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Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake

Every now and agin you stumble across a recipe that’s so simple, so luscious, so delectable, that you have no choice but to share it. This is that recipe. 

Easy Poke Cake Recipe

Several days back my brother (who knows I love to bake and blog) sent me a recipe for this luscious Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake. I don’t know about you but I love, love, love cinnamon rolls.

That said, I tend to run a little on the lazy side. Making homemade cinnamon rolls is an overnight process and I don’t have the patience for that. A doctored cake mix, on the other hand? That’s right up my alley!

As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I would love it. A luscious white cake with cinnamon infused sweetened condensed milk, covered in a soft cream cheese frosting? Oh, yes! Please….and thank you! 

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

Many of my recipes are original but this one came straight from another baker’s website so let’s give credit where credit is due. My brother found this recipe at blog called Spaceships and Laser Beams. (Cool name, right?)

An Easy to Follow Recipe

With only one or two exceptions (gasp!) I followed the recipe exactly. Okay, okay. . .I added pecans. And I didn’t have half and half, but if you don’t count that, I made the yummiest cake using a borrowed recipe.

The cake is light, the filling is rich, the frosting is absolutely dreamy. It has a delicious cinnamon roll flavor with the fluffy texture of a soft cake.

By now you’re probably crying out, “Enough, already! Give me the recipe!”

I shall! 

Ingredients

You’ll find a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this post but here’s a quick peek at what you’ll need to make this delicious cake.

CAKE INGREDIENTS

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com
  • box of white cake mix
  • large eggs
  • vegetable oil
  • water

FILLING INGREDIENTS

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com
  • butter (salted or unsalted, your choice)
  • light brown sugar
  • sweetened condensed milk
  • ground cinnamon
  • pure vanilla extract
  • *chopped pecans (optional)

FROSTING INGREDIENTS

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com
  • room temperature butter (salted or unsalted)
  • cream cheese (room temperature)
  • powdered sugar
  • vanilla extract (the original recipe called for clear but I used regular) 
  • cream (or half and half or milk)
  • *chopped pecans (optional)

That’s it! 

How to Make Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

This cake came together in three simple steps! 

STEP ONE: Make the Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Prepare a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. (I use Baker’s Choice.) 

Follow the package directions to make the cake. Combine boxed cake mix, eggs, oil, and water in a large bowl. You can use a stand mixer with paddle attachment if you like, but I chose to mix mine by hand with a whisk. 

Pour batter into the prepared pan. 

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

Place in preheated oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until cake is done. It should pull away from the edges of the pan and spring back to the touch. A toothpick should come out of the center clean. 

Remove cake pan from oven.

Place on wire rack. Once cooled, use the end of a wooden spoon to poke holes into the cake. 

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

(I happened to have a cute plastic spoon on hand with the perfect handle.)

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com.

STEP TWO: Make the filling

While your cake is cooling, make the luscious filling! Place the brown sugar, butter, sweetened condensed milk, and cinnamon into a medium bowl.

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

Place in microwave for 30-second increments until melted. Stir until smooth. (Mine took a total of a minute and a half.)  Add the vanilla extract and stir well. 

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

Pour filling mixture over top of cake. Allow the filling to run down into the holes. (Make sure you cover the entire cake.)

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

Top with 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

STEP THREE: Make the frosting

Make sure your butter and cream cheese are room temperature. Cream together using a hand mixer or stand mixer with whisk attachment. Whip until they are light and fluffy.

Add heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix thoroughly until smooth. 

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

When cake is cooled, covered with frosting and smooth. 

Add additional half cup of chopped pecans. 

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

Slice and serve. 

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

Store in an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap. You’ll want to refrigerate this cake, due to the cream cheese. I do not recommend freezing it. 

What to Expect from this Easy Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

Let me start by saying, “Heavens to Betsy!” That’s southern for, “Wowza, this one’s amazing!” If you have a cinnamon roll craving you’re going to flip over this one!

Like I said above, the cake part is light. The sweetness of the condensed milk isn’t overpowering, thanks to the “bite” of the cinnamon. The sweet cinnamon filling is divine!

One of the stars of the show is that soft cream cheese frosting. It’s tangy, sweet. . .and delicious! You’re going to want to eat this homemade cream cheese frosting with a spoon. It’s that good!

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

This cake is going to be great for breakfast (cinnamon rolls, anyone?) but it’s also the perfect dessert!

Best of all, this is an easy doctored cake mix recipe. You guys know I’m all about doctored cake mixes here at Out of the Box baking.

