Turn your favorite Italian dessert into a stunning cake. This Cannoli Cake will even have your Italian grandmother singing its praises!
Having been raised in an Italian household, Cannolis are essential. I remember my grandfather making them for any and every special occasion. You knew that if you woke up to the smell of hot oil, you were going to have the perfect dessert later in the day.
Although I love the traditional cannoli, I also love to play with the filling. The Cannoli Tart that I made a few years back (sorry for the horrible photos) is a new family favorite and a new must for Thanksgiving. This cake however, may have taken its place. It is absolutely stunning and quite the show stopper.
This cake does require a bit of time and a buttload of ingredients, but trust me when I say it is worth every second and penny. It is quite a rich cake, therefore small slices are recommended. As usual, I prefer a tall cake therefore I bake the layers in a 7 inch pan. This cake will feed 10-15 people.
Check out our visual instruction below in the video!
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 sticks butter , softened to room temperature
- 1 ½ sugar
- 4 large eggs , room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups buttermilk , room temperature
- 3 cups ricotta , drained through a cheesecloth
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ mini chocolate chips
- 8-10 mini cannoli shells
- 1¼ cups sugar , divided into 1 cup and ¼ cup
- ⅓ cup water
- 6 large egg whites , room temperature
- ¾ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup Plugrà European salted butter , very soft cut into pieces
- 1¼ cup Plugrà unsalted butter , very soft, cut into pieces
- 1 heaping teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1 cup good quality semi sweet chocolate
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 and ½ cup mini chocolate chips
To make the cake:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray three 7 inch cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and line the bottoms with a parchment paper circle.
In a bowl, combine cake flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon and mic to combine.
In the bowl of your mixer, beat butter and sugar until it becomes light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly before each addition.
Beat in vanilla.
Alternatively and gradually add flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter/egg mixture, mixing until just combined. Do not over mix.
Divide batter into 3 pans and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a knife is inserted and comes out clean.
Once baked, allow to cool completely before filling and frosting.
To make the cannoli filling:
Combine ricotta and powdered sugar and beat for about 5 minutes on high, until fluffy and smooth. Add cinnamon and beat for another minute.
Mix in chocolate chips.
Place filling into a piping bag attached with a large round tip, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Once cake has cooled, pipe about ½ cup of filling in-between 2 layers.
Pipe remaining filling into the mini shells.
To make the Italian Meringue:
Combine 1 cup of sugar and water in a small sauce pan.
Heat sugar and water on medium until boiling (you want large bubbles).
In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar until frothy.
Increase your mixer speed to high and beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly and carefully pour hot sugar mixture into egg whites.
Slowly increase the mixer speed again and beat until the mixture is no longer hot or warm and is fluffy and doubled in size. (Mixture needs to be as close to room temperature as possible before adding butter).
With the mixer set at medium speed, slowly add butter pieces. Mix until smooth.
Once smooth, add cinnamon and stir to combine.
Assemble and frost cake.
Press mini chocolate chips into the bottom half of the cake, carefully.
Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
To make the chocolate ganache:
Heat chocolate, cream, and butter in a small sauce pan on medium low until it is melted and smooth, stirring constantly.
Once melted and smooth, remove from heat and allow to cool until room temperature (15-20 minutes).
Pour ganache over top of cold cake and spread with an offset spatula.
Top cake with filled cannoli shells and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Holy Cannoli that is a show stopper and worth it for sure!
Kathleen @ Yummy Crumble
This cake looks incredible! I love love love cannolis and this is definitely a show stopper. Gorgeous and perfect for the holidays 🙂
This really looks like a cake you bring to the table and people can't wait to get a piece!
This cake is just stunning!
I mixed the ricotta and powdered sugar together for 5 minutes like the recipe calls for a got ricotta soup.
One possible reason this could have happened is if you didn't drain you ricotta for long enough! Ricotta used in cannoli filling usually needs to be drained for 8-12 hours in the fridge! That will give you a really nice consistency! I usually drain mine with cheesecloth over a bowl in the fridge!
you might want the impastata style ricotta (Grande Brand) so the ricotta will not break down while mixing
It looks beautiful, thanks for sharing your lovely creativity.
This cake looks absolutely wonderful, I'm going to try the recipe out for my boyfriends birthday, cannolis are his absolute favorite! Is there any way to make the cake without the rum?
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While using this recipe, you will get better results if you use Impastata Style...Grande Brand.
It is a dry ricotta that requires no draining and taste great w/desserts and pasta dishes
I just made this cake. No where in the directions does it say when to use the cream or tartar??? Also the buttercream icing is enough to ice 2 cakes I had so much left over. And it tasted very buttery which I dont know why I was shocked considering the amount of butter that it calls for...
Sorry about the cream of tartar, just added it to the directions. However I have on many occasions made it without the cream of tartar. Yes, Italian Meringue Buttercreams are traditionally very buttery and delicious. You can freeze any leftover buttercream in an airtight container. When ready to use, bring to room temperature and whip it up again with your beaters until creamy, if necessary.