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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

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 9 reviews
  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 15 slices
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American


This Lemon Raspberry Poke Cake is an easy lemon cake soaked in sweetened condensed milk and raspberry sauce, then topped with fluffy homemade whipped cream. Make this fruity dessert with or without the help of a boxed cake mix!


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


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.


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


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 485
  • Sugar: 56.9g
  • Sodium: 420.8mg
  • Fat: 17.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 11.7g
  • Carbohydrates: 78.2g
  • Fiber: 1.1g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Cholesterol: 78.2mg