Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake Recipe

Dessert doesn’t get much better than this Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake – tender white cake filled with buttery cinnamon-sugar filling and rich cream cheese frosting!

Piece of Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake with a fork in it

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake Recipe

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 While I was in school, I didn’t do nearly as much baking as I do now. I’ve always had a sweet tooth, though, so I found time to do a little baking when I could.

One of my favorite cookbooks at that time was The Cake Mix Doctor.

The recipes were pretty easy, and I could keep a few cake mixes on hand. Then I just had to add a little to them for a cake that tasted more like a homemade cake.

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake on a piece of brown parchment paper

I don’t use cake mixes as often these days, but I have few recipes, like my white raspberry poke cake, that I really like that get a jump on things by starting with a mix.


This Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake is one of those recipes. The cake is soft and tender, and the buttery cinnamon-sugar filling is incredible!

The cake is topped with a not-too-sweet cream cheese frosting that perfectly compliments the cake. It’s the perfect way to indulge your cinnamon roll craving!

Want to see just how easy it is to make this Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake? Check out my how-to video!

If you’ve tried this cinnamon roll poke cake recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below. I love to hear from people who’ve made my recipes! You can SUBSCRIBE to receive my latest recipe newsletters or FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST for even more delicious food.

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake Recipe
4.84 from 6 votes

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake Recipe

White cake with buttery cinnamon sugar filling and cream cheese frosting

Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 20
Calories 299 kcal
Author i heart eating



  • 15.25 oz white cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 c . milk
  • 1/2 c . water
  • 1/4 c . butter melted


  • 1/2 c . butter melted
  • 1/2 c . brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 c . fat-free sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 T . ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp . vanilla extract


  • 8 oz package reduced-fat cream cheese , softened
  • 1/4 c . butter , softened
  • 2 c . powdered sugar
  • 2-3 T . fat-free sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 tsp . vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, eggs, milk, water, and butter on low for 30 seconds.
  3. Turn speed up to medium, and mix together for 1-2 minutes, or until combined.
  4. Pour batter into prepared baking dish.
  5. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. While the cake is baking, stir together butter, brown sugar, condensed milk, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  7. Using the handle of a wooden spoon (or similar instrument), poke holes in the cake (I poke about 35).
  8. Pour filling mixture over warm cake, gently spreading as necessary.
  9. Let cake cool to room temperature.
  10. To make the frosting, beat together cream cheese and butter until combined.
  11. Add powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon condensed milk. Beat together until well-combined.
  12. Mix in additional condensed milk and vanilla to desired consistency.
  13. Spread frosting over room temperature cake.
  14. Enjoy at room temperature, or chill and enjoy cold.
  15. Cover and chill any leftovers.

Recipe Notes

*Nutrition facts are estimates.

Nutrition Facts
Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 299 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 18%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 55mg 18%
Sodium 314mg 13%
Potassium 65mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 43g 14%
Sugars 34g
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 8.4%
Calcium 12.9%
Iron 3.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Cake adapted from Love, Life, & Sugar.

This post is not sponsored; however, I will earn a small commission if you purchase through any affiliate links. I only link to products that I have used and have had a great experience with. Thanks! 

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake - tender white cake filled with buttery cinnamon-sugar filling and rich cream cheese frosting!
#dessert #cake #pokecake #cinnamonroll #cakemix #recipe #ihearteating

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  • Reply
    Sue Wilhelm
    March 26, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    Absolutely amazing!! I made this cake last fall and it was gone before I could nab a piece. All I heard from my grandkids is “Grandma, please make this for my birthday” from 3 different grandkids. Everyone loves it. I’m making it now for our family gumbo dinner tomorrow night per request of 5 different family members. This time I’m taking my piece first!!! Lol

    • Reply
      March 28, 2018 at 10:41 pm

      I love this! I’m so glad that this cake has been a hit with your family! Thank you for taking the time to come back and leave such a nice comment!

  • Reply
    March 22, 2018 at 5:31 am

    My son brings in a cake for all of his friends birthdays, so we made this one! I didn’t get to try it but had to give the recipe to 2 of his teachers and the girls in the group. So it went down very well! Thank you! I will make it again so I can try it.

