Lemon desserts are perfect for warm summer days. Lemon bars and cookies are refreshing, sweet and a little tart. However, we decided to kick typical lemon desserts up a notch and bake a glorious lemon poke cake.
If you’ve never had a poke cake before, let this be your first. It is a typical yellow sheet cake but flavored with both lemon zest and lemon juice. After baking, you use the round handle of a wooden spoon to poke holes in the cake and pour a mixture of sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice over the top. This mixture seeps into every nook and cranny of the cake, allowing for an extremely moist and flavorful lemon dessert. A hefty dollop of Cool Whip and extra lemon zest on top round out the cake. If you’re looking for an innovative, simple and refreshing summer dessert, this lemon poke cake hits the jackpot!
Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 30 minutes
Cooling time: 1-2 hours
Total time: 2-3 hours
Servings: a 9″ x 13″ pan
Ingredients for the cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2-3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1-1 & 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 cup plain yogurt
Ingredients for the topping:
14-oz. sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 container Cool Whip
Extra lemon zest for garnish (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and grease a 9″ x 13″ baking pan.
For the cake:
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in lemon juice and lemon zest.
4. Add flour mixture gradually, mixing until just combined. Stir in yogurt.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Oven temperatures tend to vary, so the toothpick test is usually reliable.
For the topping:
6. Mix together condensed milk and 1/4 cup lemon juice until smooth.
7. Using the round handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes about 1/2-inch apart over the entire surface of the cake. Make sure not to poke all the way to the bottom of the cake.
8. Pour condensed milk mixture over the cake. Not all of the mixture will be absorbed, but that’s ok.
9. Allow cake to cool completely. Refrigerate it for at least 1-2 hours to allow the topping to soak into the cake.
10. Top with Cool Whip and lemon zest. Enjoy!
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