Cheesecake
No Bake Cannoli Cheesecake

No-bake cannoli cheesecake is an easy and elegant recipe. All the creamy filling of a classic cannoli on top of a buttery graham cracker crust. Easy enough to serve at the BBQ, impressive enough to serve to guests during the holidays!

Be sure to try my classic no-bake cheesecake recipe too!

Slice of cannoli cheesecake on a plate

No-bake cannoli cheesecake combines two of my favorite desserts!

Let's talk about the ULTIMATE dessert mashup recipe! Cheesecake is probably (absolutely) my favorite dessert. But take me to a bakery and I will most likely order a cannoli. So, why not combine the two? This stunningly simple cheesecake is easy enough for beginners, yet elegant enough to wow guests.

What to expect from this cannoli cheesecake recipe:

  • All the flavor of a classic cannoli.
  • An easy no-cook recipe with simple preparation. My teenage kids make this recipe!
  • A creamy cheesecake filling made with both cream cheese and ricotta.
  • It's a make-ahead dessert that's great for entertaining!
  • Easy to adjust adaptable aromas.
  • A delicious, easy crust that can be made in a pie plate (as pictured) or in a hinged pan.
Cannoli cake in a cake pan topped with whipped cream and pistachiosCannoli cake in a cake pan topped with whipped cream and pistachios

Ingredients:

  • Graham Cracker Crust. I've included this as an “ingredient” since you can purchase a ready-made crust if you like, or make a homemade one using my recipe! In my recipe you can bake or “not bake” the crust. To make this recipe a truly no-bake cheesecake, instead of baking the crust you can simply chill the crust. The results are very similar! Also omit the cinnamon in the homemade graham cracker crust for this recipe. There is a little bit of cinnamon in the filling and you don't want to overdo it!
  • Cheese cream. You can use low-fat cheese or Neufchatel cheese if you want to make it slightly less fatty. Just make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature to avoid lumps!
  • Ricotta. Ricotta is the cheese used in cannoli and you really need it in this recipe to get the texture of a cannoli. If you omit it and use all the cream cheese, it will never be the same! For this recipe you don't need to drain the ricotta!
  • Powdered sugar. Using powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar keeps the filling creamy and smooth, since this is a no-bake recipe!
  • Cinnamon. I like a pinch of cinnamon in this recipe! If you want you can also add a pinch of nutmeg!
  • Orange peel. Our favorite cannolis include orange zest, but if you don't like this addition, you can omit it!
  • Vanilla extract. The classic cannoli flavor is what I wanted here, but you could also add a few drops of rum extract!
  • Chocolate chips. I like minis in this recipe, but you can use full size if that's all you have on hand…or a combination if the two are fun!
  • Chopped pistachios. This is an optional topping, but it sure makes it look cute!
  • Whipped Cream. Only if you want!
No-Bake Cannoli Cheesecake Stuffed with Graham Cracker CrustNo-Bake Cannoli Cheesecake Stuffed with Graham Cracker Crust

Recipe Tips:

  1. The crust is not cooked! My recipe can be prepared both ways…in the oven or in the fridge! Also, if you want to go really authentic and can find cannoli shells, you can use cannoli shell crumbs instead of graham cracker crumbs for the crust. For convenience of ingredients I like the graham cracker option, because it gives the same effect and is much cheaper!
  2. I like the addition of orange zest in the filling, but you can omit it if that flavor combination isn't your favorite. Below you will find some fun variations that you can have fun with!
  3. Make sure to chill the cake for at least 4 hours…or even overnight before cutting!
  4. You can do this in either a cake plate or a springform pan… the choice is yours!

Variations:

There are many versions of cannoli, and while I prefer the classic ones, here are some ways you can get creative with this cannoli cheesecake:

  • Make it Tropical: Use lime zest instead of orange zest, add some sweetened coconut flakes and replace the pistachios with macadamia nuts!
  • Autumn vibes: Use pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon and use Biscoff biscuits (Speculoos) along with graham crackers.
  • For the holidays: Add some crystallized ginger to the filling and garnish with pomegranate seeds!
cut cannoli cake on a plate garnished with pistachios and chocolate chipscut cannoli cake on a plate garnished with pistachios and chocolate chips

More cheesecake recipes:

Do you like cheesecake? I have some really great cheesecake recipes here on Cookies and Cups! Be sure to check out my entire cheesecake category, but in the meantime here are some of my favorites you should try:

  • The BEST Cheesecake Recipe Ever! My classic cheesecake recipe is a fan favorite. I break it down and make it EASY for you. If you've never made a cheesecake before, this is the recipe to try…and if you're an experienced cheesecake maker, I'd love for you to try my recipe and report back!
  • Mini cheesecakes. The PERFECT dessert for parties and they are EASY!
  • Instant cheesecake. If you haven't tried making cheesecake in the pressure cooker, you MUST! It's incredibly easy and the result is creamy and perfect!
  • Banana pudding cheesecake. Want to be imaginative? This recipe is out of control delicious!
  • Plated cheesecake dessert. Here's another no-bake cheesecake recipe that's the ULTIMATE throwback. People will be begging you for this recipe!

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Description

This no-bake cannoli cheesecake is an easy and elegant dessert!


  • 1 Graham Cracker Crust (for no-bake crust, chill crust for 1 now instead of cooking)
  • 2 (8 ounces each) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup part of the skimmed ricotta
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • optional – 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cups chopped pistachios
  • optional decoration: whipped cream

  1. Crust: Prepare the Graham Cracker crust following the recipe directions. Chill the crust while you prepare the filling. *See note
  2. Filling: In your bowl kitchen robot with paddle attachment mix cream cheese, ricotta, and powdered sugar on medium speed until smooth. Add the cinnamon, vanilla, and orange zest and mix until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  3. Turn the mixer to low and stir in the chocolate chips until evenly incorporated.
  4. Spread the filling over the cooled crust and sprinkle with chopped pistachios. Cover and chill for 4 hours or overnight.
  5. Decorate as desired with whipped cream before serving.

Notes

*You can also make this in a 9-inch springform pan if you like.

Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Freeze airtight for up to 30 days for the best freshness. Thaw in the refrigerator.

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