This keto poke cake takes all the delicious flavor of your favorite cinnamon rolls and turns it into a delectable sugar-free dessert. It’s fun to make and looks fabulous when you’re ready to serve.
I love poke cakes. I hadn’t heard of them until a few years ago, but once I tried baking one myself, I was hooked. There is really something delightful about poking holes in a cake and drizzling on a sauce that sinks down into the holes.
It makes the cake extra moist and delicious, and it also looks super cool when you cut it into slices. I have a few keto poke cake recipes, including Boston Cream Poke Cake, Strawberry Poke Cake, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Poke Cake.
And now I am adding this fun and tasty Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake to that list. If you love keto cinnamon rolls but you want something for dessert, this is the cake for you!
Why you need to try this recipe
I have seen cinnamon roll poke cake recipes before, but they all seem to take a boxed cake mix. I suppose I could have purchased keto vanilla cake mix, but I much prefer to make my own. Honestly, it’s just as easy as boxed mix and has better flavor and texture.
The cinnamon filling is simple to make and insanely delicious. I recommend Swerve Brown for real cinnamon roll flavor and a little allulose or BochaSweet to keep it from recrystallizing. Add plenty of ground cinnamon, as you want that flavor to come through in the finished cake.
The cake is topped off with a sugar-free cream cheese frosting that is fluffy and sweet. And pairs perfectly with the tender cake.
While this keto cinnamon roll cake has a number of steps, it’s actually quite straightforward. It takes less than an hour to make. And each delectable slice has only 3.3g net carbs!
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- Almond flour: As always, choose a finely ground almond flour for the best cake texture. If you would prefer to use coconut flour, follow the cake recipe from my Keto Chantilly Cake.
- Swerve Sweetener: You will need a number of different sweeteners for this recipe. The cake portion takes granular sweetener, the filling takes brown sugar substitute, and the frosting requires a confectioner’s sweetener. You can use other brands but I prefer Swerve Sweetener for all of these.
- Allulose: I also used some allulose in the filling to make it soft and keep it from recrystallizing. You can also use BochaSweet or xylitol.
- Protein powder: Protein powder helps keto baked goods rise and be lighter and fluffier. I used whey protein isolate for this cake, but you can also use egg white protein. Do not use collagen, as it will make it gummy and hard to cook through.
- Cinnamon: Can’t be a cinnamon roll cake without plenty of cinnamon!
- Glucomannan: A little thickener like glucomannan helps the filling set better. You can also use xanthan gum.
- Cream cheese: The frosting is cream cheese based, just like real cinnamon rolls.
- Kitchen staples: Butter, eggs, heavy cream, vanilla extract.
Step by Step Directions
1. Prepare the batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, sweetener, protein powder, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the eggs, butter, vanilla, and water until well combined.
2. Bake the cake: Spread evenly in a greased 9×9 inch pan and bake at 350ºF for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown on the edges and just firm to the touch. Remove and let cool in the pan.
3. Poke it: Once cool, use a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the cake. Make sure to poke a lot of holes the filling gets into every little part of the cake.
4. Prepare the filling: In a small saucepan over medium low heat, combine the butter and sweeteners. Whisk until the sweeteners are dissolved. Stir in the cream and cinnamon. Bring to a simmer and whisk in the glucomannan. Cook about 3 minutes, until it begins to thicken. Remove from heat and let cool to a sauce-like consistency.
5. Fill the holes: Drizzle the sauce all over the cake, making sure to get some of the filling into every hole.
6. Frost the cake: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together for 2 minutes, until well creamed. Beat in the sweetener and vanilla extract. Add the cream and beat until well combined. Spread over the cooled cake. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon, if desired.
Sweeteners: This recipe takes 4 different sweeteners, and it works best this way. There is a method to my madness! A little allulose or BochaSweet in the filling helps it stay softer and not recrystallize. But if you don’t have any, it will still be a delicious cake.
If you can’t get Swerve Brown, you can fake it with some granular and a little molasses. You would only need about 1 teaspoon and it will add less than half a gram of carbs to each serving.
Protein powder: Yes, this is a critical ingredient and if you plan on doing any amount of keto baking, you will want to get some. It helps replace the gluten in keto cakes and baked goods so that they rise nicely and have a better texture. If you omit it, your cake will not rise as nicely.
Thickeners: The filling needs a little help thickening up and I like to use glucomannan for this. But xanthan gum also works, and you may even be able to use a tablespoon of collagen to the same effect.
Nut-Free Version: You can make this cake with coconut flour rather than almond flour. But it takes a lot of other adjustments, so it’s best to follow a recipe for a coconut flour cake and bake it in the square pan. My Chantilly Cake would work well. Keep your eye on it as I am not entirely sure how long it will take to bake.
Frequently Asked Questions
Poke cakes are so named because you really do poke holes in the cake. You then pour over a delicious filling such as jello, pudding, or caramel sauce that sinks down into the holes. When you cut the cake into slices, you see vertical lines of the filling right through the cake.
A conventional cinnamon roll poke cake contains upwards of 40g of carbs per serving. Yikes! But this delicious sugar free keto cake has only 5.4g of carbohydrate and 2.1g of fiber. That means it has only 3.3g net carbs per serving.
Unless you live in a very hot environment, this cake can be kept on the counter, tightly covered, for 2 to 3 days. You can also store it in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze it for several months.
Love cinnamon? Check out these delicious recipes!
- Keto Coffee Cake
- Instant Pot Cinnamon Roll Bread
- Mini Cinnamon Roll Cheesecakes
- Keto Snickerdoodles
- Keto Candied Pecans
- Easy Keto Cereal
Keto Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF and grease a 9×9 inch metal baking pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, sweetener, protein powder, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the eggs, butter, vanilla, and water until well combined.
- If the batter is very thick, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. It shouldn't be pourable, but you should be able to scoop and spread it easily.
- Spread evenly in the prepared pan and bake 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown on the edges and just firm to the touch. Remove and let cool in the pan.
- Once cool, use a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the cake.
- In a small saucepan over medium low heat, combine the butter and sweeteners. Whisk until the sweeteners are dissolved. Stir in the cream and cinnamon.
- Bring to a simmer and whisk in the glucomannan. Cook about 3 minutes, until it begins to thicken. Remove from heat and let cool to a sauce-like consistency.
- Pour over the cake, making sure to get some of the filling into every hole.
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together for 2 minutes, until well creamed. Beat in the sweetener and vanilla extract.
- Add the cream and beat until well combined. Spread over the cooled cake. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon, if desired.