I’m back again with another Cupcake Wars’ cupcake. These Cannoli Cupcakes have a tender yellow cake base, cannoli cream filling, and topped with a velvety swirl of vanilla infused cream cheese frosting.
The Cannoli Cupcakes turn out great, batch after batch, this recipe is a good standard. The secret to this tender yet delicate cupcake? The secret is vegetable oil. Most vanilla based cupcakes use butter as the sole or partial fat component. By using vegetable oil, you get a more consistently moist cake that never gets that sawdust-like texture. The vegetable oil also helps the cupcakes keep. Despite the cupcakes being delicious, it is hard to go through two dozen cupcakes in a matter of days. In fact, I was able to freeze a large portion of the cupcakes. Even with the dormant sleep in the freezer, the cupcakes still maintained that soft and tender texture.
The use of sour cream as the dairy ingredient compensates for the lack of creaminess that butter would have provided. The thickness of the sour cream is also crucial. Using a looser dairy product like buttermilk or milk would have resulted in a structure-less cupcake that crumbled at the first bite.
I adapted the recipe for the Cannoli Cupcakes’ filling. Retail ricotta is too granulated and would result in a gritty filling. There’s nothing wrong with retail ricotta, it’s just not made for pastry use. That creamy and smooth texture of bakery-style cannoli filling comes from the use of impastata. Impastata is ricotta that has a higher fat ratio and lower water content. I’m lucky enough to have a grocery store that makes there own impastata but if such an ingredient is in short supply, you can use 8 ounces of full fat drained ricotta with 8 ounces of mascarpone.
The use of mini chocolate chips is crucial to having a scaled filling that has an even distribution of chocolate. To make these Cannoli Cupcakes over the top, you can add a shard of cannoli shell or even a tuile cookie.
Cannoli is such a wonderful flavor and these Cannoli Cupcakes can be adapted for any sort of celebration or holiday.
- For the Vanilla Cupcakes:
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
- For the Chocolate Chip Cannoli Filling:
- 8 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese, drained over night
- 8 ounces mascarpone, room temperature
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup mini semisweet chocolate chip morsels
- For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
- 5 to 6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two regular sized cupcake pans with 24 liners, set aside.
- In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the sugar and the eggs on a medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add in the oil and vanilla extract, mixing until combined, and follow by adding the sour cream.
- On the lowest speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, mixing until it is just blended.
- Use an ice cream scoop to evenly fill each cupcake liner with ¾ of the way full. Bake until slightly golden brown around the edges, about 18 to 20 minutes. Cool completely before assembling.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the ricotta cheese and mascarpone for a minute until mostly combined. (Don’t over whip the cheeses or else they’ll separate). Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat on a medium speed for 4 to 5 minutes. Fold in the mini chocolate chip morsels. Store in an airtight container until you are ready to assemble.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat cream cheese and butter on a medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Scrape the bowl, add the vanilla extract.
- With the mixer speed on low, slowly add the sifted of powdered sugar and salt. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat on medium for a final 20 to 30 seconds.
- Use a cupcake holer to punch out the center of each cupcake. With the filling in a pastry bag, pipe in the Chocolate Chip Cannoli Filling. With the frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip, pipe the frosting to cover the top. Garnish with extra mini chocolate chip morsels.