With all the key elements of a classic cannoli, this creamy, chocolatey, cannoli cheesecake will please any dinner crowd.
No-Bake Chocolate Chip Cannoli Cheesecake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Ah, cannoli cheesecake. It’s a no-bake dessert for those days when you can’t be bothered to put a lot of work into baking. Yet it yields such rich results, you’d never know it took less than 30 minutes to prep.

This refreshing dessert fuses the cannoli, beloved among Italian baking recipes, with the ever-popular classic cheesecake. Whether you want a teensy taste of cannoli or a giant taste, the choice is yours with this 9-inch beauty. Cut as big of a slice as you want, then save the rest for tomorrow’s dessert—if you can wait that long.

Cannoli Cheesecake Ingredients

  • Cannoli shells: Rather than using a basic tart crust, this no-bake cannoli cheesecake recipe makes a crust out of crushed cannoli shells mixed with graham crackers.
  • Cream cheese: It would hardly be a cannoli-adjacent dessert if it didn’t have a cheesy filling. The cream cheese provides the luxuriously thick texture in this cheesecake.
  • Ricotta cheese: Nutty and sweet, ricotta cheese rounds out the cannoli-like flavors that bring this recipe together.
  • Rum extract: Rum extract adds a subtle toasty flavor to the filling.

Directions

Step 1: Create the crust

Pulse the cannoli shells in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Add the sugar and cracker crumbs.

Cannoli shells in a food processor for the No Bake Chocolate Chip CheesecakeTMB Studio

Drizzle in the melted butter. Pulse all the ingredients together until combined.

Melted butter being adder in the mixture of Cannoli shells in a food processorTMB Studio

Scoop the mixture into a greased 9-inch pie plate. Press the crust into the bottom and up against the sides so that it all forms an even layer (using the bottom of a heavy glass makes this task easier). Refrigerate for about an hour so the crust has time to firm up.

Cannoli crusst being pressed by a heavy glass for No Bake Chocolate Chip CheesecakeTMB Studio

Step 2: Beat the filling

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, orange zest and cinnamon together.

In a large bowl a mixture of cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, orange zest and cinnamonTMB Studio

Once combined, beat in the ricotta cheese and vanilla and rum extracts. Stir in the chocolate chips, but don’t continue to beat.

A Mixture of cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, orange zest and cinnamon in a large bowlTMB Studio

Spread the filling onto the crust, bringing it to all the edges.

Chocolate chips is spread in crubs of Cannoli shells from a large bowlTMB Studio

Step 3: Chill

Refrigerate the cheesecake, covered, until set. This will take about four hours, so be sure to set enough time aside if you’re making it for a party. Once set, top the cheesecake with chopped pistachios if desired.

Recipe Variations

  • Swap the cheese: Cream cheese isn’t the only cheese you can use in this recipe! Keep the ricotta as is, but try swapping the cream cheese with mascarpone, and the result will be divine.
  • Go for candied cherries: If you’re not a fan of pistachios (or you can’t eat nuts), swap the chopped pistachios out for chopped candied cherries. They’ll add a bright pop of color to the cheesecake and sweeten it a bit.

How to Store Cannoli Cheesecake

Store your cannoli cheesecake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. You’ll want to make sure there are no strong odors in the fridge, too, because the delicate cheesecake could absorb the odors. (Curried tofu is no doubt delicious, but no one wants a slice of cheesecake that tastes like it!)

Cannoli Cheesecake Tips

Can you make cannoli cheesecake ahead of time?

Cannoli cheese can absolutely be made ahead of time. The beauty of no-bake cheesecakes is that they set in the fridge instead of the oven. Prep the cannoli cheesecake recipe the night before, and let it set overnight in the fridge to serve the next day.

How should I garnish the cheesecake?

There are lots of ways to garnish this cheesecake. The top of the cake’s silky white filling is a blank canvas for you to decorate. You could sprinkle leftover spirals of orange zest around the top edges of the cheesecake. Pair the zest sprinkles with a juicy red maraschino cherry on each slice of cheesecake. Or skip the nuts and fruits altogether, and shave white and dark chocolate curls around the perimeter of the cake, then finish off with a sprinkling of crushed cannoli shells.

What can I use instead of cannoli shells for a crust?

If you don’t have cannoli shells on hand, you can use waffle ice cream cones instead! Better yet, if you have a waffle cone maker, you can make your own at home to crush into the crust. Authentic cannoli shells incorporate marsala wine into the dough, however, so the result won’t be quite the same.

Watch how to Make No-Bake Chocolate Chip Cannoli Cheesecake

Cannoli Cheesecake

I make this cannoli cheesecake in the summer for a flavorful and refreshing treat. I love the added bonus of not having to turn on the oven in hot weather. —Kristen Heigl, Staten Island, New York
No-Bake Chocolate Chip Cannoli Cheesecake Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time

Prep: 25 min. + chilling

Makes

8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package (4 ounces) cannoli shells
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • FILLING:
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • Chopped pistachios, optional

Directions

  1. Pulse cannoli shells in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Add sugar, cracker crumbs and melted butter; pulse just until combined. Press onto bottom and up sides of a greased 9-in. pie plate. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  2. Beat the first 4 filling ingredients until blended. Beat in ricotta cheese and extracts. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread into crust.
  3. Refrigerate, covered, until set, about 4 hours. If desired, top with pistachios.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 548 calories, 36g fat (20g saturated fat), 88mg cholesterol, 292mg sodium, 51g carbohydrate (38g sugars, 1g fiber), 8g protein.