Key Lime Poke Cake

Key Lime Poke Cake

August is passing us by, ladies and gentlemen. Soon it will be fall and I’m itching to bake with pumpkin, see the leaves turn a gorgeous golden and quite simply…to wear my jacket on a cool day. I’m a sucker for fall, is what I’m trying to say to you, right this very minute. I’m in love with every part of it. 

But today, the temperature is still smoking hot. A nice, light and refreshing dessert sounds like something you and I could enjoy, don’t you think? This Key Lime Poke Cake could be just the thing. It has a wonderful lime flavor and is super easy to prepare. It would make a great addition to any end of the summer plans you have underway. 

Let me show you how to make it, won’t you? Light and refreshing…here we come. 

Key Lime Poke Cake

Time: 20 minutes hands on + 25 minutes baking

Yield: 12 servings

Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker




1 while cake mix

1 1/4 C water

4 T canola or vegetable oil

4 eggs


3/4 C whipping cream

1 (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk

1/2 C lime juice (bottled is fine)

1 t lime zest

3 drops yellow food coloring

2 drops green food coloring


1 (8 ounce) container cool whip, thawed

1. Find yourself one white cake mix. Toss it into your stand mixer or large mixing bowl. Add 1 1/4 cup water, 4 tablespoons of oil and 4 eggs. Mix on low for 1 minute, then scrape the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula and mix on medium high speed for 2 minutes. 

2. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray

and pour your batter in. 

3. Bake your cake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 

4. While your cake is baking, pour 3/4 cup whipping cream into your stand mixer or medium sized mixing bowl. 

Add 1 can of sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup lime juice

1 teaspoon of lime zest, 3 drops of yellow food coloring and 2 drops of green coloring. 

5. Whip all of the ingredients until the mixture is nice and thick. Cover the bowl and let it sit in the fridge until you cake is baked and has cooled completely. 

6. When your cake is done, take it out of the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes. Then take a wooden spoon and poke holes all over the top of the cake with the handle. 

7. When the cake has cooled completely spread the filling all over the top of the cake and down through the holes. 

8. Place big spoonfuls of cool whip all over the top of the filling 

and then spread it around with a knife. 

9. Zest a bit of lime peel over the top of the cool whip. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. 

Serve and enjoy! 

Post a comment!


  1. 1
    August 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Oh I made this for our ward BBQ and it went like hot cakes..I did get a little taste of it though ..and it was super good..will be keeping this one and making it again..;)

  2. 2
    October 21, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Just curious, why all the holes?

    • 3
      March 20, 2019 at 2:13 pm

      The poked holes allow some of the topping to soak in to make the cake so moist! Trust me!

  3. 4
    March 7, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    So I have a question… Why do people call a cake like this “key lime cake”? There is NO key lime juice or anything “key lime” in it.

    • 5
      November 4, 2013 at 8:09 pm

      Apparently, if you live in a small town, like I do, and there’s not an abundance of grocery stores, key lime juice just cannot be found. So, you put plain ol’ lime juice in it and some food coloring…and tada!…Key Lime Poke Cake. Let’s not get too technical here 😉

    • 6
      February 8, 2014 at 4:13 am

      Keep it coming, wrestri, this is good stuff.

  4. 7
    March 24, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Just served this at a family party. It was a huge hit! Everyone loved it. Thank you for sharing your recipes. Everything that I have tried off your blog we have loved.

  5. 8
    September 22, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Made this for my hubby’s birthday tonight. SO YUMMY! It will be a repeat in this house 🙂 Thanks for the yummy recipe!

  6. 9
    Genia Williams
    December 25, 2013 at 9:46 am

    I can’t get the filling to thicken up- don’t know what I am doing wrong. All ingredients are correct-even put in freezer for a while.d

    • 10
      February 7, 2014 at 10:24 pm

      Hi there, i finally pesotd something lol! Hope all goes well with your move.If you have a chance thru all the packing, and wraping dishes, and taping boxes check out the blog i started to see how that can help my mom with her business. It’s a little premature but so far so good. Take Care!!

  7. 11
    April 19, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    “Key Limes,” aka Mexican Lime and West Indies Lime, went from Indo-Maylasia to Africa, the Middle East, Hispanola (Haiti) and then to the Florida Keys where it got its current name. Today most are from Mexico. They are very small; green ones are actually immature fruits, prized for their acidity. As they ripen to yellowish, they sweeten. Hope this helps, Tasha.

  8. 12
    August 10, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    I bought mini graham-cracker pie crusts and made the filling instead for mini-pies. Turned out great!

  9. 13
    June 13, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    I couldn’t get the recipe for the filling to thicken, so I punted…used (2) boxes Cook n Serve vanilla pudding & followed the pie filling variation. AFTER removing from heat & cooling slightly, added 5 tsp key lime flavoring & a few drops green food coloring. Let it cool completely at room temp & followed the rest of the original recipe….YUMMMMM!

    • 14
      June 15, 2015 at 6:51 am

      Hi Debi,
      Sounds great! So glad it turned out well for you!

    • 15
      February 25, 2019 at 8:44 am

      The goo is supposed to be pushed into the holes. If it is too thick it won’t go into those holes you poked thence the name poke cake

  10. 16
    March 26, 2016 at 10:17 am

    JanT- REAL key limes are YELLOW.

  11. 17
    Patty Holtke
    March 17, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    After I added the lime juice, I couldn’t get the whipped cream to whip at all. The kitchen was very cold because it’s still cold here, and we keep the house cold. What did I do wrong?

    • 18
      March 20, 2017 at 11:40 am

      Hi Payy,
      Thanks for your question. Where you using hand held beaters or a stand mixer?

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