This lemon jello cake is a light and refreshing quick summer cake that is perfect to bring to a cookout or potluck! Delicious hot or chilled, this cake is perfectly citrusy, sweet, fluffy, and moist. It’s so simple that anyone can throw it together in no time.

A tray of lemon jello poke cake.
A recipe card for lemon jello poke cake.

I was flipping through my grandma’s recipe box when I came across a handwritten recipe for this lemon jello poke cake. I always get excited when I come across a handwritten recipe. When was the last time someone made this recipe? Is it any good? How old is the recipe? It’s a mystery all around. But I couldn’t resist giving this one a try!

It’s a sheet cake, and I think sheet cakes are really underrated these days. Sometimes there’s something so beautiful in a simple cake, especially if you don’t have time to whip up an extravagant multi-tiered cake. I’m all about the simple things.

And if this cake is anything, it’s simple. A box of yellow cake, lemon jello, eggs, oil, and water. I used one whisk and one bowl, and didn’t even have to get the hand or stand mixer out. It took no time to throw together and it came out beautifully. Grandma truly does know best.

This Lemon Jello Cake is:

  • The perfect quick summer cake to bring to a cookout, potluck, or dinner on the patio. We made it for dessert on Mother’s Day and it was a delicious light after-dinner treat.
  • Versatile and super easy to serve because it’s delicious hot out of the oven or cold from the fridge. It can be made ahead of time and served chilled to pair perfectly with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  • Perfectly lemony and sweet, and topped with an icing made of powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice. Not too sugary, not too tart.
  • The lemon jello addition makes it “melt in your mouth” fluffy, airy, and moist.
  • A vibrant yellow color which screams summertime.
  • So simple and easy to throw together!
Pouring icing onto the lemon jello cake.

Ingredients

  • Yellow cake mix: The base of the cake mix. I used Duncan Hines, an old classic.
  • Lemon jello: Mixed in with the yellow cake mix which gives the cake a bold lemon flavor, yellow color, and makes it so incredibly fluffy and moist!
  • Eggs: The binding agent for the cake.
  • Neutral oil (vegetable, canola): Helps to make the cake rich and tender.
  • Water: Brings everything together.

4 Tips to Make the Best Lemon Jello Cake

  1. Make sure your pan is well-greased and floured. This prevents the cake from sticking and allows you to easily remove this moist cake from the pan.
  2. I would recommend baking the cake in a 9×13 light metal cake pan. Here I baked the cake in a glass pan because it was the only thing I had on hand, but glass retains too much heat and makes the edges cook more quickly than the center. For a cake that is evenly baked and maximally tender, a light metal pan is a way to go!
  3. According to grandma, a fork works best for poking holes, but I also think chopsticks or a straw would work well and make the holes look more discrete.
  4. The icing can really be adjusted to your taste! If you want a stronger citrus flavor, add more lemon juice. For a sweeter icing, simply add more powdered sugar and/or water to bring it to your desired consistency.

Check out some more of grandma’s recipes here:

Lemon Jello Cake

Coffee Cake
This lemon jello cake is a light and refreshing quick summer cake that is perfect to bring to a cookout or potluck! Delicious hot or chilled, this cake is perfectly citrusy, sweet, fluffy, and moist. It’s so simple that anyone can throw it together in no time.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 slices

Ingredients
  

  • 1 package (15.25 oz) yellow cake mix
  • 1 package (3 oz) lemon jello powder
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup water
  • 4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ – 2 cups powdered sugar, to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Combine the yellow cake mix, lemon jello, eggs, oil, and water. Mix together until no clumps remain.
  • Pour batter into a greased and floured 9×13 light metal cake pan. Bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and prick with a fork ¾-inch down through the cake. Make holes every 1 inch apart.
  • Prepare icing by mixing together the lemon juice and powdered sugar. Pour the icing over the cake while the cake is white hot and spread evenly over the cake. Do not return cake to oven. Let cake cool in the pan before cutting into slices to serve.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • To store, cover and keep in refrigerator.
Keyword Cake

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