Chocolate Cannoli Bundt Cake is the decadent date-night dessert you deserve! This inside out cannoli cake recipe is packed with creamy cannoli cream inside a moist chocolate bundt cake.

A perfect date night at home needs a decadent dessert. Chocolate Cannoli Bundt Cake is a my new spin on the classic cannoli cake.

It’s a rich, chocolate bundt cake with a cream cheese and ricotta filling bursting with cannoli flavor and MORE chocolate chips!

Growing up in an Italian-American family (with a mix of Irish and German tossed in too), cannoli were a big treat. As soon as you’d see a white box with a red string enter your house, you’d know there were cannoli inside.

Italian bakeries are a dime a dozen in the NYC suburb that I grew up in and as you can imagine, there was no shortage of those amazingly delicious cream-filled Italian desserts. And I always always ALWAYS picked the cannoli from the box for my dessert.

Over the past few years, I’ve been dreaming up other ways to incorporate cannoli filling into my desserts – like in those poppable cannoli bites – and this cannoli filled chocolate bundt cake seemed like a genius way to do it.

It’s easier than it looks to make and I run through a basic ingredient list and set of instructions below but be sure to keep scrolling down to the green recipe card for the full details.

Ingredients

This is a basic shopping list for the best chocolate cannoli cake. As a quick note, I definitely recommend buying full-fat ingredients to ensure a super moist cake.

For the cannoli filling:

  • Softened cream cheese
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Sugar
  • Orange zest
  • Sweet Marsala wine
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Egg
  • All-purpose flour
  • Mini chocolate chips

For the chocolate bundt cake:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • Sugar
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Espresso powder – optional but highly recommended to boost the chocolate flavor
  • Canola or vegetable oil
  • Large eggs
  • Sour cream
  • Buttermilk
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Boiling hot water

For serving (all optional!):

  • Powdered sugar
  • Whipped cream 
  • Hot fudge sauce

What Is the Difference Between a Bundt Cake and a Regular Cake?

A bundt cake is simply a cake baked in a bundt pan, but there are some characteristics of bundt cake recipes versus traditional sheet cakes or layer cakes that make them different.

When making a bundt cake, you want a super moist cake like pound cake or coffee cake. Since it’s more exposed to heat with the hole in the center, the extra heat can easily dry out a regular cake.

To remedy this, I use all full-fat ingredients in my bundt cake recipes. The fat in the ingredients will help to keep the cake extra soft and moist.

Also, when using a bundt cake pan, make sure you grease and flour every inch of the pan to avoid cakes sticking! There are lots of little crevices in the pan!

How to Make Chocolate Cannoli Bundt Cake

Here are some tips and tricks to make the perfect cannoli cake at home, but you’ll find the full steps and ingredients for this chocolate bundt cake in the green recipe card below!

STEP 1: First, make the cannoli filling! This is a little different than a regular cannoli cream since there’s an egg and some cream cheese in it. Beat the filling ingredients together with a hand mixer until super smooth. Then, stir the chocolate chips in a little flour until they’re all coated, and add the two to the cream cheese mixture. The flour will prevent the chips from sinking. I fold them in by hand so they’re evenly distributed. Cover and chill this until it’s time to bake the cake.

STEP 2: Then, make sure your bundt pan is well greased and dusted with flour or baking spray. Don’t miss a single corner here!

STEP 3: Sift the cocoa powder into the flour, and whisk in rest of the dry ingredients. Don’t forget the espresso powder! This cake won’t taste like coffee, but it will be one of the richest chocolate cakes you’ve ever had!

STEP 4: Now, mix the wet ingredients together and then pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently whisk until it’s completely combined.

STEP 5: Next, whisk in the hot water — and I do mean HOT. This will make your batter easily pourable and completely combined. 

STEP 6: Pour half of the batter into the bundt pan, then top with cannoli cream. You want plenty of cream, but keep it away from the edges to avoid leaks. Then, pour the rest of the batter evenly over the cannoli cream. 

STEP 7: Now, bake the cake until an inserted toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs on it.

STEP 8: Finally, let the cake cool at least 2 hours before tipping the pan onto a cooling rack. Once cooled completely, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least 2 hours. 

To serve this chocolate cannoli cake, dust it with powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream and hot fudge. None of this is required, but they’re definitely recommended.

What Size Bundt Pan?

For this recipe, you’ll need a bundt pan that is 10-inches in diameter and that holds 12 cups of liquid. It’s important to know the size of your bundt pan before starting a recipe because the amount of batter varies between recipes. 

