Cannoli Cupcakes

I love being challenged in the kitchen. Making cannoli cupcakes might not seem like a huge challenge, but it ended up being harder than expected. My friend M’s bridal shower was a few weeks ago at an Italian restaurant. I had offered to bake cupcakes for the event, and it was decided that cannoli cupcakes would be a perfect fit.

So back to why this was such a challenge. First of all, I don’t really like cannolis, maybe I’m weird, but they’re just not my thing. Good thing cannolis are one of Hubby’s favorite desserts, so at least I had an expert on the matter in the house.

Second, I really can’t eat ricotta. There are some dairy-filled foods that I can handle even with my lactose intolerance. And then there are the soft cheeses like mozzarella, brie, cream cheese, and ricotta that are just too much for me.

Third, when I searched the internet for cannoli cupcakes, I didn’t see anything that really won me over. Most of them just had cannoli filling in the cupcake, then a frosting on top. The frosting seemed out of place to me.

But, I like a challenge. So I started by making a test batch. I followed a recipe I found online for some cannoli filling. I filled some yellow cupcakes that I had in the freezer with the filling, then topped them with some leftover Swiss meringue buttercream that I had from some previous cupcakes. Then I gave one to Hubby. He said they didn’t scream cannoli and the filling had the wrong consistency. I also had Aimee, Fiona, and Katie taste the test batch. You can’t believe how hard it is to develop a cupcake that you can’t taste test yourself! They agreed that the cupcake was good, but wasn’t quite cannoli-ey enough. We were able to brainstorm some ideas and I also reached out to my baking buddy, Megan.

With the input from all of these lovely bloggers and Hubby, I came up with a concept for the cannoli cupcake that I was confident would work. And boy did it work! I got tons of compliments from the shower guests about the cupcakes.

I started with my favorite yellow cupcakes. After they were completely cooled, I cut a cone out of each one. Some of these cones may or may not have been snacked on while assembling these cupcakes… The rest of the cones were thrown into a ziplock bag and put in the freezer. I like to do this so that I have little pieces of cake around for snacking whenever the craving hits.

Once the cones were cut out, I dipped the cupcakes in ganache. Last, I made a big batch of cannoli filling. Megan had told me about when she made cannolis with the Daring Bakers, so I used that filling recipe. Again, I couldn’t taste test it, so I can’t vouch to the taste myself, but everyone loved it. Instead of just filling the cupcakes with the filling, I just kept going and piped a swirl of frosting all at once to maximize the amount of ricotta filling in the cupcakes (I’ve done this before). And last, I topped with mini chocolate chips to round out the look.

I’d like to thank everyone who helped me come up with this recipe. It was a lot of fun collaborating with other people to come up with something that was really well received!

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Cannoli Cupcakes

Yield: 24-27 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the Cannoli Cupcakes
1 batch yellow cupcakes
Chocolate ganache (recipe below)
Ricotta filling (recipe below)
Mini chocolate chips, for decoration

For the Chocolate Ganache
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
6 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2-ounce pieces

For the Ricotta Filling
32 ounces ricotta cheese, drained
1 2/3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp grated orange zest

Directions:

For the Chocolate Ganache
Heat the heavy cream and the butter in a saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil.

Place the semisweet chocolate in a stainless steel bowl. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth.

For the Ricotta Filling
Line a strainer with cheesecloth. Place the ricotta in the strainer over a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Weight it down with a heavy can, and let the ricotta drain in the refrigerator for several hours to overnight.

In a bowl with electric mixer, beat ricotta until smooth and creamy. Beat in confectioners' sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla, and blend until smooth. Transfer to another bowl, and stir in zest. Chill until firm. (The filling can be made up to 24 hours prior to filling the shells. Just cover and keep refrigerated.)

To assemble the cupcakes
Make the ricotta filling in advance. Bake the cupcakes and allow to cool. While cupcakes are cooling, prepare chocolate ganache.

Once cupcakes are completely cooled, use the cone method to remove a cone from the cupcakes.

Dip the tops of each cupcake in the ganache.

Fill and frost the cupcakes with the ricotta filling. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.

Ricotta Filling Recipe as seen on Delicious Dishings

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16 Responses to “Homemade Milky Way Candy Bars”

  1. #
    1
    KV — October 20, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    those look good too. Are homemade butterfingers next? I have a recipe I’m going to try out soon.

  2. #
    2
    Jen — October 20, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Butterfingers would be tasty, but I’ve got something else coming on Friday…

  3. #
    3
    amanda @ fake ginger — October 20, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    OH YUM! I really want to try these but I’m horrible at dipping things too.

  4. #
    4
    oneordinaryday — October 21, 2010 at 12:25 am

    This is exactly what my son’s been asking me to do. You’re making it hard to say no – they look perfect!

  5. #
    5
    Kimmy Bingham — October 21, 2010 at 1:03 am

    Why do you tempt me so? Milky Ways are my favorites. This is so worth trying 🙂

  6. #
    6
    Smitten Sugar — October 21, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Yum these look delicious! I love Milky ways

  7. #
    7
    Eliana — October 21, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    Well they look pretty perfect to me! And super delicious too.

  8. #
    8
    Kerstin — October 22, 2010 at 4:11 am

    I’m so intrigued by the cool whip/chocolate mixture for the filling! These look so yummy and addicting!

  9. #
    9
    Miss Yunks — October 22, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    These look so cute and much easier than the milky ways and snickers I made a few months ago. I made mine in muffin wrappers so I didn’t dip them, just layered the chocolate, nougat, caramel, and chocolate! They came out pretty tasty but was a lot of work!

  10. #
    10
    Rachael Pergler — October 26, 2010 at 1:31 am

    I just tried these and they didn’t come out as I’d hoped. The chocolate and whipped cream mix was too sticky and wouldn’t harden. Did I do something wrong? Also what if you can’t find kraft caramel?

  11. #
    11
    Jen — October 26, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Rachael – Sorry to hear they didn’t turn out for you. The center part was a bit sticky while dipping and wasn’t super hard… Any caramel would work for this recipe, I just use the Kraft kind that comes individually wrapped.

  12. #
    12
    K — November 2, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    I would put melted chocolate in the pan first, freeze, then the chocolate mixture, then the caramel. Then you can spoon melted chocolate on top. Would this work? (It solves the dipping problem too!)

    • beantownbaker — November 3rd, 2013 @ 12:36 pm

      That could definitely work… The caramel might ooze out when you gut them though… Let me know how it goes if you try it.

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    13
    Rick — October 31, 2014 at 11:23 am

    I hope you are not using Cool Whip which is all trans-fat and high fructose corn syrup. I’m looking for a healthier alternative to the store bought Milky Way. Perhaps a recipe for homemade whip ?

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    14
    Linda — December 23, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    These were a DISASTER. I wasted my morning and a lot of ingredients. The chocolate mixture was so sticky when cutting into squares. The directions did not state whether to add water to the caramels when melting so I didn’t…the caramels ended up thick and so sticky, I had trouble putting it on the chocolate layer. Dumped the whole mess out since I didn’t want to waste a bag of milk chocolate chips to coat them. I have been baking my entire life (60 +) and never had a recipe go like that.

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    15
    360 health tips — December 11, 2017 at 9:45 am

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