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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.


Rate or Review


  • 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.

  • DonnaCH77 | 03/26/2016

    I don't understand the negative reviews on this cheesecake. It was wonderful. I made it to fit the Trim Healthy Mamas lifestyle using Pyure sweetener and an almond crust and it was so good no one could believe that it was "diet" food. Other than this I followed the recipe. I'm making it again for Easter dinner.

  • missvick12 | 11/28/2015

    Love this recipe, I used graham cracker crumbs instead of vanilla wafer crumbs, followed everything else except cut down on orange zest, everyone LOVED it. Will definately make this again very soon!

  • user-4350688 | 01/10/2015

    This turned out perfectly. If you think its too much zest just cut it down. I did 1Tbsp insteadof 2 and was happy with the results. I didnt follow the exact directions for the final cooking. I only cooked I for about 35 minutes and it could have been a 30 minute cake. I know my oven and how it bakes things so I stuck with my gut and it came out very smooth creamy and delicious.

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