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Dark Chocolate Orange Cake with Cannoli Filling

Dark Chocolate Orange Cake with Cannoli Filling

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  • Prep 60min
  • Total2hr0min
  • Servings12

Orange and chocolate are a match made in heaven and this dessert turns them into a cake with creamy cannoli filling.MORE+LESS-


Ingredients for Cake:

1-3/4 cups All-purpose Flour


cup Hershey's® cocoa or Hershey's® SPECIAL DARK cocoa

1-1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder

1-1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda


teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Juice of 1 Orange (about 1/4 cup)

The combined total of juice and water should be 1 cup

Ingredients for Cannoli Filling:


(15 ounce) container Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese, strained


cup Confectioners Sugar


cup Mini Chocolate Chips

Ingredients or Chocolate Ganache:


ounces Semisweet Chocolate


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  • 1

    Directions for Cake:Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease and flour two round cake pans.

  • 2

    In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat for a couple minutes until well combined. Stir in the orange zest. Add the boiling water, orange juice and stir. The batter will be thinner than you might expect. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for about 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before filling and frosting.

  • 3

    Directions for Cannoli Filling:Beat together the ricotta and sugar until smooth. Stir in the cinnamon, chocolate chips and candied orange peel.

  • 4

    Directions for Chocolate Ganache:Give the chocolate a coarse chop. Place the chocolate pieces in a bowl. Heat the cream, just to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until smooth.

Nutrition Information

No nutrition information available for this recipe

Cannoli Cones

Skip all the fuss needed with traditional cannoli. Try these easy-to-make Cannoli Cones instead—a simple sugar cone filled with sweet, creamy ricotta filling.

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What is Cannoli?

Cannoli is a crispy pastry shell that is filled with a thick ricotta cheese mixture. The filling is usually flavored with a little Marsala wine, cinnamon, and orange zest. Cannoli is one of the most classic Italian desserts and people usually go nuts for them when they show up on dessert platters!

The pastry shells for cannoli are usually fried but they can also be baked too, like for these cannoli bites. The pastry dough is rolled into a very thin layer and then cut into circles. You’ll wrap the circles around pastry tubes and then the tubes are gently dropped into a fryer. After a couple of minutes, the pastry shells up and turns light brown in color. The cooked shells are drained and then the pastry tubes are slipped off of the shells. This leaves the perfect hole to fill with cannoli cream!

Chocolate cannoli

Chocolate cannoli recipe - Pulse flour, sugar, cocoa and cinnamon in a food processor to combine, then add butter and whole beaten egg and process until a soft dough forms.


  • 150 gm plain flour, plus extra for dusting (1 cup)
  • 30 gm caster sugar
  • 1½ tsp Dutch-process cocoa
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 20 gm melted butter
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 eggwhite, lightly beaten
  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • Pure icing sugar and grated dark chocolate, to serve
  • 600 gm firm ricotta
  • 120 gm dark chocolate (54%-58% cocoa solids), melted, plus extra melted for drizzling
  • 2 tbsp sweet Marsala or chocolate liqueur
  • Finely grated rind of ½ orange
  • 2 tbsp cacao nibs



Cannoli tubes are available from kitchenware shops otherwise use dried cannelloni pasta tubes.
Drink Suggestion: Golden passito Drink suggestion by Max Allen

Original recipe

Even experienced Sicilian home cooks will readily admit that making cannoli shells is tricky. The dough is made of flour, lard, Marsala, egg, sugar with the addition of cocoa powder, cinnamon, or orange zest and must be carefully wrapped around a rod, so it keeps its tubular shape during frying. Popular around the world, cannoli are at their crispy best when filled just before consuming to maintain the lovely contrast of creamy center with a crisp outer layer. While the shells are traditionally are fried, many cookbooks and pastry shops offer baked alternatives. There are even commercially available shells sold vacuum-packed. In Sicily, they traditionally used goat or sheep’s milk ricotta, considered the tastiest for cannoli. Around the world nowadays the fillings vary, including cow’s milk ricotta to whipped cream, pastry cream, custard, or mascarpone.

According to Luigi Falanga, owner of Falanga, an award-winning Sicilian pastry company, “The secret to a really great cannoli filling is to let the ricotta and sugar mixture rest in the fridge overnight – preferably 24 hours – which allows the sugar dissolve and combine smoothly with the cheese to create that lush mouth-feel.” Another plus: this technique also allows you to use less sugar. He continues, “You may be tempted to blend the ricotta and sugar with an electric hand beater, but don’t. You’ll risk having watery ricotta and you’ll need to add more sugar to thicken it. It’s important to pass the sweetened ricotta through a sieve with very tight mesh. Generally, a single pass is sufficient, but a second pass can make the ricotta cream finer and even silkier. "

Sagra della Ricotta e del Formaggio Vizzini, is a festival each April in Sicily that celebrates all thing ricotta, most especially cannoli.



