Cannoli Cheesecake

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This Cannoli Cheesecake recipe is made with a mix of ricotta and mascarpone cheese for a cheesecake that tastes like the classic Italian dessert. It has a touch of cinnamon and mini chocolate chips for a truly delicious treat!

If you’re in the mood for more tasty Italian desserts, try this Italian Cream Cake or this Classic Tiramisu Recipe. They’ll definitely hit the spot!

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This post is sponsored by Galbani Italian Cheese, but all opinions are my own.

Sometimes I think I should’ve been born Italian, but sadly I don’t have an Italian background at all. My maiden name is actually French and so were my great-grandparents. However, if there’s a couple desserts I love, it’s cannoli and tiramisu. With cannoli, there’s just something about the combination of ricotta and mascarpone cheeses that has the best flavor and such a fun texture. Then with some vanilla, cinnamon and a few mini chocolate chips, it’s heaven! Such a subtly amazing flavor.

If you’ve been around this blog long enough, you’ve surely seen my Cannoli Poke Cake, Cannoli Layer Cake, Cannoli Icebox Cake, Tiramisu Cupcakes and Pumpkin Tiramisu Layer Cake. The Cannoli Poke Cake is where I truly fell in love and ever since then, I’ve been turning the classic Italian dessert into just about every dessert variation I can think of.

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How to Make Cannoli Cheesecake

This cheesecake starts with a classic graham cracker crust. It’s got a touch of sugar added to it to sweeten it up. It’s my favorite way to make a graham cracker crust. Once you mix everything together, pre-bake it for about 10 minutes.

While the crust bakes, it’s time for the filling. To start, you’ve got Galbani Ricotta Cheese and mascarpone cheese. Both are softer cheeses, so it doesn’t take much mixing to combine them. In fact, be sure not to over mix them – mascarpone cheese can get a little thin if over mixed. And I’d definitely recommend the Galbani Ricotta – it is SO good! It’s now made in the U.S. but was originally made in Italy more than 130 years ago. Plus, the quality of the cheese is wonderful. Unlike some ricotta, where you really need to be sure to drain it first, the Galbani Ricotta is wonderfully creamy and smooth. I’d normally say to drain the ricotta before using it (and you certainly can), but I didn’t even think it necessary with this one. Love it!

To the cheeses, you’ll add some vanilla extract and ground cinnamon. It adds just the right amount of flavor and spice. The eggs are next and are added one at a time at low speed, to keep from adding too much air to the batter. Air in the batter can cause bubbles that rise to the top while baking and cause cracks. Nobody wants that.

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Can You Make Cheesecake Ahead Of Time?

The cheesecake is baked, then is slowly cooled and refrigerated until firm. I usually make the cheesecake the night before so that it has time to firm overnight, then I’ll finish it the next day and serve.

To finish off the cheesecake, I’ve topped it with a ricotta whipped cream. It’s super easy to make – you just toss everything into the mixer and whip on high speed until stiff peaks firm. Spread it on top of the cheesecake, then add some mini chocolate chips. I sprinkled on some powdered sugar because I love the look, but that’s totally optional.

This cheesecake is to die for! Such a perfect cannoli flavor and texture! It’s a little softer than your average cheesecake made with cream cheese just because of the difference in the cheeses, but it’s perfect for a cannoli cheesecake. Now I’ll add it to my list of favorite cannoli desserts. 🙂

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overhead image of slice of Cannoli Cheesecake
Recipe

Cannoli Cheesecake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 Slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Cannoli Cheesecake is made with a mix of ricotta and mascarpone cheese for a cheesecake that tastes like the classic Italian dessert. It has a touch of cinnamon and mini chocolate chips for a truly delicious treat!


Scale

Ingredients

CRUST

  • 2 ¼ cups (302g) graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup (112g) salted butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp (39g) sugar

FILLING

  • 20 ounces (566g) Galbani Ricotta Cheese
  • 12 oz (339g) mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup (207g) sugar
  • 3 tbsp (24g) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

WHIPPED CREAM

  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 5 tbsp (36g) powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp (50g) Galbani Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Mini chocolate chips

Instructions

CRUST

1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper in the bottom and grease the sides.
2. Mix together the crust ingredients until well combined and press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.
3. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.
4. Cover the outsides of the pan with aluminum foil to prepare it for a water bath. Here is a tutorial on how I set up a pan for a waterbath. Set prepared pan aside.

