One of my favorite things in the entire world is a humongous cannoli, ends dipped in chocolate, with more mini chocolate chips than necessary decorating the gloriously creamy ricotta filling.
Though I have made cannoli cream plenty of times, the actual cannoli itself has always frightened me. And though I wish I could tell you this post is about me conquering this fear and learning to make my own cannoli shells from scratch…sadly, that is not where we are headed.
The only thing that can possibly be better than a traditional cannoli is cannoli cake.
While a recipe for cannoli, an Italian pastry of the Sicily region*, is easy enough to find, cannoli cake, the love child of cannoli and that which needs no introduction (cake), requires some searching. After finding a mishmash of recipes that might work, I decided to combine a few to create the beautiful cannoli cake pictured on this page.
*Is it a coincidence that I am part Sicilian? I think not.
Often, cannoli cakes are layered, which is not at all the kind of cake I prefer to make. I will avoid a layered cake at all costs. Many times, I’ll take the lazy man’s way out and instead of slicing two cakes to create four, I will simply make a cake of two layers.
My type A personality does not grow excited over the thought of attempting to perfectly slice two cakes in half, then carefully ice and layer said cakes hoping the entire time that no lopsidedness occurs*.
*In case you’re wondering, the world of photography is the biggest liar out there. Though it may not look like it in the above picture, this cake was a perfectionist’s nightmare, with more curves than the surface of a skate park.
But in the end, it was everything beautiful, perfect, and wonderful that is a cannoli cake.
For the cannoli cream, I didn’t go with my staple used for cannoli bites, but instead used this recipe, which proved to have a better consistency with a longer lifespan. And yes, I did dip and fill the cannoli shells which I purchased at my local grocery store.*
*And after that $6 purchase, I decided I definitely need to learn how to make them on my own.
The actual cake itself was the part that really hung me up. I wanted it to be a yellow cake, but there was no way I was taking the easy way out (as most recipes I found did) by using a box cake.
Seriously? Box cake?
So instead I used this cake. It was okay, however the almond extract was the only depth of flavor found in each bite. Next time I’ll use my favorite chocolate chip cake recipe* and see how it turns out.
*As was my original intention, but Hubby thought it might be too dense for cannoli cake.
Aside from the cannoli cream that topped each layer, the outside of the cake was covered with a thick butter cream which really stole the show.
Goodness, this cake is so beautiful that I wish I could enjoy it all over again!