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Cannoli Cheesecake

Thomas Allen

Servings: ten to twelve.

This creamy cheesecake has all the flavors of a classic Italian cannoli: a ricotta filling studded with chocolate chips and orange zest, garnished with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.


  • 8 oz. vanilla wafers, finely crushed (2 cups of crumbs)
  • 3 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 7 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 8-oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • Table salt
  • 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbs. finely grated orange zest
  • 1 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish


  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.

    In a medium bowl, stir together the vanilla wafer crumbs and 3 Tbs. granulated sugar. Mix in the melted butter until the crumbs are evenly moist and clump together slightly. Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch springform pan and press evenly onto the bottom and about 2 inches up the sides of the pan (to press, use plastic wrap or a flat-bottom measuring cup). Bake until the crust is fragrant and slightly darkened, 9 to 12 minutes. Let the pan cool on a rack. Lower the oven temperature to 300°F.

    In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, ricotta, flour, and a pinch of table salt on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle frequently, until very smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Make sure the cheese has no lumps. Add the 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar and continue beating until well blended and smooth.

    Add the chocolate chips, orange zest, and vanilla, and beat until blended, about 30 seconds. Add the eggs one at a time, beating just until blended. (Don’t overbeat once the eggs have been added or the cheesecake will puff too much and crack as it cools.) Pour the filling into the cooled crust and smooth the top.

    Bake at 300°F until the center jiggles like Jell-O when nudged, 55 to 65 minutes. The cake will be slightly puffed around the edges, and the center will still look moist. Set on a rack and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours and up to 3 days. The cake can also be frozen at this point for up to 1 month (see make-ahead tip, below).

    Unclasp and remove the side of the springform pan and run a long, thin metal spatula under the bottom crust. Carefully slide the cake onto a flat serving plate.
    Garnish with confectioners’ sugar sifted over the cake and serve immediately. To cut, run a thin knife under hot water, wipe it dry, and cut the cake into slices, heating and wiping the knife after every slice.

Make Ahead Tips

To freeze, put the unmolded, cooled cake on a rimmed baking sheet in the freezer, uncovered, until the top is cold and firm; then wrap it in two layers of plastic and one layer of foil. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.


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Reviews (13 reviews)

  • User avater
    BarryKStanley | 05/21/2019

    Great recipe!!!! Definitely!!! I will try this recipe at home.

  • CookieMoo | 03/29/2019

    This doesn't taste like Cannoli, but if you're looking for a chocolate orange cheesecake, this would be good for you. All we could taste was orange, and I didn't even use as much as what was suggested. My revisions: First, drain the ricotta well (at least 8 hours wrapped in cheesecloth, in a colander, with a weight on top), otherwise your cake will be too soft and mushy and will fall apart. Second, use lemon zest instead of orange and reduce the quantity to less than a tablespoon. Third, either the flour or the cream cheese need to be increased, because the texture is still too soft even with draining the ricotta. Fourth, use cinnamon grahams instead of vanilla wafers. I also added about a tablespoon of cinnamon to the grahams to give a taste similar to a cannoli shell. I won't be making this again except with some serious alterations... I beat the cheeses together until smooth, then add the flour and sugar that have been mixed together. Cheesecakes should also always be cooked in a water bath since they are actually custards and not cake. And once the cheesecake is done cooking, allow it to sit in the oven, with the door ajar, for an hour before letting it cool to room temperature and then placed in the fridge to chill.

  • TheCat1234 | 03/14/2019

    Of course it has a different texture it has ricotta cheese in it. Ricotta cheese is not smooth like cream cheese. The three packages of cream cheese do not make up for the 15 oz of ricotta cheese you put in it good I make ricotta cheesecake all the time my kids love it because they're used to it my recipes a little different than this one but I'm going to try this one

  • User avater
    leophard | 11/25/2018

    This recipe was a hit at a party we gave. The problem i had was the cheesecake was too soft (watery) It didn't cut well. Everyone said it was light and creamy. After reading other recipes I realized the ricotta should have been drained. Maybe the cake wouldn't have been so soft. I will make again.

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