FILLING

1. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F (148°C).
2. In a large bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, mascarpone cheese, sugar and flour on low speed until combined and smooth. Be sure to use low speed to reduce the amount of air added to the batter, which can cause cracks, and to make sure you don’t over mix. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
3. Add the cinnamon and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until well combined.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
5. Pour the cheesecake batter into the crust and spread evenly.
6. Place the springform pan inside another larger pan. Fill the outside pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. The water should not go above the top edge of the aluminum foil on the springform pan.
7. Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 45 minutes, or until the edges are set and the center is still jiggly when moved (but not liquidy).
8. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in oven with the door closed for 30 minutes. Do not open the door.
9. Crack oven door and leave the cheesecake in the oven for another 30 minutes. This cooling process helps the cheesecake cool slowly to prevent cracks.
10. Remove the cheesecake from the oven, then remove the pan from the water bath and remove the aluminum foil. Refrigerate the cheesecake until completely cooled and firm, 6-7 hours or overnight.
11. When the cheesecake is cooled and firm, remove it from the springform pan.
12. To make the whipped cream, add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, ricotta cheese and vanilla extract to a large mixer bowl. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
13. Spread the whipped cream on top of the cheesecake, then sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and a little additional powdered sugar, if desired.
14. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Cheesecake is best for 3-4 days.


Keywords: cannoli cheesecake, cannoli cake, italian cheesecake recipe, mascarpone cheesecake, ricotta cheesecake, easy cheesecake recipe, homemade cheesecake, how to make cheesecake

Enjoy!

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Cannoli Cheesecake! A perfect, creamy mix of ricotta and mascarpone cheese with a touch of cinnamon and mini chocolate chips!

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Recipe rating

94 Comments
    1. Lindsay

      You don’t need to soften ricotta. It’s not as firm of a cheese so it’s fine. With the mascarpone cheese, it’s actually best to use it when it’s still kind of chilled. If it gets too warm, it starts to break down and get gritty.

  1. Whitney

    I want to make this recipe but I’m curious can you add group up pistachios to the crust? Would that change baking
    times?

  2. Momof3

    Lindsay,

    This was amazing!!  I really enjoyed making this cheesecake.  This was my first time making a cheesecake and I LOVE cannolis so I wanted to give it a try!   My partner doesn’t like cheesecake but he took a slice to work the next day!  I bookmarked and saved this recipe for next time.  

    (I used waffle cones crumble for around the top.  I’m such a texture person.)

    I have been looking through your website for other tasty treats!  I can’t wait to make another one. 

  3. Amanda

    I made this for Christmas and it came out perfect. I did not add cinnamon, I used crushed cannoli shells for the crust, and added mini chocolate chips to the batter. 
    I also followed your water bath instructions to the T and zero cracks!

    It was very tasty! I was expecting the consistency to be a bit thicker though, instead is was soft. Could you add some cream cheese to thicken it up if that’s the texture preference? If so how much would you recommend? And would you substitute some of the ricotta for it? 

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, you could. The ricotta is softer, so that’s why the cheesecake is. You can swap out as much as you prefer.

  4. Julie

    I just made this recipe, the flavor was amazing, but the inside of my cheese cake was very thin and did not firm up  or hold its shape when cutting. It was the same consistency as actual cannoli filling. Not sure what I could have done wrong. Made it a second time, and it did the same thing, followed the recipe exactly. Any thoughts or suggestions? Does this mean I should cook it longer? Or reduce the amount of cheese used? 

    1. Lindsay

      It just sounds like it’s been under baked. There can definitely be variation between ovens. You want the edges to be set and the center fairly set, but jiggly before you turn off the oven.

  5. Colleen strain

    Hi-I only have an 8 inch springform pan. Any suggestions? I also don’t have parchment paper for the bottom any alternatives?

