Lemon Jello Cake is seeping with all the lemony flavor you could ever want! The lemon jello absorbs in to the lemon cake and then is topped with a delicious lemon glaze. To all of my lemon lovers, this is the cake for you! 

Try some more delicious lemon cakes like my Lemon Bar Cake or my Lemon Poppy Seed Cake.

A square of lemon jello cake on a white plate topped with a lemon wedge.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Jello seeps into the cake. A lot of lemon jello cakes are made with the jello or pudding mix baked into the cake. Not this cake! This cake has the jello liquid poured into holes in the baked cake so it really moistens up the cake and gives it that delicious lemon flavor! 
  • Super moist cake. This lemon jello poke cake is super moist thanks to 👆🏻 this I mentioned above. Adding the lemon jello into holes in the cake helps that liquid permeate the lemon cake, keeping it really moist.  
  • Punchy lemon flavor. The lemon flavor really comes through in this cake because you have the lemon cake, lemon jello and lemon juice in the glaze on top! 

Ingredient Notes

Lemon Jello Cake ingredients on a white textured background.
  • Lemon Cake Mix: and ingredients needed on back of the box to make the cake.
  • Lemon Jell-O: Make sure it’s the lemon Jell-O and not the lemon instant pudding mix. 
  • Boiling Water: The boiling water is important because it blooms (activates) the gelatin in the Jell-O mix. Without the hot water, the gelatin won’t be activated to set correctly. 
  • Lemon Juice: The lemon juice is added to the glaze. This gives a nice and sharp lemon flavor right on top of the cake. 
  • Milk: Add enough milk to get the right glaze-like texture. 
  • Melted Butter: Unsalted or salted butter works fine based on your preference.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Bake the lemon cake. Follow the directions on the cake box to make the cake. Bake it in a 13×9-inch pan. Let the cake cool.
Lemon cake batter in a rectangular glass baking dish.
  1. Pierce the cake with a fork. Poke holes over the entire cake. You want lots of little holes so that the Jell-O mixture can seep through. 
A fork poking holes into a lemon cake.
  1. Make the lemon jello mixture. In a large liquid measuring cup, combine 1 cup of boiling water and the lemon Jell-O. Stir until the Jell-O powder has fully dissolved. Pour the Jell-O over the cake. 
Lemon jello liquid mixture being poured overtop a baked lemon cake.
  1. Chill the cake. Let the Jell-O set in the fridge (about 1-2 hours). 
  2. Make the glaze. Whisk the lemon juice, powdered sugar, milk, and butter.  
White glaze mixture in a liquid measuring cup.
  1. Cover with glaze and chill. Pour the glaze over the chilled cake and put back in the fridge for the glaze to set. Serve the cake cold or at room temperature.

Recipe Tips

You can serve it soon after glazing the cake, but I suggest you chill the cake for at least 30 minutes after drizzling the lemon glaze overtop so that the glaze isn’t as runny.

Add the zest of one lemon to the cake mix to enhance the lemon flavor in the cake even more. 

Serve topped with slices of fresh lemon!

Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing

Store the lemon jello cake with glaze in the fridge covered for 3-5 days. The cake must be refrigerated due to the jello. 

To freeze, chill the cake until the glaze is set and cover completely in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container and freeze for up to 1 week. For longer, freeze with an additional layer of aluminum foil. 

A slice of Lemon Jello Cake topped with a white glaze and a fresh lemon wedge.

FAQs

Can I make this into a layer cake? 

Yes you. If you want to make this in circular cake pans and layer them, I would recommend using two 6-inch circular cake pans for the cake and follow the directions exactly. At the end, I would then stack one cake layer on top of the other.  

Is this cake recipe from scratch?

No it isn’t. This is a doctored cake recipe, which means we use a boxed cake mix and add some extra delicious ingredients to make the flavor stronger and the texture more moist! 

Can I make this in a bundt pan?

Yes you can! I would use something different than a fork to poke the holes in through because you’ll want the holes to go deeper into the cake. A chopstick or straw would work.

A fork cutting into a square of lemon jello cake on a white plate.

More Amazing Lemon Recipes

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A slice of Lemon Jello Cake on a white plate on a white background.
Print Review
5 from 2 votes

Lemon Jello Cake

This moist lemon jello cake is so easy to make! Simple bake a lemon cake, poke holes over the cake and pour a lemon jello liquid mixture overtop. This mixture will seep throughout the cake, making every bite extra moist! Top the cake with a homemade glaze. This cake is served chilled and is the perfect spring and summer dessert!
Prep Time: 20 mins
Chill Time: 3 hrs
Total Time: 3 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 20 servings

Ingredients
 

  • 1 box Lemon cake mix - and the ingredients needed on back of the box to make the cake
  • 1 3 oz box lemon Jell-O
  • 1 cup boiling water

Lemon Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Instructions
 

  • Bake the lemon cake as directed on the cake box (I make it into a 13×9 inch cake). Let the cake cool. Once cool poke the surface of the cake with a fork. You want lots of little holes so that the Jell-O can seep through.  
  • In a large liquid measuring cup combine 1 cup of boiling water and the lemon jell-o. Stir until the Jell-O powder has fully dissolved. 
  • Pour the Jell-O over the cake. Chill cake in the fridge to let the Jell-O set. 

Lemon Glaze

  • Make the glaze: In a medium bowl whisk the lemon juice, powdered sugar, milk, and butter. Add more milk or more powdered sugar to get the glaze to a medium consistency, but not runny. The glaze should be white. 
  • Pour the glaze over the chilled cake, doing your best to get it drizzled over the cake evenly.
  • Place back in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes or until the glaze has partially or fully set.
  • Serve cold or close to room temperature.

Notes

Store the lemon jello cake with glaze in the fridge covered for 3-5 days. The cake must be refrigerated due to the jello. 
To freeze, chill the cake until the glaze is set and cover completely in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container and freeze for up to 1 week. For longer, freeze with an additional layer of aluminum foil. 
Recipe source: my Aunt Barbara

Nutrition

Calories: 169kcal (8%)Carbohydrates: 37g (12%)Protein: 1g (2%)Fat: 2g (3%)Saturated Fat: 1g (5%)Cholesterol: 3mg (1%)Sodium: 220mg (9%)Potassium: 14mgFiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 27g (30%)Vitamin A: 35IU (1%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 56mg (6%)Iron: 1mg (6%)
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Leave a star rating and review on the blog post letting me know how you liked this recipe! Take a picture and tag @saltandbaker on Instagram and Facebook so I can see what you’re making!

This recipe was originally published on April 27, 2020. It was republished on Feb. 18, 2022, to include additional information and photos.