This is one of those cakes you make when you are having a dinner party!  It looks so impressive and it’s so delicious.  You can make it the day ahead and refrigerate it and it’s even better the next day!

  • 663373DF-3E29-4C46-8559-CB8FD8FD401D1 Package French vanilla or white cake mix (regular size, make according to package directions, usually calls for vegetable oil, water and eggs)


  • 1 carton (15 oz.) ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 C confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 ounces semisweet miniature chocolate chips
  • Optional (1 T Malibu Coconut rum)

Whipped Cream Frosting:

  • 2 C reg. whipping cream (1 pt. is 2 cups)
  • 3 T confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 1 C dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 C whipping cream

Optional for Garnish

  • 1 bottle candied cherries
  • 1 C chopped walnuts or pecans
  • whole store-bought cannoli for the top


Prepare and bake the cake mix according to package directions, using two greased and floured 8 inch round baking pans.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, confectioners’ sugar, cinnamon and extracts mix until well blended; stir in chocolate chips. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Beat the whipping cream on high speed in bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form.  Beat in sugar and vanilla.  Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Make Ganache:  In a microwave safe bowl, add chocolate chips and whipping cream.  Microwave on HIGH for 1 min. and 10 seconds.  Whisk together until completely combined.  Set aside on counter to cool and make sure it cools completely before dripping on the cake. (Store any unused ganache in refrigerator.)

After cake is completely cooled, cut each cake in half down the middle with a large serrated knife.  Place first cake layer on a serving plate, spread with about 3/4 C of the ricotta filling, place another layer of cake, spread with about 3/4 C of the ricotta filling, place 3rd layer and spread the remaining filling. Top with last layer of cake.fullsizeoutput_aadf


Frost top and sides of cake with whipped cream frosting.  Spread nuts on top of cake.  Use a spoon, drip chocolate ganache around the edge of the cake and let it run down the sides.  Place candied cherries around the top of the cake.  Place the whole store-bought cannoli on top of the cake in the center.  Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.

Yield 12 servings

Note: I found this handy filled pastry bag, so easy to use and it helps keep the filling from coming out, just squeeze it around each layer of cake and put the filling inside of it!