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Lemon Poke Cake

Updated: Jun 16

lemon poke sheet cake

Calling all are going to love this recipe as it's light in texture and bright with citrusy flavor. This cake also stands out for its simplicity in preparation as it's semi-homemade since it calls for using boxed cake mix. But, it's also partially made from scratch as you'll whip up some egg whites that'll gently fold into the cake batter to add volume to the cake, and mix up a lemon glaze which gets drizzled over the warm cake as a final step. Be sure to check out the step-by-step pictorial and video below to help guide you as you put together this scrumptious cake.

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Lemon poke cake ingredients including Duncan Hines yellow boxed cake mix, egg yolks, egg whites, water and canola oil and instant lemon jello pudding mix.

To prepare the cake you'll need:

One box of yellow cake mix

One box of Jello Lemon instant pudding and pie filling

4 large eggs (separated)

3/4 cup water

3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

Ingredients for glaze for lemon poke cake including 2 1/5 cups confectioners sugar and 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

To prepare the glaze you'll need:

2 1/2 cups (284 grams) confectioners/powdered sugar

Approximately 4-6 lemons (enough to yield 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice)


This isn't an all inclusive list; however, I've included some recommendations for kitchen tools that are some of my standout favorites for this recipe. If you've read some of my other posts, you'll notice a few of these items have been featured more than once and for good reason. What I've listed below are high quality and versatile items that can be used for various food and cocktail recipes.

Kitchen tools used to prepare recipe including mixing bowl, 2 cup capacity liquid measuring cup, small fine mesh strainer, medium size cutting board, silicone spatula, juicer, whisk and chef's knife

  1. 1.5 quart mixing bowl - I have a few Pyrex mixing bowls on hand as they're sturdy safe in the oven, microwave, refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher. They also make for great storage containers.

  2. Measuring cups - Yes, this product is another Pyrex brand and for good reason. These cups are another versatile kitchen tool to stock up on as they yield precise measurements, especially when compared against other well known brands and they come in an array of sizes from 1 to 4 cup capacity.

  3. Small fine mesh strainer - this tool is perfect for straining the lemon juice called for in this recipe.

  4. Medium sized cutting board - I recommend using smooth bamboo wood cutting boards as it's easier on knives and feels easy to cut on.

  5. Silicone spatula - I like using spatulas with a seamless design such as the one pictured above as there are no seams or cracks to trap food, which means these cooking spatulas clean up easily. Most silicone spatulas are also heat resistant and can withstand temperatures above 400°F.

  6. Citrus squeezer - Get every last drop of juice and no seeds when easily juicing citrus fruits called for in food/cocktail recipes.

  7. Wire whisk - When selecting a whisk, I recommend using one between 8 - 11 inches designed with springy wires with wide gaps as it'll incorporate more air into your light, fluffy batters, meringues, and whipped cream. The steel wire should bend just enough to give as you whisk, but will not warp or bend out of shape.

  8. Chef's knife - An all-purpose chef’s knife provides ultimate control to mince your way through any culinary task. I highly recommend the Victorinox 8 inch chef's knife as it's made from high quality materials, is reasonably priced and it's what most kitchen pros use.


Pictorial showing steps for making lemon poke cake including boxed yellow cake mix, instant lemon pie pudding filling and four egg yolks.

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Affix flat beater attachment to stand mixer and secure mixing bowl to the base. Add cake mix to the bowl. 2. Add instant lemon pudding mix to the bowl.

3. Set mixer on low-medium speed and mix ingredients for approximately 20 seconds.

4. Add 4 eggs yolks to the bowl.

Pictorial showing steps for making lemon poke cake including adding water and oil and mixing after each addition.

5. Add 3/4 cups of water to the bowl.

6. Set mixer speed to medium and beat for approximately 1 minute.

7. Using a spatula, scrape down sides of the bowl.

8. Add 3/4 cups of oil to batter.

Pictorial showing steps for making lemon poke cake including beating cake batter using stand mixer and whipping egg whites

9. Set mixer speed to medium and mix for approximately 1 minute.

10. Remove bowl from base and set aside cake batter.

11. Using a wire whip attachment, add 4 egg whites to the mixing bowl.

12. Set mixer speed on low-medium whipping egg whites to soft peaks (approximately one minute).

Pictorial showing steps for making lemon poke cake including whipping egg whites to stiff peaks and folding egg whites into cake batter.

13. Gradually raise mixer speed to high and whip egg whites until stiff peaks form (approximately one - two minutes).

14. Turn off the mixer and set the mixing bowl aside.

15. Using a spatula, add whipped egg whites to the bowl containing cake batter.

16. Carefully fold egg whites into cake batter.

Pictorial showing steps for making lemon poke cake including spreading prepared cake batter into greased cake pan and slicing lemons for cake glaze

17. Continue to fold egg whites until fully combined with cake batter.

18. Add cake batter into greased 9 x 13 inches (quarter sheet) baking pan.

19. Spread batter evenly in baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.

20. Slice lemons in half.

Pictorial showing steps for making lemon poke cake including squeezing and straining lemon juice and combining it with confectioners sugar for cake glaze.

21. Using a citrus squeezer, squeeze juice from sliced lemon halves into a measuring cup.

22. Set a fine meshed strainer over a measuring cup with a spout and pour juice into strainer.

23. Add 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar to mixing bowl.

24. Add 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice into mixing bowl.

Pictorial showing steps for making lemon poke cake including allowing freshly baked cake to cool and poking holes into cake using a fork

25. Whisk ingredients until smooth.

26. Pour glaze into a cup with a spout.

27. Once cake is baked, set the baking pan on a cooling rack and cool for 10 minutes.

28. Using a regular sized fork, poke holes into the entire cake.

Pictorial showing steps for making lemon poke cake including pouring glaze to cake top and sides.

29. Pour glaze over the entire cake.

30. Using a spatula, gently spread the glaze over the top and sides of the cake.

Slice, serve and ENJOY!

Video Tutorial

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