Move oven racks to the middle and lower-middle positions and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 standard-sized muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, add the butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time on low speed until combined. Turn the mixer off and add in the vanilla, milk, ricotta cheese, and orange zest. Mix on low until just combined. Add in the flour mixture and pulse until just combined and no flour pockets remain.
Divide the batter among the cupcake tins and bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Move the cupcake tins to cooling racks and cool them in the tins for 5 minutes. Then, remove the cupcakes from the tins and cool them on the wire racks until cooled completely.
MAKE THE CANNOLI FILLING & FILL THE CUPCAKES:
Mix together the ricotta cheese and powdered sugar until combined. Then, stir in the mini chocolate chips and orange zest until combined. Fill a piping bag with the filling.
Use a large piping tip to cut out the middle of each cupcake.
Fill each cupcake with the cannoli filling.
MAKE THE FROSTING:
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until fluffy and lighter in color, about 1-2 minutes. Add in the ricotta cheese and mix on low speed until incorporated about 1 minute. Next, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the powdered sugar. Pulse the mixer on low until combined. Then, increase the speed to medium and beat until combined and fluffy, about 3-4 minute. Add in the salt, vanilla, and heavy cream and beat until just combined.
Add the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a 1M piping tip and frost the cupcakes. Sprinkle each cupcake with chopped pistachios and then serve.