    • Reply
      March 22, 2018 at 10:49 am

      What a nice thing to do! I’m so glad it was a hit! Thank you for taking the time to come back and comment.

  • Reply
    December 24, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    Made this for Christmas tomorrow. I am very concerned about the cake. I added the 1/2 c milk and 1/2 c water. The cake took 40 mins to cook and because it filled with too much liquid. I wish I would’ve made the cake based on the directions on the box because now I have a massage hole as I had to open up the cake for it to expose the liquid for it to cook thoroughly. I’m not giving up on this. Will know tomorrow how it taste.

    • Reply
      December 24, 2017 at 9:16 pm

      It definitely sounds like something went wrong somewhere. Did you happen to make the cake with both the liquid called for on the box and the liquid called for in the recipe?

  • Reply
    Anne Marie
    December 5, 2017 at 6:15 am

    Hi Kate!
    This looks amazing. Just one question- in the pictures it looks like there is cinnamon mixed in with the frosting on top, can see th bcokoured swirls. Is that right? I don’t see anything about adding cinnamon to the icing so just wanted to check as it looks so nic that way. Thanks so much!!

    • Reply
      Anne Marie
      December 5, 2017 at 6:15 am

      I meant I say “coloured” swirls lol
      iPhone typo

    • Reply
      December 6, 2017 at 12:52 pm

      Hi! Thank you! I sifted a little bit of cinnamon over the top of the cake for pictures. If you’d like to do that, just sift a little bit of cinnamon over the top of the frosting and then lightly swirl it with a knife. =)

      • Reply
        Anne Marie
        December 6, 2017 at 4:34 pm

        Perfect!! Thank you so much :)

  • Reply
    November 22, 2017 at 7:47 am

    I want to make this for thanksgiving dinner tomorrow! Should I make it the morning of or tonight when I get home? And do u leave it set out or out it in the fridge? And if I put it in the fridge will it get hard and nasty like cinnamon rolls do?

    • Reply
      November 22, 2017 at 10:35 am

      You can make it tomorrow or tonight, and it should be fine either way. I store it covered in the fridge. I’ve also made the cake ahead of time and put it in the fridge until I was ready to serve it. I’ve never had it dry out, but the frosting will set up more once it has been chilled. You can just let it sit out for just a bit before you serve it to let the frosting soften back up. Hope that helps, and happy Thanksgiving! =)

  • Reply
    August 27, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    WOW! This cake was incredible! My mom and I made this tonight and it was “slap yo momma good”!!! Thank you for the recipe! This is a keeper!

    • Reply
      August 28, 2017 at 10:21 am

      LOL! So glad you liked it! Thanks for coming back to leave a comment! =)

  • Reply
    June 7, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    Can I use a Spice cake mix instead? I am trying to use that for something

    • Reply
      June 7, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      I’ll be honest, it’s not going to be the same. The white cake gives some contrast to the buttery cinnamon-sugar filling. So, you’d end up with a cinnamon-sugar spice cake, which might be really good in its own right.

  • Reply
    May 15, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    Absolutely the best cake !! Whole family loved it! I’m actually making a strawberry cake now, and have made the same cream cheese icing, just added 1/4 cup strawberry preserve for strawberry cream cheese icing.

    • Reply
      May 16, 2017 at 12:37 pm

      Yay!! I’m so glad that your whole family loved it! The strawberry preserves with the cream cheese icing sounds amazing! I’ll have to give that a try.

  • Reply
    March 26, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    This is delicious! One of my top 3 and will now be my go-to cake. YUM!!!

    • Reply
      March 26, 2017 at 6:35 pm

      Thank you! I’m so glad that you liked it! It’s one of my family’s favorites, and I love to hear that other people are enjoying it, too! =)

  • Reply
    March 10, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    I made this cake last night. My husband said its be “best cake i have made”. I personally thought it has toooooo much cinnamon in it. I think i will do less cinnaman next time and less condensed milk for the mixture that goes in the wholes. Other than that i thought it was good. Hubby loved it but i thought it was just okay. The mixture that went inside the wholes tasted a bit like molases cookies to me, like an odd taste, not able to explain it well but yea.

