cake · cannoli · olive oil · pistachio · ricotta · smitten Kitchen recipes

Canoli Pound Cake and the love for Ricotta

I normally don’t bake recipes with multiple ingredients or a very long recipe on weekdays. Its too much work, after a long hard day of work, multiple errands and countless chores, I just cannot get my self to pull out the stand mixer and measure every ingredient and then time the mix, spoon them carefully and then wait for it to come out of the oven fully baked. But then there are exceptions.


I have always had a weakness for ricotta and I am always on the lookout for any recipe that incorporates ricotta. My local grocery chain makes one hell of a whole milk ricotta and I will admit at times I buy a tub and stick a spoon in it and gorge on the tub while binge-watching Will and Grace on television. But I was yet to bake a cake with ricotta and I hadn’t yet come across a recipe I liked. That all changed when I stumbled upon Smitten Kitchen’s Canoli Pound Cake and I tell you the pictures looked so inviting that I simply couldn’t resist my self. Oh did I mention I had a tub of ricotta sitting in the fridge :).  Yes, the recipe had multiple ingredients and yes, it required muscle power to grate the orange and lemon peel. but hey I had Marsala wine in the pantry and the recipe did not require any heavy gadget moving skills.  Just a one bowl mix cake. The best thing about the cake is that it is rich moist and busting with cannoli flavor. The end product is so soft that it melts in your mouth.  I have followed Deb’s recipe to the T and the cake was divine. One of the best bakes to date.

I will apologize for the photos in advance, I just had a few minutes before I lost out on natural light. So managed to get only a single decent shot. But if you want more photos to make sure you drop into Smitten Kitchen’s webpage.

The recipe is from Smitten Kitchen :

Cannoli Pound Cake 


  • Butter or cooking spray to coat pan
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • Finely grated zest from 1 orange
  • Finely grated zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) sweet marsala wine or 2 tablespoons white wine (optional)
  • 1 cup (250 grams) whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 or 2 pinches allspice
  • 1 1/2 cups (190 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (170 grams) mini-chocolate chips or 6 ounces semisweet chocolate bar, chopped into tiny bits
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) pistachios, chopped small



Heat oven to 350°F (175°C). Coat a standard (8 1/2-x-4 1/4″) loaf pan with butter or a nonstick spray. ( I used a 9-inch loaf pan and I lined it with parchment paper and then sprayed with baking spray )

Place sugar in a large bowl, and add zest. Use your fingertips to rub the zest into the sugar, scenting it througout. Whisk in olive oil, wine (if using), ricotta and eggs. Sprinkle baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and allspice over wet ingredients, then whisk to combine. Gently stir in flour, then chocolate and pistachios until just combined.

Scrape into prepared loaf. Bake oven for 55 to 65 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake, comes out-batter free. Let cool on wire rack in pan for 15 minutes, then invert out onto the rack to finish cooling.


P.S. The cake tastes even better the next day so, you can go ahead and bake ahead. Try it for your next dinner, birthday or potluck parties and it is sure to be a hit.






2 thoughts on “Canoli Pound Cake and the love for Ricotta

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