Blueberry lemon poke cake is a light and summery dessert made by combining 3 simple components: fluffy cake, sweet and tart blueberry lemon sauce, and fresh whipped cream.

a slice of blueberry lemon poke cake on a plate


You might be asking, what is a poke cake? A poke cake is a dessert where you poke holes into a baked cake and pour some kind of sauce or filling into it. The cake absorbs the sauce making it extra moist and flavorful.

There are several versions of poke cake that use flavored jello as the liquid but I much prefer to use this fresh berry sauce. Blueberry lemon sauce is tart, sweet, and is so delicious eaten right off a spoon!

My version of poke cake includes a lightly lemon flavored white cake, blueberry lemon sauce, and fresh whipped cream, making it the perfect summertime treat. Made in a sheet pan, you can easily transport this cake to a summer barbecue or other celebration.

Why I love this cake

  • The flavor! Blueberries and lemon are the perfect flavor combination for a light, summery dessert.
  • This recipe includes 3 simple components even the most beginner of bakers can pull off.
  • Poke cake is made in a sheet pan making it easy to transport to bring to any summer gathering.
  • Make it in advance! Make the cake and sauce portion of the recipe, refrigerate it overnight, then top with whipped cream before serving.
a slice of blueberry lemon poke cake beside the whole sheet cake

Components in Blueberry Lemon Poke Cake

White Cake: White cake is an incredibly moist and tender style of cake. While the outside of the cake turns golden brown in the oven, the interior stays pale white. This color is due to using only the white part of the eggs. I added lemon and vanilla for added flavor.

If preferred, you can use a vanilla cake or yellow cake batter as the base of this recipe. Whichever style of cake you prefer, it will be delicious combined with berry sauce and whipped cream.

Blueberry Lemon Sauce: This fresh berry sauce spiked with lemon flavor is so delicious. It’s thinner than a jam but thicker than macerated fruit. I like to use this sauce to top everything from cake, pancakes, yogurt – you name it!

Whipped Cream Topping: The light texture of whipped cream combines perfectly with the lightness of the cake. I like to leave it plain with only powdered sugar and cream but you can add additional lemon and vanilla for an extra boost of flavor.

Variation Ideas

  • Strawberry Poke Cake: Swap the blueberries in the sauce recipe for fresh strawberries. Chop the strawberries into small pieces before adding to the saucepan.
  • Mixed Berry Poke Cake: Replace some of the blueberries in the sauce recipe with a combination of strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries.
  • Cranberry Orange Poke Cake: Swap the lemon juice and lemon zest in both the cake and sauce recipes for orange juice and orange zest. Swap the blueberries for fresh cranberries.

How to make blueberry lemon poke cake

There are 3 components that make up this recipe: white cake, blueberry lemon sauce, and whipped cream topping.

To make the white cake, we will be utilizing the creaming method. Let’s go over it!

Prepare the baking pan

lining a baking pan with parchment paper

First, start by lining a rectangular baking pan with parchment paper. Use a bit of non-stick spray underneath to keep the parchment paper from sliding around. Leave the long side of the parchment paper hanging over the edges so that it will be easier to lift the baked cake out of the pan for serving.

Spray another light coat of non-stick spray over the top of the parchment paper and over the unlined edges of the pan.

Make the cake

Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.

Slowly add the room temperature egg whites to the creamed butter and sugar until completely incorporated. Add the vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest at this point as well.

When using the creaming method for cakes, you will add the wet and dry ingredients in small increments alternating between the two. This ensures that the batter will be able to completely absorb the wet ingredients.

The dry ingredients are added in 3 increments and the wet ingredients (milk and sour cream) are added in 2 increments, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.

Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 35-45 minutes until the cake is firm but springs back when touched. While the cake bakes, make the blueberry lemon sauce.

Make the sauce

In a medium saucepan, combine the water, cornstarch, lemon juice, and sugar. Whisk until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add the fresh and rinsed blueberries and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Gently boil for 4-5 minutes until the mixture is thickened. Using the back of a large spoon or potato masher, gently mash the berries leaving some whole if desired. The thinner the sauce the easier it will absorb into the cake. I like to leave some of the berries whole so they sit on top of the cake as well.

Remove from the heat to cool and stir in the lemon zest.

blueberry sauce topped over the white cake

After the cake has cooled for about 20 minutes, using the back of a spoon poke holes all over the cake about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. The tins of a fork won’t be large enough. Spoon the sauce over the top of the cake, letting it soak in. If it’s too thick, add a splash of water or additional lemon juice to loosen it up.

If you’ve left some berries whole, they will sit on top of the cake, but you can remove them if preferred. Use all of the sauce or leave a bit on the side to spoon over the top for serving.

Wait until the cake is completely cooled before removing it from the pan by grabbing both long ends of parchment paper and gently lifting it. Place on a large cutting board or rectangular serving tray.

Make the topping

whipped cream being spread over the poke cake

Place the very cold cream into a medium bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip until soft peaks start to form. Slowly stream in the powdered sugar and keep whipping until you have stiff peaks.

Spread the whipped cream over the top of the cooled cake and decorate with fresh blueberries and lemon slices if desired. When serving, spoon additional blueberry sauce right on top.

