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+ servings

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake

close up shot of cinnamon roll poke cake sliced in a clear dish
The Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake takes a boxed cake mix and upgrades it to something like a delicious cinnamon roll. Enjoy this easy to make cake in less than an hour with enough portions to keep everyone happy for a short while.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 15 slices
Calories 336 kcal

Ingredients
  

CAKE

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

FILLING

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

FROSTING

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 8 tablespoons butter softened (1/2 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract you can use vanilla extract if you do not have the clear vanilla. The clear vanilla flavoring keeps the frosting white
  • cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons half and half

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with a baking spray.
  • Prepare the 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 ½ inch apart.
  • 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 minute, 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 melted butter mixture evenly over the top of the cake.
  • Using a stand mixer or a handheld mixer and a medium-sized mixing bowl, on medium to medium high speed, cream the 8 tablespoons of butter and cream cheese together. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.
  • Reduce the mixer speed to low then add the clear vanilla flavoring, half and half cream, and the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time. Return the mixer speed to medium and continue mixing until the frosting is smooth.
  • Spoon all of the frosting on the cake, and using a silicone spatula smooth the frosting. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container.

Notes

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! 
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. 
TIP: When you’re pouring the mixture into the holes, tap the pan on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles and make sure the sauce fills the holes completely.

Nutrition

Calories: 336kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 3gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 172mgPotassium: 136mgFiber: 1gSugar: 42gVitamin A: 590IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 104mgIron: 1mg