Preheat the oven to 350°F(177°C). Coat three 8-inch cake pans with flour-based baking spray (or grease and flour). set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and mix on medium-high for 3-5 minutes until the butter is light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl.

With the mixer running on low, add the vanilla and egg yolks, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl.

Add the flour mixture in three batches while mixing on low speed, alternating with the milk begin and end with flour. Mix briefly on medium speed until no streaks of flour remain.

Evenly divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake for 25-28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans. Transfer to wire racks to cool.


Place the ricotta cheese in a cheesecloth-lined sieve. Tie the loose ends of the cheesecloth together with kitchen twine and place the sieve in a large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, discard the liquid (whey) in the bottom of the bowl.

Turn the drained ricotta out into a large mixing bowl. Add the powdered sugar and mix well with a hand mixer. Mix in the orange zest and vanilla. Fold in 1 cup of the mini chips using a rubber spatula place the remaining ½ cup of chips in a small dish.

Remove about 1 cup of the ricotta to a piping bag with a ½-inch hole snipped in the end. Pipe the filling into the cannoli shells. Dip each end of the cannoli into the dish of mini chips. If you have any leftover filling in the piping bag, squeeze it back into the bowl. Refrigerate the filled cannoli while you prepare the rest of the cake.


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the butter on high speed until creamy. Mix in the powdered sugar a little at a time until thick. Add the vanilla, mascarpone cheese and salt. Beat at high speed until well combined, about 30 seconds. Do not overbeat. If the mixture is too thick to spread, mix in heavy cream a tablespoon at a time. If too thin, refrigerate until it firms.

Fill and frost: Place a cake layer on a cake board or serving plate. Top with half of the ricotta filling and spread evenly. Top with a second cake layer spread remaining ricotta filling evenly. Top with the third cake layer. Cover the outside of the cake with the mascarpone buttercream. Refrigerate while you make the ganache.


In a large microwave-safe bowl, add the semisweet chips and heavy cream. Heat the mixture in the microwave at 100% power for 1-1:30 seconds, or until the cream is hot but not boiling. Let the mixture stand for 1 minute and then whisk until a consistent shiny ganache is achieved. Refrigerate until the mixture is thick and easily spreadable like buttercream. Transfer the ganache to a piping bag with a ½-inch plain round piping tip.

Pipe chocolate ganache around the bottom half of the cake in an undulating pattern, creating a smooth rising and falling outline (almost like drawing the outline of a mountain range). Fill in the outline with more ganache smooth using a bench scraper or offset spatula. Immediately pat sliced almonds onto the ganache.

Place the six filled cannoli on top of the cake radiating from the center so that the edges of each cannoli touch each other in the top center of the cake to make a cannoli flower. Transfer remaining ganache to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe swirls of ganache between the cannoli on top of the cake. Sprinkle leftover sliced almonds and mini chips on top of the piped ganache. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve slices slightly chilled or at room temperature. Cover leftovers with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

How to Make a Cannoli Cake

This easy sheet cake may be simple to make, but its flavors are extra special. If you have tried these cannoli cookies you know what I mean. Orange and pistachios and chocolate – it’s dreamy.

Once again, it’s the Fiori di Sicilia extract that makes the cake. Vanilla, citrus and floral all in one extract.

You can build this cannoli sheet cake as one single layer OR you can divide the sheet in half, add a center filling and stacked it for a two-layer cake.

Steps 1 – 5: Prepare cannoli cake batter.

  1. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Cream butter + sugar.
  3. Add eggs, extracts, pistachios + chocolate chips.
  4. Mix in ricotta.
  5. Add the dry flour mixture.

Step 6: Evenly spread soft cake batter.

On a 13 x 18 rimmed baking sheet, greased and lined with parchment, evenly spread the cannoli cake batter.

Step 7: Bake the cake.

Bake the cannoli cake for between 30 and 35 minutes. You want the edges to just be slightly golden and pulling away from the sides of the baking sheet.

Be careful not to over-bake the cake which will make it on the dry side. This is why I give you the 5 minute window, so you can start peering into the oven window to watch the edges.

Once the cake is done, you’ll let it cool in the pan, so it will continue to bake a little bit out of the oven.

Step 8: Make the Chocolate Ganache

Who doesn’t love a chocolate ganache?! It’s quite simple – just combine 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips with 1 cup heavy cream.

Simmer on the stovetop with a double boiler. My make-shift double boiler is just a small stock pot filled with an inch or so water and a stainless steel bowl with the chocolate and cream sitting on top.

Whisk the chocolate until fully melted. Spread over cake. Add crushed pistachios before the chocolate sets.

Refrigerate the cannoli cake until the chocolate is fully set.

Step 6: Cut + Serve OR create a two-layer cake.

