4.67 from 9 votes

Key Lime Jello Poke Cake Recipe

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Key Lime Jello Poke Cake is a delicious and amazing balance is sweet, sour and tart and the perfect large dessert jello cake with whipped cream topping!

key lime poke cake with lime jello center topped with lime pieces and whipped topping for the perfect poke cakes

 

Spring Time Desserts

Poke cakes are such a fun cake to bring to a potluck as a dessert. They can be made in a variety of delicious ways and with just about any flavor.

Personally I am a big fan of a fresh strawberry poke cake and a smooth buttery banana poke cake and I never get sick of baking these fun little desserts.

When it comes to making up a key lime jello poke cake, its best to think of this one ahead of time.

You will want to put together the lime curd the night before (if possible) and are welcome to go ahead and make the cake so its nice and cooled as well. 

The green of this lime poke cake is just so precious as a spring dessert recipe, with light fresh and tart flavors. Gorgeous green drips in every slice, the lime jello really shows through and there is nothing more refreshing in the than lime!

This cake, as well as watergate salad,  is also a fun to serve for St. Patrick’s Day and Easter holidays. 

Jello Poke Cake

What is a poke cake? A poke cake is a simple baking technique/hack to poke down in a cake and push flavors like jello, curds, frosting, sweetened condensed milk and pretty much any flavor you can think of, right down to the center of the cake.

The deeper the holes, the more intense and moist of a middle flavor you can serve up. In the case of a key lime jello poke cake, the lime flavor and colors goes way into the cake recipe and the lime curd combines with whipped topping for a fresh but slightly sweet and slightly sour taste. Yum!

Poke Cake Variations to Make it your Own

  • Changing up the flavor of cake: For jello cakes, I love using a simple yellow cake mix to balance the tart to the sweet, but you could easily make this into a lemon-lime poke cake by using a lemon cake or a white cake instead of yellow. Additionally, you could make a strawberry lime by using a strawberry cake. 
  • The best way to poke a jello cake poke cake: The best way to poke a poke cake is either the handle of a wooden spoon or a fork technique, which I show here in this poke cake recipe.
  • Sweet over Tart: One of the most well known flavors when it comes to key lime (and lime in general) is the tart kick back you get. If you are looking for a less tart option for the frosting layer for the top of the cake, increase your 1 cup of sugar to 2 cups.

use a fork to make fresh holes in your cooled cake to pour in jello

Cake Ingredients 

You can easily make your cake ahead of time and cover and chill the night before if you like. You can also make the cake and pour the jello mix (see directions) the night before. 

Scroll to the bottom for a printable version of this post, including all measurements and instructions, so you can follow along in your kitchen without being on your phone. 

Here is what you need to gather to get started: 

  • yellow cake mix
  • lime Jell-o 
  • boiling water
  • lime juice

Lime Curd Ingredients

This lime curd is part of the topping recipe. Its best to make the lime curd ahead of time so when you assemble the cake, everything is thickened. 

Scroll to the bottom for a printable version of this post, including all measurements and instructions, so you can follow along in your kitchen without being on your phone. 

Here is what you need to gather to get started: 

  • egg yolks
  • eggs
  • white sugar
  • lime juice
  • 1 lime
  • cornstarch
  • butter
  • green food coloring
  • whipped topping

Key Lime Jell-O Poke Cake

Once cake is baked and cooled completely, poke holes in the cake with a fork.

In a small bowl, add lime jello to boiling water and mix for 2 minutes.

Stir in lime juice and mix well. Pour over cake.

Refrigerate cake for 2 hours or until set or overnight is fine.

make lime jello for your jello poke cake

To make Lime Curd

Add egg yolks and eggs into a small bowl and whisk well. Set aside.

Add sugar, lime juice, zest and cornstarch to a saucepan. Heat over medium low heat, whisking constantly until boiling.

Continue to boil, and constantly whisk and boil for 4 minutes. Mixture will bubble and double in size.

