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Better Than Valentine’s Day… Red Velvet Poke Cake

Red Velvet Better Than... Cake | This cake has all the classic looks and feel of a BTS cake, but with a surprise ingredient: Cinnabon creamer! So it tastes just like red velvet with Cinnabon frosting! mmmmmmmm :) #redvelvet #valentines #recipe #cinnabon


I’m sure you knew this was coming. Between my use of Red Velvet as a Valentine’s Day crutch and my recently developed obsession with poke cakes, this was really always part of the plan, right?

But don’t wave it off already! Just like my Christmas Poke Cake, there’s a little more to this one than meets the eye.

Yes, yes. It’s saturated in a copious amount of sweetened condensed milk.

Yes, it has a whipped topping. And the chocolate and chopped pecans on top aren’t really much of a surprise either, are they?

But what you can’t detect just by looking at this cake is that it has some serious Cinnabon flavoring to it!

Red Velvet Better Than... Cake | This cake has all the classic looks and feel of a BTS cake, but with a surprise ingredient: Cinnabon creamer! So it tastes just like red velvet with Cinnabon frosting! mmmmmmmm :) #redvelvet #valentines #recipe #cinnabon


I’ve been looking for a way to incorporate International Delight’s Cinnabon Creamer into a dessert. Because it is completely divine. I’ve been drinking it in my hot chocolate alllllllll winter. Just open the top and take a whiff– it’s like you’re actually walking into a Cinnabon store! And isn’t their smell the best part? (well, almost)

Anyway. The creamer doesn’t really have a very strong cinnamon-y taste, so I was having a hard time thinking of ways to use it. Because my mind naturally wanted to take it to a cinnamon-y place.

And then it occurred to me: the reason it doesn’t taste like cinnamon is because it tastes like cinnamon roll FROSTING. Which we all know is in a class of it’s own, right?!

And I wanted this cake to have that cream cheese flavor to it, since cream cheese and red velvet are a classic pairing, but I couldn’t find a great place to incorporate actual cream cheese without messing up the texture.  The Cinnabon creamer ended up being a perfect solution, and I love how the flavor turned out!

Red Velvet Better Than... Cake | This cake has all the classic looks and feel of a BTS cake, but with a surprise ingredient: Cinnabon creamer! So it tastes just like red velvet with Cinnabon frosting! mmmmmmmm :) #redvelvet #valentines #recipe #cinnabon


Eat up!

Better Than Valentine’s Day… Red Velvet Poke Cake


  • 9x13 Red Velvet Cake, baked and cooled
  • 1 - 14.5 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup International Delight Cinnabon creamer, divided
  • 1 - 10.6 oz tub Vanilla Cool Whip Frosting
  • 1 - 8 oz Cool Whip
  • Optional toppings: chocolate shavings and chopped pecans


  1. Use the bottom of a wooden spoon to poke approximately 20 holes evenly over the cake.
  2. Whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and 1/2 cup of the creamer. Pour the mixture evenly over the cake, trying to fill the holes as much as possible.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the cool whip frosting, the cool whip, and the remaining creamer. Spread over top of the cake. Top with chocolate shavings and chopped pecans (amount varies according to preference).
  4. Chill for 4-6 hours, overnight is best. Serves 12.

Notes about this recipe:

  • My method for making chocolate curls: I took one whole block of almond bark and microwaved it in the package for 20 seconds. Remove from the package and scrape a vegetable peeler down the side of the block. I only went about halfway down the block– otherwise my peeler would break the curl. I found the middle of the block to be the softest, so that’s where I had the best curls.
  • I used a Duncan Hines boxed cake mix for my red velvet cake. A red velvet cake made from scratch would work perfectly too! My favorite from-scratch recipe for red velvet (isn’t on the blog yet!) is by Cake Man Raven. If you google “Cake Man Raven + Red Velvet cake Recipe,” you should be able to find it.


Poke Cake from Friends:

Ashton Swank

Ashton is the owner and author of Something Swanky. Although first and foremost a wife and mother, she considers herself an online entrepreneur, freelance writer and photographer, and brand ambassador. Her focus is in food styling, food photography and recipe development.

29 comments on “Better Than Valentine’s Day… Red Velvet Poke Cake”

  1. Aw, c’mon. Your destroying my diet!

  2. seriously…you make this pregnant girl SO HUNGRY. Can I come be your official taste tester!?:)

    • I didn’t know you’re pregnant!! That’s so great, CONGRATS :) And yes– I’m in the market for an official taste tester. My waistline can’t afford for me to keep doing it myself!!

  3. Oh. My. God. WHY have I never tasted that creamer???

  4. I love your photography! Will you come over and do mine too? Thanks! ;)

  5. Ashton – that last picture is CRAZY – I can almost smell the cake.
    need to make this

  6. i think this has to be one of the best yet Ashton. I love red velvet and made red velvet cupcakes this past weekend. :) And I’m obsessed with that cinnabon creamer!!!

  7. drooooooooooling! Cameron will love this for Valentine’s day :) Yep – all for him. not at all because I’m currently drooling for real over those pictures. Nope….

  8. Holy cow. I need that creamer AND this cake. It’s gorgeous, Ashton!

  9. You had me at “saturated in a copious amount of sweetened condensed milk”…and Red Velvet ANYTHING is my favorite!!

  10. Looks delicious! Are these too moist to make in cupcake form?

  11. I gotta try this! Thanks so much for posting.

  12. I am changing up and using Devils Food cake mix and York Peppermint Creamer. Thanks for the idea.

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  14. What is vanilla cool whip frosting? Just plain cool whip in the freezer section? Or do you mean Betty Crocker whipped cream frosting?

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  18. hi – I would love to make this cake this weekend. Can you tell me what kind of pan you baked it in? If you used a regular cake pan, is it too moist to stand on it’s own?

  19. I really really love your site and ideas, they are so yummy. Im always bragging to the ladies at work about your recipes bc I always bring goodies in for everyone. With this recipe I didnt have the red velvet cake mix on hand so I substituted a caramel apple cake mix I had and OH MY it was so good. Thanks for all this amazingness!!

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  21. I was so excited to see this recipe since I wanted to make something special for Valentines for my Board Meeting. I made a trail run this weekend, and the icing was runny. Sooooooooo disappointed! The taste of the cake was excellent, but cannot present with this icing. I was thinking about putting the entire cup of Cinnabon with the sweetened condensed milk, and then just mixing the Cool Whips together as the topping. Please help as I want to make this again for my special dessert again.

    • Sorry to hear it didn’t work out!! First, a little troubleshooting: just wondering… did you use Cool Whip FROSTING (different than Cool Whip) + Cool Whip + the creamer? If you used only Cool Whip (and not the Cool Whip FROSTING), that would explain why the topping was so runny.

      If, however, that wasn’t your problem, all you need to do is decrease the amount of creamer you add to the topping. I’d start with a tablespoon and work your way up gradually to the consistency you like. :)

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