    • Reply
      March 11, 2017 at 9:26 am

      I’m glad your husband enjoyed it, and it sounds like you know what you’d like to change to make it more to your liking next time!

      • Reply
        March 15, 2017 at 4:34 pm

        Okay, so i just wanted to update my post. I felt bad about the bad review after eating the cake the day after i made it. I tried deleting my other post but wasnt able to. Anyways, this cake was beyond delicious the day after i made it. It was soo dam good!! I looked through my pinterest to find my post to update my comment lol It didnt taste bitter like the first day. It was heavenly, i plan on making it for easter when i have family coming over. Im 7 months pregnant and this cake hit the spot with some orange juice lol. LOVED it. Thank you and im sorry i wrote a review after trying the cake while it was still kind of warm. It was so good i cant even thank you enough. lol im not exaggerating either!! SO yummy

        • Reply
          March 16, 2017 at 6:26 pm

          I’m glad! I’ve never tried it warm (I usually make it ahead of time and let it chill until I serve it), so it’s good to know that it definitely needs that time to sit. I’m pregnant, too, so I know all about how those cravings can be! ;) Thanks for taking the time to come back!

  • Reply
    Julia Vodopia
    July 14, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Hi Kate,
    I woud like to use this recipe for my sister’s engagement party – how much is this recipe for, and for the party there will be about 70 ppl, how could i manipulate the recipe to fill that?

    looks SO good.

    • Reply
      July 14, 2016 at 10:22 am

      Thanks! You should be able to get 20 servings per cake. Usually, it works to double a recipe or halve it, but it doesn’t necessarily work to go beyond that. Since it sounds like you would need to 4 cakes, what I would do (and I haven’t done this, so this is just my suggestion), is to make two double batches of the cake, syrup, and frosting, and then I would bake them in 4 9×13-inch pans. Good luck! =)

  • Reply
    June 9, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    I’m a huge baker and made this for my son’s 30th birthday. he claims this is the best cake I have ever made. Delicious and easy!

    • Reply
      June 10, 2016 at 12:24 pm

      I’m so glad that you both liked it!! I love to hear things like that! Thank you for taking the time to come back and leave a comment! =)

      • Reply
        Mr/Mrs.Tom Oody-Jr.
        October 30, 2016 at 6:31 am

        This recipe looks and sounds delicious!!!!!!! I’m going to copy this one down and try making this one.The picture of this recipe makes my mouth water!!!!!!!My wife says the same thing.

        • Reply
          October 30, 2016 at 9:24 am

          Thank you!! This cake is a favorite in our house, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! =)

  • Reply
    May 6, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    This sounds so AMAZING!!!!! My boyfriend and his family would ABSOLUTELY LOVE this!!!!!!

    • Reply
      May 7, 2016 at 10:38 am

      Thanks!! =)

  • Reply
    May 4, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    I got great reviews on this cake except the filling mixture sat on the top of the cake. I poked holes and poured it on right out of the oven. Should I have let it cool first?

    • Reply
      May 5, 2016 at 10:19 am

      I pour the filling on while the cake is still hot. I use a wooden spoon handle to make the holes, and it’s large enough that I’ve never had any issues with the filling sitting on top. Maybe making the holes just a little larger would help? Also, you can spoon it around (gently) to help it settle in. I hope that helps! =)

      • Reply
        October 9, 2017 at 12:19 pm

        I am confused by the 1T for how much cinnamon to use.. is it table spoon?

        • Reply
          October 9, 2017 at 12:37 pm

          Yes, 1 T is 1 tablespoon.

  • Reply
    April 8, 2016 at 11:11 am

    The Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake sounds like a real Potluck winner. My mouth is watering.

    • Reply
      April 11, 2016 at 8:23 am

      Thanks so much! =)

      • Reply
        Marilyn N
        April 17, 2016 at 7:49 am

        How will using orginal sweetened condensed milk change the recipe

        • Reply
          April 17, 2016 at 12:04 pm

          It won’t. I haven’t found any difference between using fat-free and original in recipes, so feel free to use original if that’s what you have. =)

  • Reply
    January 20, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    What a treat! My oldest daughter would love it!

    • Reply
      January 20, 2016 at 10:27 pm

      Thanks! =) Is she a fan of cinnamon rolls?

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