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A slice of cannoli poke cake served on a plate.

Cannoli Poke Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Chill Time: 4 hours
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours 40 minutes
  • Yield: 15-18 Servings
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


This Cannoli Poke Cake is a simple vanilla cake soaked with sweetened condensed milk and covered with an unforgettable topping that mimics the filling of a classic cannoli! It’s moist, indulgent, and 100% irresistible. A quick and easy recipe you’ll come back to over and over!


  • 1 box white cake mix, plus ingredients on box*
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups (372g) ricotta cheese (most of a 15 oz container)
  • 1 1/2 cups (339g | 12oz) mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (115g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, optional
  • 1/2 cup (85g) mini chocolate chips
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting, optional


  1. Bake a 9×13 cake according to the box directions.
  2. While the cake bakes, pour ½ cup of sweetened condensed milk into a measuring cup and set aside.
  3. When done baking, remove the cake from the oven and poke holes all over the top of the cake. I use a knife sharpener, but the end of the handle of a wooden spoon or spatula would work too.
  4. Pour the remaining sweetened condensed milk over the top of the warm cake, then spread it around with a spatula, allowing it to soak into the holes. If a little bit remains on top of the cake, that’s ok. Allow the cake to cool completely.
  5. When the cake has cooled, make the topping. Add the ricotta cheese, mascarpone cheese and vanilla extract to a mixer bowl and gently mix together until well combined and smooth. You do this by hand with a spatula, or mix on low speed with a mixer. You don’t want to over mix this mixture or it can turn watery.
  6. Add the powdered sugar and cinnamon and gently stir until well combined.
  7. Add the reserved ½ cup of sweetened condensed milk and gently stir together until well combined. The mixture will seem very thin.
  8. Spread the topping evenly over the top of the cake. Refrigerate until the topping is set, at least 3-4 hours, or overnight.
  9. Top with mini chocolate chips and a sprinkle of powdered sugar, then serve.
  10. Store cake well covered in the fridge. Cake is best if eaten within 4-5 days.


I used a store-bought white cake mix. But you could use a homemade vanilla cake mix, which is quite similar to a cake mix in texture. If you’re looking for a denser, butter-based cake, I’d recommend my Funfetti Cake. Just leave out the sprinkles. 

Do consider straining the ricotta before using, especially if it’s a particularly watery brand. Also, when mixing together the ricotta and mascarpone cheese, DO NOT over mix it. If mascarpone cheese is over mixed, it becomes very thin.


  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 429
  • Sugar: 28.5 g
  • Sodium: 144.5 mg
  • Fat: 22.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 50.6 g
  • Protein: 8.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 75.7 mg