The BEST Cannoli Dip Recipe with ricotta, mascarpone, powdered sugar, chocolate chips, vanilla, and a little orange zest. Serve this easy Italian cannoli cream recipe with cannoli chips, fruit, or cookie wafers for the perfect dessert. My kids like to call this “Cannoli Chips & Dip” and I have to agree!
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Since so many people have loved my Cannoli Cookies recipe, I thought I’d share my BEST Cannoli Dip recipe with you too. Yes, I know there are many Italian cannoli dip recipes out there. I love that this one has a little orange zest and cinnamon in it. I’m not a huge orange zest fan but have to say, it adds a little something that puts this dip over the top! I also use mascarpone cheese for a thick creamy texture that is delicious.
You can find cannoli dip in lots of grocery stores these days like Wegman’s, Trader Joe’s, Shoprite, BJs, Publix, etc. But try making it at home. So quick and easy.
As I mentioned in my Cannoli Cookie recipe, cannoli are different to different people. Ohhh the comments I got on those cookies. Haha! Most of you LOVED the cookies but I did get a few comments and emails about how there is no “fill in the blank” in cannoli.
So again, let me stress, that cannoli are different in different parts of the country. Feel free to change the flavors a bit to make this Cannoli Dip recipe to your liking. I offer some suggestions below.
You won’t believe how easy this homemade Cannoli Dip is to make in just 15 minutes. My Mini Cannoli Dip Cups is a great way to take this dip and turn it into bite size desserts in individual containers. Great for parties!
What is a Cannoli (Cannolo)?
If you’re just joining us and wondering “what’s a cannoli?”, it’s an Italian pastry that is shaped in a long tube filled with a filling generally made up of ricotta cheese and powdered sugar. Cannolo is the singular, cannoli plural, although you do tend to hear cannoli used in the U.S. as both singular and plural.
Italian cannoli may include other things such as candied fruit, chocolate chips, nuts, cinnamon, mascarpone cheese, or a wide variety of other things. Depending on where you live you probably have strong personal preferences as far as what should and should not be in cannoli.
If you’re never had one, give them a try! National Cannoli Day is also June 16th, so if nothing else get one to celebrate in June!
You really don’t need that much to make this Cannoli Dip, but a few suggestions…
Equipment You May Need
- Zester – An inexpensive zester is perfect for the orange zest in this dessert dip.
- Mixing Bowl – A cute mixing bowl is not only for mixing the ingredients but can be used as a serving bowl.
- Nut Chopper – If you decide to add nuts to this, be sure to chop the nuts. A nut chopper can speed that chore up in no time.
Just suggestions. You could certainly make this dip without some of those.
(Full printable recipe card is at bottom of post.)
Cannoli Dip Ingredients
- Ricotta Cheese – Drain off any liquid from the top. If you want a thicker dip, you can strain the cheese overnight although you don’t have to for this particular recipe unless your cheese is really watery. See my how to strain ricotta cheese for more tips. I suggest using a full-fat cheese for best results.
- Mascarpone Cheese – Like the ricotta, drain off any excess liquid. You don’t have to drain it overnight unless the cheese is really watery, but you can if you want a thicker dip. I suggest using full-fat cheese for best results. Instead of mascarpone cheese, you could use cream cheese if you had to.
- Powdered Sugar – Regular powdered (confectioners’) sugar, not granulated.
- Vanilla Extract – A little vanilla extract or almond extract or Fiori di Sicilia would also work.
- Orange Zest – Just a little fresh orange zest can make such a huge difference even if you’re not a huge orange fan.
- Cinnamon – Some ground cinnamon is delicious in this dessert dip.
- Salt – Just a dash.
- Mini Chocolate Chips – You could use regular chocolate chips or chopped chocolate if you’d prefer.
- Nuts (optional) – Chopped pistachios or even walnuts or pecans would be delicious. I’d suggest adding them at the last minute because they can get soggy in the dip after awhile.
This recipe for cannoli dip comes together QUICK! So easy!
How to Make Cannoli Dip:
- CHEESE. Mix together ricotta, mascarpone, and powdered sugar.
