Cannoli Cake

By • March 15, 2011 • 42 Comments

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Author Notes: My husband is not a fan of ricotta cheese. But he loves cannoli. So in his honor, I wanted to make a cake that had the components of a cannoli without the mess of deep-frying. Most cannoli cake recipes are simple yellow cakes with sweetened ricotta cheese as the filling, but I wanted a cake in which the ricotta cheese was part of the cake. I borrowed the pudding cake technique of folding beaten egg whites into the cake batter. The result is a light and airy cake with crispy edges, shot through with orange zest and chocolate chips. And he won’t let me take it to work tomorrow, so I call that a success. - drbabsdrbabs

Food52 Review: This recipe really solves the dilemma of the leaden cannoli shell. The pleasing creaminess of a great ricotta filling is front and center, with just enough structure to hold the cake together. As drbabs mentions, it becomes dense and custard-like after some time in the fridge, which I enjoyed. Next time, I will reduce the amount of orange zest and almond extract, but this is strictly personal preference, and fans of chocolate & orange in combination should proceed exactly as directed. I look forward to making this for Easter dinner in a few weeks. An excellent, well-written recipe! - SorrySuriSorrySuri

Serves 8

  • 4 eggs (room temperature), separated
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese, drained for a couple of hours till it's fairly dry
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips (plus more for serving)
  • zest of two medium-sized oranges
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and place a rack in the middle of the oven. Generously butter a 9” springform pan and wrap the bottom well to prevent leaking. (You could use a large soufflé dish and serve it from the dish if you prefer.) Put water on to boil for the water bath.
  2. Stir together ricotta cheese, milk and egg yolks till well blended. Fold in flour till blended. Pour in melted butter, sugar, orange zest and almond extract and stir till blended. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat the egg whites with the salt till stiff but not dry. This will go quickly.Gently fold in the beaten egg whites till the mixture is well blended and there are little or no streaks of egg white visible.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place it in a large roasting pan inside the oven. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan to about 2 inches high. Bake for one hour until the top is brown and the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  5. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for about 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge and release the springform. Serve at room temperature with chocolate chips sprinkled over it. (A little whipped cream would be lovely, too.)
  6. The cake is best (in my opinion) on the day it is baked. After overnight refrigeration, it is more like a custard (and moist, like the filling of a cannoli). Not that there's anything wrong with that! (Turns out, my husband liked it even more the second day. Go figure!)
Jump to Comments (42)

Tags: dinner party, Easy, light, sweet

Comments (42) Questions (1)

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8 months ago Franca

I modified it slightly to our personal tastes, lemon instead of orange and a little less sugar. This was excellent. It will be making a regular appearance at our house.

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8 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I'm so happy you liked it.

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about 1 year ago MrsK

This is good, but the addition of chocolate was not to my liking. Next time I'll make it without chocolate. Thanks for sharing.

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about 1 year ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I totally get that. (My husband loves the chocolate.). Thanks for trying it!

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over 1 year ago mensaque

LUUUUUUUUUUUUUV IT<Dr.Babs!

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over 1 year ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks, mensaque! You made my day!

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over 3 years ago 1840 Farm

I made this last night for a celebratory family dinner. It was delicious and everyone kept coming back for more. Thanks for sharing such a fabulous recipe. I know that I will be making it again soon.

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much for letting me know--I'm glad you and your family enjoyed it!

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over 3 years ago Ninicooks

Sounds excellent--plan to give it a try. I make a cannoli cheesecake (I invented this) and your cake is a lovely contrast to it...PS...letting it ripen is part of deepening the flavors!

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over 3 years ago thirschfeld

I love cannoli and it looks like this is a much easier way to get to the best part of the cannoli, the filling.

Stringio

over 3 years ago testkitchenette

I agree! I used to take the filling out of the shell and eat it with a spoon. Now, I can do just that with this lovely cake.

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over 3 years ago clintonhillbilly

this sounds delicious!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks--I hope you try it!

Ry_400

over 3 years ago melissav

It is similar to that pasta dish of mine you tested a while back. Different variation on the same theme. I love this cake; I'm definitely trying it the next time a cake is in order!

Ry_400

over 3 years ago melissav

Love it. My husband doesn't like ricotta either or at least he says he doesn't. Somehow he managed to put down two bowls of my lemon ricotta pasta while mumbling "even though I don't like ricotta, I like the flavors in this dish." Men.

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I've been eyeing that pasta dish of yours...I just might have to try it and see what happens!

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over 3 years ago hapycookr

Wow! That sounds sooo familiar to me! LMAO

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over 3 years ago hapycookr

Wow! That sounds sooo familiar to me! LMAO

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over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

This is SUCH a fabulous idea! Yum.

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much--I had so much fun making it, and it's quite easy.

Me

over 3 years ago wssmom

Woohoo!!!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

:) Thanks!

Steve_dunn02

over 3 years ago Oui, Chef

Eureka! I've always loved cannoli, but only if the shells are VERY fresh. Of course, I could never be bothered with frying my own, so I've never made the lovelies. This recipe is an awesome way of getting all that great cannoli flavor without the frying hassle. Yippee! - S

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks, Steve!

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over 3 years ago VanessaS

Yum! I love cannoli, looks great!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks, Vanessa!

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over 3 years ago Midge

Love that you folded the ricotta into the cake. It's been saved!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks--please let me know if you try it!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Great idea, drbabs! I can't believe your husband doesn't like ricotta (or the other assortment of things he despises!)

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks...LOL! It is challenging, but, to his credit, he will try most of my experiments.

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over 3 years ago Burnt Offerings

I bet this would be great with some Grand Marnier soaked into it. Yum!

Bike2

over 3 years ago Sagegreen

What a lovely dessert and great idea!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Grand Marnier sounds like a wonderful idea! Thank you both.

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over 3 years ago dymnyno

Wow! Looks fantastic!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks!

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over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

oh my, drbabs!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

It's not all that decadent. You can have a small piece.

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over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

it sounds great!

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over 3 years ago Lizthechef

Nice - very inspired, dr. b !!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you, Liz.

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over 3 years ago inpatskitchen

I love cannolis, but have never mastered the shells....you've given me a wonderful solution! Thanks!!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you!!