Cannoli Roulade – #FirstOnTheFirst

by Kate on January 1, 2013

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Roulade, swiss roll, jelly roll, cake roll. There are so many names but whatever you call it, a spongy cake rolled around any number of fillings is just plain good!  This month for First on the First, Carrie and I challenged all of you to make a swiss roll. Truth be told, this is not a first for me. When Carrie and I put it on the list a year ago I hadn’t ever made one but let’s flash forward to summertime. I created a Pina Colada Angel Food Cake Roll for Bake Together, completely forgetting it was on our list for First on the First. But I can say I am not the least bit upset about making another one.

They’re easy to make and I love the swirly look of them. There’s also something really fantastic about the filling to cake ratio. If you’re a “filling person,” this cake’s for you! You’ll be getting that goodness in each bite. For my variation, whipped mascarpone cheese and ricotta mingle with a bit of orange zest and mini-chocolate chips which gets rolled up in a cinnamon-kissed sponge cake.

Cannoli Roulade 2

Cannoli are one of my all-time favorite desserts. I love the flavors. So much so that I would, could and have eaten them at all hours of the day. I even make Cannoli Pancakes that are ridiculously good! This roulade does a nice job of capturing that flavor in cake form.

Wishing you a very Happy New Year!! In the new year, you should try something new in the kitchen with us. Hope to see your lovely creations and you don’t even need to be a blogger to join in the First on the First fun. For February, we’ll be making Florentine Cookies. Hope you’ll make a batch or two with us!



One Year Ago: Lavender-Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

Two Years Ago: Cranberry Pear Pie

Cannoli Roulade

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 1 rolled cake

Cannoli Roulade

Whipped mascarpone cheese and ricotta mingle with a bit of orange zest and mini-chocolate chips which gets rolled up in a cinnamon-kissed sponge cake to create a Cannoli Roulade.


    For Cake:
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • For Filling:
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese, (drained overnight in cheesecloth)
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest


    Make the cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 10-by-15-inch jelly roll pan and line it with parchment paper, then butter the paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat together egg yolks with 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar, vanilla extract and almond extract until fluffy.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the cake flour and cinnamon. Add the flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture and fold in.
  4. In a very clean glass or metal bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of granulated sugar slowly and beat until the whites are glossy.
  5. Fold the whites into the yolk mixture just until no streaks remain.
  6. Quickly fold in the melted butter and spread the batter in the prepared pan.
  7. Bake in the lower third of the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden and puffy. Let cool on a cooling rack, in the pan for 15 minutes.
  8. Dust a clean dishtowel with a light coat of confectioners’ sugar. Set aside.
  9. To remove the cake, gently use a butter knife to loosen the cake from the edges of the pan. Invert the pan over the dishtowel and remove the pan from the cake then peel off the parchment paper. Roll the cake up on the towel, jelly roll style and allow it to cool completely on a rack.
  10. Make the filling:
  11. While the cake is cooling, beat together the ricotta and mascarpone cheese until fluffy. Beat in the confectioners's sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and beat one more time to incorporate.
  12. Fold in the chocolate chips and orange zest. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
  13. Assemble the cake:
  14. Gently unroll the cooled cake. Spread the cannoli filling over the cake leaving about 1/2-inch border
  15. Gently roll the cake back up and place it seam side down on a serving plate. Dust with cinnamon, if desired.
  16. Enjoy!

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Carrie @ poet in the pantry January 1, 2013 at 9:09 am

Very nice job! LOVE cannoli, too. Maybe I’ll try your recipe next time and hope for better results!


Kate January 2, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Thanks Carrie! Sorry your roll wasn’t all you hoped it would be but with a little practice, I’m sure you’ll get it next time 🙂


Colleen, The Smart Cookie Cook January 1, 2013 at 4:51 pm

I am definitely a filling person, and this sound so, so good! It’s gorgeous too. The only thing better than a cannoli itself is cannoli cake!


Kate January 2, 2013 at 10:27 pm

Thanks Colleen! I’m so glad you like this. I’m such a filling person too!


Deanna Segrave-Daly January 1, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Oh my goodness – like you, cannoli is one of favorite desserts ever (in all honesty for the filling) and this dessert looks DIVINE! I need to check out those cannoli pancakes – 2 of my loves coming together. I apologize that Serena and I have fallen off the #FirstontheFirst band wagon as late – we’ll try to regroup for Florentine cookies – happy new year!!


Kate January 2, 2013 at 10:27 pm

It’s all about the filling!! Truly, my favorite part of a cannoli. I’m so glad you like this and hope to see you guys in the new year. Happy New Year!


Coleen @ TheRedheadBaker January 2, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Sounds delicious! And so much easier than frying cannoli shells!


Kate January 2, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Thank you Coleen!


Holly January 2, 2013 at 3:21 pm

I received a lovely flexible baking tray perfect for a swiss roll for Christmas and can’t wait to try your recipe soon!


Kate January 2, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Thanks! I hope you like it Holly!


ChristineM January 2, 2013 at 4:08 pm

wow….. always wanted to try a roll let alone a cannoli roll!


Kate January 2, 2013 at 10:30 pm

It is SO good! I love cannoli filling any way I can get it and this was one of my favorite cannoli creations so far.


Donna @ What the Dog Ate January 3, 2013 at 12:15 am

That sounds like an amazing flavor combo. Yum.


Kate January 3, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Thanks Donna! I was just thinking about you the other day. Hope all is well!


Anna (Hidden Ponies) January 4, 2013 at 1:41 am

This turned out beautifully! I love the filling ratio. I need to be more organized for this month, I’ve never even heard of florentine cookies so obviously I need to make them! Happy new year Kate!


Kate January 4, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Well, you’ve had a lot on your plate lately but we miss you!! Hope to see you next month and I’m so glad you liked my cannoli creation. Happy New Year!


Rachel @ I Love My Disorganized Life January 7, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Kate, I have always steered clear of rolls. Oh, I EAT them, I am just nervous to make them! BUT, this filling looks and sounds so very delicious that I think I am going to have to force myself to try it! I love mascarpone cheese and who DOESN’T like cake? {Well, actually my 16 year old, but she’s weird}. I am so glad you shared this at Wicked Good Wednesdays and can’t wait to see what you bring for us next week!


Kate January 7, 2013 at 8:57 pm

Thank you Rachel! I’m so glad you liked my cannoli roulade and may even brave making it 😉 Oh, and my oldest daughter turns 15 this week… I think they’re all a little weird at this age 😉 Thanks again and thanks for hosting!


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