- FLAVOR. Mix in vanilla, orange zest, cinnamon, and salt then chocolate chips.
- GARNISH. Top with chocolate chips and/or nuts.
(Full printable recipe card with full details is at bottom of post.)
Some suggestions for dippers for cannoli dip…
What to Serve with Cannoli Dip?
- Cannoli Chips
- Cannoli Croutons
- Fruit like apple slices
- Ice cream cones like broken up waffle cones or sugar cones either store-bought or homemade like these waffle cones.
- Vanilla wafer
- Chocolate cookie wafers
- Graham crackers
- Sweet crackers
- Cannoli Shells broken up into large pieces
Really any kind of cookie or cracker would be great with this easy Cannoli Dip! My kids like to call this Cannoli Chips & Dip! Check out my what to serve with cannoli dip for even more ideas. Or put together a big platter full of dipper options.
Quick Tips for Best Results
- Use full-fat ricotta and mascarpone cheese for the best results. If either or both of your cheeses are “watery”, strain them overnight.
- If you want to add nuts to the dip, add them before serving as they can get soggy if left in the dip for hours or more.
- You can add more or less of the flavorings including the cinnamon, orange zest, and vanilla to your personal preference.
Cannoli Dip FAQ
How should I store Cannoli Dip?
Store the dip covered in the refrigerator.
Can I freeze Cannoli Dip?
No, I would not recommend freezing the dip.
How long will the dip last?
As long as your cheeses are fresh the dip could last a week or more. However, know that the chocolate chips and/or nuts can get a little soft the longer the dip is refrigerated.
Instead of mini chocolate chips, you could use regular chocolate chips or chopped chocolate. Instead of vanilla or in addition to, you can use a little almond extract or Fiori di Sicilia.
Can I use low-fat ingredients?
I would not recommend using low-fat cheese in this dip but you could. If you do choose to use low-fat cheese I would strain the cheese overnight if it’s too watery.
What else can I add to this recipe?
You can add other mix-ins like other baking chips, chopped chocolate, or other nuts.
How to thicken cannoli dip?
If your cannoli dip is not very thick it’s probably due to watery ricotta and/or mascarpone. You can try adding whipped cream or whipped topping (like Cool Whip).
Can I make this vegan/vegetarian/low carb/gluten-free?
Here are some suggestions, but I can’t guarantee results. Be sure as always to check particular brands and ingredients if you’re following a specific diet or have diet restrictions or allergies.
Vegan – This would be a tough one to make vegan with all the cheese in it, but you could substitute a vegan type cream cheese for the ricotta and mascarpone.
Vegetarian – It’s vegetarian. Be sure to check individual brands/products just to be sure though.
Low-Carb – You can try a sugar substitute for the powdered sugar.
Gluten-Free -The Cannoli Dip is naturally gluten-free (just be sure to check all your individual ingredients…) so if you can’t have gluten-free food, try some fruit or gluten-free crackers to serve with the dip.
Other No-Bake Dessert Recipes You May Enjoy
- Caramel Cheesecake Dip – Another easy dessert dip!
- Nutella Cheesecake Dip – Perfect for all the chocolate and hazelnut lovers.
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Lasagna – Can’t beat chocolate and peanut butter together.
- Cannoli Cream Chocolate Truffles – Another great cannoli inspired no-bake dessert.
Hope you enjoy this Best Cannoli Dip Recipe! So simple, but so tasty! Tell me what you put in your Cannoli Dip. Would love to hear!
Cannoli Dip Recipe Video
Quick video to show you how easy this Cannoli Dip comes together…
Best Cannoli Dip
- mini chocolate chips and/or chopped nuts
- apple slices, graham crackers, cannoli chips, vanilla wafers, broken ice cream cones or cannoli shells, etc.
- Place ricotta, mascarpone, and powdered sugar in large mixing bowl. Mix with an electric mixer or stand mixer until smooth and well combined.
- Mix in vanilla, orange zest, cinnamon, and salt until well combined. Stir in mini chocolate chips.
- Top with mini chocolate chips and/or chopped nuts and serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
This post was originally published in January 2018, but updated in December 2020 with additional information.