Reduce from heat and slowly drizzle and whisk the eggs into the sugar mixture.

Continue to heat on medium low, stirring constantly for 10 minutes until mixture is thick and coats the spoon.

Remove from heat and stir in butter and food coloring. 

Go dark on the green food coloring because when you add the whipped topping, it will significantly lighten. 

make fresh key lime curd that is sweet and tart for a refreshing whipped topping layer

 

Let cool to room temperature before covering and refrigerating for 2 hours or overnight.

When ready to frost, mix the whipped topping and lime curd together.

whipped topping key lime frosting

 

Now use your whipped topping with key lime curd to frost over your lime poke cake.

If you prefer not to use lime frosting, you can also spread plain old cool whip.

 

frost poke cake with lime frosting

 

Top with additional lime zest and lime slices if desired.

Makes 24 pieces.

delicious and amazing easy jello poke cake flavored with lime jello

Below you will find an easy way to print this recipe and guide you while in the kitchen.

I love to hear your feedback, so if you loved this recipe as is or made changes, I want to see how you did it. Please come back and let me know in the comments.

I am always open to your suggestions as a home cook as well!

Thank you for reading – you can also find me on Facebook and Pinterest and I answer all emails. 

4.67 from 9 votes

Key Lime Jello Poke Cake


Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 4 hours
Key Lime Poke Cake with refreshing and tart jello center and tart lime curd mixed whipped topping, just an amazing poke cake recipe! Serve this one up for a spring time dessert or holiday like Easter or St. Patricks day.

Ingredients
 

Cake Ingredients

  • 1 box yellow cake mix baked according to package directions and cooled completely
  • 1 small box 3.4 oz, lime jello
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup lime juice

Lime Curd Frosting

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • green food coloring
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1 container 8 ounces, whipped topping, thawed

Instructions

  • Once cake is baked and cooled completely, poke holes in the cake with a fork.
  • In a small bowl, add lime jello to boiling water and mix for 2 minutes. Stir in lime juice and mix well. Pour over cake.
  • Refrigerate cake for 2 hours or until set. Overnight is fine.

To make Lime Curd:

  • Add egg yolks and eggs into a small bowl and whisk well. Set aside.
  • Add sugar, lime juice, zest and cornstarch to a saucepan. Heat over medium low heat, whisking constantly until boiling.
  • Continue to boil, and constantly whisk and boil for 4 minutes. Mixture will bubble and double in size.
  • Reduce from heat and slowly drizzle and whisk the eggs into the sugar mixture.
  • Continue to heat on medium low, stirring constantly for 10 minutes until mixture is thick and coats the spoon.
  • Remove from heat and stir in butter and food coloring. Go dark on the green food coloring because when you add the whipped topping, it will significantly lighten.
  • Let cool to room temperature before covering and refrigerating for 2 hours or overnight.
  • When ready to frost. mix the whipped topping and lime curd together and frost the cake.
  • Top with additional lime zest and lime slices if desired.
  • Makes 24 pieces of key lime poke cake.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 147kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 173mg | Sugar: 13g

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

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4.67 from 9 votes

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4 Comments

  1. I tried this for Fathers Day, as my husband likes key lime pie. I used a lemon cake mix and beefed it up with a cup of sour cream, oil, eggs and a little lemon extract. The cake part was pretty good, but the frosting was way too tart and “limey” for our liking. If I made it again, I would cut down on the fresh lime juice in the jello and the curd, and/or would use only half the amount of lime curd in the frosting.

    1. Sarah, I sincerely appreciate your feedback on the frosting. I know that there are def cakes that I push the frosting aside for lots of sugar, so I totally get it. Ill see if i can develop a slightly less tart option for future cakes and thank you for sharing your solution for those that like less tang!

  2. Do you have to mix the curd with the whipped topping, or can it be it’s own separate layer?

    1. Trisha Haas says:

      we always mix, but as a blog site, we also encourage you to try to make recipes your own. We just cannot tell you for sure what will work till its been tested.

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