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Lemon Raspberry Poke Cake

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This Lemon Raspberry Poke Cake is an easy lemon cake soaked in sweetened condensed milk and topped with fresh raspberry sauce and whipped cream.  

a slice of lemon cake on a plate next to a fork with a bowl of raspberries and a lemon in the background

Easy Lemon Cake with Raspberry Filling

Is there any fruit duo more dynamic than lemon and raspberry? I don’t think so.

This lemon raspberry cake is a homemade lemon buttermilk cake soaked in sweetened condensed milk and topped with fresh raspberry sauce, homemade whipped cream, and fresh lemon zest. What’s not to love?!

This is one of those cakes that disappears in minutes. It’s so sweet and so refreshing!

If you love lemon cake, this is a similar lemon raspberry layer cake but filled with lemon curd and has a mascarpone whipped cream frosting.

side view of a slice of cake on a white plate

What You’ll Need

Here are a few tips and notes to keep in mind as you gather the ingredients for your lemon poke cake. See below in the recipe card for a full list of ingredients!

  • Eggs and Egg Yolks – whole eggs add moisture and act as a binding agent to hold the cake together. Adding extra egg yolks creates a richer flavor and a softer, more moist texture.
  • Sour Cream – sour cream creates a moist, yet fluffy texture. I use light sour cream, but plain Greek yogurt would work to lighten it up even more.
  • Lemon Zest – you can easily zest a lemon using a cheese grater or a Microplane. Be sure to only shave off the bright yellow exterior, not the white pith directly underneath.
  • Buttermilk and Sweetened Condensed Milk – buttermilk is the key to a tender texture while sweetened condensed milk provides sweetness and richness.
  • Homemade Whipped Cream – I like to whip up a batch of homemade whip with heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and more lemon zest.

How to Make A Lemon Cake with Raspberry Filling

Step 1: Make The Cake

  • Combine the wet ingredients: In a bowl, mix together sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Add in sour cream and lemon zest and beat until combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients: In another bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Add half of the dry to the wet batter and beat on low while pouring in half of the buttermilk. Repeat with the rest of the dry ingredients and buttermilk.
  • Bake: Pour the batter into a 9×13″ baking dish and bake at 350ºF for 28-32 minutes.
  • Cool, poke, and fill: Cool the cake for 30 minutes, then use a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the top. Pour a jar of sweetened condensed milk over the top, then cool completely in the fridge.

Step 2: Make The Raspberry Sauce

  • Combine: In a pot, mix together raspberries, sugar, and flour. Gently crush the raspberries and add lemon juice.
  • Cook: Place the pot over medium heat and cook until bubbling. Cool until no longer steaming, then pour over the top of the cake. Refrigerate until completely cooled.

Step 3: Make The Whipped Cream Topping

  • Make the whip: Chill your mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer. To the cold bowl, add heavy cream. Beat until thickened. Add in the powdered sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
  • Add the topping: Spread the whipped cream over the chilled cake, then top with lemon zest and serve.

What the Best Way to Poke the Holes?

I use the handle end of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the top of the cake. It works perfectly! If you don’t have a wooden spoon, simply use something similar in size to create your holes.

a fork being plunged into a slice of lemon poke cake on a white plate

My Recipe Tips

  • Use fresh raspberries. The flavor is so good, but if they aren’t in season, you can use frozen raspberries.
  • Cool the cake for 30 minutes before poking for cleaner holes. If you poke it while it’s still hot, it will become messy.
  • Cool the cake completely before adding the topping. If the cake is warm, the whipped cream will just melt.
  • Chill the mixing bowl and whisk attachment before making the homemade whipped cream for a fluffier texture.
  • Add the whip cream right before serving. You can definitely add it ahead of time, but some of the red color from the raspberries may migrate through the whipped cream.

Time Saving Tips

  • Use cake mix. While I do love a homemade lemon cake, feel free to save a little bit of time with boxed lemon cake mix. It won’t be as dense, but it will still be delicious.
  • Use Cool Whip. Keep the topping simple with Cool Whip instead of a homemade whipped cream.
  • Prep it ahead of time. Bake, poke, and fill the cake and keep it in the fridge for up to 2 days OR bake the cake 2 days ahead and store it on the counter. Fill and top it off 2 hours before you’re ready to serve, then keep it in the fridge until serving.
side view of a slice of lemon raspberry cake garnished with a raspberry and a lemon slice with a forkful taken out

How to Store A Poke Cake

A fully assembled poke cake will last in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

More Poke Cake Recipes

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closeup of a square slice of lemon cake on a plate garnished with fresh raspberry and a lemon slice

Lemon Raspberry Poke Cake

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 15 slices

Description

This Lemon Raspberry Poke Cake is a home lemon cake soaked in sweetened condensed milk, with a fresh raspberry sauce and topped with whipped cream.

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 2 cups (380g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (118 ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) lemon or vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup (59ml) light sour cream
  • 1 large lemon, zested
  • 2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 package (3.4oz) instant lemon pudding
  • 3 teaspoons (11.2 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) salt
  • 1 cup (236ml) buttermilk
  • 1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk

For the Raspberry Sauce:

  • 36 ounces containers fresh raspberries
  • ¼ cup (47.5g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (11.6g) flour or corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon (10ml) lemon juice or water

For the Topping

  • 1 ½ cups (354 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • ¾ cup (98g) powdered sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Instructions

For the Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until the eggs and oil are well incorporated and the batter is lighter in color, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  3. Next mix in the sour cream and lemon zest and beat until well combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients. Add half the dry ingredients to the batter and beat on low speed while pouring in half of the buttermilk and mix just until the flour starts to incorporate.
  5. Finally add the remaining dry ingredients, mixing on low speed while pouring in the remaining buttermilk and beating until all of the ingredients are well combined.
  6. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
  7. Pour the batter in a 9-inch by 13-inch pan and bake at 350°F for 28-32 minutes, keeping a careful eye on the baking during the last few minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  8. Test the cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cake is done. Cool for 30 minutes.
  9. While the cake is still warm, take the end of a wooden spoon or another round object and poke holes all over the top of your cake. Pour the jar of sweetened condensed milk over top of the holes as equally as you can. Allow the cake to cool completely, refrigerating if necessary.

For the Raspberry Sauce:

  1. Combine the raspberries, sugar and flour in a medium-sized pot. Gently crush the raspberries and add the lemon juice.  Cook over medium heat while stirring until it starts to bubble slightly.
  2. Once the sauce is bubbling and thick, remove from the stove and allow the raspberry sauce to cool until it is no longer steaming. Pour the raspberry sauce over top of the cake, spreading evenly. Refrigerate the cake until it is completely cooled.

For the Topping:

  1. Put your mixing bowl and wire whisk in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes until it is completely cold. Beat the heavy cream on medium-high speed for several minutes until it starts to thicken. Add the powdered sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Spread over the cake only once the cake is completely cooled. Zest a lemon over top of the whipped cream. Serve chilled.

Notes

Original cake mix recipe: 1 box vanilla cake mix,  1 box (3.4 oz) instant lemon pudding mix, 1 cup buttermilk (or milk), ½ cup vegetable oil, 3 large eggs, 1 large egg white, Zest of 1 lemon. Pour the batter into a 9-inch by 13-inch pan and bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes

Nutrition Information:
1 slice
485
56.9g
420.8mg
17.2g
11.7g
78.2g
1.1g
7g
78.2mg
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Poke Cake Recipe, Lemon Cake, Lemon Cake Recipe

 

 

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