Destiny’s Italian Creme Cake
This is a very exciting, but very busy time in my life! I’m working on my thesis project, with about less than two weeks to finish writing and editing. I am very nervous, but happy that I finally have the opportunity to finish writing the young adult novel that I have been working on for over a year. Next week, I will begin my last semester at Southern New Hampshire University. I can’t believe it; I am graduating with my master’s degree in about three months. With the stress of my project, COVID-19 situation, missing my friends and family, I decided to step away from the computer and hop into the kitchen to do some stress-relieving baking.
I love baking sweet treats for my friends and family, and due to social distancing and for the safety of my health, I won’t be able to see my friends for their birthdays this week. I thought about how I used to ship out baked goods to my clients when I used to have my online bakery and decided to surprise them with cupcakes for their birthdays. For the past week, I have made three different kinds of cakes and cupcakes to send out to my three best friends and sisters, Julie, Olga, and Ashley. This week I would like to share my take on my family’s Italian cake from my kitchen to yours. It’s a vanilla-almond sponge cake filled with cannoli cream, and the frosting is made with mascarpone cheese. It’s my family’s favorite, and this year my bestie, Julie, requested it as her birthday cake. I have added photos for you to see below the recipe. My mom says the cake tastes like a cannoli. It’s moist, sweet, and creamy, so if you love Italian desserts, you will love this cake.
- 2 sticks of salted butter
- 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups of cake flour (Cake flour helps the cake to be light and fluffy.)
- 1 Tablespoon of baking powder
- 1 ½ cups of sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 1 Tablespoon of almond extract
- ¾ cup of heavy whipping cream
- In a bowl, whisk together both flours and baking powder. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Add the eggs and mix to incorporate fully.
- Switch to low speed. Gradually add the flour mixture in 2 batches, beating just until combined, stopping to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Do not over-beat.
- In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together both extracts and heavy cream.
- Pour cream mixture slowly while the dry ingredients are being incorporated with the wet ingredients.
- Mix batter until it is smooth and blended well.
- Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spray two nine-inch round cake pans with baking spray and line with parchment paper. Fill cake pans with batter 2/3 of the way.
Baking tip: Use a cake batter dispenser to fill the pans evenly.
- Bake cakes for 25-30 minutes. Time may vary depending on the type of oven you have.
- While the cakes are in the oven, prepare the filling.
Cannoli Cream Filling
- 2 cups of whole milk ricotta cheese
- ¾ cup of powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon of allspice
- ¼ cup of heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 lemon
- In a medium bowl, whisk the ricotta cheese until smooth. You may need to drain the ricotta before whisking it because it will make the filling watery. Sift in the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and allspice. Mix to blend.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the cream into the ricotta mixture.
- Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Add lemon zest and stir it into the ricotta mixture.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour before using it.
- 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar
- 16 ounces of mascarpone cheese
- 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
- In another bowl, whisk together mascarpone cheese and confectioner’s sugar until smooth.
- Add the vanilla extract to the bowl of whipped heavy cream, and mix for thirty seconds.
- Gently fold whipped cream into the mascarpone cheese mixture until completely incorporated.
Assembling the cake and decorating tips:
- Use a turntable to help you layer and frost the cake. Before placing the cake on the table, lay down a piece of parchment paper or a ten-inch cake board.
- Place the thickest cake first. Using a butter knife, trace the outskirts of the cake to make it easier to slide out the pan and onto the turntable.
- Trim the cake as needed to make it level.
- Using a piping bag and your chosen tip, pipe a thick line of frosting on the edge of the cake. Next, fill in the circle with the cannoli cream.
- Before adding the next cake, cut the second cake in half using a serrated knife. Cutting the second cake in half will allow you to add more filling into the cake and create a three-layer cake.
- Once you have the cake layers built, use an offset spatula to frost the cake. Make a simple vanilla buttercream frosting to crumb coat the cake. Then place the cake in the refrigerator for at least thirty minutes before putting the Italian icing on.
- I recommend using Wilton gel food coloring if you would like to color the frosting. Use different piping tips, fondant flowers, sugar flowers, sprinkles, whatever your heart desires to decorate your cake. I used purple sprinkles and two mini cannolis and chocolate sauce to decorate the cake below.
I hope you enjoy making this recipe as much as I had fun making it for my best friend’s birthday.