Cake

All the Creamy Goodness of a Cannoli, In a Cake

by:
March 22, 2018

Every so often, we scour the site for cool recipes from our community that we then test, photograph, and feature—this one comes from longtime Food52er drbabs.


A cake to keep in your back pocket. Photo by Ty Mecham

When I think about recipes I'm proudest of, I also realize how fortunate I've been. A lot of what I consider to be my best are regularly featured by Food52—in contests and cookbooks, or are popular in their own right. It's almost as if they don't belong to me as much as they do to the world, and I really appreciate that.

My favorite things to bake are simple cakes, usually in a bundt pan. They’re much easier than pie or cookies and come together quickly. Plus almost everyone likes cake.

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But I also like to experiment with big baking projects, including this recipe I developed for my husband, who isn’t a fan of ricotta, but loves cannoli. Most cannoli cake recipes are simple yellow cakes with sweetened ricotta cheese as the filling, but I wanted the ricotta cheese to be part of the cake.

I borrowed the pudding cake technique from Shirley Corriher's BakeWise—folding beaten egg whites into the cake batter. The result was a light, airy cake with crispy edges, shot through with orange zest and chocolate chips. I think I only made a couple of tweaks to the first version before I was happy with the recipe.

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Top Comment:
“Now I have beautiful artisan ricotta that I could not find time to use in the overtaxed kitchen. I am also going to try this gluten free. Maybe three times (wow, did I overbuy!) The first will be with Pamela’s pancake and baking mix because we just love it. Maybe the second with Bob’s cup for cup. The third with King Arthur. And, possibly a fourth time with Trader Joe’s cup for cup maybe... (yes, I really overbough), but the thought of playing Test Kitchen is fun, and I have many people I could deliver cakes to. I’d also like my fridge back. Any thoughts on leftover leg of lamb?”
— Sarag
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If, like me, you only have one bowl for your mixer, beat the egg whites first, set them aside, and then use the mixer to blend the egg yolks with the cheese mixture before folding it all together. Also make sure to fold very gently so the egg whites retain their loft.

I think the cake is best on the day it’s baked, making it an ideal dinner party dessert. After overnight refrigeration, it is more like a custard, 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!)

Do you have a recipe that's been passed down in your family? Or one you want to make sure your future generations make? Let us know in the comments and it might be featured as one of our heirloom recipes!

11 Comments

Sarag April 2, 2018
So, as usual, I overspent on our Easter, and overplanned as well. Now I have beautiful artisan ricotta that I could not find time to use in the overtaxed kitchen. I am also going to try this gluten free. Maybe three times (wow, did I overbuy!) The first will be with Pamela’s pancake and baking mix because we just love it. Maybe the second with Bob’s cup for cup. The third with King Arthur. And, possibly a fourth time with Trader Joe’s cup for cup maybe... (yes, I really overbough), but the thought of playing Test Kitchen is fun, and I have many people I could deliver cakes to. I’d also like my fridge back. Any thoughts on leftover leg of lamb?
 
Linda March 29, 2018
I made this for a dinner party the other night and everyone loved it. Served at room temperature with whipped cream and garnish of mini chocolate chips as shown in your beautiful photo. We were curious to have it the next night after reading your comments re: your husband's preference. So, we had it cold, with the same garnish and have to agree with your hub...it was even better the next day. This is going to be shared with a lot of people and I'm already planning to take it to our next gourmet dinner group. Thanks for this winner!
 
Author Comment
drbabs March 29, 2018
I'm so glad it worked for you.
 
andycooks March 27, 2018
The "Go to recipe" link is broken.
 
SCL March 25, 2018
Congrats from your Long Island family on having another recipe selected and featured! Now of course I have to give it a try!
 
Author Comment
drbabs March 25, 2018
Thanks! I hope you enjoy it.
 
GAIL M. March 25, 2018
I'm going to go totally nuts with my 1st attempt with this cake... gluten free and diabetic friendly to tackle two of my friends dietary issues. will let you know how it works out
 
Author Comment
drbabs March 25, 2018
Wow... Good luck!
 
Linda I. March 25, 2018
Just wondering if this cake could be made gluten free by changing up the flour? Which one should I use? I’m new to this!
 
Lisa March 25, 2018
I’m planning to use potato and matzo flour for the upcoming Passover holiday. My guess is that gluten does not play a huge role here. Almond flour seems good to me too
 
Author Comment
drbabs March 25, 2018
I generally use Bob's Red Mill gluten free flour when I want to make a recipe gluten free. I don't know if that's kosher for Passover though.