Light and airy with a rich and creamy frosting, these lemon poke cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting will be a sure hit. Plus they are pretty easy to make and only need a few ingredients. Starting with a cake mix makes the whole process a little bit more simple.
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My Mom and Grandma came to visit me last weekend, so of course I used that as an excuse to do some baking. Really any occasion calls for baking in my house. I cleaned the entire house AND made a delicious dinner? Brownies! The dog let me trim her nails without crying/fighting/biting? Cookies! Family visiting from out of town? Lemon Poke Cupcakes!
I also made a delicious ambrosia salad but that recipe will have to wait until later. I just couldn’t resist getting these lemon poke cupcakes up as soon as possible! They really were that amazing. I’ve made poke cupcakes in the past, and the trick is to whip up the pudding and pour it on the cupcakes fast. These are a lot like a poke cake, it’s just a bit more tricky to make sure the pudding gets inside each cupcake.
After they bake it’s best to place all of the lemon poke cupcakes out on a plate or cookie sheet in nice tight rows. Then poke several larger holes in each cupcake. I use the end of a wooden spoon to poke. Then mix up the pudding in a pourable bowl or a measuring glass and pour the pudding quickly over each cupcake before it starts to set.
Once each cupcake is covered, let them chill along with the extra pudding in the fridge for about 30 minutes. If you are feeling frisky, you can use the leftover pudding to spread a little more on top of each cupcake. Finally, top each one with the lemon cream cheese frosting (the hero here, let’s be honest) and lemon zest.
I always feel so special and accomplished when I can make something that my mom AND grandma rave about. After all they are the ones who taught me how to cook and bake, so it’s fun to show them what I can do. Grandma even taught my mom and I something new on this visit–how to poach an egg. Now my husband wants poached eggs all.the.time. Thanks Grandma.
Tips for Lemon Poke Cupcakes
- Poke large holes, and make sure they go all the way down.
- Use an 8 cup measuring cup with spout and lid to mix the pudding and pour so you can move quickly. Then use it to store the leftover pudding easily.
- Top the cupcakes with any leftover pudding with a knife (like frosting!)
- Use a piping bag and tip to frost cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Spreading it with a knife will not allow the frosting to stick to the pudding.
More sweet ideas:
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Lemon Pudding Poke Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
Lemon Pudding Poke Cupcakes
- 1 Box white cake mix
- Ingredients to prepare cake from box (usually eggs, oil, water)
- 1 box INSTANT lemon pudding mix 3.4 oz
- 2 cups cold milk
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 oz. cream cheese softened
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp milk
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- Lemon zest for sprinkling optional
- Preheat oven to 350 and line 24 muffin tins with liners.
- Make cupcakes according to box instructions, and bake accordingly. Let cupcakes cool.
- Remove cupcakes from the tin and set them out on a cookie sheet or plate.
- Poke several holes in cupcakes with the end of a wooden spoon. The larger the holes the better.
- Work quickly for the next step: Mix dry pudding with 2 cups of milk in a bowl with a pour spout. Pour over each individual cupcake, ensuring you don’t drown it in pudding mix but also working quickly enough before the pudding starts to thicken. Reserve the rest in the fridge until later.
- Place cupcakes in the fridge to set up for about 30 minutes.
- Take the remaining lemon pudding and spread a small layer onto each cupcake with a knife. Like you would with frosting.
- To make the cream cheese frosting, beat together cream cheese, butter, milk, and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Mix in powdered sugar until the desired frosting consistency is reached. I used about 3 cups for medium-density frosting.
- Pipe on the cream cheese frosting onto each cupcake, and top with a sprinkle of lemon zest.