Let’s talk cannoli. Up until a handful of years ago, I had only experienced mediocre-at-best cannoli from some local bakeries. Then, on New Year’s Day 2010, I sat in my Chief Culinary Consultant’s parents’ kitchen and watched as his dad and Nana made cannoli from scratch. The forms were made by his late grandfather when he worked at an aluminum factory back in the 40’s or 50’s, and the recipe for the shells and filling came from his great-grandmother. To say that those were the best cannoli I’d ever had would be a massive understatement. While there is no comparison, they are also a tremendous amount of work. This cannoli dip is a quick fix that delivers the fabulous flavor of cannoli filling in a fraction of the time.
With only a handful of ingredients and 10 minutes time, this is a perfect sweet snack when you need to whip something together quickly for company. You can serve it with any number of things – broken up cannoli shells, broken up waffle cones, pizzelles, graham crackers… any favorite cookie. My grandma once shared with me some waffle butter cookies that she bought at Trader Joe’s – they would be fabulous with this cannoli dip, as well.
If you love cannoli and quick desserts, this is the perfect combination!
One year ago: Red, White & Blue Berry Trifle
Two years ago: Zucchini Cornbread
Five years ago: Pistachio Gelato
Six years ago: Classic White Bread
- 24 ounces (680.39 g) ricotta, drained
- ¾ cup (90 g) powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
- 1½ teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) vanilla extract
- Mini chocolate chips, to garnish
- Cannoli shells, waffle cones or pizzelles, to serve
- Combine the ricotta, powdered sugar, mascarpone and vanilla extract in a medium bowl to combine.
- Garnish with mini chocolate chips and serve with broken cannoli shells, waffles cones or pizzelle.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
Yummy! Try with Stacy’s cinnamon and sugar pita chips. Sooo good!
I have made Michelle’s other cannoli recipe (where you have to cook the ricotta) that is tasty, but time consuming. Today I tried this cannoli dip recipe (with the change of 8oz of Marscapone cheese and only 16 oz of Ricotta) Super tasty! It has only had about 1 hour to chill in the fridge and I’m having to keep myself from going and getting more and more spoonfuls ! I had never used marscapone cheese before but it seems to have helped stiffen the filling. I can’t wait to actually eat some with a shell. Great recipe!
Just made a version of this for a labor day get together later today. I used 16oz of Ricotta (part skim) and 8oz of Marscapone so it wouldn’t go to waste. Did about the 3/4 cup of powdered sugar and vanilla. I split the batch and did the one half with the chocolate chips, but the other half mixed in about 1/4 of a cup of Nutella. Going to garnish with some chopped hazelnuts. Picked up ladyfingers, pizelles, and some authentic Pan di Stelle choc/hazelnut cookies for dipping.
A dreamy, creamy dip! I served it with strawberries during a traditional Italian “Sunday Family Dinner” I hosted last weekend and it was a huge hit. And let me tell you, my crowd has eaten A LOT of connoli :-) Grazie mille, Michelle, for a memorable recipe!
I love cannoli, but it always seemed like too much work! This looks like the way to go! Thanks!
I made this last night, but forgot to drain the ricotta! It was still delicious! Thank you for a great recipe!
I made this for the 4th, not only was it delicious it was SOOOOOO easy to make!
I made this with a few adjustments for a get together yesterday. I increased the marscapone to 8 oz (I love it and that’s the container size) and reduced the ricotta and the vanilla to 2 tsp. I served it with butter waffle cookies from Trader Joe’s and everyone said it was addictive!!!! Thanks for the idea–it was yummy and extremely quick and easy to prepare ahead.
How much did you reduce the Ricotta by? I would like to make this for a party this weekend and was looking to make the adjustments you recommended
I made this for our neighborhood 4th of July party. I loved it, but it seems like only a handful of us did. I have lots of leftovers for me to enjoy!!! Thank you – I thought it was delicious!
An Italian chef made homemade cannoli for our class in cooking school, and it looked like so much work! They were delicious, but what I loved the most was the filling. This is the perfect way to enjoy cannoli in my book — it looks heavenly!
I’m craving this right now!
I’m so excited to try this. Going to a pot luck tonight and this seems so easy. I am brining this and what’s left of your soft pretzel nuggets after I finish making and sampling them :)
I love cannoli, but I’ve never tried it at home. I think I’ll definitely have to try this dip though – looks fantastic!
My best friend makes a cannoli dip similar to this and serves it with fresh fruit and vanilla wafers – but I never thought of pieces of waffle cones. Genius!
That sounds great but I would love to know “Nonna’s” cannoli recipe! I have made them in the past but always looking for another recipe. The one in use has white wine in the crust. Haven’t tasted a good one in years!
Hi Pat, I actually linked to the recipe up above in the blog post, but here it is again: https://www.browneyedbaker.com/2010/01/08/cannoli/
Looks so good! Have you every tried cannoli pie? Something to experiment with in the future if not!
For me, the best part of a cannoli is the filling. I don’t even need the crunchy outer cookie. So this dip and a spoon would be heaven! :)
You had me at Cannoli. I make cannoli cream and try to find easier ways than the cannoli shells to deliver it. I was never a fan of the shells but the filling is heavenly. I’ve put the filling into cookie shells, chocolate chip cookies and pastry puff cups. Can’t wait to try your recipe. I usually let the ricotta drain at least overnight. It drains better at room temperature but I wouldn’t leave ricotta out overnight in the summer.
I have the same question as Linda but also would like to know if the draining is as simple as pouring out any excess liquid while holding the lid over the container or pouring the ricotta into a fine mesh (possibly cheesecloth-lined) sieve? Thanks.
Hi Michele, I squeezed mine inside a double-layer of paper towels, but cheesecloth would work just as well (probably better!).
How long should the ricotta be drained for. This sounds delicious.
Hi Linda, You just need to squeeze out most of the liquid. You can do that by using a few layers of paper towels, a dish towel, cheesecloth, etc.
Oh boy! I can totally see this as a guilty pleasure that I will happily eat on the couch when the hubby is away.
holy yumm-o! I just got back from a trip to Italy, and while I will never be able to recreate the cannoli I ate there, this is the perfect, easy way to recreate it! Thanks for sharing!