This creamy cannoli dip recipe is the perfect EASY party dip that tastes just like the filling in your favorite bakery treat! It’s ready in minutes with 5 simple ingredients.
Why You’ll Love This Cannoli Dip Recipe
Homemade cannoli dip is the easiest no-bake dessert. Not only that, but it’s delicious. With only 5 ingredients and a matter of minutes, you’ll be out here, dipping your best life. This recipe is:
Classic cannoli flavor. It’s everything you love about fresh bakery cannolis (fluffy mascarpone filling, plenty of chocolate chips) wrapped up into a rich and creamy dip that’s fit for a celebration.
No baking. If you need a last-minute dessert, or if you’re craving something sweet to snack on, make cannoli dip! You don’t even need to turn on the oven.
Party-ready. We love crowd-friendly desserts and this decadent, sweet, and tangy cannoli dip is always a first choice for holidays, BBQs, and family gatherings. Scale this dip recipe up or down depending on how many hungry guests you’re expecting.
Let’s start with, what are cannolis? A classic cannoli is a tube-shaped Italian pastry, made from crispy fried pastry dough filled with sweet, creamy ricotta cheese filling. If you’ve ever visited your local Sicilian bakery, chances are you’ve spotted stacks of cannolis chilling behind the glass, looking all sorts of scrumptious.
This cannoli dip turns the fluffy, creamy filling inside a cannoli into a sweet and easy dip. It’s a no-fuss, no-bake dessert that’s perfect for parties, and you can use it to dip everything from cookies to Graham crackers, and especially cannoli chips! Or, you can always go in with a spoon.
You only need 5 ingredients to make this easy cannoli dip recipe, found below. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the full measurements and recipe directions.
Mascarpone Cheese – Mascarpone is a soft, mild Italian cheese with a sweet and tangy flavor. It’s the best choice for authentic cannoli filling flavor, but you can also use cream cheese.
Ricotta Cheese – Ricotta is another soft Italian cheese. In some cases, you may need to drain it, see below.
Powdered Sugar and Cinnamon – Powdered sugar sweetens the dip, while a pinch of ground cinnamon rounds out the flavors.
Chocolate Chips – Mini chocolate chips are best. Regular-sized chips are too big for this dip.
Should You Drain Ricotta Cheese?
Ricotta is the second ingredient that gives this dip its unmistakable cannoli-filling flavor. Try to buy the low-moisture kind. If your ricotta cheese looks watery, you’ll need to drain it first. This way it doesn’t affect the consistency of the dip. It’s easy to do:
First, line a strainer with a cheesecloth or paper towel, and place it over a bowl. Add the ricotta to the strainer, fold the cloth over top, and gently press the cheese into an even layer. Afterward, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it into the fridge to drain for at least 6 hours. This is also a great task to do up to one day ahead.
How to Make Cannoli Dip
Making this dessert couldn’t be easier. You can make your cannoli dip with or without a mixer, all in one bowl:
Combine the ingredients. Add both cheeses, powdered sugar, and cinnamon to a bowl. Mix everything together, and then fold in the chocolate chips.
Serve. Pair this dip with any sweet dippers your heart desires! See further on for easy ideas as well as serving suggestions.
Tips and Variation Ideas
It doesn’t get much more straightforward than tossing your ingredients in a bowl and whipping them all together. Here are some tips to make the most of this sweet dip recipe:
Use fresh ingredients. The higher fat content in fresh mascarpone and whole-milk ricotta cheese will yield the creamiest, best-tasting dip that isn’t grainy or runny.
Drain the ricotta. Use a strainer lined with cheesecloth, a paper towel, or a coffee filter, and leave the cheese to drain overnight for best results. See the ingredients section for details.
Keep stirring. If your dip looks a little thin at first, keep mixing. It should thicken up as the ingredients come together.
Speed things up with a mixer. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to quickly whip together the ingredients. This also results in a smoother, creamier dip.
Make a fresh batch. I don’t recommend making this cannoli dip too far in advance. After a while, the liquid starts to separate, and you’ll need to stir it back in.
Make it lighter and fluffier. For a more whipped cream-like texture, whip in a bit of heavy whipping cream with the mascarpone and ricotta.
Add-ins. Try adding in lemon or orange zest, chopped nuts or pistachios, or flavoring extracts, like vanilla or peppermint.
Cannoli Dip Dippers
We love breaking up cannoli shells for dipping into this creamy cannoli dip. But you can pair this dip with just about anything you can think of! These are some of our other favorite dipper ideas:
Fruit – Strawberries and apple slices are good options for dipping.
More Dippables – Break up sugary waffle cones or cups into bite-sized chips, or pair this dip with biscotti to have with coffee after a meal.
Ways to Serve Cannoli Dip
Once you have your dippers, cannoli dip is the perfect party snack. Before serving, sprinkle on extra chocolate chips and a dusting of cinnamon or powdered sugar. I love whipping this dip up for get-togethers and holidays, paired with savory finger foods like homemade bruschetta, homemade pizza rolls, and more dip recipes, such as spinach and artichoke dip served with French bread slices.
This cannoli dip recipe is also a fun, romantic dessert for Valentine’s Day and date night. Serve it as a sweet follow-up to a satisfying Instant Pot risotto, saucy short ribs, and a side of green salad.
How to Store Leftovers
Cannoli dip is best served fresh on the day it’s made. If you have leftovers, store the dip-covered airtight in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I recommend giving the dip a stir or a whip with the mixer before serving again.
Can I Freeze Cannoli Dip?
Due to the amount of dairy in this dip recipe, I don’t recommend freezing it. The ricotta and mascarpone tend to split and turn grainy once thawed. Luckily for us, there are hardly ever any leftovers, and a fresh batch is just minutes away!
In a medium bowl mix together the mascarpone, ricotta, powdered sugar, and cinnamon until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Serve with cannoli chips, graham crackers, fruit, or Speculoos cookies.
*If your ricotta is watery or you don’t have low-moisture ricotta, place a cheesecloth (or paper towel) in a strainer over a bowl. Place the ricotta into the strainer and loosely wrap it over the top of the ricotta. Press the ricotta into an even layer using a spoon or a rubber spatula. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
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