This Lemon Poke Cake is fantastic for summer. White cake, lemon curd, and fresh berries it’s not only delicious but gorgeous on your dinner table.
If it’s summer, I am all about the lemon desserts and the lemon flavor in this poke cake satisfies that craving for a sweet citrus cake – it really is perfect for a warm summer night.
I use cake mix to make it easy but the homemade lemon curd adds a special homemade taste. Lemon lovers: you’re going to love this lemon poke cake recipe!
I love simple, yet stunning desserts that add a bit of color and of course deliciousness to your table. During the summer months, I tend to lean towards lemon and berry everything.
Fresh berries are typically cheaper during this time of year and well our family just loves berries! They also pair beautifully with fresh lemon – it’s a match made in summer heaven.
I love poke cakes because of how moist they are and they are perfect for all the summer events like potlucks and BBQs. And because berries and lemon are such a great pairing, I love to make a poke cake filled with lemon curd.
Lemon Curd may seem like it is hard to make, but it really is simpler than you think. And paired with a white cake – WOW!
It’s the best make ahead cake because it needs time to chill in the refrigerator. I like to top it with a simple whipped topping and garnish with the berries before serving.
You can also easily turn it into a 4th of July cake and arrange the fruit on top to resemble the American flag. My kids love it this way so that’s how we will serve it for this year’s fourth of July party.
Or, you can keep the cake plain and serve the fruit on the side so your guests can add what they like. This makes it easy and I’m all about easy for summer entertaining.
- White cake mix plus the ingredients listed on the box
- Lemon juice
- Granulated sugar
- Lemon Zest
- Large eggs
- Heavy cream
- Powdered sugar
- Almond extract or vanilla extract
- Fresh strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries for serving
How to Make Lemon Poke Cake
Bake cake according to package directions and let it cool completely at room temperature in the cake pan.
To make the lemon curd filling, combine the lemon juice, zest, sugar, eggs, and butter in a saucepan. Cook the mixture until it’s thickened stirring constantly. Once it’s thick, take it off the heat and let it cool.
For the whipped topping, beat the cream in a large bowl until frothy. Add the powdered sugar, extract, and whip the mixture until it’s thick and spreadable.
Use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke holes in the top of the cooled cake. Fill the holes with lemon curd and the spread the whipped cream over the top of the cake.
Chill the poke cake for at least two to three hours. Just before serving decorate the cake with the berries or serve them on the side.
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
I like to use white cake mix for this recipe but for an extra lemony flavor you can use box lemon cake mix.
Instead of lemon curd, you can use instant lemon pudding mix. Make it following the package instructions and let it sit just until it’s soft set. You can then fill the holes in the cake.
Instead of homemade whipped cream feel free to use prepared whipped topping like Cool Whip if you want to save some time.
I don’t recommend decorating the cake with the fruit until you’re ready to serve it.
Make Ahead Tips
You can make the cake a day in advance and keep it covered with plastic wrap. You can also make the lemon curd ahead and keep it in the refrigerator.
You can fill the cake and keep it in the refrigerator overnight. The next day just make the whipped cream and decorate the top when you’re ready to serve it.
Leftover lemon poke cake will keep for several days in the refrigerator. If it’s topped with the berries, they will break down and release moisture so the cake won’t be as pretty but it will still be delicious.
Cheers to yummy cakes, berries being on sale, and celebrating the warm summer months. XOXO San
More Summer Dessert Ideas
Don’t forget to pin this Lemon Poke Cake to your favorite Pinterest board for later!
Lemon Poke Cake with Berries
- 1 white cake mix prepared according to package directions
- 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 3 large eggs
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp almond extract or vanilla, but we prefer almond
- 2 cups strawberry slices
- 8 ounces blueberries
- 8 ounces raspberries
- Bake cake according to package directions and allow to completely cool once baked.
- Once cooled make lemon curd, whipped cream, and wash all of the berries.
- In a saucepan, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, eggs, and butter. Cook over medium-low heat until thick enough to hold marks from whisk or spoon. When the first bubble appears you know you need to cook for another 6-7 minutes. Constantly stir to make sure it does not cook to the bottom. Set aside to cool completely while cake cools.
- Make whipped cream by beating cream until frothy. Add powdered sugar and extract and beat until thick and spreadable.
- Poke holes into your cake. Pour the curd into the holes evenly, then top with whipped cream. Cover and place in refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
- Right before serving top with berries and enjoy!