Cannoli Cups

June 12, 2012 by Ali

I’ve said it before, but my friends are absolutely amazing.

First, my friend Sara. On Friday night, a group of my book club girls gathered together as we bid a tearful but oh-so-exciting farewell to Sara as she moves across the ocean to be with her love. It’s true. After leaving her job as an English teacher to pursue a career as a singer-songwriter (you must check out her beautiful music — she was even featured on the show “Private Practice”!), her leap of faith also landed her in the path of an amazing man with a rockin’ accent from Britain who…pretty much instantly fell in love with her. And then proceeded to win her heart from halfway around the world. Theirs is truly an amazing love story that has been inspiring to see unfold. Grateful and so excited for her.

So for my contribution to the evening full of wine, sweets, and (always) great conversation, I decided to modify a traditional Italian dessert recipe from one of my other amazing friends — Lisa. I met Lisa years ago when she auditioned for a choir I was directing, and have been inspired and amazed by her story as well. After coming out of a really difficult season in life, this gal met and married another amazing man. And then decided somewhat on a whim to launch her own foodie website, dedicated entirely to Italian dessert recipes. (Hint hint – that’s the name of the site!) Literally, people, every single one I’ve tried has been nothing sort of fantastico!

So when I had the idea for making some little cannoli cups for Sara’s party, I immediately knew whose filling recipe to try. Sure enough, Lisa’s cannoli filling was absolutely amazing! As my friends said to tell the blogosphere, it was subtle, sweet, and really delicious. And they thought they were so tasty that a “wizard” must have made them. Ha – ok, long story. But trust us — they are crazy good. And really easy. So I’m pretty sure you should try them.

Grateful once again today for amazingly talented friends and the amazing joy found in courageous leaps of faith!

Cannoli Cups

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 30-35 cups


  • 1 package (16 oz.) wonton wrappers
  • 1 container (15 oz.) ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 cups mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • powdered sugar (for dusting)


In a bowl, slowly whisk 1 cup of the milk into the cornstarch until smooth. Let sit about 20 minutes.

Transfer mixture into a sauce pan, and then add in the remaining milk and sugar. Heat on medium-low, stirring constantly until it is very thick and smooth (about 7-10 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in the almond and vanilla extracts. Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the filling to avoid “skin”, and let cool until the mixture reaches room temperature.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Then press 30-35 wonton wrappers (you can do this in multiple batches) into a mini baking cup pan to form the “cups”. (Be sure that the corners do not fold in after the pan sits for a minute!) Bake the cups for 10-15 minutes, or until the wrappers are golden brown. Remove and let cool.

After the milk mixture has reached room temperature, whisk in the ricotta and cinnamon until smooth. (You can also do this with an electric mixer on low.) Use a pastry bag to pipe the mixture into the baked wonton cups, or use a spoon to scoop it in. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips, then dust with powdered sugar. Refrigerate, or serve immediately.

Ali’s Tip:

If you’re in a hurry making these (as I happened to be), Lisa recommended letting the milk mixture cool in a shallow pan instead of the saucepan. I tried it (placing it on a cool countertop) and the mixture was ready in about 10 minutes! Very speedy!

Source: Filling recipe slightly adapted from Italian Dessert Recipes.

Ready to go “Cannoli Cups” — WITH powdered sugar!

filed in Desserts

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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66 thoughts on “Cannoli Cups

  1. Thanks for the great recipe! I made this for a very Italian family party last week, and they were a hit!

    Some tips I learned: I dusted the cups with powdered sugar before filling them, which I think helped make them taste more dessert-like. I also drained the cheese overnight.

    - ER13

  2. Yummy!! Tasted just like a cannoli and I will defiantly be making these cannoli cups again!! So good and I totally recommend these because they are quick,easy,and delicious!!

    - Olivia

  3. I made these and they looked great but they didn’t taste at all like canoli. The shell just tasted like wonton….

    - Maxine

  4. After reading all the comments, I thought the shells might taste better if you dusted them with sugar before baking. Has anyone tried this?

    - Alison

  5. I tried making these last night. Everything came together very easily and looked super pretty in the cups. but i did not like the taste of the cream at all, it did not taste like a cannoli to me. it tatsed more like rice pudding. i think maybe next time i would try with a mascarpone cheese? and less almond extract.

    - Molly

  6. I literally just got done making these cute little desserts! Its Italian night here and these Cannoli Cups are going to be perfect for after my Lasagna Rolls! Now I had the same “watery” problem. It just wasn’t Cannoli thick after I completed the recipe, so I popped that mixture back into the sauce pan on med/high and whisked till it was connoli thick…probly 10 more mins or so. Turned out PERFECT! Was able to pipe it into the cups after it was cooled. Looked and tasted amazing!

    - Dee924

  7. I tried to make the filling tonight for a function tomorrow night. The filling is really thick, and is not at all creamy like I was dreaming it would be. I followed the directions exactly. I mixed the ricotta and the milk/cornstarch, once cooled, by hand. Although I stirred for quite some time, they never seemed to fully combine. Should I have used a mixer instead? I was hoping to make these for a gourmet club lunch next week, but I am hesitant. (Also, as a side note: the milk/sugar/cornstarch thickened on my gas stove within 3 minutes.)

    - Marie

  8. Looks like a fantastic recipe! I think the idea of draining the liquid off the ricotta makes sense–like Greek yogurt instead of the soupy regular version. I will also sprinkle powdered pistachios over the finished product, along with the choc. chips. Thanks!!!!

