Cannoli Cake, an easy from scratch Italian cake with cannoli filling. This homemade cannoli cake is full of easy to find ingredients including ricotta, mascarpone, orange zest, and mini chocolate chips or change it up to your family's personal taste!
1bag (10 ounces)mini chocolate chipsdivided (if you want a lot of chocolate chips on the outside, you may want to have another bag on hand)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter and flour 2 9-inch round baking pans (or can substitute 8-inch round baking pans).
Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt in medium mixing bowl until well combined.
Beat together butter and granulated sugar in large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Then beat in fresh orange zest and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract until well combined.
Alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk into the butter and sugar mixture, beating after each addition until just combined.
Pour cake batter into prepared pans, spread to form even layers. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean. (If using 8 inch pans, baking time will be about 30-35 minutes.)
Cool cakes slightly then remove from pans and finish cooling completely on wire racks. When cakes are completely cool, split each layer in half horizontally with a long serrated knife to form 4 layers.
For frosting, beat together ricotta and mascarpone in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Beat in powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, orange juice, cinnamon, and salt until well combined.
To assemble cake, place one layer on cake dish. Top with frosting then sprinkle about 2-3 tablespoons of mini chocolate chips on top. Repeat with remaining layers. Frost outside of cake and add remaining chocolate chips to outside of cake or as desired. Use remaining frosting to decorate or pipe as desired. Refrigerate cake until ready to serve.
SNAPPY TIPS: You can omit the orange zest and juice if you don't like citrus. You can also add chopped pecans, walnuts, or pistachios with the chocolate chips. SNAPPY SUBSTITUTIONS: Instead of vanilla extract you could use almond extract or Fiori di Sicilia.FROSTING NOTES: (updated Feb 2020) - For BEST results PLEASE use full-fat cheeses (whole, not part skim) AND drain your ricotta (and possibly mascarpone) WELL overnight (see how to strain ricotta for pics). It's not always necessary, but since there are many types and brands of ricotta (and mascarpone), I strongly recommend draining overnight to be on the safe side. BOTH cheeses should be thick (like cream cheese) or you will end up with a runny frosting. I didn't need to drain mine (my local store brand was thick), but others did need to strain. Wrap the ricotta (and/or mascarpone) in cheesecloth (or paper towels), place in a strainer (preferably with something heavy on top to weigh it down) over a bowl and place in the fridge OVERNIGHT. The next day, squeeze out all the liquid and make sure the cheeses are THICK (again like cream cheese) with no liquid before making the frosting. If you can find it in your area, you can also try ricotta impastata (pastry ricotta), which has a thicker consistency.
Keywords: Christmas dessert, homemade cannoli cake recipe, Italian cake