Cannoli naked cake is a layered vanilla cake filled with cannoli cream and frosted with vanilla buttercream. It is perfect for any cannoli lover!
I don’t think I need to even begin to tell you what a big deal it is for me to post a recipe like this. It basically has nothing to do with beer, except for maybe the beer pairing.
I definitely don’t bake cakes…like ever.
I have no patience for decorating, and let’s be honest…Zach and I could never eat an entire cake like this by ourselves.
But here we are, and I baked you guys a cake. It’s not like I haven’t baked cakes before. I have. I really, really have, but my cakes usually come in the form of coffee cakes, crumble cakes, and pancakes. :) I don’t do layer cakes on a normal basis.
When my sister was coming to visit, she had one request. She wanted to bake. I told her that I hate to bake. I am a terrible baker, but I will do it for her. The thing about my sister is that she is an amazing baker. While she is an atmospheric scientist just like Zach is, she has an extremely creative side to her. She can paint and whip up some pretty amazing pottery. She is also very patient…something that I seriously lack.
I told her, that for her, I would bake a layer cake with her. So we sat down, came up with the flavors we like best…me – vanilla…her – cannoli…and we smashed them together into one amazing cake.
I was actually pleased to find that we only needed to bake this cake one time. We took our time, and the result was marvelous. From the cushiony cake layers to the tangy cannoli cream and sweet vanilla buttercream, this cake has it all.
While I don’t know if I will be making another layer cake any time soon, especially without her. I am so happy that I finally was able to post one. I hope you guys enjoy it as much as we did! Pair this cannoli naked cake with a vanilla porter. It will be a match made in heaven!
Disclaimer: I am fully aware of the inauthenticity of the cannoli cream. I know that cannoli cream does not usually involve cream cheese. That being said, cannoli cream can get watery, and I wanted an additional ingredient to kind of hold it together. The cream cheese did just that.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk, more as needed
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and spray 4 6-inch cake pans heavily with a nonstick spray. Sprinkle them with flour and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, with paddle attachment fixed, cream the butter and sugar together. Beat for about 2 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract, and then beat in each egg, one at a time. With the mixer set on low speed, mix in 1/2 cup of the buttermilk. Next add 1/3 of the flour mixture, and then mix in the remaining buttermilk. Add an additional 1/3 of the flour mixture, 1 cup of milk, and then the remaining 1/3 of flour mixture. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold the ingredients together if you still have traces of flour. Divide the batter equally among the 4 cake pans.
Bake the cakes for 30 minutes or until brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean. Let them cool completely in the pan.
While your cakes are cooling, prepare your cannoli cream filling and vanilla buttercream. For the cannoli cream, add the heavy cream to the bowl of your stand mixer with whisk attachment fixed. Beat until soft peaks form. Set aside. Also to the bowl of your stand mixer, with whisk attachment fixed, add the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and ground cinnamon. Beat on medium speed for about 1 minute. Remove the bowl from the mixer and then fold in the whipped cream. Place in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, with paddle attachment fixed, beat the powdered sugar, salt, butter, and vanilla extract until smooth. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the consistency you desire. It should be intact but still spreadable. Set aside.
To assemble your cake, place one cake layer on work surface. Pipe buttercream along the inside edge to create a small well. Place about 1/3 cup of cannoli cream in the center and spread it around, meeting the edge of the buttercream well. Top the cannoli cream with a couple tablespoons of buttercream and spread. Place the second cake layer on top, and repeat with the buttercream well and cannoli cream. Do this a third time. When you reach the fourth cake layer, you are finished with the cannoli cream. Refrigerate any extra for use later on. Using your remaining buttercream, dollop a couple of tablespoons on top. Spread it out evenly. Also dollop buttercream along the creases of the cakes, and spread out evenly. Enjoy!
This video is perfect for showing you how to decorate a naked cake.
Baking times may vary. I live at a very high altitude, so my cakes tend to take a little longer to bake. I actually baked my cakes at 365 degrees F for almost 40 minutes and they came out perfectly. Take note of this when you are baking your cakes, and start to check them at the 25 minute mark for doneness.