Chocolate Prune Cannoli Cake

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Chocolate Prune Cannoli Cake

Studded with jewels of fruity California Prunes and chopped chocolate and then topped with a cloudlike coating of Whipped Ricotta Frosting, this Chocolate Prune Cannoli Cake takes the flavors of an Italian classic and transforms them into a simple yet sophisticated sheet cake. Tender vanilla cake is sweetened by a combination of brown sugar and prune purée, giving this cake a naturally sweet, caramelized flavor. Add to that the tang of buttermilk, a slightly bitter bite of dark chocolate, and chopped California Prunes for a chewy pop of sweetness, and you have a beautifully balanced cake. Blanketed in Whipped Ricotta Frosting and sprinkled with chopped pistachios and just a little more chocolate, this cake is sure to become your new favorite shareable treat.

Whether you’re looking to reduce added sugar in your recipes or need a sweet and fruity element in your bakes with a satisfyingly chewy texture, California Prunes are the multifaceted fruit to meet all your baking needs. Rich and smooth, with an ability to enhance both sweet and savory flavors, California Prunes are naturally nutritious and versatile. Try them whole, diced, or puréed in all your favorite sweets, cakes, sauces, and other bakes. California Prunes not only add unmatched natural sweetness to your bakes but also pack a powerful punch of important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. To learn more and find other inspired recipes, go to

Chocolate Prune Cannoli Cake
Makes 1 (13x9-inch) cake
  • 1 cup (220 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup (212 grams) prune purée (see Note)
  • ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs (150 grams), room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (13 grams) vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (375 grams) plus 1 teaspoon (3 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 1½ cups (360 grams) whole buttermilk, room temperature
  • 3 ounces (86 grams) 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate, chopped (about ½ cup)
  • ½ cup (92 grams) ¼-inch-chopped California Prunes
  • Whipped Ricotta Frosting (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: chopped bittersweet chocolate, chopped pistachios
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, prune purée, and melted butter until combined. Add eggs and vanilla, whisking until well combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 cups (375 grams) 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.
  4. In a small bowl, combine chocolate, chopped prunes, and remaining 1 teaspoon (3 grams) flour, tossing to coat; fold chocolate mixture into batter. Spoon batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with an offset spatula.
  5. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. Spoon and spread Whipped Ricotta Frosting on top of cooled cake. Garnish with chocolate and pistachios, if desired. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Note: To make prune purée, place 5 ounces (142 grams) halved California Prunes (about a rounded ¾ cup) in a medium heatproof bowl; pour ½ cup (120 grams) boiling water over prunes so they are just submerged. Let stand for 15 minutes. In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse prune mixture until puréed. (It’s OK if some prune flecks remain.) Measure purée needed for recipe. Any remaining prune purée makes a great addition to oatmeal, smoothies, peanut butter sandwiches, and more.

Whipped Ricotta Frosting
Makes about 6 cups
  • 2 ounces (57 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • ⅔ cup (150 grams) double-cream ricotta cheese (see Note)
  • ½ teaspoon (2 grams) vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups (240 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 cups (480 grams) cold heavy whipping cream
  1. In a large bowl, stir cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add ricotta, vanilla, and salt; stir until well combined. Add confectioners’ sugar; whisk until smooth and well combined. (Mixture will be rather loose at this point.)
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat cold cream at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into ricotta mixture in three additions. Use immediately.
Note: We used double-cream ricotta cheese, which does not include whey among its ingredients; this results in a thicker frosting. The recipe will still work with regular whole-milk ricotta (with whey), but expect your frosting to be looser in consistency.


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