Cannoli Poke Cake is a super moist white cake topped with a cannoli filling frosting and mini chocolate chips. If you love cannolis, you’re going to love them even more in cake form!
Cannoli Poke Cake
I originally published this cannoli poke cake recipe June 11, 2014. I’m going to leave the original text, because it’s a journal for me, and add some new, helpful tips and pictures. Here we go 🙂
I’m back to work after maternity leave #sadpanda. Being a mom is hard, guys. In the best way possible, but hard nonetheless.
I can’t seem to find enough hours in the day, especially now that I’m back to work.
I made this cake for Mother’s Day (you know, a month ago), but I’m just getting around to posting it. On top of that, I didn’t even take “real” pictures. These are just quick cell phone shots (scroll down to the bottom to see my “BEFORE” pic).
Hopefully I’ll get the hang of this mom/work/life/blog thing soon and can get back into the swing of things. I miss cooking and baking. [Spoiler alert – I haven’t really gotten the hang of it 5 years and another kid later haha]
Equipment you’ll need
- Mixing Bowls – I love this colorful set.
- Glass Baking Dish – I especially love that this dish has a lid since this cake needs to be stored in the fridge.
- Hand Mixer – This one comes in such pretty colors.
- Offset Spatula – To make spreading the frosting a breeze.
Ingredients you’ll need
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.
- White Cake Mix + ingredients called for on box – I usually opt for Duncan Hines. If you want the cake to be truly white, only use egg whites & skip the yolks.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk – Condensed milk is cow’s milk that’s had the water removed & sugar added. It’s thick and sweet. Not to be confused with evaporated milk!
- Ricotta Cheese – Ricotta is smooth and creamy with a thick texture. It’s great in sweet and savory dishes. If yours is watery, drain off any excess water.
- Mascarpone Cheese – Mascarpone is an Italian cream cheese. It has a higher fat content than “American” cream cheese and has a richer taste.
- Vanilla Extract – I know vanilla extract is pricey, but you can make your own or buy it in bulk from Sam’s or Costco, like I do.
- Powdered Sugar – Also called confectioners sugar – same thing. It’s just a very fine sugar.
- Cinnamon – I also recommend getting a decent quality cinnamon for great flavor.
- Mini Chocolate Chips – Your favorite kind – milk, dark, or semi-sweet – they’re easy to find these days.
How to make cannoli poke cake
This cannoli poke cake cake was my first poke cake recipe and it couldn’t have been easier!
- First, prepare & bake a boxed white cake mix, per the box directions.
- Once cooled, poke holes in it, then fill it up with sweetened condensed milk, reserving half a cup for the frosting. Let that soak in for about an hour in the fridge.
- While it’s soaking in the goodness, make the cannoli frosting. To a large bowl, add the ricotta cheese, mascarpone cheese, and vanilla extract and beat until it’s smooth.
- Then add in the powdered sugar and cinnamon and mix until combined. Add in the reserved sweetened condensed milk and mix well.
- Smooth the frosting over the cooled cake and sprinkle with powdered sugar and mini chocolate chips.
Where can you find mascarpone cheese in the grocery story?
I always have trouble finding the mascarpone cheese in my grocery store. It is usually in the front of the store, by the deli, and not back by the traditional cream cheese. It’s usually by the feta, in a small white tub.
Is mascarpone cheese and cream cheese the same thing?
No, they’re not. Mascarpone is basically Italian cream cheese. It is made with whole cream so it has a higher fat content than American cream cheese, making with richer and creamier.
What is cannoli filling made of?
The cake is then topped with what tastes just like the filling of a cannoli. It made a beautifully light and sweet frosting made with ricotta cheese.
Sprinkled with the chocolate chips and a dusting of powdered sugar, this cake makes a perfect alternative to the traditional cannoli.
Why is my topping so thin?
I’ve had several people tell me their topping is thin/watery and though I have not had this problem, I think I figured out why.
If you beat mascarpone cheese too long, it will get thin. It actually curdles and causes the water to separate from the cheese curds.
To avoid this, mix until just combined and smooth.
Need more poke cakes? Try these?
- Pistachio Cake – My most requested recipe, this one is a hit.
- Hot Chocolate Poke Cake
- Banana Pudding Poke Cake
- Kahlua Chocolate Poke Cake
- Apple Pie Poke Cake
Click here to view my entire collection of cake recipes.
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