Make-Ahead Poke Cake

To make this cake in advance, after adding the berry sauce and cooling, wrap the entire baking pan tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days. Bring the cake out to room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving so it can become soft again. Remove the cake from the pan and top with fresh whipped cream.

Refrigerate: After serving, use the parchment paper to gently lift the leftovers back into the same baking pan. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

a slice of blueberry lemon poke cake on a plate topped with berry sauce


Can I make a cake flour substitute?

If you don’t have cake flour on hand, make your own! For this recipe, whisk together 6 tablespoons cornstarch plus 3 cups (minus 6 tablespoons) all-purpose flour. Use this mixture in place of the cake flour in the recipe.

Do I poke the cake when it’s hot or cold?

It’s best to poke the cake when it’s still slightly warm but not hot. If you poke the cake when it’s too hot, you might squish it too far and it won’t bounce back. If you poke the cake when it’s cold, the sauce won’t have a chance to absorb into the cake. It’s best to pour the sauce over the cake when its still slightly warm.


If you enjoyed this recipe, you might like to try these other delicious fruity dessert recipes.

a slice of blueberry lemon poke cake on a plate

Blueberry Lemon Poke Cake

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Blueberry lemon poke cake is a combination of fluffy cake, sweet and tart blueberry lemon sauce, and fresh whipped cream. Made into a sheet cake for easy transport!


For the Cake

  • 345 grams (3 cups) cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 226 grams (8 ounces, 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 400 grams (2 cups) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 14 grams (1 tablespoon) lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 160 grams (about 5 large, ⅔ cup) egg whites
  • 170 grams (¾ cup, 180 milliliters) whole milk
  • 180 grams (¾ cup) sour cream

For the blueberry lemon sauce

  • 28 grams (2 tablespoons) water
  • 28 grams (2 tablespoons) lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 50 grams (¼ cup) granulated sugar
  • 450 grams (1 pound) blueberries, fresh or frozen, plus additional for decor
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

For the whipped topping

  • 235 grams (1 cup, 240 milliliters) heavy cream, cold
  • 40 grams (⅓ cup) powdered sugar



  1. At least 30 minutes before mixing, take the butter, eggs, milk, and sour cream out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature. Separate the eggs. Measure out the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Position the oven rack to the center position. Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. Prepare a 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33 cm) baking pan with non-stick spray and parchment paper. Leave the sides of the parchment paper long so you can lift the cake out of the pan once cooled.

Make the Cake

  1. Sift together the cake flour (345 grams/ 3 cups), baking powder (2 teaspoons), and baking soda (½ teaspoon). Add the salt (½ teaspoon), whisk together, and set aside. 
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, combine the softened butter (226 grams/ 8 ounces) and sugar (400 grams/ 2 cups). Cream together on medium speed until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl halfway through mixing. The mixture should be very pale yellow after mixing.
  3. With the mixer running on medium/low speed add the vanilla extract (2 teaspoons), lemon juice (14 grams/ 1 tablespoon), and lemon zest (2 teaspoons). Next, slowly add in the egg whites (160 grams/ about 5 large) while the mixer continues running. Scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically as you slowly incorporate the egg whites. 
  4. Mix the milk (170 grams/ ¾ cup) and sour cream (180 grams/ ¾ cup) together. Alternate adding the dry ingredients into the bowl in three additions with the milk/sour cream mixture in two additions, starting and stopping with the dry ingredients. Mix on medium speed in between each addition until fully incorporated. 
  5. Transfer the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Pull out of the oven when the cake is firm but springs back when gently pressed in on the center, or when a cake tester comes out clean. 
  6. While the cake bakes, make the sauce.

Make the blueberry lemon sauce

  1. In a medium saucepan combine the water (28 grams/ 2 tablespoons), lemon juice (28 grams/ 2 tablespoons), cornstarch (2 teaspoons), and sugar (50 grams (¼ cup) and whisk to combine. 
  2. Add the blueberries (450 grams/ 1 pound) to the pan. No need to thaw if using frozen berries.
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 4-5 minutes until the liquid is rapidly bubbling. Use a potato masher to mash down some of the fruit. Some pieces can be left whole.
  4. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon zest (1 teaspoon), and set aside to cool.
  5. After the cake has been removed from the oven and cooled for about 20 minutes, use a straw or the end of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over it about halfway through. The tins of a fork won't produce large enough holes.
  6. Spoon the sauce over the top of the cake and let it soak in. It's ok if there are chunks of blueberries left on top. Let the cake cool completely before removing from the pan.

Make the whipped topping

  1. Place the very cold heavy cream (235 grams/ 1 cup) in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a whisk attachment or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer. 
  2. Begin whipping on medium speed until soft peaks begin to form. 
  3. With the mixer still running, slowly add the powdered sugar (40 grams/ ⅓ cup) and mix until medium peaks form. Be careful not to over whip the cream. It will start looking curdled if you go too far, as it begins turning into butter. 
  4. After the cake has completely cooled, top it with the whipped cream in an even layer. Decorate with fresh blueberries or lemon slices if desired.
  5. This cake is best served at room temperature or just slightly chilled from the refrigerator. When serving, I like to spoon additional berry sauce over the top of each individual slice.


*Lemon juice & zest: you need about 1 large lemon for the cake and berry sauce. You'll need additional lemons for decor if desired.

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