cinnamon roll poke cake square featured
Every bite of this Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake is bursting with delicious flavor. The cake is moist and soft. The homemade frosting is the perfect way to top it all of.
Jump to Recipe
Table of Contents
  1. Cinnamon Roll Cake Recipe
  2. What is a Poke Cake
  3. Ingredients
  4. Additions & Substitutions
  5. How to Make Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake
  6. Tips
  7. How to Store Poke Cake
  8. More Easy Cake Recipes
  9. Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake Recipe

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake starts with a box of cake mix and followed by a creamy cinnamon sugar filling and topped off with a delicious cream cheese frosting. This easy sheet cake will soon become a family favorite recipe!

cinnamon roll poke cake slice on plate

Cinnamon Roll Cake Recipe

This cinnamon roll poke cake is one of my favorites. The sweet and moist cinnamon sugar cake and the creamy cream cheese frosting combination is simply perfection.

What is a Poke Cake

A poke cake is simply a cake baked and once it is cooled you poke lines of holes in it. After you poke the holes, you fill the holes with liquid or filling. This makes and incredibly flavorful and most cake.

In this case, the filling is a delicious vanilla and cinnamon flavor. Then top the cake with icing or whipped topping.

By poking holes in the cake and filling them, it makes it so that every bite is full of the delicious flavor of whatever filling you’ve used.

cinnamon roll poke cake with holes and filling

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1 box vanilla (white) cake mix – prepare as directed on the box

For the filling:

  • Butter
  • Light brown sugar
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Clear vanilla extract
  • Sweetened condensed milk

For the frosting:

  • Cream cheese
  • Butter
  • Clear vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar
  • Half and half
cinnamon roll poke cake cut in pan

Additions & Substitutions

  • Vanilla: You can use vanilla extract if you do not have the clear vanilla. The clear vanilla flavoring just helps to keep the frosting nice and white.
  • Cake: You can use any type of boxed cake mix brand. White cake is best, but you could use a yellow cake mix or vanilla cake mix if you’d like. 
  • Frosting: If you’re on a time crunch or simply want to make things a bit easier, you can use your favorite store-bought frosting instead of making your own. I would recommend using a cream cheese style frosting, but vanilla would work, too!
cinnamon roll poke cake bite

SEE FULL PRINTABLE RECIPE CARD BELOW

How to Make Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake

  1. Bake the cake according to the directions on the box and allow it to cool until it is still just slightly warm to the touch.
    Pro-Tip: Some white cake box recipes give the option of 2-3 eggs using the whole egg or only the egg whites. Either works for this recipe, so it’s personal preference. These box cakes are almost always done baking several minutes before the suggested bake times on the back of the box so keep an eye on them in the oven
    cinnamon roll poke cake cooling in pan
  2. Poke holes in the cake (approximately ½ inch apart).
    Pro-Tip: I prefer using the end of a silicone spatula and poking holes while the cake is still just slightly warm, the cake slips right off the spatula and doesn’t cause any surface cake rips.
    cinnamon roll poke cake with holes
  3. Whisk together butter, light brown sugar, ground cinnamon, vanilla extract and sweetened condensed milk. Heat in in the microwave on high for 1 min. Remove and stir. Heat for another minute and stir. Stir and make sure all brown sugar clumps have been removed. Return to the microwave for 30 second increments until all lumps are removed.
  4. Carefully ladle the butter mixture evenly over the top of the cake.
    cinnamon roll poke cake pouring filling
  5. Cream together butter and cream cheese on medium speed. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the clear vanilla flavoring, half and half and the powdered sugar a ½ cup at a time.
    Pro-Tip: Don’t rush this process. Return the mixer speed to medium and continue mixing until the frosting is smooth and slightly fluffy.
  6. Spoon all of the frosting onto the cake and smooth it out evenly.
    cinnamon roll poke cake frosted
  7. Cake is ready to serve immediately or is also delicious chilled with some ice cream.

