Cannoli Bread, a delicious dessert quick bread (no yeast) inspired by the popular Italian dessert. This simple homemade bread is full of flavor including ricotta cheese, orange, vanilla, and cinnamon and dusted with powdered sugar.
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Move over Banan Bread, there’s a new bread in town! This Cannoli Bread will make you wonder why you never made it before. It’s full of flavor including ricotta cheese, orange, vanilla, cinnamon, and chocolate. It makes a great dessert, snack, or even special breakfast or brunch. It also makes a tasty gift!
This delicious Italian dessert bread was inspired by the popular Italian dessert (What is a Cannoli). As I always say, NO, it does not taste exactly like a cannoli. If you want something that tastes exactly like a cannoli, eat a cannoli. haha!
BUT this simple dessert bread is full of a lot of the same flavors and is delicious! Everyone seems to have a different version of cannoli so feel free to change some of the flavors to your personal taste. It also makes as tasty Cannoli French Toast!
Most of these ingredients you probably have around. You will need some ricotta cheese. No need to drain it overnight. It can be a little watery.
I strongly recommend fresh orange zest and juice in this bread. It’s not a strong orange flavor, so don’t worry if you’re not a big orange person. If you REALLY do not like orange, you could omit it but I highly recommend trying it.
I used mini chocolate chips but you can use finely chopped chocolate or even a combo of nuts (like pistachios) and chocolate. Personal preference.
(Full printable recipe card is at bottom of post.)
Cannoli Bread Ingredients
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Ricotta cheese (no need to drain)
- Vanilla extract (or could also use almond extract or Fiori di Sicilia)
- Orange Zest (Fresh if you can)
- Orange juice (Again, fresh is the best if you can)
- Mini chocolate chips (or finely chopped chocolate, other baking chips, or a combo of chocolate chips and pistachios)
- Powdered sugar (for dusting the top if desired)
How to Make Cannoli Bread
- PREHEAT. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan (if not nonstick).
- MIX DRY INGREDIENTS. In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
- MIX WET INGREDIENTS. In another large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at time, beating after each. Beat in ricotta, vanilla, orange zest, and orange juice.
- COMBINE. Add butter/sugar mixture into dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
- FILL PAN. Pour batter into bread pan and lightly spread so it’s evenly distributed.
- BAKE. Bake bread in middle of oven at 325 degrees F for about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes (but check on it occasionally while baking) or until golden brown around edges and toothpick inserted into middles comes out clean. Cool slightly then remove bread from pan, invert onto rack, and cool completely before slicing.
- Dust the top of the bread with powdered sugar before serving. A sugar shaker works great for this!
- Cool slightly before removing the bread from the pan. Then serve the bread slightly warm or at room temperature.
- You can serve the bread all by itself, or it’s delicious with ice cream on top, butter, or sweetened ricotta cheese. Or maybe even a little Cannoli Frosting or Cannoli Dip on top!
Quick Tips for Best Results
- Be sure to not overmix the batter or over bake the bread. I think next time I’d bake it slightly less than I did this time in the photos (Still delicious though!). If the bread starts to get too brown around the edges before the center is baked, lightly cover the top with aluminum foil.
- If your loaf pan is not nonstick, I’d suggest buttering and flouring.
- You may want to adjust the amount of orange, cinnamon, and chocolate chips for personal preference. Chopped pistachios would also be a great addition.
- You can put some mini chocolate chips on the top of the bread batter before baking. After baking dust with a little powdered sugar before serving.
Cannoli Bread FAQ
How should I store the Cannoli Bread?
I would tightly wrap it and store it at room temperature.
Can I freeze Cannoli Bread?
Yes! I haven’t tried it but I don’t see why not. BUT I would wait to dust it with powdered sugar AFTER you defrost it.
How long will the bread last?
It should last at least a few days at room temperature or longer in the freezer.
Instead of vanilla or in addition to it, you can use Almond extract or Fiori di Sicilia. Instead of all or some of the chocolate chips, you can substitute chopped nuts (like pistachios), toffee chips, or other baking chips.
Can I use low-fat ingredients?
This is not really a low-fat recipe but you could try a low-fat butter substitute and low-fat ricotta. I haven’t tried it so unsure how the bread will turn out.
What else can I add to this recipe?
You can add chopped nuts or in addition to the other flavorings add some of your favorite spices.
Didn’t turn out, what went wrong?
I would guess the batter was either over mixed, or the bread was over baked.
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 but you can try using vegan ingredients including a cheese and egg substitute. Be sure your chocolate is vegan as well.
Vegetarian – It’s vegetarian. Be sure to check individual brands/products just to be sure though.
Low-Carb – You can try a sugar substitute and lower sugar chocolate. The flour would be hard to substitute in this one.
Gluten-Free -Try a gluten-free flour substitute that you use substitute 1:1.
Other Quick Bread Recipes You May Enjoy
- Easy Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (Snappy Gourmet) – A one-bowl quick bread idea.
- Lemon Zucchini Bread (Snappy Gourmet) – Great way to use up any zucchini you may have around.
- Cinnamon Swirl Rhubarb Bread (That Skinny Chick Can Bake) – Perfect for rhubarb lovers!
- Blueberry Bread (Simply Stacie) – Delicious alternative to blueberry muffins.
Hope you enjoy this easy homemade Cannoli Bread. Tell me in the comments about how you served it!
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- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup ricotta cheese (not drained)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons fresh orange zest
- 1 Tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- powdered sugar (optional, for dusting top)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter and flour a 9x5-inch loaf pan (if not nonstick).
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
- In another large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at time, beating after each. Beat in ricotta, vanilla, orange zest, and orange juice.
- Add butter/sugar mixture into dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
- Pour batter into bread pan and lightly spread so it's evenly distributed.
- Bake bread in middle of oven at 325 degrees F for about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes (but check on it occasionally while baking) or until golden brown around edges and toothpick inserted into middles comes out clean. Cool slightly then remove bread from pan, invert onto rack, and cool completely before slicing.