jars of Dickinson's lemon curd)
For the Topping:
- 8 ounces Cool Whip thawed
- Lemon slices/zest to decorate the top
- Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Spray a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer), mix the cake mix, milk, eggs and oil for 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 21-26 minutes or until the center of the cake bounces back when you touch it.
- Allow the cake to cool for 5 minutes, then poke holes all over the top of the cake using a long-tined fork or a skewer.
- Mix the jello powder with the boiling water. Use a whisk to stir until the powder dissolves. Then mix in the cold water.
- Pour the jello over the cake so that it soaks into the holes.
- Allow the cake to cool for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
- Spread lemon curd evenly over the top of the cake.
- Then spread Cool Whip evenly on top of the lemon curd.
- Decorate with lemon zest or sliced lemons.
- Store in the refrigerator until serving.
Other Poke Cake Recipes to Love
Poke cakes are perfect for any season! Here you’ll find everything from pumpkin poke cakes to tiramisu to tropical jello poke cakes.