Lemon Desserts: Citrus Lover’s Poke Cake

I have always loved lemon desserts, ever since I was a kid. Every holiday my aunt would make a traditional English Trifle and my favorite, lemon curd tarts! In fact, I can’t believe I don’t have those on this blog yet. Will need to fix that!

Lemon Desserts: Citrus Lover's Poke Cake by Amanda Formaro of Amanda's Cookin'

I always have a jar of lemon curd in my refrigerator. It’s fabulous on toast or English muffins, and there’s something about its creamy texture and sweet-tart flavor that always gets to me.

Lemon Desserts: Citrus Lover's Poke Cake by Amanda Formaro of Amanda's Cookin'

I’ve always loved poke cakes too, and doctoring up a cake mix, so my wheels were turning one day and I decided to combine a couple citrus flavors and make my own poke cake concoction. I love mandarin oranges and I had a lemon cake mix in the pantry. I knew what I needed to do and am so glad that I did!

I didn’t take any step photos of this process, but if you’ve never made a poke cake before, you can see the steps on my Raspberry Dream Poke Cake.

Lemon Desserts: Citrus Lover's Poke Cake by Amanda Formaro of Amanda's Cookin'

I recently broke the baking pan I use all the time for my cakes (boo!), but am thinking about replacing it with this porcelain pan. Has anyone had any experience with this one? If not, do you have one you recommend?

I hope you get a chance to try this cake. It’s sweet and it’s tart, so if you love lemon curd, this is the cake for you.

Note: some links below are affiliate links. That means if you happen to buy something, a small percentage of that sale goes back into this site, which enables me to continue to bring you free recipes such as this one. So, thanks!

As always, a full printable recipe is available at the end of this post.
For this recipe you will need the following ingredients:

Citrus Lover’s Poke Cake

Lemon Desserts: Citrus Lover's Poke Cake by Amanda Formaro of Amanda's Cookin'

More dessert recipes

If you enjoyed this recipe, you’ll probably like some of the ones I’ve hand picked for you below!

Orange Poke Cake
Orange Poke Cake
Mandarin Orange Cheesecake
Mandarin Orange Cheesecake
Lemon Streusel Squares
Lemon Streusel Squares
Pumpkin Pudding Poke Cake
Pumpkin Pudding Poke Cake

Lemon Desserts: Citrus Lover’s Poke Cake

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours, 45 minutes

Lemon Desserts: Citrus Lover’s Poke Cake


  • 1 box lemon cake mix, prepared
  • 3-ounce box orange Jell-O
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • Dickinson’s Lemon Curd or your favorite brand
  • 11-ounce can of mandarin oranges (in juice, not syrup)
  • 8-ounce tub Cool Whip or 1 cup whipping cream, whipped


  1. Bake cake in a 13x9 pan according to the box directions. Cool for ten minutes.
  2. Poke holes all over the cake with the end of a wooden spoon.
  3. Combine the dry Jell-O powder with the boiling water and stir until dissolved.
  4. Slowly pour gelatin over the cake.
  5. Refrigerate cake for 45 minutes.
  6. Remove cake from the refrigerator and spread the entire jar of lemon curd across the top of the cake. Return the cake to the refrigerator for another hour.
  7. Drain and chop the mandarin oranges and fold them into the Cool Whip. Remove cake from refrigerator and frost with Cool Whip mixture.
  8. Refrigerate 1-2 hours before serving.

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2 Responses to Lemon Desserts: Citrus Lover’s Poke Cake

  1. 1

    This cake looks delicious!

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