Fresh, homemade cannoli cream is easier than you think to make. You’ll be filling cannoli shells in no time with my How to Make Cannoli Cream tutorial! This popular Italian recipe has been shared over 124,000 times on social media!
Buckle up, folks, because today I’m showing you how to make cannoli cream! Italian pastries are my favorite, and this is my all-time favorite dessert. They are very popular during the Christmas and Easter seasons (especially if you live back east).
I can remember the first time that I had a cannoli. It was at a mom and pop Italian restaurant in my hometown of Southington, Connecticut. It was sweet (but not overly sweet), crunchy, and had the most fantastic texture.
I was hooked instantly.
Since I cannot resist these Italian pastries anytime, I see them on a restaurant menu.
I love a good cannoli, but sadly they’re hard to find outside of the Northeast. Over the years, this Connecticut girl has learned how to make them out of necessity.
My recipe for the cannoli filling is every bit as good as what you can get back east.
This recipe is by far one of my most popular, and it’s the best cannoli filling I’ve ever had. Don’t believe me? Well, you don’t need to take my word for it, here’s what some of my readers have said about this recipe:
Jenn: These were on my “must make” list, and I’m so glad I found this easy peasy recipe for cannoli cream – thank you!
Ruth V.: Jillian, I had success making this cannoli filling several times, and it was delicious.
Paula: I am a Cannoli-aholic! I learned to make the cream spot on to your recipe and was taught that the whipping cream addition makes all the difference in the world! Thanks
- This cannoli recipe calls for strained ricotta. See my post from earlier this week on how to strain ricotta cheese.
- To fill the pastry shells with the filling, I use a pastry bag and a coupler. That’s it. I don’t use an icing tip, because the mini chocolate chips tend to clog it.
- This recipe will make enough filling to fill 20 small and 12 large cannoli.
Let’s take a minute to discuss Cannoli shells:
You can either make them from scratch or buy them.
To make homemade shells, you’ll need to buy cannoli forms, make the dough, chill it, roll the dough out, wrap the dough around the forms, and then fry them.
Making a homemade pastry shell takes time, but it is SO worth it! Check out my tutorial for How to Make Cannoli Shells for all of the details.
If you decide to buy the shells, there’s no shame in it, a lot of bakeries and even restaurants do the same thing.
My all-time favorite shells are from World Market. You get a set of 20 mini shells for $2.99! Well worth it, in my opinion!
Additionally, if you don’t have a World Market nearby, then Amazon to the rescue! These are my favorite cannoli shells from Amazon.
What is cannoli cream made of?
The cream recipe calls for just six essential ingredients:
- Whipping cream – this makes the cream light and not too dense.
- Ricotta cheese – this gives the classic cannoli flavor and texture.
- Powdered sugar – just a little bit goes a long way. You cant to taste the ricotta cheese and not sugar!
- Pure vanilla extract – pure and nothing less. When making uncooked recipes, it’s best to use pure vanilla extract.
- Ground cinnamon – just a touch adds a tasty flavor dimension.
- Mini dark chocolate chips – the mini chips are easier to pass through your pastry bag or Ziploc bag. Plus, the mini chocolate chips complement the size of the cannoli well.
How do you thicken up the filling?
This question is a hard one, and that’s why it’s imperative to make sure you drain the ricotta before you use it in the filling. BUT, if the filling starts to become runny, you can thicken it up with a few ground almonds that you process in a blender or food processor until they are almost like almond powder.
How long does this filling last?
Unfortunately, with fresh ingredients like whipped cream and ricotta cheese, this filling will not last long in the refrigerator. I recommend keeping it in an airtight container in the fridge for no more than two days.
I do not recommend freezing the filling, because ricotta cheese and freshly whipped cream do not freeze and defrost well.
Where does Cannoli Come From?
These Italian pastries come from the island of Sicily in the city of Palermo. They’re a staple of Sicilian cuisine as well as Italian-American cuisine.
Is it cannoli or cannolis?
In Italian, the singular is cannolo, and the plural is cannoli. English speakers generally use cannoli/s for the singular and the plural.
If you love these Italian pastries as I do, then check out these other recipes:
Flavor and Recipe Variations:
- Instead of chocolate chips, you can use chocolate shavings or chopped pistachios.
- Also, I’ve had some pastries that had a little bit of grated orange peel added to the filling.
- You can sprinkle them with powdered sugar and even add a maraschino cherry to either end, too.
More delicious recipes you have to try:
- Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Italian Soda
- Coconut Cream Cake
- Birthday Rice Krispie Treats
- Buttermilk Syrup Recipe
- Shirley Temple Drink
- Red Velvet Cheesecake
- Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies
- Cranberry Bliss Bar Recipe
- Easy Macaroons
- Chicken and Gnocchi Soup Olive Garden
More from Food Folks and Fun
Cannoli Cream recipe
- fine mesh strainer
- mixing bowls
- stand mixer or handheld mixer
- rubber scraper
- ½ cup whipping cream
- 1 15- ounce container whole milk ricotta cheese, strained
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅓ cup mini dark chocolate chips
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Place the cream into a small bowl and set aside.
- In the same mixing bowl, add the ricotta cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Mix on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute. Fold in the whipped cream and chocolate chips.
- Chill the cream for at least 2 hours before filling the cannoli shells.
This How to Make Cannoli Cream recipe first appeared on Food Folks and Fun on March 12, 2015. I have since updated the photos and added a recipe video. You can see one of the original photos below.