Go Back
+ servings

Lemon Poke Cake

Lemon POKE Cake is 1000X better than just Lemon Cake.  With one bite, you will taste why. This Lemon Poke Cake is incredibly soft, moist with a delectable slightly crunchy crust and the perfect balance of sweet sugar and bright fresh citrus.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8


  • non-stick baking spray with flour in it

Lemon Cake

  • 1 box butter cake mix (Duncan Hines brand recommended)
  • 1 cup sour cream at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup milk, preferably whole at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract (may substitute 2 teaspoons lemon zest)
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon

Lemon Glaze

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted


  • Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Spray a 10-cup Bundt cake pan or 9x13 pan liberally with non-stick baking spray that contains flour. (Regular non-stick cooking spray will not work.) Set aside.
  • Pour the dry cake mix into a the the bowl of your standard or hand held mixer. Add the rest of the Cake ingredients EXCEPT the lemon juice and zest (sour cream through lemon extract - NOT box ingredients). Mix on high for 2 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest and juice of 1 lemon until well blended.
  • Pour batter into cake pan and bake 45-60 minutes (depending on thickness of pan and your oven), or until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Meanwhile, mix Lemon Glaze ingredients in a medium bowl until the consistency of pancake batter. If desired, add additional lemon juice or sugar to taste. Let glaze sit to thicken.
  • Once cake is done, remove from oven and wait ten minutes then flip onto cooling rack. Cool for 5 more minutes.
  • Carefully transfer cake to serving platter and liberally poke holes all over the cake using a chopstick. (The more holes, the more glaze seeps into cake!)
  • If serving immediately, pour glaze all over the cake, respooning Glaze over the cake as it drizzles down the cake. Glaze will become more translucent as it sits on the cake.
  • If not serving immediately, spoon half of the glaze over the cake, respooning Glaze as it drizzles down the cake. When ready to serve, spoon reserved Glaze over cake and microwave individual servings until warm.


If baking cake in 13×9 pan, you can keep the cake in the pan. You won’t get the crunchier crust but the cake is still delicious and the pan traps the extra glaze so the cake is extra moist! Use about 1/3 less glaze however if keeping the cake in the pan.


  • You can either serve the Lemon Poke Cake fresh out of the oven with a more translucent lemon glaze,  or to achieve the opaque lemon glaze as pictured, I prefer to cover half of my cake with the glaze, re-spooning any glaze that drips off back onto the cake, then let the cake sit for a half hour or so until the glaze hardens slightly, then spoon more glaze over the cake. This creates both a crunchy crystallized glaze and velvety glaze - so good!


Lemon Cake stores fabulously well at room temperature due to the lemon and oil for up to three days. Afterwards, it should be refrigerated – if it lasts that long! To store:
  1. Once the glaze is completely set, wrap the Lemon Cake tightly in plastic wrap.
  2. Store cake at room temperature for up to five days.
  3. After three days, you may want to place the Lemon Cake in the refrigerator to prolong its life.  Lemon Cake can keep in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.


This Lemon Poke Cake can be made 24 hours ahead of time with great results - just be aware that the longer it sits, the moister it will become.
  1. Pour half of the lemon glaze over the cake.
  2. Reserve the remaining glaze and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  3. Once glaze is set, wrap cake in plastic wrap or cover with a cake cover.
  4. When ready to serve Lemon Poke Cake, warm glaze in the microwave until pourable and pour all or cake OR I like to microwaved individual servings with a spoonful of lemon glaze that melts as the cake warms.


  1. Let the glaze on the exterior of the Lemon Poke Cake set completely.
  2. Double wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap.
  3. Freeze cake for up to 3 months.
  4. Allow the cake to thaw overnight in the refrigerator then unwrap and come to room temperature on the counter before serving.
  5. I like to microwave the individual slices for 10 seconds or so to soften the lemon glaze and warm the cake.