Let’s take a moment to just admire how delicious this cake is. It’s a combination of the fluffiest vanilla cake ever and the best cannoli you’ve ever had, and I don’t think anything could come close to be as amazing as this cannoli poke cake.
I have to be honest with you. Before I made this cannoli poke cake, I never made one before. In fact, I didn’t even know what it was until a few years ago when I first got into food blogging.
Fun Fact: poke cakes were invented in the 1970’s as a way to sell more Jell-O. This is why the more traditional poke cake recipes use Jell-O.
Of course, I see so many different fillings in poke cakes today. Pudding, caramel, pie filling, and so much more. So, I thought something similar to cannoli filling would be so much fun to use.
I originally wanted to make an actual cannoli filling to pipe into the holes of the cannoli poke cake. Instead, I opted for something that was more of a pudding texture to add even more moisture into the cake. To do this, I thinned out the ricotta with a bit of sweetened condensed milk, which gave it sweetness while also giving it the perfect consistency.
For the topping, I made whipped cream where I folded in more of the filling to carry on that cannoli flavor. The best part is that there aren’t that many bowls needed to do this because you can leave the leftover cannoli filling right in your mixer and add the whipping cream to it. It’ll still whip up to the perfect consistency!
This cannoli poke cake is a cinch to make. First you start off with your favorite vanilla cake recipe — mine is below. Then you mix up the filling and the topping and you are done! It’s ready to eat immediately!
I do like to let mine sit in the refrigerator for a minute or two so the moisture of the filling permeates through the cake, but it’s not really needed. The cake is already beautifully moist and perfect on its own.
If you want to take this cannoli poke cake up a notch, you can take a few cannoli shells and crush them on top of the topping along with the mini chocolate chips.
Cannoli Poke Cake Recipe
- 2.5 All-Purpose Flour
- 0.5 Baking Powder
- 0.5 Baking Soda
- 0.5 Salt
- 1 Unsalted Butter room temperature
- 2 Granulated Sugar
- 3 Egg room temperature
- 2 Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1.25 Buttermilk room temperature
- 1.25 Ricotta Cheese
- 9 Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1 Pure Vanilla Extract
- 0.25 Mini Chocolate Chips
- 1 Whipping Cream
- 0.25 Mini Chocolate Chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9×13-inch baking pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and lightly grease the paper.
- In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Mix until well combined and set aside.
- In a mixer, add the butter and sugar together. Beat until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well between each egg. Beat in the vanilla and mix for about a minute longer.
- Begin to add the flour mixture and the buttermilk. Alternate between the two, starting with the flour, which should be added in three additions, and the buttermilk, which should be mixed in two additions. When you add the last bit of flour, mix until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the baking pan and evenly spread the batter throughout the pan.
- Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. If the cake is still not finished, but the top is browning too fast, carefully cover with aluminum foil.
- Remove the finished cake and allow to cool completely.
- While the cake is cooling, mix together the ingredients for the filling. Take the cooled cake and use the bottom of a wooden spoon to create holes in the cake.
- Pour the mixture into the cake holes, reserving about 1/3 of the filling.
- Make the topping by beating the whipping cream until it forms stiff peaks. Fold in the remaining ricotta filling. Alternatively, you can add the filling to the whipping cream and beat until it forms medium peaks. (I prefer the first method, as you do not always need the remaining filling to get the flavor to come through in the topping.)
- Spread the topping over the cake and sprinkle with more mini chocolate chips.