Cannoli Cake

Cannoli Cake

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Cool: 60 mins
Total: 115 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 1 layer cake
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
715 Calories
41g Fat
79g Carbs
13g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 715
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 41g 52%
Saturated Fat 23g 115%
Cholesterol 142mg 47%
Sodium 449mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 79g 29%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 54g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 246mg 19%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 290mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for cannoli cake embraces everything you love about traditional cannoli and puts it in the form of a beautiful layer cake. Cannoli are a staple of Sicilian cuisine. These iconic Italian pastries are tube-shaped shells of fried pastry dough filled with a sweet ricotta filling.

The orange-scented cake layers are filled with a ricotta cheese and a rich, creamy chocolate chip filling. The outside of the cake is draped with creamy mascarpone frosting and then garnished with chopped pistachios. The beautiful layers are revealed upon cutting that first slice. It is sure to impress your friends and family at your next Italian-themed dinner party, birthday party, or other cake-worthy occasion.


For the Cakes:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 1/4 cups milk

For the Ricotta Filling:

  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese

  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract

  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

For the Mascarpone Frosting:

  • 16 ounces mascarpone cheese

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Garnish:

  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios

  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Steps to Make It

Make the Cakes

  1. Gather all of the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans and set aside.

    Cannoli Cake ingredients

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  2. To make the cakes, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

    Cake dry ingredients in a bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  3. In another large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

    Butter and sugar in a mixing bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated.

    Eggs added to butter and sugar mixture

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  5. Mix in the orange zest and vanilla extract.

    Orange zest and vanilla added to mixture

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  6. Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, and beating just until completely incorporated.

    Butter mixture, flour mixture, and milk in separate bowls

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  7. Divide the cake batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

    Unbaked cakes in prepared pans

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  8. Cool the cakes in the pans for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack. 

    Cakes cooling on a rack

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Make the Filling and Frosting

  1. To make the ricotta filling, in a large bowl combine the ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and orange extract. Beat until fluffy. Fold in the 3/4 cup of mini chocolate chips. Set aside.

    Ingredients for ricotta filling in a bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  2. To make the frosting, beat the mascarpone cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 cup milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until creamy.

    Mascarpone frosting ingredients in a bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Build and Frost the Cake

  1. Place one cooled cake layer on a serving platter and spread with half of the ricotta filling.

    Cake layer spread with half ricotta filling with a knife

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  2. Top with the second cake layer and spread the remaining filling over the top of the cake to within 1 inch of the edges.

    Top cake layer spread with ricotta filling

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  3. Frost the sides and top edge of the cake with the mascarpone frosting, covering the cake completely.

    Frosting the sides of the cake with mascarpone frosting

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  4. Sprinkle the chopped pistachios around the top edge of the cake. Garnish the top of the cake with the remaining 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!

    Cannoli Cake garnished with pistachios and chocolate chips

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

How to Store

Because this filling and frosting contains cheeses, this cake should be refrigerated until serving. Any leftovers should be tightly wrapped and will keep in the fridge for about three days.