Bake or Break

Cannoli Icebox Cake

serving of Cannoli Icebox Cake on a plate

I have no seasonal qualms about making no-bake desserts all year long, but my desire for them goes up in full force when the days start getting warmer. A little mixing, a little assembling, a little chilling, and you’ve got a cool, creamy dessert!

This icebox cake celebrates the flavors of cannoli, particularly the sweet filling you usually find inside them. The lightly sweet ricotta filling reminds me so much of the cannoli at one of our neighborhood pizza spots. You don’t get the crunch of a cannoli shell, but the graham crackers serve as a tasty substitute.

Cannoli Icebox Cake celebrates the flavors of cannoli with a lightly sweet filling, chocolate chips, and graham crackers. A breeze to make! - Bake or Break

One of my favorite things about this icebox cake is that it’s not overly sweet. That makes it even more perfect for warm weather when I normally want my desserts a bit lighter. A new summer dessert staple, for sure!

Of course, the most torturous part of making icebox cakes is waiting on them to chill. Your patience, however, will be rewarded when you dive in and enjoy that first bite. I must confess that Quinn and I liked this so much that we selfishly opted not to share it with anyone. It’s just too good!

Cannoli Icebox Cake

Yield 9 to 12 servings
Prep Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Cannoli Icebox Cake celebrates the flavors of cannoli with a lightly sweet filling, chocolate chips, and graham crackers. A breeze to make!

serving of Cannoli Icebox Cake on a plate

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or almond extract
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 packet (about 2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 3/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips, plus more for garnish
  • about 14 honey graham cracker sheets
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the ricotta, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Place cold water in a small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let sit for 2 minutes. Then, cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
  3. Resume mixing the ricotta mixture, and gradually add the gelatin mixture. Mix well. Stir in the yogurt and chocolate chips. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Arrange a layer of graham crackers in the bottom of a 9-inch square pan, breaking the crackers as needed to fit and cover the bottom. Carefully spread about a third of the ricotta filling over the crackers. Top with another layer of crackers and half of the remaining filling. Repeat with another layer of crackers and the remaining filling. Place the pan in the refrigerator.
  5. Place the cream in a large, cold mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat at medium-high speed until the cream begins to thicken.
  6. Sprinkle the desired amount of sugar over the cream. Whisk until combined.
  7. Continue beating until you can lift the whisk out of the whipped cream and a peak that curves downward forms in the cream. This should take 4 to 5 minutes.
  8. Spread the whipped cream over the top of the icebox cake. Sprinkle with more chocolate chips.
  9. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving. Keep refrigerated.

Notes

Recipe slightly adapted from Kraft.

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    15 Comments on “Cannoli Icebox Cake”

  1. Do you think this would work with cottage cheese instead of ricotta? Or would it be too runny?

    • Hi, Kendra. I personally don’t like cottage cheese, so I don’t have a lot of experience using it in place of ricotta. I know that it’s commonly substituted in things like lasagna. The texture is definitely different, though, and may not mix as smoothly or set up as well. I wish I could offer a better answer, but I’d use ricotta if at all possible. If you should try it with cottage cheese, though, please let me know how it works.

  2. Jennifer,
    I love cannoli. This is a great variation. Can’t wait to try it.
    Annamaria

  3. Looks amazing! I am definitely going to make this soon.

  4. Think it would work with some crisp Italian ladyfingers instead of the grahams? Really looks great. I just have a lot of those. HAHA

  5. I’ll take cannoli cream however I can get it. And since I don’t plan on learning how to make cannoli shells any time soon…this is perfect!

    • I’ve made cannoli shells and they just weren’t the same as what you get in a restaurant! This sounds much better and definitely easier!

  6. I LOVE cannoli and the fact that this icebox cake is a million times easier to make is just awesome!

  7. Looks delicious! Think I will make it for 4th of July weekend. I wonder what would happen if you used crushed up cannoli shells instead of graham crackers? Our grocery sells them in the Italian aisle.

  8. do not like the yogurt. do u have another suggestion?

  9. Would this work without the gelatin?

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