Variations on this Recipe

I’m absolutely tickled at this delicious cinnamon roll poke cake and grateful to Spaceships & Laser Beams for coming up with it! I’ll probably make it just like this next time around but I have come up with a few thoughts for how I could vary it: 

  • Yellow cake mix: If you don’t have white, yellow will work just fine! 
  • Toasted coconut: I’m crazy about Italian cream cake and I feel like this cake is similar. You could cut back a tiny bit on the cinnamon and add toasted coconut, along with the pecans. 
  • Cinnamon Toast Crunch: Instead of pecans, crush this yummy breakfast cereal and place on top of the cake. 
  • Slivered almonds: You can use almonds in place of pecans, if you like. 
  • Banana Pudding Poke Cake: Take it up a notch by adding sliced bananas and a layer of banana pudding to this luscious recipe.

Other Cinnamon-Infused desserts from Out of the Box Baking

I’m in love with cinnamon and use it regularly. Here are a few of my favorites: 

Easy Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

If you love the combination of cinnamon and sugar and you happen to love streusel topping with crunchy toasted pecans, then I’ve got the perfect recipe for you. This Easy Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake is perfect for breakfast. . .or any time of day!

Cake Mix Cinnamon Roll Pastries

If you want the ease of a boxed bake mix but the flavor and joy of a luscious cinnamon roll, do I have a brand new recipe for you! These tasty treats have the look of homemade cinnamon rolls but the taste and texture of a high-end pastry–light, crisp and oh, so cinnamony!

Easy Cinnamon Sugar Muffins

If you love the combination of cinnamon and brown sugar and you’re in a hurry, these muffins will be perfect for you. They come together (start to finish) in under 20 minutes. And best of all, they start with a simple white cake mix.

Cinnamon Sugar Pound Cake

If you’re in the mood for a buttery cake with luscious swirls of cinnamon and brown sugar, you’ve come to the right place! This moist, delicious pound cake is easy to whip up and the addition of the cinnamon and sugar sends it over the moon!

Easy Cinnamon Rolls from Canned Biscuits

Talk about an easy breakfast treat! These cinnamon rolls taste just like the homemade ones you might slave hours over. But they come together in (literally) minutes. Best of all, no one will know you didn’t make them from scratch! (No yeast dough necessary, y’all!)

That’s it for this post! I hope you enjoyed this cinnamon roll poke cake recipe.

Let me know your thoughts if you make this yummy cake!

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake

Yield: 15
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Every now and agin you stumble across a recipe that’s so simple, so luscious, so delectable, that you have no choice but to share it. This is that recipe. 

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CAKE:
  • White cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • FOR THE FILLING
  • 5 tablespoons butter (salted or unsalted, your choice)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • *1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • FOR THE FROSTING
  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter (salted or unsalted)
  • 1 block (8 oz) cream cheese (room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla (the original recipe called for clear but I used regular)
  • 2 tablespoons cream (or half and half or milk)
  • *1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Instructions

    How to Make Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake
    This cake came together in three simple steps!

    STEP ONE: Make the Cake
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Prepare a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with non-stick spray. (I use Baker’s Choice.)

    Make the cake according to the directions. Combine boxed cake mix, eggs, oil, and water in a large bowl. You can use a stand mixer with paddle attachment if you like, but I chose to mix mine with a whisk by hand.

    Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

    Place in preheated oven and bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until cake is done. It should pull away from the edges of the pan and spring back to the touch. A toothpick should come out of the center clean.

    Place on wire rack to cool. Once cooled, use the handle of a serving spoon to poke multiple holes into the cake.

    STEP TWO: Make the filling
    While your cake is cooling, make the luscious filling! Place the brown sugar, butter, sweetened condensed milk, and cinnamon into a medium bowl and place in microwave for 30-second increments until melted. Stir until smooth. (Mine took a total of a minute and a half.) Add the vanilla extract and stir well.

    Pour filling over the cake. Allow the filling to run down into the holes.

    Top with 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

    STEP THREE: Make the frosting
    Make sure your butter and cream cheese are room temperature. Cream together using electric mixer or stand mixer with whisk attachment. Add cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix thoroughly until smooth.

    When cake is cooled, covered with frosting and smooth.

    Add additional half cup of chopped pecans.

    Slice and serve.

Jeanene

Tuesday 20th of September 2022

Oh my!!!!! I hope Joshua makes this for me soon !!!!! Sounds Divine?

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