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Lemon Pudding Poke Cake: A Burst of Sunshine

Lemon Pudding Poke Cake couldn’t be easier to make. It’s a luscious lemon cake infused with creamy lemon pudding, topped with whipped cream and crushed cookies!

White pan of cake with whipped topping and lemon cookes crushed on top surrounded by whole cookies and empty white plates topped with forks all on a green napkin.

Lemon Pudding Poke Cake recipe couldn’t be easier to make. This make-ahead easy pudding cake recipe is the perfect recipe for sharing. It makes a generously sized dessert that everyone will love.

You know how I LOVE chocolate right? Well, Lemon may be a close tie. I just love how lemon brightens up any dish whether it’s in a dessert or savory dish. It just reminds me of summer and a burst of sunshine just like this Pudding Poke Cake!

We were invited over to our neighbor’s house for a BBQ. I knew that there would be quite a few people there so wanted to make something that I could do ahead of time and would feed quite a few people.

This Cake with Lemon Pudding checked off all of my wants and more!

Bright yellow slice of cake with a whipped cream topping sprinkled with crushed lemon cookies on a white plate. The title \"Lemon Pudding Poke Cake\" runs across the top.

Another requirement is that the house we were going to has a child with a serious nut allergy. I’ve become educated on how to make food “safe” for this child. You see, even though the food doesn’t have nuts in it, it still might be dangerous.

You have to look at the label of every single ingredient that you put in a dish.

The nutritional label will sometimes list allergy-specific ingredients in bold or will have a “Contains” statement that will list allergen ingredients such as gluten, wheat, tree nuts, etc.

Another very important detail is if the ingredient was processed in a facility that processes products with nuts. That makes it off-limits to people with nut allergies too.

Lastly, monitor your own working space. If I’ve recently used nuts in my own kitchen, I make sure all surfaces and utensils are CLEAN (counters, cutting boards, and gadgets)!

Ingredients for Lemon Poke Cake

  • Lemon cake mix
  • Instant lemon pudding
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • vanilla
  • powdered sugar
  • Lemon sandwich cookies
  • Milk

What is a pudding poke cake?

A pudding poke cake is a baked cake that you poke holes in so that you can infuse other flavors. In this case, lemon pudding. There are other poke cake recipes that call for flavored jello, juice, or sweetened condensed milk to name just a few. It’s a great technique for adding moisture and flavor to any cake.

Baked cake with holes punched into the top in a white baking dish

Our Kentucky Butter Cake is infused with a buttery sugar glaze that will have you licking the plate!

Pro Tips to simplify this Lemon Poke Cake recipe:

  • Use ready-made whipped topping instead of homemade. Personally, I love whipping my own but no one will complain that you didn’t.
  • Use canned lemon pie filling or lemon curd instead of the instant pie filling. Note, however, the consistency will not be the same and I don’t believe will saturate the cake as well. Again, no one will complain!
  • Get the kiddos involved. Let them sprinkle the cookies on top and give them the half cookies to garnish the tops of the pieces of cake before serving.

If you like this lemon recipe, here are a few more I think you’ll enjoy

A few items you make need to make a Lemon Poke Cake Recipe:

  • 9×13 Baking Dish – I’ve got this one and love it. It comes with a lid that makes taking and refrigerating my treats a lot easier.
  • Silicone Spatulas – This pretty set has a flat side and a curved side to take on your toughest job. I love that they are all one piece and can withstand 500°F! Throw out those old chipped ones and treat yourself!
  • Electric Stand Mixer – I used this mixer for doing everything in this recipe. It is my workhorse and I even have the attachments to make pasta and grind meat and nuts with too.
Slice of yellow lemon cake topped with white whipped topping, crushed cookies and a half cookie on a white plate. A white baking dish and whole cookies sits behind it.

Don’t forget to Pin this recipe to your favorite Pinterest board for quick reference!

Collage of two pieces of yellow lemon cake on white plates topped with whipped topping and lemon cookie crumbs.

If you like this recipe, we would appreciate your comment and a 5-star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review!

Bright yellow slice of cake with a whipped cream topping sprinkled with crushed lemon cookies on a white plate. The title "Lemon Pudding Poke Cake" runs across the top.
5 from 10 votes

Lemon Pudding Poke Cake

Lemon Pudding Poke Cake is a semi-homemade dessert that is sweet, creamy and luscious. It's an easy make-ahead recipe that that will delight any lemon lover
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Chill Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Servings 15
Author Julie Menghini


  • 1 box lemon Cake Mix Pudding in the mix is fine but not necessary
  • 3.4 oz instant lemon pudding 1 small box
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream *
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract Can also use lemon extract
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 17 lemon filled sandwich cookies 15 for the cake and 5 for the topping


  • Cook the cake in a 9×13 baking dish according to the package directions. Cool the cake on a baking rack.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, combine instant pudding with the 2 cups of milk. Beat for 2 minutes. The pudding will start to thicken slightly but will still be pourable.
  • Using the end of a wooden spoon or other round ended gadget, poke holes into the cooled cake. Pour the lemon pudding over the top of the cake.
  • Crush the lemon cream filled cookies in a gallon-sized zip lock bag. Pound the cookies with a rolling pin until crushed.
  • Whip the heavy cream, and vanilla together until soft peaks begin to form. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix until blended. Fold in the crushed cookies into the whipped cream. Top the cake with the cream cookie mix.
  • Refrigerate for at least one hour. Garnish with remaining cookie crumbs and serve.
  • Store covered in the refrigerator.



*You can replace the whipped cream topping with store bought whipped cream for convenience.  I really like the homemade myself.
Recipe adapted from Soulfully Made.


Calories: 354kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 357mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 520IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 134mg | Iron: 1mg
This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.
Tried this recipe? That’s awesome!Mention @hostessatheart or tag #hostessatheart!

Everyone absolutely loved this Luscious Lemon Pudding Poke Cake. It’s like a burst of sunshine in every pan.

If you have some inspiration you’d like to see, leave me a note in the comments or drop me an email. I read and respond to all of my correspondence.

Recipe Rating

Lemon Burst Poke Cake @

Monday 10th of August 2020

Should it be refrigerated before serving?

Julie Menghini

Tuesday 11th of August 2020

Yes, for 1 hour.

Soulfully Made

Wednesday 31st of July 2019

This is one of my favorite desserts! Lemony and light and fluffy goodness!

Julie Menghini

Monday 5th of August 2019

Thank you! We really loved this burst of sunshine cake!

Sandra Shaffer

Monday 29th of July 2019

Poke cakes are always a hit and lemon flavor is just the right combo for a spring and summer gathering! I'm making this for a work potluck. What a treat!!

Julie Menghini

Tuesday 30th of July 2019

Thank you, Sandra!

Healing Tomato

Monday 29th of July 2019

I am a sucker for lemon cakes ad this one looks so easy to make. Bookmarking your recipe.

Julie Menghini

Tuesday 30th of July 2019

Thank you, Rini!


Monday 29th of July 2019

Lemon desserts are my favorite, and this one is so easy and delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Julie Menghini

Tuesday 30th of July 2019

Thank you, Debi! This is a great recipe that's delicious too!