Lemon Burst Poke Cake

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This oh-so-simple and delightful Lemon Burst Poke Cake is slathered with lemon pudding then topped with a dreamy homemade whipped lemon cream cheese frosting.  There’s only one way to describe the burst of lemon flavor you’ll enjoy with each and every bite.  It’s light and refreshing and one of those special desserts that really shows the dessert love to your family and friends.

The bight flavor of lemon is associated with spring and warmer weather.  It’s a natural progression of thought with fruits like lemons, limes and oranges being intricate ingredients in many warmer weather sweet and savory foods we love.  This poke cake is one I wanted to add to my recipe file not only for the incredible flavor but, the ease of making it, as well.  Bakers of all skill levels can be confident making this cake that begins with a cake mix infused with fresh lemon zest then smothered in lemon pudding then topped with a dreamy homemade lemon whipped cream cheese frosting.

This poke cake is one of those cakes that looks far more involved than it actually is to make and the reaction to it’s deliciousness is priceless.  Serve it for a holiday or any special occasion when you want a spectacular sweet ending to your meal.


Author: Melissa Sperka
Serves: 16



  • 1 (15.25-oz) box Golden Vanilla cake mix, plus water oil eggs to prepare (i.e. Betty Crocker)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 (3.4-oz) box instant lemon pudding
  • 2 cups milk


  • 1 (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp pure lemon extract
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp lemon zest, divided
  • 2 Tbsp grated white chocolate
  • Additional whipped cream and lemon slices for garnishing (Optional)

1.Prepare the cake mix per the package instructions using the amounts of water, oil and eggs called for. Add 1 Tbsp fresh lemon zest. Bake in a 9 x 13-inch cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes back clean.
2.Remove from the oven and immediately poke holes using the back of a wooden spoon or similar over the cake. Be generous.
3.In a medium size mixing bowl whip the pudding mix and milk until thickened but still pourable.
4.Spread over the cake gently pushing into the holes. Cool completely.
5.To make the frosting, in a medium size mixing bowl using an electric mixer cream together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon extract.
6.Add the cream continuing to beat until fluffy and fully combined. Mix in 2 Tbsp lemon zest by hand.
7.Frost the top of the cake and garnish with the remaining lemon zest and grated white chocolate.
8.May use additional whipped cream and lemon slices to garnish as pictured, if desired.

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