"This delicious eye-catching cake is a variation of an Italian dessert recipe that's been in my family for years," says Jennifer Ciccia of Hamburg, New York.
- 1 package white cake mix (regular size)
- CANNOLI FILLING:
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 1 carton (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 jar (16 ounces) maraschino cherries
- 1 cup miniature chocolate chips
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 7-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 to 5 tablespoons water
- Pink and green gel food coloring
- Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Cool for 10 minutes before removing cakes from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and ricotta until fluffy. Add confectioners' sugar and extracts; beat until smooth.
- Drain cherries well, reserving 1 teaspoon cherry juice. Chop cherries. Stir chopped cherries, chocolate chips and reserved cherry juice into ricotta mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until spreadable.
- In another large bowl, cream shortening and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add confectioners' sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth. Add enough water to achieve a spreadable consistency. Tint 3/4 cup frosting pink. Tint 1/4 cup frosting green. Set aside 1-1/2 cups white frosting.
- Cut each cake horizontally into two layers. Place one layer on a serving plate; spread with a third of the filling. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining white frosting over the top and sides of cake
- To decorate, cut a small hole in the corner of pastry or plastic bag; insert tip #5. Fill the bag with reserved white frosting; pipe vines on cake. Change to shell tip #21; pipe shell border along bottom and top edges. Use petal tip #103 and pink frosting to pipe the rosebuds. Use leaf tip #67 and green frosting to pipe the leaves. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 14 servings.
Originally published as Lovely Cherry Layer Cake in Taste of Home April/May 2004, pback cover
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