Cannoli Cream Strawberry Shortcake, a classic shortcake recipe with a delicious Italian twist. This easy homemade dessert has a sweet shortcake like biscuit, cannoli cream filling, and sweetened fresh strawberries.
Cannoli Cream Strawberry Shortcake, a fun original Italian twist on the classic recipe. This version has a homemade sweet shortcake biscuit, cannoli cream filling, and fresh sweetened strawberries. A delicious dessert perfect for spring or summer.
You can never have too many cannoli inspired recipes, right?
Once you try strawberry shortcake with cannoli cream, you might never go back to regular whipped cream. Just saying!
This Cannoli Cream Strawberry Shortcake is easy to make, BUT is a bit time consuming. Don’t worry though, you can make the strawberries and cannoli cream ahead of time.
What is Strawberry Shortcake
I’m guessing most people are familiar with the classic simple old-fashioned Strawberry Shortcake, but for my international friends let’s start with that.
There are lots of variations of strawberry shortcake but it generally involves some type of cake or biscuits, whipped cream, and strawberries.
The biscuit or cake is generally layered or topped with the whipped cream and strawberries. Some people use ice cream instead of whipped cream or might also use pudding, pastry cream, or other variations.
Equipment You May Need
- Electric Mixer – An electric hand mixer with removable beaters will make beating the heavy cream so much quicker and easier, rather than a whisk. Or a stand mixer will also work. Make sure to put the beaters in the freezer for a few minutes before making the whipped cream for the cannoli cream.
- Mixing Bowls – Unfortunately, this recipe does take quite a few mixing bowls, sorry. A great mixing bowl set would come in handy.
- Pastry Cutter – If you don’t have a pastry cutter, I love these! Great for cutting butter into dry ingredients.
- Pastry Brush – Perfect for brushing a little buttermilk (or cream) over the shortcakes before baking. A pastry brush will come in handy.
(Full printable recipe card is at bottom of post.)
Strawberry Shortcake Ingredients
- Strawberries – Fresh sweet berries work best. Thinly slice or you can also chop the strawberries if you prefer.
- Sugar – Regular granulated sugar.
- Orange Juice – Fresh orange juice, or you could try another citrus juice if you prefer such as lemon or lime.
- Flour – Regular all-purpose.
- Sugar – Regular granulated sugar.
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Butter – Unsalted COLD butter that has been cut into small pieces or cubes.
- Buttermilk – Better to keep in the fridge to stay COLD until ready to use. Or you could also try making sour milk.
- Egg – Large egg.
- Vanilla – Vanilla extract or use your favorite extract like Fiori di Sicilia or almond extract.
- Topping (optional) – buttermilk or heavy cream and raw or granulated sugar. I like to use a little raw sugar which is a bit coarser than granulated sugar.
Cannoli Cream: (from my Cannoli Cream recipe)
- Heavy Cream – Keep cold until ready to use.
- Ricotta Cheese – It doesn’t have to be super thick, but if it does seem runny, you might want to strain it overnight. See how to strain ricotta cheese for more info.
- Powdered Sugar – Needed to sweeten up the cream and cheese. You can add more/less to your personal preference.
- Vanilla – Or use your favorite flavoring, extract, or even liqueur.
- Orange Zest – A little fresh orange zest doesn’t overpower but does add a little flavor.
- Cinnamon – Regular ground cinnamon
- Mini Chocolate Chips – Or use finely chopped chocolate such as bittersweet, dark, or semi-sweet.
How to Make Strawberry Shortcake with Cannoli Cream
Step One: Make the strawberries first. Mix with sugar and orange juice. Cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours or overnight.
Step Two: Prep for the shortcakes and cream. Preheat oven. Line a baking sheet. Place a mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer to get cold before making the whipped cream for the cannoli cream.
Step Three: Mix dry ingredients for shortcakes. Whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Cut in cold butter with a pastry cutter. Should start to form small crumbs.
Step Four: Mix together wet ingredients. Wisk together buttermilk, egg, and vanilla until well combined. Mix wet ingredients into dry just until dough forms.
Step Five: Knead the dough a few times until it comes together. Pat dough into rectangle into about one inch thick and cut into desired shape/size. I cut into 6 large rectangles.
Step Six: Move shortcakes to baking sheet and brush the tops with buttermilk (or cream) and sprinkle sugar on top if desired.
Step Seven: Bake shortcakes until golden brown around edges and baked through. Adjust the baking time if you made your shortcakes smaller or bigger. Cool on wire rack.
Step Eight: Make cannoli cream while shortcakes are baking. Remove mixing bowls and beaters from freezer. Beat cold heavy cream in bowl until stiff peaks, set aside.
Step Nine: In another bowl mix together the ricotta cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, orange zest, and cinnamon. Fold in whipped cream then mini chocolate chips until just combined. Be careful to not overmix or whipped cream may deflate.
Step Ten: Assemble shortcakes. Split shortcakes in half then layer with cannoli cream and strawberries. Serve immediately.
(Full printable recipe card with full details is at bottom of post.)
- I like to serve these while the shortcakes are still just a tad warm and fresh. The shortcakes are at their best the day they are baked but could be reheated at a low temperature to freshen up a bit the next day.
- Ice cream would be a great addition to these shortcakes if you’re a crazy ice cream fan like myself.
- For garnish, you can sprinkle some mini chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate), orange zest, and/or chopped pistachios on top.
