Chocolate Swirled Cannoli Cake

Day 94:  “The Cake Mix Doctor Returns

April 4, 2011

Cannoli in a cake form? If you have ever had fresh cannoli you will know why this cake intrigued me. I have had good cannoli and I have had great cannoli! Just thinking about the great cannoli has my mouth-watering. Did you know that grocery store bakeries now carry ready-made cannoli shells? Need a fancy dessert to make in mintues….cannoli is the way to go! Simply make the frosting as listed below and place in a ziplock bag, snip a corner and pipe into premade cannoli shells.

The author of this cookbook is famous for taking store ingredients and turning them into new and different taste sensations. Did you know that 90% of home cooks when baking a cake use a mix? So it is genius that she takes those same mixes but with some simple additions can turn a cake into a show stopper. How about a homemade wedding cake? Her first book almost 10 years ago was a smashing hit. Taking a box mix and just adding some love to it will yield amazing results! Remember the Oreo Cupcakes I made? This was from her cupcake cookbook. Fun cookbook to try to expand your cake making skills. Think about finding a signature cake for each member of your family to celebrate those special milestones!

The Ruling: You must wait for the cake to cool before frosting it…..I didn’t. You also need to use mini chips….we had regular chips. I loved the cake. But what I loved the most was the frosting. Give me a couple of spoonfuls of that and I am a happy girl!

Chocolate Swirled Cannoli Cake


  • Vegetable oil spray, for misting the pans
  • Flour, for dusting the pans
  • 1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow or vanilla cake mix
  • 1¼ cups milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • ½ cup (3 ounces) miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

 For the frosting

  • 1 container (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar, or more to taste, sifted
  • 1 container (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup (3 ounces) miniature semisweet chocolate chips

 For the garnish (optional)

  • Dusting of ground cinnamon
  • Dusting of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Candied orange zest


  1. Make the cake: Place a rack in the center of the oven and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly mist two 9-inch round cake pans with vegetable oil spray, then dust them with flour.  Shake out the excess flour and set the pans aside.
  2. Place the cake mix, milk, oil, eggs and almond extract in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients come together, 30 seconds.  Stop the machine and scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until the batter is smooth and thickened, 1½ minutes longer, scraping down the side of the bowl again if needed.  The batter should look smooth and thick.
  3. Measure out 1 cup of cake batter and place it in a small bowl.  Stir in the ½ cup of chocolate chips and cocoa powder.  Divide the remaining cake batter evenly between the 2 prepared cake pans, smoothing the tops with the rubber spatula.   Drop the chocolate cake batter by teaspoonfuls over the batter in both pans.  Using a dinner knife, swirl the chocolate batter through the plain batter to marble it.  Take care not to scrape the bottom of the pans.  Place the pans in the oven side by side.
  4. Bake the cake layers until the tops spring back when lightly pressed with a finger, 28 to 32 minutes.  Transfer the cake pans to wire racks and let the cake layers cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make the frosting: Place the ricotta cheese, confectioners’ sugar, whipped topping, vanilla, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until just combined, 15 seconds.  Taste for sweetness, adding more confectioners’ sugar if necessary.  Using a rubber spatula, fold in the ½ cup of chocolate chips.  Refrigerate the frosting until it is time to assemble the cake.
  6. Run a sharp knife around the edge of each cake layer and give the pans a good shake to loosen the cakes.  Invert each layer onto a wire rack, then invert it again onto another rack so that the cakes are right side up.  Let the layers cool completely, 15 minutes longer.
  7. To assemble the cake, transfer one layer, right side up, to a cake plate.  Spread the top with some of the frosting.  Place the second layer, right side up on top of the first and generously frost the top.  Working with smooth, clean strokes, spread the remaining frosting over the side of the cake.  Garnish the cake with a sprinkling of cinnamon or cocoa powder or with the candied orange zest.


To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at  For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

If you try any of my suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  It helps me to understand what my readers want me to write about and what they think is a waste of their time….thanks for taking the time to help me out.



Filed under Sweets

2 responses to “Chocolate Swirled Cannoli Cake

  1. Pingback: Week In Review: April 2, 2011 | 365clevercookbooks

  2. Pingback: Family Meals | MS. Simplicity

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