This is where your paths diverge. You can either:

  1. Cut squares and serve as a sheet cake.
  2. Make a cannoli cake filling and stack the layers for a two-layer cake.

Can you freeze cannoli cake?
Yes, I have baked this cannoli cake, fully topped with chocolate ganache, and frozen individual servings. When you’re ready to eat a slice, warm it up to room temp by setting slices out on the counter or if even more convenient, a 20 second pop in the microwave actually works brilliantly.

Related Video

I used this recipe as a base and substituted blood red orange marmalade and dark chocolate. It was so good my boyfriend (who is Italian) jokingly said old Italian ladies wouldn't believe a Chinese girl made it!

Super quick, easy, and tasty. A plastic bag with the corner cut off substitutes for a pastry bag.

I think I'll forever be looking for a recipe that matches the cannolis you get in Boston's North End-- smooth and sweet filling, without any additions of candied fruit or whatever. But I thought Iɽ try this one because it more closely resembled the cannolis folks are used to out here in the desert. But this just didn't work for me. The flavors didn't combine well. I think the apricot and chocolate (while normally a flavor combination I adore) didn't go with the coffee. I'll keep looking.

This was a fine recipe, definately not like the cannoli cream you get in NY bakeries but what can you do. I omitted the apricot and used it as a cake filling. Ill keep searching for the best cannoli recipe but for now this will work.

My wife Carmella made this dish for me and da boys. I work in the Garbage business, so we get hungry a lot at work. My kids, AJ and Meadow also loved it. Good going!

I made it with my own homemade strawberry preserves instead of apricot and used Scharffenberger bittersweet chocolate. I also substituted finely-grated bittersweet chocolate instead of coffee to make it "Mormon friendly" for our LDS guests. I had never had cannoli, but my husband, who loves cannoli said it was as good as the best he's had! It also wasn't as sweet as most deserts. Also I spooned the filling in because a pastry bag was just absurd--the chocolate just got stuck in it. The filling was soft but firmed up perfectly after an hour in the fridge.

I haven't made this recipe before..but on the missing indgredients..My family ususally adds crushed peppermint, touch of vanilla and mini chocolate chips to the ricotta mixture and dip the ends in ground pistacios. Take it from an Italian who knows.

I found this recipe to be quite good used as a variation to the traditional recipe. we enjoyed it. Canolli recipes are hard to come by. and I enjoy adding to my collection. Thanks so much

Followed the directions EXACTLY, except mixed ingredients by hand. Added sugar and vanilla to taste and it was tasty. Cannoli filling came out a bit thin. Maybe one should use cream cheese instead of ricotta cheese?

This needs many ingredients that are missing. Real cannolis have sugar, vanilla, and other ingredients I can't remember. Would be nice if Cannoli shell recipe was added.

I would have really liked to have had a recipe to make my own cannoli shells. The filling was a little bland, so I added about 1/2 cup more ricotta.

Too creamy and bland. The filling needs more flavor and needs to be sweeter.


You can definitely make this cannoli pie pan, but I love to use a tart pan (making it a cannoli tart! I love making desserts in a tart pan! It gives the crust such a nice, neat fluted look, plus the removable bottom makes them so much easier to assemble, slice, and serve! But it works just as well in a glass or metal pie pan of your choice — it’s no-bake, so any pan you like should work!

Holy Cannoli! 6 Easy Twists on Your Favorite Italian Dessert

First, choose your twist. In a medium bowl, gently fold 1 cup fresh ricotta, 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, and the fold in ingredients (see below). Spoon the ricotta mixture into a gallon-size resealable plastic bag, pushing the mixture down into 1 corner of the bag. Snip a 1/2-inch hole in the corner. Pipe the ricotta mixture into 4 store-bought cannoli shells that are about 5 inches long. Add the garnish ingredients. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Makes 4.

Bonus:ꃺncy up your cannoli by dipping the ends in melted chocolate. Let rest on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper until the chocolate sets before you add your filling.

1. Pumpkin-Pepita Crunch

Fold in: 1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin and 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Garnish: salted roasted pepitas

2. Mochaccino Sundae

Fold in: 1 tsp. unsweetened਌ocoa powder and 1/4 tsp. instant espresso

Garnish: chopped maraschino਌herries

3. Spiked Lemon

Fold in: 2 tbsp. limoncello (lemon liqueur)

Garnish with: lemon zest

4. Dark Cherry-Chocolate

Fold in: 1/4 cup drained Luxardo cherries, chopped and 1/4 cup finely chopped dark chocolate

Garnish with: grated dark chocolate

5. Zesty Fruit & Nut

Fold in: 1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries,ਁ tsp. orange zest, and 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Garnish with: chopped roasted salted pistachios

6. Tropical Rum Cake

Fold in: 2 tbsp. pineapple jam, 2 tbsp. golden raisins,਌hopped, 2 tsp. rum, and 1/4 tsp. ground allspice

Garnish with: toasted sweetened shredded coconut and chopped dried papaya

Watch the video: Σιφόν Κέικ. Άκης Πετρετζίκης (July 2022).


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