- These Cannoli Cream Strawberry Shortcakes are quite large and one could easily be shared by two people or cut in half.
- If you have leftover shortcake, strawberries, and/or cannoli cream you can make the leftovers into a trifle in mini bowls or mason jars. Or even make in little shot glasses for a mini version. Strawberry shortcake in a jar would be great for parties or even a birthday party!
Quick Tips for Best Results
- Use fresh ripe sweet strawberries. If your berries are not that sweet, you can add more sugar to them before refrigerating. Make sure you let the berries sit in the fridge for a few hours so they soften a bit and produce that great sweet berry liquid.
- The homemade shortcake biscuits are a bit on the big size. You can cut the dough into any shape or size you’d like but be sure to adjust the baking time. To speed things up you can also use a premade cake or biscuit, rather than making these from scratch shortcakes.
- As I mentioned above, you don’t have to strain your ricotta until it’s REALLY thick, but it should not be runny. I like the ricotta a bit on the softer side for this strawberry shortcake so that the cream still has a whipped cream consistency. If you’re using the cannoli cream for more of a filling (like to fill cannoli or doughnuts) be sure to strain the ricotta well overnight or even two nights until really thick so that it holds up.
- Don’t assemble the shortcakes until right before serving. The berries and cannoli cream do stay well in the fridge for at least a few days and can be made ahead, but I personally think the shortcakes are at their best the same day they are baked. Although the chocolate chips do soften a bit if left in the fridge for a while in the cream.
Cannoli Cream Strawberry Shortcake FAQ
How should I store the strawberry shortcake?
The strawberries and cannoli cream can be made ahead of time and stored covered in the fridge, as can any leftovers. The shortcake biscuits can be stored well wrapped or in a resealable bag or airtight container at room temperature. I find they are at their best the same day they are baked, but can be reheated at a low temperature for a few minutes to freshen up a bit.
Can I freeze any of the leftover shortcake?
The shortcakes if well wrapped can be frozen.
How long will the strawberry shortcake last?
The strawberries and cannoli cream will last a few days to maybe a week in the fridge. The shortcakes will probably last a few days at room temperature or a little longer in the refrigerator or if well wrapped a few months in the freezer.
Instead of strawberries, you could use other berries or fruit like cherries or blueberries. Instead of orange juice with the strawberries, you could use another citrus such as lemon or lime. For the shortcakes, you could use your favorite cake or biscuit recipe. In the cannoli cream, you could use cream cheese or mascarpone if you’d like.
Can I use low-fat ingredients?
Unfortunately, low-fat dairy in this recipe could be tough and don’t think it would work out well.
What else can I add to this recipe?
You can add some chopped pistachios to the cannoli cream or on top of the assembled shortcakes.
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 because of all the dairy.
Vegetarian – It’s vegetarian. Be sure to check individual brands/products just to be sure though.
Low-Carb – You can try a low-carb sugar substitute to make this slightly lower in carbs.
Gluten-Free -Try a gluten-free flour substitute for the all-purpose flour that has a 1:1 substitute ratio.
Other Fruit Dessert Recipes You May Enjoy
- Mini Strawberry Shortcake Poppers – Cute mini strawberry shortcakes with a secret ingredient.
- Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake with Amaretto Cream – Chocolate shortcake filled with strawberries and homemade amaretto cream.
- Blueberry Cobbler (single serving) – Individual blueberry cobbler made in one minute in your microwave. A quick simple snack!
- Chocolate Cheesecake Stuffed Raspberries – Bite size treat with fresh raspberries!
Hope you enjoy this delicious Cannoli Cream Strawberry Shortcake recipe. Tell me in the comments if you made any changes and how it turned out for you!
Cannoli Cream Strawberry Shortcake
- 2 pounds fresh strawberries thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh orange juice
- Mix together sliced strawberries, 1/3 cup of granulated sugar, and orange juice in a large bowl or container. Cover and refrigerate for about 3 hours or more until strawberries are soft.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Place a large mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer (for whipped cream for cannoli cream for later).
- For shortcakes, whisk together the flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Cut in cold butter cubes with a pastry cutter (or 2 knives) until small crumbs form.
- In a small bowl whisk together buttermilk, egg, and vanilla until well combined. Mix into flour mixture until dough forms.
- Knead the dough a few times on a lightly floured surface until dough comes together. Form into a rectangle about 9 inches by 6 inches and about 1 inch thick. Cut the dough into 6 equal rectangles (or desired size/shape).
- Place the shortcakes on the lined baking sheet. Brush the tops with a little buttermilk and sugar if desired.
- Bake shortcakes at 400 degrees F for about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown (adjust baking time as needed if you made shortcakes into smaller sizes). Set on wire rack to cool.
- While shortcakes are baking make cannoli cream. Remove mixing bowl and beaters from freezer. Place cold heavy cream in bowl and beat with electric mixer with cold beaters until stiff peaks just begin to form. Set aside.
- In another mixing bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese (make sure it's thick and/or strained), powdered sugar, vanilla, orange zest, and cinnamon until just combined. Fold in whipped cream and then mini chocolate chips.
- To assemble, split shortcakes in half. Layer shortcakes, strawberries, and cannoli cream as desired. Serve immediately.
(Nutrition data is provided when available for informational purposes only and calculated using an online nutritional calculator. For the most accurate information please calculate based on specific ingredients and brands you use as well as any changes you made to the recipe. I am not a certified nutritionist or registered dietician and any nutritional information provided should only be used as a general guideline and estimate.)