Cannoli Cream Cake

pinterest image for cannoli cream cake

My Cannoli Cream Cake is heaven on a plate! Three layers of moist, tender yellow cake stuffed with delicious homemade cannoli cream. Not too sweet and perfect any time of the year, and especially the holiday season!

cannoli cake on a white platter

Good cannoli cream is a wonderful thing, not too sweet, creamy and with just a hint of lemon. Over the years I have made many flavors, and varieties of cannoli but I always come back to the classic, time-honored filling.

Not only is this filling perfect for cannoli but it also makes a great filling for a cake. Now it’s not going to be fancy, schmancy cake, but it’s going to be a wonderful dessert. And a dessert your guests will talk about for years to come. 

slice of cannoli cake on a spatula being taken out of the whole cake

Sometimes the simplest desserts are the best. Just give me a double espresso and a slice of this cake, and I’m a happy boy.

What ingredients do I need to make a Cannoli Cream Cake?

ingredients to make cannoli cake

Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make a Cannoli Cream Cake. In Chef Speak this is called the “Mise en Place” which translates to “Everything in its Place”.

Not only does setting your ingredients up ahead of time speed up the cooking process, it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.

What type of ricotta should I use?

When possible you want to use Impastata ricotta, it’s a drier and smoother ricotta that has been naturally drained of any excess moisture. My other choice is Galbani or Sorrento whole milk ricotta.

How do I make Cannoli Cream?

four images showing how to make the cannoli filling
  • Blend together ricotta and mascarpone
  • Add in superfine sugar*(if you can’t find superfine, use your food processor to make regular sugar into superfine. Do not let it become powder, that will be 10x and that makes the mixture too loose.)
    The secret to keeping the cream thicker is superfine sugar. 10x sugar makes the mixture too loose.
  • Add in lemon zest, and vanilla
  • Add the mini chocolate chips
finished cannoli filling in white bowl

Refrigerate for 2 hours if possible, before using as filling for the cake.

*This can be made the day before

How do I make a yellow cake?

the first four images showing how to make the yellow cake
  • In your mixer cream the softened butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each egg.
the next four images showing how to make the yellow cake
  • In your mixer cream the softened butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each egg.
  • Mix in the Vanilla
  • In another bowl add the flour, salt and baking powder and blend together
  • Begin adding the flour mixture, one-third at a time.
four images showing the finished batter, batter in pan and baked layer
  • Start adding the milk alternating with the flour mixture, until all the ingredients have been added.
  • Divide the mixture into three floured 9″ cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center out clean.
  • Allow cakes to cool completely before adding cannoli cream.
four images showing how to assemble the cannoli cream cake
  • divide the cannoli filling into thirds and top each layer with one third of the cream.
  • Top the cannoli cake with mini chocolate chips.
  • Refrigerate for 2 hours before slicing
overhead view of whole cheesecake sliced with a slice on a cake spatula

This is a cake that won’t make you crazy. It’s easy to make and you can easily add your own touches.

Recipe FAQ’s

Can I make chocolate cannoli cream?

Yes, you can. Add ¼ cup of unsweetened cocoa to the mixture when you add the sugar.

Can I use liqueur in cannoli cream?

Yes, you can. Add it in place of the vanilla.

How can I add more flavor to the cake layers?

Make a simple syrup and add in your favorite liqueur or extract as a flavoring. Brush the layers with the syrup as you assemble the cake, before adding the layer of cannoli cream.

Can I add other toppings to cannoli cream?

Yes, you can. Add your favorite chips, or candied fruit to the cannoli cream.

Does my cannoli cake need to be refrigerated?

Yes, it does. Take it out of refrigeration about 30 minutes before serving to let it come to room temperature.

slice of cannoli cream cake on a white plate with a fork

Just have fun with this simple cake, just make sure you have enough espresso in the house to go along with my authentic Italian dessert!

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4.9 from 65 votes

Cannoli Cream Cake

When you’re looking for an easy to make Italian dessert nothing can compare to my Cannoli Cream Cake. It’s guaranteed to bring smiles to your table!

Prep Time30 mins

Cook Time20 mins

Refrigerate2 hrs

Total Time2 hrs 50 mins

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: Italian

Servings: 16

Calories: 465kcal

Ingredients

Yellow Layer Cake

Cannoli Cream

Instructions

Yellow Cake

  • In your mixer cream the softened butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy.

  • Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each egg.

  • Mix in the Vanilla

  • In another bowl add the flour, salt and baking powder and blend together

  • Add the ⅓ of the flour to the creamed mixture alternating with the milk, continue until all the ingredients have been added.

  • Divide the mixture into three floured 9″ cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center out clean.

  • Allow cakes to cool completely before adding cannoli cream.

Cannoli Filling

  • Blend together ricotta and mascarpone

  • Add in superfine sugar *(if you can’t find superfine, use your food processor to make regular sugar into superfine. Do not let it become powder, that will be 10x and that makes the mixture too loose.) The secret to keeping the cream thicker is superfine sugar. 10x sugar makes the mixture too loose.
  • Add in lemon zest, vanilla and the chocolate chips.

  • Refrigerate for 2 hours if possible, before using as filling for the cake.*This can be made the day before

Assembly

  • divide the cannoli filling into thirds and top each layer with one third of the cream.

  • Top the cannoli cake with mini chocolate chips.

  • Refrigerate for 2 hours before slicing

Notes

**Make sure that the ricotta is very dry.  If there is too much liquid in the ricotta it the filling will be loose. If need be, drain the ricotta in a colander or a cheesecloth.
*The secret to perfect cannoli filling is using superfine (caster) sugar.  Powdered sugar will make the mixture watery.
Do Not Overbeat the mixture, it will get looser, not thicker.

Nutrition

Calories: 465kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 130mg | Potassium: 151mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 647IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 149mg | Iron: 1mg