All the cannoli flavors you love in a bite-sized cupcake! Cannoli cupcakes are moist and tender with the most delicious mascarpone whipped cream frosting!
Cannoli Cream Cupcake Recipe
Cannolis are one of my favorite desserts! They have the best cream filling, and paired with their flaky shell, they just can’t be beaten! They’re just as good, if not better, in cupcake form! Cannoli cupcakes start off with a super soft and moist white cupcake base. What really makes them shine is the smooth and silky mascarpone frosting! It’s the perfect blend of tangy and sweet! Dusted with powdered sugar, pistachios, and mini chocolate chips, these are to die for!
Using cannoli cream and toppings is such a fun way to spice up normal cupcakes. The mascarpone cream frosting isn’t overly sweet, and so silky smooth! I think this has got to be one of my new go-to cupcake recipes. I love the pistachios and chocolate chips. Each bite is such a dream! Make these for your next dinner party and I assure you they’ll be a hit!
Everything You’ll Need for Your Cupcakes
The great thing about these cannoli cupcakes is that they use a lot of standard baking ingredients. You’ll probably only need to make a trip to the store for mascarpone cheese! All measurements are in the recipe card below.
- Cake Flour: Cake flour gives your cupcakes a very delicate crumb. All-purpose flour works, too, but it will alter the texture slightly.
- Granulated Sugar: White sugar is a must to sweeten up your cupcakes!
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda: Both are needed to make sure your cakes rise.
- Salt: A pinch is added to enhance overall flavor.
- Buttermilk: The acidity in buttermilk helps to tenderize your cake. If you don’t have it at home, you can easily make it with a couple simple ingredients. Find my recipe here!
- Milk: I always use whole milk for my cakes. The fat content helps keep them moist!
- Clear Vanilla: To keep these cupcakes as bright white as possible, I use clear vanilla extract. Pure vanilla extract works, too, but your cupcakes will be more of a yellow color.
- Vegetable Oil: Vegetable oil adds moisture and helps to bind fats together.
- Egg Whites: To keep the cupcakes white, I’m only using egg whites here. Additionally, they make them nice and fluffy!
Mascarpone Frosting Ingredients
- Mascarpone Cheese: Mascarpone cheese is soft and milky with the slightest hint of tang. If you’re unable to find it, crème fraîche works too but is slightly more acidic so your frosting will have a tangier flavor.
- Orange Zest: A little orange zest works wonders to make your frosting nice and aromatic!
- Vanilla Extract: Add vanilla to sweeten your frosting and deepen its flavor.
- Powdered Sugar: Powdered sugar adds sweetness and makes the frosting smooth.
- Heavy Whipping Cream, Chilled: Used to add creaminess and make the frosting fluffy.
- Mini Chocolate Chips and Pistachios: I used both for topping. They’re so delicious!
How to Make Cannoli Cupcakes
Anyone can make cannoli cupcakes! It’s a super straightforward recipe and they turn out great every time. It’s so fun to infuse a classic dessert with a little Italian flair. You’ll love them!
- Preheat Oven, Prep Muffin Tin: Firstly, you’ll want to preheat the oven to 350°F and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- Mix Dry Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add Wet Ingredients: Add the buttermilk, milk, vanilla and oil to the dry ingredients and beat with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer or a hand mixer until just fully combined.
- Whip Egg Whites: Separately, whip the egg whites until you get medium-stiff peaks and gently fold into the batter.
- Bake: Next, scoop the batter into the cupcake liners until they are 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops of the cupcakes bounce back when lightly pressed. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
Making the Mascarpone Frosting
- Chill: Before starting your frosting, prep by placing the bowl and whisk in the freezer for at least 20 minutes. This will help your frosting whip up stiff.
- Mix Cheese, Sugar, and Flavorings: Once chilled, place the mascarpone in the bowl and use the whisk to beat on medium speed. Add the orange zest, vanilla and powdered sugar. Scrape down the sides and beat until fully combined, about 1 minute. It will be quite soft at this stage.
- Add Whipping Cream: With the mixer on medium-high speed, slowly add in the whipping cream. Once incorporated (it will be very liquidy), scrape down the sides and then beat on high for 1-3 minutes, until light and fluffy. If the frosting is still quite loose, try chilling it for 5-10 minutes and then beating again. The goal is to achieve a light whipped cream frosting that is stabilized by the mascarpone.
- Frost: Use immediately to frost your cupcakes. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips. Chill until ready to serve.
Cupcake-Making Tips and Tricks
To make your cannoli cupcakes like a pro, here are a few things to keep in mind! They’re super easy fixes but will give you a bakery-worthy result.
- Keep Wet Ingredients at Room Temperature: For a cake that is perfectly soft and tender, make sure your eggs and dairy are at room temperature before mixing together. The warmer temperatures will ensure a smooth batter! Note: You’ll only want to do this for the cake ingredients. Heavy cream for the frosting needs to be chilled.
- Chill Whipping Cream: In order for your heavy whipping cream to whip up properly, it needs to be chilled. I also like to put my mixing bowl, whisk, or any mixer attachments in the freezer before use. The cooler temperatures help it become the right consistency.
- Preparing Egg Whites: The purpose of egg whites is to make your cake nice and aerated. Because of this, you want to be very gentle when preparing them. Only beat until your egg whites reach medium peaks. If you mix further than that, your egg whites will collapse and deflate. Fold them into your cake batter using a very light hand.
Storing Leftover Cannoli Cupcakes
Because we use whipped cream-based frosting, these cupcakes have a bit shorter shelf life. Here’s how to keep them tasting fresh and delicious for as long as possible!
- In the Refrigerator: Cannoli cupcakes with whipped cream frosting must be stored in the fridge. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- 1 Cup plus 2 tablespoons Cake Flour
- ¾ Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 ½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
- ¼ Teaspoon Baking Soda
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
- ½ Cup Buttermilk
- 2 Tablespoons Milk
- 1 Teaspoon Clear Vanilla
- ¼ Cup Vegetable Oil
- 2 Egg Whites
- 8 Ounces Mascarpone Cheese chilled
- 1 Tablespoon fresh orange zest
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream Chilled
- Mini Chocolate Chips for topping
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners until they are 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick, comes out clean and the tops of the cupcakes bounce back when lightly pressed. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
Before starting your frosting, prep by placing the bowl and whisking in the freezer for at least 20 minutes. This will help your frosting whip up stiff.
Once chilled, place the mascarpone in the bowl and use the whisk to beat on medium speed. Add the orange zest, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Scrape down the sides and beat until fully combined, about 1 minute. It will be quite soft at this stage.
With the mixer on medium-high speed, slowly add in the whipping cream. Once incorporated (it will be very liquidy), scrape down the sides and then beat on high for 1-3 minutes, until light and fluffy. If the frosting is still quite loose, try chilling it for 5-10 minutes and then beat again. The goal is to achieve a light whipped cream frosting that is stabilized by the mascarpone.
Use immediately to frost your cupcakes. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips. Chill until ready to serve.
The Recipe Critic