Cakes, Tarts/ Other Desserts

Chocolate Orange Cannoli Cupcakes & Cacao Nibs

I created this recipe when thinking about how I could convert one of my favorite desserts, cannoli, into a  Chocolate Orange Cannoli Cupcakes. Incredibly easy to make, decadently chocolatey, not too sweet, with a beautifully light texture and moist within. A great combination of textures and flavors. These cupcakes have an Italian flavor and wow factor for a dinner party dessert. Deliciously naughty.

Cannoli cupcakes with chocolate chips and violets on a pink plate

After our friends have tried my creation I have merited the title of genius from them and the title of darling from my husband. Have a sweet weekend my dear readers!

Chocolate Orange Cannoli Cupcakes & Cacao Nibs

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  • For chocolate cannoli cream:
  • 3 cups ricotta cheese, drained overnight
  • 1 1/2 cup confectioners’sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • For orange-chocolate cupcakes:
  • 1 1/3 cups self-rising flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp. finally grated orange zest
  • cacao nibs for serving



To make a chocolate cannoli cream: Place drained ricotta in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat the ricotta on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla.  Beat until fluffy and very smooth. Taste the mixture, if you would like it sweeter add more confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth. Place filling in an airtight container and refrigerate. The filling can be made one day in advance.


Preheat an oven to 350°F.


Line twelve standard muffin cups with paper liners.


Sift the flour and cocoa into a large bowl, then stir in the sugar. Add the eggs, milk, melted butter, and orange zest and beat with electric beaters for 2 minutes, or until well combined and smooth.


Divide the mixture evenly among the paper liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the center of a cupcake. Transfer onto a wire rack to cool.


Decorate each cupcake with chocolate cannoli cream and cacao nibs.


The filling can be made one day in advance.

Cannoli cupcake with chocolate chips on a glass stands

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  • Reply
    Rosa's Yummy Yums
    April 26, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    I love cannoli cream. Your cupcakes look so pretty and tempting!



  • Reply
    La Table De Nana
    April 26, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    And I love the title darling.
    I just love that endearment..perhaps because i say it to my favorite people only:)
    I am really liking your use of the wild violets..hope mine pop out soon..they are so delicate..i loved them last yr..I know they spread.but for heaven's sake they are not GOUTWEED..I say go forth and multiply lovely little violas.
    Pretty shots Yelena..the wrappers are spot on..the pedestals and embroidered tablecloth:)

    Yes a cup of tea would be in fine order.

    Saw a cute idea on a favorite blog today..a travel /paint blog..found in New Orleans..tea cups on wine glass stems..Too cute..

  • Reply
    Eric Pepple
    April 26, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Wow absolutely stunning cupcakes, great job 🙂

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  • Reply
    Spicie Foodie
    April 26, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Oh wow Yelena! My mouth is watering at these beautiful cupcakes. What a great take on one of your favorites.:)

  • Reply
    April 27, 2013 at 6:07 am

    Wonderful recipe! Chocolate and orange is great combination for cupcakes! And cannoli cream is so delicious!

  • Reply
    April 27, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Your cupcakes are absolutely beautiful and they sound amazing too!

  • Reply
    Carol | a cup of mascarpone
    April 27, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Gorgeous cupcakes…love the cannoli and orange flavor! Lovely, as always, Yelena!

  • Reply
    Sadhia Hage
    April 27, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    I'm sadhia also have a blog Cookery .. and your loved your cupcakes are divine and wonderful .. loved the recipe very light and tasty and the coverage is the charm all parabens this wonderful candy .. bjinhos

  • Reply
    April 28, 2013 at 7:18 am

    I've never made cannoli but I love your cupcake version. I love that the cupcake frosting is made with ricotta, without butter or heavy cream. Just have to pin these!

  • Reply
    Nami | Just One Cookbook
    April 29, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    I love cannoli and you made such gorgeous cupcakes with creative flavor!!! I'm in love!

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