Cannoli Dip

Published December 28, 2023

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Cannoli Dip – A party-friendly spin on a widely popular Italian dessert that’s turned into a perfectly dip-able treat. It’s made with rich ricotta, fluffy whipped cream, sweetened with fine powdered sugar and dotted with tiny dark chocolate chips. A fun and easy way to make cannoli!Cannoli dip served with homemade cannoli shell chips.

Cannoli Dip

If you ask me I’d vote cannoli, tiramisu, and gelato are top ranking for best Italian desserts.  But each can be time consuming to make. So what to do in a hurry? Make a super simple and fast cannoli dip instead and pair it with a variety of sweet crackers.

Or if you want to go all out pair it with the homemade cannoli chips like I’ve done here. They are from my cannoli shell recipe but you don’t need any special forms. Instead the dough is just cut into bite size triangles and deep fried for that perfectly crisp finish.

It’s an exciting and unique variation on traditional cannoli and equally just as delicious. Light and fluffy cannoli dip paired with crisp and flakey cannoli chips are a dream come true! It’s a party fav an loved by people of all ages.

Ingredients needed to make cannoli dip.

Cannoli Dip Recipe Ingredients

  • Whole milk ricotta cheese: Part skim ricotta will work too the dip just won’t be quite as rich and creamy.
  • Powdered sugar: I don’t recommend using granulated sugar or the dip can be gritty.
  • Lemon juice: This is optional but adds a hint of extra flavor.
  • Vanilla extract: Seeds of one vanilla bean would be delicious here instead or vanilla bean paste.
  • Cinnamon: A tasty flavor upgrade in traditional cannoli filling that is so delicious here.
  • Heavy cream: Don’t use just whipping cream, look for “heavy” in the labeling even if it’s “heavy whipping cream” that is fine. The “heavy” stuff whips up better.
  • Mini semi sweet chocolate chips: In a pinch finely chopped dark chocolate will work well too.
  • Unsalted pistachios: These are optional but add that welcomed nutty flavor.

How to Make Cannoli Dip

  1. In a mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer whip heavy cream until very stiff peaks form.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl using a spatula, stir together ricotta, powdered sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and cinnamon.
  3. Fold whipped cream into ricotta mixture then fold in chocolate chips and pistachios of using.
  4. Serve topped with remaining chocolate chips and optional pistachios , dusted lightly with powdered sugar if desired.
  5. Serve with crackers for dipping (see options below).

Six steps of making easy cannoli dip from scratch.

What to Serve with Cannoli Dip for Dipping

  • Homemade cannoli chips (featured)
  • Waffle crisps crackers
  • Anna’s orange crackers
  • Graham crackers or chocolate graham crackers
  • Shortbread crackers
  • Pizzelle cookies
  • Fried flour tortilla chips
  • Fried wonton chips
  • Broken waffle cone pieces
  • Fresh strawberries

Possible Variations

  • Mascarpone: I’ve also made this with 8 oz. mascarpone in place of heavy cream if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Cream cheese: For an American variation add in 8 oz softened cream cheese (that’s been whipped until fluffy) in place of the heavy cream. Increase powdered sugar to 1 1/2 cups since cream cheese is quite tangy.
  • Orange flavor: Try adding some fresh orange zest into the dip for an orange flavor variation.
  • Homemade ricotta: If you have extra time try it with homemade ricotta cheese in place of store-bought. It’s actually really easy to make.

Close up photo of cannoli dip with chocolate chips.

Helpful Tips

  • Be sure to strain the ricotta or the dip will be runny. You can do this the quick and easy way by spreading over paper towels.
  • Whip the heavy cream to very firm stiff peaks to add some fluff and stabilization to the dip. It should lose it’s wet sheen as it’s whipped.
  • If ricotta is lumpy you can blitz it in a food processor before adding to the dip so it’s smooth.

Storage

  • Cannoli dip should not sit out longer than 2 hours at room temperature.
  • Dip should be stored in the fridge, it will keep for up to 2 days.
  • Store in an airtight container.
  • Keep in mind it may not be as fluffy as it rests.

Cannoli dip and chips.

