Cannoli Cupcakes

“Leave the gun, take the cannoli.” It is that famous line from The Godfather that made me love the movie. Because let’s be honest… why on earth would you let a perfectly good dessert go to waste? I think the Italians just have it right. Food is an important part of Italian life and has always been a defining part of their culture. There are an endless number of Italian proverbs centering around the importance of food, and countless books written about Italian cooking. Maybe that is why I’ve always envied those with Italian roots. The emphasis put on food is something that speaks to me. Cooking with my family is one of my very favorite pastimes. And the time and labor that goes into make homemade pasta or tirimisu is to me an exciting challenge rather than a tedious task. But despite my envy for the Italian heritage…being of Irish descent does have it’s benefits. We get to enjoy the festive Irish music and the signature scones filled with raisins and currants. And then again, there is my Irish mother who often operates like an Italian. In her mind, most ailments are usually a result of being hungry. You have a headache? Go eat something. You’re tired? Go eat something. You might be getting a cold? For goodness sake, go eat something. So maybe the Italians and the Irish aren’t so different. After all, it was Oscar Wilde, a fellow Irishman who said ” I cannot stand people who do not take food seriously.” So to celebrate this worldy love of food, I decided to take a cue from the Italians and make a twist on a classic dessert. These cannoli cupcakes are comprised of a moist vanilla cake filled with the classic ricotta filling found in a cannoli. They can be made in both regular sized cupcakes or as the delectable bite sized minis. Either way, I’m pretty sure Michael Corleone and Oscar Wilde would be  fans.

Adapted from; makes 12 regular, 30 minis


Vanilla Cupcakes:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream

Chocolate Chip Cannoli Cream:

  • 16 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • Sugar “Ice Cream Waffle Cones”

Fresh Whipped Cream:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar


  1. For the cupcakes: Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, & salt in a medium bowl; set aside
  2. Beat eggs, sugar  & oil together in a large bowl
  3. Beat in vanilla & sour cream until well incorporated
  4. Slowly beat in flour mixture
  5. Scoop batter into cupcake liners and bake at 350 (14 minutes for minis; 20 minutes for regular sized cupcakes)
  6. For the cannoli filling, Beat ricotta & powdered sugar together; stir in vanilla & chocolate chips
  7. After cupcakes have cooled completely, scoop out the center of the cake with a small knife; using a teaspoon, scoop the cannoli filling into the cored out centers
  8. For the whipped topping, beat heavy whipping cream & sugar with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form; using cold beaters & cold heavy cream is best
  9. Place whipped cream into a piping bag and pipe onto cupcakes
  10. To garnish, sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and a piece of ice cream cone