  6. Megan S

    I have to say, I’ve never made a real cheesecake in my life and I made this one last Friday and your lemon one for my birthday at the end of April. I was so nervous. I didn’t want it coming out too dry but your instructions are so perfect! I love cooking and experimenting with food but honestly anyone can make these with your directions. I had non-cheesecake fans LOVE the lemon cheesecake and my hubs said the cannoli cheesecake tasted just like his favorite cannoli from Little Italy in NYC. Thank you for for the detail to make even a novice cheesecake baker taste like a pro! 

  7. MaryEllen Y

    I made this this weekend and and it was off the chain amazing! High praise from everyone! I did half the cinnamon, but other than that, followed each step strictly…IT WAS AWESOME! thank you!

  8. Silvia

    Loved the cheesecake…the whipped topping wouldn’t come out. I used 35% whipped cream and cold…should I try something heavier?

  9. Remonica

    In place of a water bath, place a glass baking dish on the lower rack, pour in hot water. Then place the springform pan on the rack directly above the water. The steam helps keep the cheesecake from cracking. I bake cheesecakes, frequently, using this method and they have not cracked. It will reduce the cooking time. I begin checking at 55 minutes…then follow the rest of the recipe.

  10. Mallory

    Made this cheesecake for Christmas and it was AMAZING I ended up using empty cannoli shells that I put in the food processor until they resembled graham cracker crumbs in place of the graham cracker crumbs but did everything else as written and it was a huge hit. Great texture, lighter than the average cheesecake. I will definitely be making this one again! Thank you for the great recipe! 

  11. SARAH

    Think i could make these in muffin tins for mini cheesecakes?  .Or halve the  recipe and make a small cheesecake in a 5 inch cake pan 

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, you should be able to make mini cheesecakes. If you cut the recipe in half, it’ll give you 12 to 14 minis.

  12. Christina

    Had a ricotta pie in Rome, this reminds me so much of it! I made a sweet short crust instead and added shaved dark chocolate and orange zest. Delicious. Thank you! 

  13. Chris Boschetti

    While Graham crackers are traditional forms cheesecake…for an real cannoli feel, try crushed cannoli shells..

  14. Brittany

    My cheesecake has about ten minutes left on the timer and is still very liquidy, is this normal? Does it solidify quite a bit more as it cools? 

    1. Lindsay

      It will still be fairly jiggly in the center (the middle couple of inches), but should be fairly set around the outer part.

  15. Jennifer

    This looks delicious!!! Have you ever used crushed Cannoli shells instead of Graham Crackers? I think that would be a great thing! Thoughts?

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t tried that, but have tried some unusual crusts before. The trouble I run into sometimes is that they don’t always hold up well and can end up being too soft after baking and adding a cheesecake filling to it. I don’t know if cannoli shells would have that problem or not. Could be worth trying though!

  16. Melissa Nieves

    Could I omit the whipped cream and just put the chocoLate chips on top of the cheesecake when it’s the almost done cooking? Or fold them into the batter?

  17. Angela Bowden

    I made this cheesecake and everyone loved it – I will cut down on the cinnamon – to 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon as I fell it overpowered the taste – otherwise very good

  18. Tracey

    Made this for my son’s birthday. Although a bit timeconsuming, it was such fun to make and the finished product is fabulous! Looks and tastes so amazing. The only modification I would make would be to cut the cinnamon in half, just a little too much in this recipe for my taste. I can’t wait to make this again!

  19. Margaret Sowek

    I loosely covered it. It came out perfect can not wait to share it with my family today. Love this receipe. Thank you.

  20. Gloriann

    Amazing!   Made this for Christmas dessert and got rave reviews.  Great tip about using the crockpot liner in the water bath.  I’ve never used a water bath before for fear of a leak ruining my cake 

  21. Jenine

    Can I ask one more question? I’m sorry :/ Will this cheesecake hold it’s shape if I didn’t do the crust up the side of the pan? Just curious. Not sure how this cheese differs from cream cheese in that way, if it does at all. Thank you so much for your responses. I really appreciate them and your cheesecake ideas!

  22. Jenine

    Hi! This might be a lame qurstion…but just want to double check… the cheeses and eggs don’t need to be at room temp for this one right?

    Thanks!

    1. Lindsay

      The two cheeses should be fine cool. They aren’t really firm cheeses. The eggs are listed at room temperature in the ingredients, but you could use them straight out of the fridge. They just might need a little help incorporating into the filling.

