I’ll never forget the pure joy of tasting my Grandma’s lemon poke cake for the first time. Sheer, lemon-puckered bliss.

I don’t even remember liking lemon desserts that much as a kid. But my mind changed after my first bite of this family-favorite lemon dessert.

A Long Lost Lemon Cake Recipe

When I tried this yummy lemon cake for the first time, what struck me was how moist and tangy and flavorful it tasted.

The lemon was just perfection. And I never forgot it.

When my grandmother passed away I inherited her recipe box. I looked and looked through her handwritten recipe cards trying to find this lemon cake recipe.

I knew the recipe used a cake mix. And I knew it was called a poke cake. But I couldn’t find a poke cake recipe card in her collection.

And when I would search on the internet, my searches would return all kinds of poke cake recipes, but they used pudding.

lemon poke cake by Jill Bauer

I knew that wasn’t how my Grandma made her lemon cake. And then one day as I was rummaging through her recipe box, I pulled out a recipe card that had another recipe card stuck to it.

That other recipe card was titled “Lemon Sugar Cake” and as I read the ingredients, I realized I had found what I always knew as my Grandma’s lemon poke cake.

I dropped everything I was doing, jumped into the car, drove to the grocery store and picked up all of the ingredients.

Baking this lemon cake and TASTING it again brought back so many memories. It was like Grandma was in the kitchen with me. And the cake was everything I remembered it to be.

lemon poke cake

Lemon Poke Cake

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Calling all lemon lovers. This easy lemon cake is both sweet and slightly tart. The lemon glaze soaks into the cake, making it a tender and delicious treat!


  • 1 box lemon cake mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 3 oz. package lemon jello
  • For Glaze:
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 6 tbsp. lemon juice
  • *Optional for topping: whipped cream and lemon zest


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 13x9 cake pan.
  2. In large mixing bowl, add cake mix, eggs, oil, water and lemon jello. Mix until combined. Then mix for another 2 minutes until smooth.
  3. Pour cake mix into 13x9 pan. Follow baking time on cake box.
  4. Test to make sure cake is baked through by pricking the center of the cake with a toothpick or knife and no batter remains on the knife/pick/
  5. While cake is baking, mix together powdered sugar and lemon juice for the glaze.
  6. Let cake sit for 5 minutes after removing from oven. Then use a fork and gently prick the cake over the entire top surface. Space out the pricks...otherwise if they overlap, you'll start to tear the cake up. I usually just do rows, spacing a bit between each poke until I've done this to the entire cake.
  7. Pour lemon glaze over entire cake. Use a spatula or knife to help smooth the glaze over the entire surface.
  8. Let the cake sit out and cool completely before serving. I like to give this a good couple of hours so that the glaze really soaks up into the cake.
  9. Serve as is...or add a dollop of whipped cream and some fresh lemon zest to each slice.

“Lemmon” desserts

Just a fun little note. My Grandma’s maiden name was Lemmon. No wonder she has such good lemon recipes!

And when my parents were thinking about names for me when my Mom was pregnant, they considered using the name Lemmon as a middle name.

The story goes it was my Dad’s idea, and then he joked, “we’d have a Sour Bauer!” My Dad always had a clever quip like that!

Luscious Lemon Recipes

My Grandma’s lemon poke cake will, no doubt, become a go-to recipe for you. It’s so easy to make and the results will speak for themselves with all of the compliments you’ll receive.

Lemon is one of those flavors that has such broad appeal, don’t you think? If you’re a lemon lover, like me, be sure to check out my lemon squares recipe.

Here’s my recipe for My Best-Ever Lemon Squares

And one of my most popular recipes combines that sweet and tart combo of blueberries and lemon in a delicious pound cake.

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake
Click Here for my Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake recipe

With all of these yummy recipes, I guess Lemmon is my middle name after all!

From my kitchen to yours,


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