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Close up photo of cannoli dip with chocolate chips.
4.80 from 5 votes

Cannoli Dip

A party-friendly spin on a widely popular Italian dessert that's turned into a perfectly dip-able treat. It's made with rich ricotta, fluffy whipped cream, sweetened with fine powdered sugar and dotted with tiny dark chocolate chips. A fun and easy way to make cannoli!
Servings: 12 servings (about 3 cups)
Prep10 minutes
Ready in: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 15 oz whole milk ricotta cheese, strained*
  • 3/4 cup (80g) powdered sugar, plus more for dusting if desired
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus 1 Tbsp for garnish
  • 1/3 cup chopped unsalted pistachios, plus 1 Tbsp for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • In a mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer whip heavy cream until very stiff peaks form.
  • In a separate mixing bowl using a spatula, stir together ricotta, powdered sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and cinnamon.
  • Fold whipped cream into ricotta mixture then fold in chocolate chips and pistachios of using.
  • Serve topped with remaining chocolate chips and optional pistachios , dusted lightly with powdered sugar if desired.
  • Serve with homemade cannoli chips**, crackers such as graham crackers, waffle crisps or Anna's orange crackers, or fried flour tortilla chips or wonton chips.

Notes

  • *To strain I simply lay the ricotta over several layers of paper towels, then wrap and squeeze to remove excess moisture. You want to remove enough moisture that the Ricotta should hold it's shape pretty well so you may want to do this step twice.
  • Pistachios and cannoli chips not included in nutrition estimate as these are optional.

Homemade Cannoli Chips 

  • To make cannoli cheese make one batch of dough from this recipe (you don't need the egg white, just the whole egg).
  • Divide rested dough into 2 equal portions. Roll each portion into a very thin rectangle on a floured surface, about 14 by 12-inches.
  • Cut into 2-inch thick strips then cut each strip into 2-inch rectangles.
  • Deep fry in preheated 350 degree oil in batches about 12 at a time until golden brown on each side, turning halfway through (about 15 seconds on each side). Use a spider strainer to remove then transfer to paper towel lined plate to drain. Repeat with all of the dough.
Nutrition Facts
Cannoli Dip
Amount Per Serving
Calories 179 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Trans Fat 0.01g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 30mg10%
Sodium 34mg1%
Potassium 104mg3%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 309IU6%
Vitamin C 0.2mg0%
Calcium 87mg9%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.

Recipe updated Dec. 2023. Mascarpone has been omitted from the recipe. I re-tested again and preferred this option better for a more traditional flavor.

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128 Comments

  • Heather

    Very good, but was lacking something. VANILLA, just add a teaspoon and let sit overnight. Delicious! Served with broken sugar cones.

  • Anne

    Just made this for a tailgate party tomorrow but I put in the chocolate chips already. Hope it won’t be ruined. ?

  • Lynn

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe! I make it frequently for guests and just for us. It always gets high praise, and I send them to your site. Thanks for sharing!

    (Hint – once I forgot to buy Ricotta, and tweeked it by substituting 4 oz cream cheese (1/2 block) and adding a little more Powdered sugar-it turned out good as well)

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Thank you for sharing :)! So glad you’ve enjoyed the recipe!

  • Victoria Lund

    I made this dip for a birthday party and it was a big hit! People were asking for the recipe. Easy to do. I omitted the chocolate chips and added 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. It was to be used with fruit and Cannoli chips. So yummy! Since I made a double batch we have leftovers we’re eating…in heaven!

  • Emily Kemp

    Wow, this is my kind of party dip! Can’t wait to make It!

  • Nimarie2477

    Also wanted to state that I quickly drained the ricotta cheese and this dip has never gotten runny with time…..I think the powdered sugar helped along with marscapone & heavy whipping cream stayed the same consistency a couple days after it was made ????Thanks again!

  • Nimarie2477

    Hi, I made this dip a few times now ANDROID IT WAS A HIT!!!! But instead of heavy cream I used the smallest size container of heavy whipping cream it worked out great I think it addshould great texture to the dip as it is not intended to be a FILLING ! The whipping cream has really no flavor and it totally still had that texture of a regular canonli filling ! I slowly added it in the mixer to my mixed ricotta & marscapone cheese. I also added vanilla &a little anise extract to mine !!! I LOVE THIS DIP !!! I COULD SERIOUSLY EAT IT BY THE SPOONFUL ! !???????? thanks for sharing !!!