Gluten Free Cannoli Cake

Three layers of gluten free sponge cake filled with chocolate chip cannoli-style filling, covered with delicious and sturdy frosting, smothered in toasted almonds, and for the finale, topped with heavenly chocolate-dipped cannoli. An Italian dream!

Gluten Free Cannoli Cake

This stunning gluten free cannoli cake is dressed to impress and tastes just as amazing. It’s the perfect complement to any Italian dinner.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Ingredient Keyword chocolate, Marscarpone Cheese, ricotta cheese, sponge cake
Prep Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 25 minutes
Servings 12


  • For the Cannoli Filling:
  • 10 ounces gluten-free ricotta cheese 2/3 of a 15-ounces container, drained in a cheesecloth-lined mesh strainer a day in advance if runny
  • 16 ounces gluten-free mascarpone cheese
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 ounces gluten-free mini chocolate chips divided
  • For the Cannoli Shells:
  • 1 recipe cannoli you only need 12 small cannoli
  • 10 ounces gluten free chocolate chopped (or mini gluten free chocolate chips), melted
  • 1 teaspoon shortening Spectrum Organic
  • For the Cake:
  • 2 (doublrecipe for gluten free sponge cake sliced into three layers
  • For the Frosting and Garnish:
  • 2 doublrecipe for Ermine Frosting (or homemade whipped cream
  • 1-1/2 cups blanched sliced almonds or as needed


  1. To Make the Filling:
  2. Be sure that you drain the ricotta the night before or up to 2 days in advance.
  3. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat together the ricotta and mascarpone cheeses until creamy. Add and beat in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to fill the shells.
  4. To Make the Cake:
  5. Oil three 8 x 8-inch round pans. Line their bottoms with parchment paper and oil again; set aside. Preheat the oven to 350°F with two shelves close to the center (or one, if you have a very large oven).
  6. Make the cake batter for the Sponge Cake according to the directions. Distribute the batter evenly between the prepared pans. If baking on 2 shelves, place one pan in the front on one shelf and two in the back on the other shelf, or vice versa. Bake 25 minutes or until the cakes spring back when lightly touched. Exchange the pan positions and shelves midway through baking.
  7. While the cake layers bake, Begin gathering the ingredients for the cannoli shells.
  8. Set cakes on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes in their pans. Oil the wire rack and remove cakes from their pans. Place them directly on the wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Once the cake cools, wrap each layer in plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the cake.
  10. To Make the Cannoli Shells:
  11. While the cakes cool, make the cannoli shells as instructed in the above-linked recipe.
  12. Once cooled, melt the chocolate and shortening in a double boiler or over a bain marie (a bowl over a saucepan of 2 inches of simmering water with the bowl NOT touching the water). (If you over cook the chocolate, it will seize up on you and you need to immediately cool it by adding more chocolate. Even placing the bowl on a piece of frozen food will help as well.)
  13. Dip at least 12 of the shells in the melted chocolate, allow the excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl, and transfer the dipped shells to a parchment-lined baking sheet until completely set.
  14. To Make the Frosting and Roasted Almonds:
  15. Make the frosting as directed at the above link for Ermine Frosting or Homemade Sweetened Whipped Cream. Set the frosting aside or refrigerate the whipped cream until you are ready to frost the cake.
  16. Roast the almonds in an ungreased skillet for about 5 minutes or until golden brown, stirring constantly; remove from the skillet; set aside to cool.
  17. To Assemble the Cake:
  18. Spoon about one-third of the filling on the first layer of the unwrapped cake. Top with the second layer and repeat. Finally, add the final cake layer on top of the filling. Ensure your cake top is level. If not, push it down where needed.
  19. Frost the top of the cake, then the sides. Immediately add the almonds to the sides of the cake before the frosting sets. Pipe any decorations you desire on top. Make the decorations high to support the cannoli.
  20. Add the cannoli on top and be sure to use the high mounds on the outside edge to support the cannoli.
  21. Cover and refrigerate the cake. The cake will absorb moisture from the filling and become nice and moist.
  22. Notes:
  23. You can even baste the top of each sponge layer with rum if desired.
  24. It’s best to roast more almonds than you’ll need. Then, you can pick and choose the whole slices to make the cake look its best. There will be many broken slices in a package.


You can even baste the top of each sponge layer with rum if desired.
It’s best to roast more almonds than you’ll need. Then, you can pick and choose the whole slices to make the cake look its best. There will be many broken slices in a package.





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