    1. Marla

      Hi! This looks incredible 🙂 I made the cheesecake up to the filling part, and now I might not be able to serve it until next weekend…do you think I can make the whipped cream part and freeze it all together, or wait until just before serving to make and add it? Thanks!!

      1. Lindsay

        You could do either, but I’d personally add the whipped cream just before serving so it looks fresher.

  23. Lisa Miller

    Love this recipe- thank you! Do you have any advice for the cooking time if I were to bake 2 of them at the same time? Thanks

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad you enjoy it! I don’t know – I’ve never baked two cheesecakes at the same time. My guess is it’d take a good bit of time.

    1. Lindsay

      You could, it’ll just be a thinner cheesecake and you’ll probably want to reduce the baking time by maybe 15 minutes or so.

  24. Jennifer

    Would it be too much to fold some of the mini chocolate chips into the cheesecake before baking? I plan on topping mine like yours, but I wasn’t sure if it would improve the cheesecake.

      1. Lindsay

        I’ve honestly never used an instant pot, but I just recently got one and the first thing I’m going to try as a cheesecake. Hopefully I will know the answer to this question soon!

  25. Mary Jane

    Please make your print darker or your background  a different color it’s hard to see the print. Thank you 

  26. Liz

    So I made this recipe and it was delicious – but for some reason the cake itself came out browner than it looks like in your pictures and was pretty obvious when compared to the cream on top – not sure what I did wrong – any suggestions?  Thanks!

      1. Liz

        The cheesecake itself was a light brown color throughout. I thought it was from the cinnamon but i followed the recipe and wasn’t sure why it would be different. 

      2. Lindsay

        It’d be tough for me to say what would cause that. It does almost sound like it’d be from the cinnamon, but I’m not sure.

  27. Linda

    Can the recipe be made without the plastic liner and just the aluminum foil in the water bath?  I never do this and don’t need the added expense of a box of plastic liners lying around the house never to be used. Will not using the plastic liner change the cooking time?  Thx. 

  28. Stephanie

    Thanks for the recipe!! I found actual cannoli crusts in Bulk Barn this weekend, and this recipe will go perfectly with that as a crust base!! <3

  29. Stacie

    I just made this deliciousness and loved the flavor of it all. However, the texture was extra gritty. I noticed that I used the low fat ricotta so not sure if that made any difference. Also, with the topping, it got a little runny after the stiff peaks started to form. Other than that, it looked and tasted wonderful! I love your recipes!!

    1. Ben Goldstein

      The low fat ricotta is what makes it gritty. I’m not a fan of low fat ricotta because of that. I made this using regular ricotta and it’s really good. 

  30. Amy

    This sounds delicious and so unique! I feel like a water bath may be too much forme to handle…if I skip that step, does that change the cook time at all?

    1. Lindsay

      A water bath can seem intimidating, but it really does make a better cheesecake. Here’s a tutorial I posted showing how I set mine up. If you don’t want to use one though, you will want to reduce the baking time. Without trying it it’s just a guess but I’d say probably bake for 1 hr and 20-30 minutes. The center of the cheesecake should be set but still jiggly. Then follow the same cooling procedure. Just be aware that when not using a water bath, the cheesecake tends to brown around the edges and will likely fall a good bit in the center when cooling.

  31. Barbara

    You say this cheesecake starts with a graham cracker crust yet the recipe calls for vanilla wafer crumbs. So which is it? Thank you

    1. Lindsay

      Sorry for the error – both would actually work. I’ve updated the recipe to graham cracker crumbs. Thanks for letting me know!

  32. SophieEV

    This looks amazing!! I always love your cannoli recipes, and I love your cheesecakes, this looks like a dream come true!

    And I definitely agree on the ricotta from Gabaldi, it’s the one I use (and the most common brand in France) the first time I read about draining Ricotta, I was surprised because it’s really not necessary with this one!
    I can’t wait to try this cheesecake!

    1. Lindsay

      Thanks Sophie! I’m glad you enjoy the cannoli and cheesecake recipes. 🙂 And the Gabaldi – it really is great!

      1. Lindsay

        That would probably depend on the ricotta. If it looks fairly watery, I would probably try to drain it a bit.

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12