Key Lime Poke Cake


I searched high and low for a key lime poke cake recipe but couldn't find anything I liked. So... I created my own. It's a tart, moist, light, and amazingly delicious key lime cake.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
40 mins
Additional Time:
4 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
5 hrs 40 mins
1 9x13-inch cake



  • 1 (15.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix (such as Duncan Hines®)

  • 1 cup water

  • 3 eggs

  • cup vegetable oil

Poke Filling:

  • 1 (3 ounce) package lime-flavored gelatin mix (such as Jell-O®)

  • 1 cup boiling water

  • ¼ cup key lime juice, or more to taste


  • 2 eggs

  • 2 egg yolks

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • ¾ cup lime juice, or more to taste

  • 4 teaspoons lime zest, or to taste

  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch

  • ¼ cup butter

  • 2 drops green food coloring (Optional)

  • 1 (8 ounce) container whipped topping (such as Cool Whip®)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan.

  2. Combine cake mix, water, eggs, and oil in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer on low speed until moistened. Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan.

  3. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 24 to 29 minutes.

  4. Dissolve gelatin mix in boiling water. Add key lime juice and mix well.

  5. Use a fork to poke holes all over the cake. Spoon gelatin-key lime mixture all over cake. Refrigerate until completely cool and ready to use.

  6. Meanwhile, whisk eggs and egg yolks together in a large glass bowl. Combine sugar, lime juice, lime zest, and cornstarch in a smaller heat-proof bowl.

  7. Place bowl with the sugar mixture over a pot of simmering water. Stir frequently, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula to avoid scorching, until mixture comes to boil, about 5 minutes.

  8. Slowly whisk hot sugar mixture, little by little, into the beaten eggs. Place bowl over the pot of simmering water and whisk until curd coats the back of a spoon, up to 10 minutes. Remove from heat; mix in butter until melted.

  9. Drop food coloring into the curd and mix to achieve your desired shade. Let cool to room temperature, at least 30 minutes. Cover surface directly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely cool, about 2 hours.

  10. Transfer 3/4 of the curd into another bowl. Add whipped topping and fold together until well combined. Spread frosting over the cake. Refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours more. Top with the plain curd.

Editor's Note:

The directions for making the cake are based on the particular brand mentioned. Follow instructions on the box if using a different brand.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

433 Calories
21g Fat
57g Carbs
5g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 433
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 113mg 38%
Sodium 329mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 57g 21%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 43g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 7mg 36%
Calcium 69mg 5%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 88mg 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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