Cannoli Sheet Cake

Embedded with dark chocolate chunks and topped with an ethereal ricotta icing, this sheet cake is a delicate, soft take on the crunchy Italian classic.

4.3 from 4 reviews
Cannoli Sheet Cake
Makes 1 (13x9-inch) cake
  • 1¾ cups (385 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs (150 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon (13 grams) vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 1½ cups (360 grams) whole buttermilk
  • 1 cup (170 grams) chopped 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate
  • Whipped Ricotta Icing (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: chopped chocolate, chopped pistachios
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 13x9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together brown sugar and melted butter until combined. Add eggs and vanilla, stirring until well combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, stirring just until combined after each addition. Fold in chocolate. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with an offset spatula.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Top with Whipped Ricotta Icing. Garnish with chocolate and pistachios, if desired. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

4.3 from 4 reviews
Whipped Ricotta Icing
Makes about 6 cups
  • ¾ cup (169 grams) whole-milk ricotta cheese*
  • 2 ounces (55 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) fresh orange juice
  • ½ teaspoon (2 grams) vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups (240 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 cups (480 grams) heavy whipping cream
  1. In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse together ricotta, cream cheese, orange juice, vanilla, and salt until completely smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large bowl; whisk in confectioners’ sugar.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat cream at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into ricotta mixture in three batches. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
*It is important to use a high-quality ricotta cheese, so that it won't break when creating the icing. We used Polly-O, available at local grocery stores. •



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  1. By far one of the best tasting cakes I’ve ever made. The cake is light and moist. And the whipped topping is divine. We want to eat that by the spoonful.

  2. Overall felt a little dry/bland. I cooked on the lower side of the required minutes. Wouldn’t make again, but if I did I would have soaked it in a simple syrup!

  3. Ye gods – thought we had died and gone to heaven. I literally had to drag my husbands face out of the bowl that the frosting had been made in – fantastic stuff! Loved this recipe – I added 1/2 tsp of espresso powder to cake mix (omg, so good); I think next time, I’ll either refrain from putting all the batter into the 9×13 pan *or* maybe go with a slightly larger pan. There were no problems with cake – we just prefer our pieces to be a bit thinner. Seriously excellent recipe – one that was thoroughly enjoyed by all.


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