This lemon poke cake features a soft lemon cake layer, a smooth and creamy lemon filling, and sweet whipped cream on top–and it’s so easy to make you won’t believe it!
Are you familiar with lemon pie filling? Somehow I ended up with a can in my pantry awhile back (I believe it was a gift from gremlins in exchange for all the socks they’ve stolen out of my dryer) so I opened that can up and took a taste.
And YUM. It tastes like lemonheads! AKA my favorite non-chocolate candy.
I didn’t want to make a pie with it though, so I worked it into a poke cake. A lemon poke cake with a soft lemon cake layer, a smooth and tart lemon filling, and a whole bunch of whipped cream on top.
It’s all your lemony dreams come true!
Why you’ll love this lemon poke cake:
- It’s seriously the easiest cake ever
- All the ingredients are easy to find and you probably have most on hand right now
- It needs to chill overnight so it’s perfect as a make-ahead dessert
How to make lemon poke cake
Combine cake mix, eggs, sour cream, vegetable oil, and water in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes, until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into a 13- by 9-inch baking dish (spray with cooking spray first!) and smooth the top, then bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool the cake for 1 hour, then use the handle of a wooden spoon to make holes every inch or so across the cake—only go about 3/4 of the way down to the bottom of the cake.
Spread the lemon pie filling over the cake, pushing it down into the holes. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
When you’re ready to serve the cake, combine heavy cream and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until it holds stiff peaks. Spread over the cake, then serve.
As I type it occurs to me that you might be asking “what exactly are stiff peaks?” Your whipped cream has reached stiff peaks if, when you pull the beaters out, the cream sticks straight up and holds its shape. (Starting with very cold cream is important. Chilling your bowl and beaters helps also.)
To make the cake even easier, you can substitute a tub of frozen whipped topping for the homemade whipped cream. Use whichever is your preference!
If you love lemon desserts then give this lemon poke cake a shot for sure! It’s hard to go wrong with a dessert this simple!
Did you make this lemon poke cake? That’s great! Let me know what you think with a comment and a rating below. Be sure to post a pic on IG too–tag @theitsybitsykitchen so I can see (and share!) your creations!
This easy lemon poke cake features a soft lemon cake layer, creamy lemon filling, and whipped cream topping. It's delicious!
- 1 15.25-ounce box lemon cake mix*
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup full fat sour cream
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 21-ounce can lemon pie filling
- 1 1/2 cups well chilled heavy cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13- by 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set pan aside.
Combine the cake mix, eggs, sour cream, vegetable oil, and water in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes, until smooth. Pour into the prepared pan and bake 30 to 36 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cool cake on a wire rack for 1 hour.
Once cake has cooled, use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke holes every inch or so all over the cake, going about three-quarters of the way down into the cake. Spread the pie filling over the cake, pushing it down into the holes.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate the cake overnight.
When you’re ready to serve the cake, make the topping.
Place the whipped cream in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until it thickens a bit. Add the powdered sugar and beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks.**
Spread the topping over the chilled cake, then slice and serve.
- *I used Pillsbury
- **Your cream has reached stiff peaks if, when you pull the beaters out, the cream sticks straight up and holds its shape.
- To make the cake even easier, you can substitute a tub of frozen whipped topping for the homemade whipped cream. Use whichever is your preference!