Two dreamy layers of snickerdoodle cake, doused in a cinnamon and brown sugar syrup, and slathered in snickerdoodle buttercream!
I NEVER make layer cakes because I stress about decorating them. I haven’t done any cake decorating in years, and when I look around at other blogs, I nearly fall over by how beautiful they decorate their cakes. I can’t handle the pressure of living up to other blogs’ layer cakes! So I didn’t even try, until this Snickerdoodle Poke Cake Layer Cake.
I have done some cake decorating in my day, but it’s been YEARS.
I lived in San Francisco for two years, and I hardly knew anyone there. Berkeley wasn’t far from me, and it was a very artsy area. To meet people and to occupy myself, I signed up for a bunch of classes at a local adult school. I took pottery, stained glass, mosaics, and cake decorating.
I also took golf lessons, but my swing has never been the same.
The cake decorating was a favorite. I’ve loved to bake for as long as I can remember, but I never concerned myself too much with how to make baked goods look beautiful and ornate. It was so fun to learn decorating techniques. Basket-weaving, fondant, different kinds of flowers, all that stuff. When I moved to Tampa, I tried to find a similar class with no such luck.
It’s been almost 10 years since I’ve attempted to frost a layer cake with the goal toward having it look pretty and presentable, let alone try to pipe a flower. I was just impressed that the frosting on this cake is as even and smooth as it is.
I’m easing back in. Flowers can come later. I’ll just stick with simple stars on the edges for now.
This Snickerdoodle Poke Cake Layer Cake starts with a doctored up white cake mix. With melted butter, sour cream, and a few other additions though, the white cake mix is transformed into a much richer cake, and it’s loaded up with a ton of cinnamon for warm spice.
As the name would suggest, you’ll poke holes in it. You’ll drizzle each layer of cake with a mixture of sweetened condensed milk, butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. The syrup is absurdly good. Drenching the cake layers with that crazy, wonderful syrup turns them into something extraordinarily delicious and gooey and sticky.
Stack the cakes with snickerdoodle buttercream in between each layer, and slathered all around it. Fluffy vanilla buttercream packed with cinnamon!
This Snickerdoodle Poke Cake Layer Cake is sweet, it’s spicy, and it’s gooey. It’s the perfect cake, if you look past the decorating. If you love cinnamon and snickerdoodle stuff, then this is a must-make.
- 1 box white cake mix
- 1 c. whole milk
- ½ c. sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 - 12 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- ½ c. butter, melted
- ½ c. packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 c. unsalted butter, softened
- 4 - 5 c. powdered sugar
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- ¼ c. milk or cream
- In a large bowl, whisk together cake mix, whole milk, sour cream, butter, eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla.
- Divide batter evenly into two greased or parchment paper-lined 9-inch round cake pans.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
- Cool for 15 minutes before removing cakes from pans to wire racks.
- While cakes are still warm, gently poke holes with a fork, toothpick, or similar utensil, but not poking through the bottom of the cake.
- In a small bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
- Divide the sweetened condensed milk mixture between the two layers, drizzling it evenly over the top, keeping it away from the edges by about ½-inch. Use a knife or spoon to keep the mixture on the top of the cakes, and not down the sides. Allow the cakes to sit and absorb the mixture for about 5-10 minutes.
- Refrigerate cakes til firm, about 1 hour. This will make transferring them to a serving platter much easier. They become slightly fragile with all the holes.
- Meanwhile, prepare snickerdoodle buttercream.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, 4 c. powdered sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and cream.
- Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Add more powdered sugar or cream as needed to achieve desired consistency. It should be thick and fluffy, but able to be piped.
- Beat an additional 3-5 minutes for fluffiness.
- Carefully transfer one cake to a serving platter. Spread it with a ¼-inch thick layer of buttercream. Arrange the second cake layer on top.
- Frost cake. Cut and serve.