    - CJ Allen

  9. These looked great and filling tasted great, but shell still tasted like a wonton – not dessert. I will use the filling again, even made it with no fat ricotta and it turned out delicious, just need a better dessert shell…

    - Dee

  10. Hello! I made these last night and they were a huge hit. Thank you very much!!

    - Aluvendale

  11. These are adorable, bite size and a lot easier than stuffing the cannoli tubes. I can’t wait to try them!

    - tbaymom

  12. You are awesome!!!! Thank you for sharing!

    - Lisa

  13. Such pretty treats!

    - marla

  14. I tried making these cannoli cups and the filling turned out watery.. any idea why this is? I followed directions exactly

    - LG

  15. Hey there! Just curious, how do the cups turn out. I saw a great alternative to breaded & fried mozzarella sticks on pintrest by wrapping them in wanton wrappers and baking. DISASTER. they were a chewy/hard mess. Your wanton cups look so crispy, just like cannoli shells – did you do anything special? Spray them with cooking spray? Anything? Or was it just package to pan? Sorry for so many questions I’m just so excited to make these!! Thank you for the recipe!!

    - Lacey

    • I made these last night and it was just package to pan. baked at 350 for about 15 minutes. They were very crispy.

      - Aluvendale

  16. Hi, was very excited to make these, however I just finished the cannoli filling and all I have is what looks like a bowl of milk?!? I really wanted to take these to a family gathering tomorrow, anyone have any suggestions??? Thanks!

    - Shelby

    • Same here – I too got a bowl of milk. What do we need to do to make the filling thick like in the pictures above?

      - adrien1441

  17. These look so good!

    - Ann

  18. Wondering if I could use 2% milk and reduced fat ricotta cheese for a slimmer dessert?

    - Serafina

  19. Can I use phyllo cups instead of wonton wrappers?

    - Judi

  20. These are so much easier than making cannolis tube shells…..What a cute and great time saver…Now my kitchen doesn’t need to smell like hot oil all day nor do i spend all day making homemade shells….Except for the Holidays….Tradition is still needed!! Thanks

    - Suzi

  21. These are adorable! I never even thought to do them cup style.

    - naomi

  22. I would love to make these, but I can’t seem to find the wonton wrappers anywhere- help!

    - Monika

    • They have wonton wrappers at most grocery stores… Try a Walmart in the produce section by the tofu and pre-cut fruits and veggie platters…

      - Jessica

  23. Any idea how long you can refrigerate these for before the cups get soft? I’d like to make them the night before but I’m afraid they’d be soft in the morning

    - Theresa

  24. Made these for my ladies group last night. Totally addictive…to me, at least. Loved the not-too-sweet filling combined with the crunchy shells. They tasted good for breakfast this AM, too.

    - Ali's Mom

  25. It’s important to strain the ricotta overnight before using…I learned this the hard way the first time I attempted to make it and got a soupy mess.

    - Meagan

    • I got a soupy mess too :( Maybe that is where I went wrong? Although the ricotta did seem really thick, so I am not sure if there would have been much to strain? Either way, would love to know what I did wrong :(

      - adrien1441

    • Soupy mess here too. Used Ricotta (full fat even!) but no luck. Any suggestions on how to make it thicker?

      - JenStorm

      • I added more ricotta and it’s not too mushy now. Not nearly as pretty as shown above but at least a little firmer. I just made more cups though because now I have WAY more filling. :)

        - JenStorm

    • Did you use riccotta or cottage cheese?

      - Sandy

    • Seriously? If this is true (and I am not a great cook – so this isn’t first hand knowledge to me), I’m thinking this should’ve been mentioned in the beginning of the recipe. :|

      - Jenn

  26. I’ve been using a recipe for cookie cannoli but the cookies don’t stay crisp in warm humid weather, so I can only make them in the cooler seasons. These cannoli cups look like they would be much easier to make. I’ve also used frozen puff pastry to make the cups but they didn’t look as nice as these.

    - Annamaria

  27. Making these now for a barbecue tonight. I can’t wait to rake in the compliments ;-). Thanks for a great recipe!!

    - Diane

  28. well aren’t these just the cutest little things ever!

    - Averie @ Averie Cooks

  29. Oh wow! I adore cannoli, but I don’t enjoy frying cannoli shells. I can’t wait to try this instead!

    - Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction

  30. What an adorable idea! I’ve done cannoli cones before but never cups! Must try!

    - katie

  31. Brilliant! I can’t wait to make these!

    - Jennifer | Mother Thyme

  32. Are these not the cutest?! I have to make these for my next get-together. My friends will be so impressed! :)

    - Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

  33. Mild….so mild.

    - moe

  34. Look at those photo boards! These photos look amazing, as do the cannoli cups!

    - Cassie

  35. These look great!

    - Shari @ The Daily Dish

  36. These are so cute and would be perfect for a party or shower! Love that you put them in wonton wrappers!

    - Stephanie @ Macaroni and Cheesecake

  37. Okay, can I just say thank you right off the bat? This is a fabulous idea and couldn’t have come at a better time.
    My son (13) keeps asking me to make cannoli. I don’t know why because we aren’t Italian and we’ve never had them before, but I keep saying no because they look difficult to make. I will, however, be making this version and be happy to do it.
    My son even quoted this line from “You’ve Got Mail” quoting “The Godfather”…What do I take on my vacation? Leave the gun, take the cannoli. I think he keeps trying to leave me subtle hints.

    - Susan R.

    • Ha — love this, Susan! I thought the classic cannoli looked difficult too, but these were a breeze! Hope you enjoy them. :)

      - ali

  38. Look at theeeeeeese!

    - Bev @ Bev Cooks

  39. these are so fun! the hubs would love these

    - brandi

  40. These are so pretty!!

    - Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

  41. Not gonna lie, this is pretty genius.

    - Samantha Angela

  42. I love how quick and easy these are – they look great!

    - melissa@IWasBornToCook

  43. What a wonderful and adorable idea!

    - Blog is the New Black