And you don’t want to overflow your pan!

Generally, bundt pans used to only come in 1 size (10-inches, 12 cups), but these days there are lots of new bundt pan options you can buy.

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This is an updated version of the bundt pan I have and have been using for yeeeears. It’s a basic pan which gives you that classic bundt cake shape I’m sure you’re most familiar with.

How Long Should You Wait Before Removing a Cake from a Bundt Pan?

A bundt cake is a beautiful, fluffy dessert, but it’s so sad when it sticks to the pan.

For the cleanest bundt cake removal, let this cake cool in the pan for about 2 hours. Then, turn it out gently onto a cooling rack. This extended cooling time will allow the cannoli filling to set up in the cake before you tip the cake out of the pan.

Bundt cakes that don’t have fillings can cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack.

Keeping A Bundt Cake Fresh

I always store my bundt cakes in my bundt cake keeper at room temperature. It’s the perfect shape for this cake and seals out air to keep the cake fresh for longer. 

You can also wrap a bundt cake tightly in plastic wrap and keep it on the counter.

Keep this cannoli cake in the fridge, wrapped in plastic. The filling needs to stay cold in order to avoid spoiling at room temperature. 

What to Serve with Bundt Cake

I may just eat this leftover chocolate cannoli cake for breakfast with some coffee. It’s that good!

Whether it’s a dessert-for-breakfast day or just a decadent dish after dinner, wash it down with an ice cold glass of milk or a frothy homemade latte!

Too hot for coffee, you say? Make it an iced latte. There’s no shortage of ways and flavors of lattes you can make.

I even make my own homemade vanilla syrup and cinnamon dolce syrup for the best lattes!

Chocolate Cannoli Bundt Cake

Chocolate Cannoli Bundt Cake

Yield: 12 to 16 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Cooling Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 7 hours 25 minutes

Chocolate cannoli bundt cake is a twist on a basic chocolate cake that meshes perfectly with the classic Italian cannoli dessert.

Ingredients

For the cannoli filling:

  • 8 oz (252 g) cream cheese (full-fat), softened
  • 4 oz ricotta cheese (full-fat)
  • ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp orange zest
  • 2 tsp sweet Marsala wine
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips

For the chocolate bundt cake:

  • 1 ¾ cups (220 g) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (65 g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder (I used Hershey's)
  • 1 ¾ cups (350 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 2 tsp espresso powder (optional)
  • ½ cup (120 ml) canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup (180 g) full fat sour cream, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (120 ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) boiling hot water (see Note below)

For serving:

Instructions

  1. To make the cannoli filling: Add all of the ingredients except the flour and chocolate chips to the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or medium bowl with a hand mixer. Beat at medium high speed until completely combined and the smooth, about 1 minute. Stir the flour and mini chocolate chips together in a small bowl until the chips are completely coated in flour. Pour the chips and remaining flour into the cannoli mixture and stir them in by hand until evenly distributed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you make the cake batter.
  2. To make the cake batter: Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 10-inch bundt pan which holds 12 cups of batter with butter and dust with flour or spray with a baking spray like Pam for Baking.
  3. In a large bowl, add the flour and then sift in the cocoa powder. Add the sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder (if using). Gently whisk all of the ingredients together until the mixture is completely a chocolate color.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the oil, eggs, sour cream, buttermilk, and vanilla together until completely combined.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until completely combined, about 20 to 30 seconds. Whisk in the hot water. The batter should be pourable with no traces of flour or loose water remaining.
  6. Remove the cannoli filling from the fridge and give it a couple of good stirs. Pour ⅔ of the batter into the bundt pan. Gently spoon the cannoli batter over the cake batter, keep the filling to the center of the batter so it doesn't touch the edges of the pan (see photo in the post above). Pour the remaining batter into the pan in a steady motion. You don't want to flood the cannoli filling, just cover it up. Smooth out the top of the batter.
  7. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it.
  8. Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 2 hours. Invert the cake out onto the rack and allow it to cool completely. Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. I left my cake in the fridge overnight before slicing and serving.
  9. Before serving, dust the top of the cake with a heavy sprinkle of confectioners' sugar. Slice and serve with whipped cream and hot fudge sauce, if desired.

Notes

You can heat the water in the microwave in a Pyrex glass measuring cup (or similar brand) at 30-second intervals until it starts to boil. Keep an eye on it and be careful when taking the cup out of the microwave - you may need a pot holder for the handle.

Smells Like Home original recipe | cake recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

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