cannoli poke cake

A super moist white cake topped with decadent cannoli frosting and mini chocolate chips.


I had a family get-together this past weekend to celebrate my husband’s birthday. It had been quite a while since we had all gathered, due to our Christmas holiday being canceled – thanks to a blizzard.


When we come together, our gatherings are usually focused on food. Saturday’s party was a bit different because I kept it simple and ordered pizza and wings. I knew I had to make something special, and that came in the form of this amazing poke cake with cannoli frosting.


I did also make a broccoli salad and had the following appetizers:
Buffalo chicken wing dip
Stuffed prosciutto cups
Roasted red pepper hummus




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poke cake with cannoli frosting on plate



I love sweets! I would probably pass over dinner to get to dessert nine times out of ten. One of my favorite desserts is cannoli. There is nothing like a good cannoli if you ask me.


If you have a sweet tooth too, you may enjoy these other desserts that are great for serving at parties:
Homemade strawberry shortcake
Triple layer chocolate cake
Peanut butter fudge brownies



What is a Poke Cake?


Poke cakes, also known as poke-and-pour, are a unique type of cake that is made by poking holes in the top of the cake and then pouring a liquid filling over it. This filling can be anything from pudding , gelatin, or condensed milk. The result is a delicious, moist cake with an added layer of flavor from the poke pour filling. The poke technique adds more flavor and texture to the cake without adding too much time or effort.


holes in cake for poke and pour filling



Some of my favorite things to fill the holes on a poke cake are:


Sweetened condensed milk
Caramel sauce


Poke Cake with Cannoli Frosting


The frosting for this cake is made just like the filling for an actual cannoli. If you want to make a traditional cannoli instead, use the frosting from this recipe and stuff your favorite cannoli shells (either store-bought or homemade).


ingredients for making a cannoli poke cake with mascarpone and ricotta cheese



1 box white cake (plus ingredients required on box)
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
8 oz mascarpone cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 tsp almond extract
1½ tsp vanilla extract
1½ cups powdered sugar
¼ cup mini chocolate chips

How to Make the Cannoli Cake


Keeping in mind that I like to share recipes that are quick, or easy, or both, I love to use a box cake mix here. Does it take much more effort to make a cake from scratch? No, probably not. So if you want to make yours from scratch, here is a fantastic recipe for a homemade white cake.


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9×13-sized baking dish with cooking spray.


You’ll want to prepare the cake mix according to the directions on the package.


Once the cake is out of the oven, allow it to cool to the touch. Then, take a wooden spoon —make sure it has a rounded, dowel end— and begin to poke your holes. They should be about one inch apart over the top of the cake.


pouring sweetened condensed milk into holes of poke cake



Reserve 2 tablespoons of the sweetened condensed milk for later, and pour the rest over the top of the cake. Be sure to get inside all the holes. This is going to make your cake super moist. When you’re done, set the cake aside to get started on the cannoli frosting.


making cannoli cake frosting


For making the cannoli frosting, I use my stand mixer but you can easily use a large bowl and a hand mixer. Put the mascarpone cheese, ricotta cheese, almond and vanilla extracts into your bowl and beat it together until it is creamed.


making cannoli frosting for a poke cake


Next, beat in the powdered sugar and the remaining 2 tablespoons of the sweetened condensed milk. The consistency should be creamy and smooth, without any lumps.


Cool Bean Cooking Tip: If you feel your frosting is a bit too runny, add in a little more powdered sugar.


frosted cannoli poke cake


Spread your cannoli frosting evenly over the top of the cake. Sprinkle with your mini chocolate chips. You could add a dusting of powdered sugar over the top, if desired.


Then place it in the fridge to chill. I recommend allowing it to chill for about 2 hours before serving it. You want the frosting to be well set.


It’s a beautiful and scrumptious cake that you will be proud to serve.


moist white poke cake topped with cannoli frosting and chocolate chips


This super easy poke cake with cannoli frosting is a fabulous way to turn an ordinary cake into a rich dessert that is sure to be a hit.


cannoli poke cake on a fork


Did you give this delicious cannoli cake a try? Let me know in the comments below or snap a photo and tag @coolbeanliving on Instagram. I’d love to see it!


cannoli poke cake

Cannoli Poke Cake

Cool Bean Cooking
Super moist white poke cake with mascarpone and ricotta cheese cannoli frosting topped with chocolate chips.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 12 servings


  • 1 box white cake (plus ingredients on box)
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk divided
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • tsp vanilla extract
  • cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Prepare and bake box cake mix according to package. Allow cake to cool.
  • Using the end of a wooden spoon, poke holes one inch apart throughout the top of the cake. Pour all sweetened condensed milk, except for 2 tablespoons, over the cake top and into the holes. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat mascarpone, ricotta, almond and vanilla with hand or stand mixer, until creamed. Beat in powdered sugar and remaining condensed milk until smooth.
  • Spread cannoli frosting evenly over top of the cake. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
Keyword cannoli, mascarpone, poke cake, ricotta cheese

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