Dessert is finally coming out of its shell. Cannoli Dip is a snackable, shareable twist on an Italian classic that’s ready in a snap. Scoop up this light, fluffy filling – with hints of warm vanilla and spicy cinnamon – with crispy waffle cone pieces for a sweet treat anytime. And don’t forget the chocolate chips!
I’m going to get my Italian card revoked for this, but cannoli has always been one of my least favorite desserts. THERE! I SAID IT!
Don’t get me wrong at all – the flavor and texture of cannoli is practically perfect in every way. (Italians have done things with cheese that the French can only dream of. There. I said that too.) There is nothing not to love about the taste of a cannoli.
But for the love of… Is there a more annoying thing to eat than a cannoli? First and foremost, have you ever noticed that one cannoli is never enough, but two is too many? Whose nonna decided these proportions?
And all you want to do is get it in your mouth because it tastes so good but either you bite too hard to avoid crumbling the shell and all the filling goes out the other end; or you try to navigate the filling and the shell completely crumbles and everything falls and you’re sad.
Better to be mocked by your judgy cousins for putting it in a bowl, mashing it up, and eating it with a spoon like pudding, I always say. And did. And suffered through. But not anymore!
Today, I raise a Negroni to whatever snacktastic little piggy decided dessert dips needed to go mainstream. I see your off-putting dessert hummus and raise you Cannoli Dip – the logical, and delicious, next step in this classic pastry’s evolution. It’s got all the indulgent flavor you love in dip form, so you can portion however the heck you want. And after many, many, many test runs, I can confirm that I got every single bite in my mouth every single time.
Cannoli Dip Ingredients
- Full-fat Ricotta Cheese: the fresher the better – you want it soft, not watery.
- Mascarpone Cheese: no, it’s not the same as cream cheese, so no subbing.
- Confectioner’s Sugar: aka powdered sugar; sift first to avoid any “pebbles”.
- Vanilla Extract: avoid imitation for better flavor.
- Cinnamon: ground; grate fresh if you prefer.
- Sea Salt: use fully ground (aka “fine sea salt”) – not coarse or flaky – for even distribution.
- Mini Chocolate Chips: semi-sweet is traditional; avoid bigger chips or chunks.
How to Make Cannoli Dip
Chips and dip have met their (sweet) match, and it couldn’t be easier to make! Be sure to check the recipe card for thorough step-by-step instructions and photos.
- Beat cheeses and sugar. Combine ricotta, mascarpone, and powdered sugar. Mix by hand until the powdered sugar is worked in, then switch to a hand mixer. Beat until the mixture is light and very creamy.
- Beat in vanilla extract, cinnamon and a pinch of salt.
- Fold in the chocolate chips using a rubber spatula.
- CHILL. Like, literally and figuratively. I know you want to immediately dive in, and do go for a little taste just in case you want to add more cinnamon. But cannoli dip is best after it’s been thoroughly chilled – at least 4 hours, and up to overnight.
Tips for Perfect Cannoli Dip
- Use full-fat, good quality dairy products. Use additive-free ricotta, as the guar gum in many commercial brands can change the consistency of whipped ricotta. The Galbani brand is an economical choice with just 3 ingredients (milk, vinegar, and salt). For an organic choice, we like Natural by Nature.
- Find the freshest ricotta possible. The longer ricotta sits, the more watery it gets. If you find that your container of ricotta is on the thin side, strain it with cheesecloth.
- Serve with broken waffle cones – they’re a very easy substitute for homemade cannoli shells, with the right sweet flavor and crunchy texture. That being said, if your favorite grocery store sells cannoli pieces, have at!
- If you want “gourmet” cannoli dip, try finely chopped dark chocolate.
Need to make ahead for game day or a holiday party? Cannoli dip will keep almost to perfection for up to 4 days in an airtight container. Ricotta and mascarpone are forgiving enough cheeses that you could store up to a week (7 days), but as always, the fresher the better.
Now, as far as freezing goes… In my humble opinion, it’s a hard pass. Some might say you can freeze ricotta for up to a month, but no matter what, it’s going to give off too much water after defrosting for it to be appetizing (i.e. it’s gonna get gritty). Don’t do that to yourself. Not after you’ve already whipped it to perfection.
More Sweet Treats for Holiday Snacking
- Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts
- Polish Chrusciki (Angel Wings)
- Swirled Chocolate Bark with Cherries and Pistachios
- Gingerbread Spiced Nuts
- Chewy Salted Caramels
Did you make this Cannoli Dip? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
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- 1 15-oz container ricotta cheese, or 2 cups, see notes
- 8 oz mascarpone cheese, room temperature
- 1 c confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- ½ c mini chocolate chips
- waffle cones, broken into "chip" sized pieces
- Combine the ricotta cheese, mascarpone cheese, and confectioners sugar in a bowl. Mix by hand until the sugar is worked into the cheese. Using a hand mixer, beat on high speed 2 minutes until creamy.
- Add the vanilla extract, cinnamon, and sea salt and beat until well combined.
- Add the chocolate chips and fold in with a rubber spatula.
- Chill 4 hours, or up to 24. Garnish with additional chocolate chips and serve with broken waffle cones for dipping.
- Storage: in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Use additive-free ricotta: many commercial brands contain guar guam, which can interfere with the consistency of whipped ricotta. The Galbani brand is an economical choice with just 3 ingredients (milk, vinegar, and salt). For an organic choice, we like Natural by Nature.
- Use fresh ricotta: the longer ricotta sits, the more watery it gets. If you find that your container of ricotta is on the thin side, strain it with cheesecloth.