Cannoli Cones – An easy way to make a homemade cannoli without the hassle of frying cannoli shells. Made with sugar ice cream cones which are stuffed with homemade cannoli cream and dipped in your favorite cannoli toppings.
There’s something about a fresh cannoli with creamy ricotta cheese filling and covered in chocolate that just speaks my language. I love how all the textures and flavors come together to make one well-rounded dessert – crunchy, creamy, sweet, salty, rich, tangy. There’s nothing I don’t love about them!
But when it comes to making cannoli at home from scratch, I’m just not committed enough to attempt it…not yet, anyway. The ricotta filling is easy to make but the shells are a little trickier. You need to make a dough, wrap it around special cannoli tubes, and fry until crispy. I just don’t have the energy for all of that.
So I decided to take a little shortcut! Sugar ice cream cones have the same crunchy texture that cannoli shells have so I decided to use those instead. Plus, it makes for a fun presentation.
Check out my Cannoli Cones!
Working with Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta cheese is a creamy cheese that is used in many Italian recipes – lasagna, stuffed shells, and cannoli. It’s important to drain it for at least 8 hours to remove excess liquid from the ricotta. This is especially important for cannoli because you won’t be able to achieve a creamy, fluffy cannoli cream filling with the excess liquid – the cream will be gloopy and loose if the ricotta is too wet.
To remove the liquid, line a mesh strainer with a cheesecloth. Add ricotta cheese and press into cloth and cover with excess cloth. Let it sit over a medium bowl to drain overnight.
How to make this recipe
Once the ricotta is drained, you’re ready to make this recipe!
First, you need to prepare the cannoli cones. I like my cannoli shells dipped in chocolate to achieve that extra crunch. So I dipped the tops of my cones in chocolate to achieve the same texture.
While the chocolate hardens, it’s time to make the cannoli cream. The cannoli cream is made by whipping the drained ricotta cheese, powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. Then, we fold in the mini chocolate chips.
After the cannoli cream is whipped, add the cream to a piping bag and pipe the cream into the prepared cones. Finally, the cones are dipped in your favorite cannoli toppings – I used mini chocolate chips and crushed pistachios.
Tips & Tricks
As always, here are a few tips to ensure these cannoli cones come out perfectly:
- To ensure my cannoli cream fluffs up easily, I chill my mixer bowl and beater attachment in the freezer for 30 minutes. This is also a great tip for making homemade whipped cream – it gets whipped so quickly when the ingredients stay super cold.
- I have to use a piping bag to fill the cannoli to make sure they look as pretty as possible. If I just fill with a spoon, they look so messy and, dare I say, quite ugly.
- Do not make these cannoli cones ahead of time. The longer the cream sits in the cones, the softer the cone gets and you’ll lose that crunch. However, you can make the cannoli cream ahead of time and simply fill the cones when serving.
- 3 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips divided
- 12 sugar cones
- 4 ounces semi sweet chocolate
- 1/2 cup chopped pistachios
- Set a mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Line the inside of the strainer with a cheese cloth, making sure excess cloth hangs over the sides of the strainer. Add ricotta cheese to the cheesecloth and cover with the excess cloth to prevent the cheese from getting crusty. Refrigerate for 8 hours to drain the excess water from the ricotta cheese.
- While the cheese is draining, you can prepare the cones. Melt the 4 ounces of semi sweet chocolate in the microwave in 30-second intervals. Dip the tops of the cones into the chocolate and gently tap off the excess. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to dry and harden.
- 30 minutes before you use the cheese, place the bowl of a stand mixer and the whisk attachment in the freezer so it gets extra cold.
- Once the cheese is ready and the bowl is chilled, add the cheese, heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract to the bowl. Beat on low to combine. Then, raise the speed to medium high and beat until the mixture is nice and thick, about 3 minutes. Be careful not to overmix or the mixture will break and get gloopy.
- Add 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips to the mixture and fold in. Fill pastry bag (without a piping tip) with ricotta mixture. Cut about 1 1/2 inches off the top of the bag. Fill the sugar cones with cannoli cream. Dip into mini chocolate chips or chopped pistachios. Serve immediately.
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