Tips

  • I have found that poke cakes tend to be best after sitting for a day. This time allows for the filling to really seep into the cake. If you can make this the night before you plan to serve it, the flavors are sure to be really soaked into your cake!
cinnamon roll poke cake on spatula

How to Store Poke Cake

Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container. Store leftovers in the fridge for 2-4 days.

More Easy Cake Recipes

Easy Icebox Cake | Cherry Dr. Pepper Cake | Apple Cider Doughnut Cake | Gooey Caramel Apple Dump Cake Recipe | The Easiest Eclair Cake | Banana Cake Roll | Death By Chocolate Poke Cake | Strawberry Poke Cake | Hawaiian Wedding Cake

5 from 13 votes
cinnamon roll poke cake square featured

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake

Serves — 15
Every bite of this Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake is bursting with delicious flavor. The cake is moist and soft. The homemade frosting is the perfect way to top it all of.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Cool Time 20 mins
Total Time 50 mins

Ingredients
  

For the Cake

  • 1 box white cake mix prepare as directed on the box

For the Filling

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup light brown sugar packed
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • teaspoons clear vanilla extract
  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

For the Frosting

  • 8 ounce bar cream cheese softened
  • ½ cup butter softened
  • 2 teaspoons clear vanilla flavoring You can use vanilla extract if you do not have the clear vanilla. The clear vanilla flavoring keeps the frosting white
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons half and half

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350*. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with baking spray.
  • Prepare the vanilla cake as directed on the cake box. Some white cake box recipes give the option of 2-3 eggs using the whole egg or only the egg whites. Either works for this recipe, so it’s personal preference. These box cakes are almost always done baking several minutes before the suggested bake times on the back of the box so keep an eye on them in the oven! After baking, allow the cake to cool until it is still just slightly warm to the touch.
  • Using the end handle of a silicone spoon or spatula or a wooden handled spatula, poke holes in the cake. Spread the holes approximately a ½ inch apart. I prefer using the end of a silicone spatula and poking holes while the cake is still just slightly warm, the cake slips right off the spatula and doesn’t cause any surface cake rips.
  • In a heat safe bowl, add the 5 tablespoons of butter, light brown sugar, ground cinnamon, vanilla extract and sweetened condensed milk. Whisk until all the ingredients are combined. Place the bowl in the microwave and heat on high for 1 min, remove and stir. Heat for another minute and stir. Stir and make sure all brown sugar clumps have been removed. Return to the microwave for 30 second increments until all lumps are removed.
  • Carefully ladle the butter mixture evenly over the top of the cake slowly.
  • Using a stand mixer, or a handheld mixer and a medium size mixing bowl, on medium to medium-high speed, cream the butter and cream cheese together. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl until fully incorporated.
  • Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the clear vanilla flavoring, half and half and the powdered sugar a ½ cup at a time. Don’t rush this process. Return the mixer speed to medium and continue mixing until the frosting is smooth and slightly fluffy.
  • Spoon all of the frosting onto the cake and smooth it out evenly with a silicone spatula or an offset frosting knife. Cake is ready to serve immediately or is also delicious chilled with some ice cream.

Jenn’s Notes

Storage:
Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container. Store leftovers in the fridge for 2-4 days.
 

Video

Nutrition Info

Calories: 428kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 469mg | Potassium: 179mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 57g | Vitamin A: 388IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 218mg | Iron: 1mg

Jennifer Fishkind

About Jenn

Jenn is a mom to three beautiful boys, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer and blogger. I love all things easy recipes, easy crafts, all things hacks, traveling EVERYWHERE and feeding my Pinterest addiction!

Related Recipes

Secrets to Quick & Easy Desserts
FREE EMAIL BONUS
How to make delicious desserts in no time at all!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

How many stars would you give this recipe?




Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this for a small party. I accidently added full eggs instead of the egg whites the cake box said to use so if you do that too don’t worry it will still turn out ok . I also just sprinkled a little extra cinnamon because it was made for a cinnamon lover’s birthday. It was delicious! It was a large cake for a small party but I only had a small amount leftover because everyone asked for a take home box. I will definitely make this again! Thanks for the great recipe 🙂