Cannoli Cream Puffs

Cannoli Cream Puffs-1-3 copyIf you love cannoli cream, you will love these pastries. I have a special place in my heart for cannoli cream, because we had a cannoli cream filling for our wedding cake. It’s so velvety, fluffy and rich, but I also try to keep the sugar balanced, so it doesn’t become cloyingly sweet.

Cream puffs are beautiful and elegant and they are the perfect vessel for all your favorite fillings, so naturally, a cannoli filling is an awesome pairing. The light and airy cream puffs hold the luscious and creamy cannoli filling and with a drizzle of melted chocolate on top, it becomes a really pretty and delicious sweet treat. With the holidays coming up, you can probably use some inspiration for all the parties that you will be hosting or attending. You can also make these in advance, and that is always a big plus to make your life easier. 

Ingredients:

Cream Puffs:

1 cup water

1/2 cup (8 Tablespoons) butter

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 large eggs

Cannoli Cream:

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature

1 – 1 1/2 cup powdered (confectioner’s) sugar

8 oz mascarpone cheese, softened to room temperature

1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese, softened to room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 – 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled

melted chocolate, to drizzle on top of the cream puffs, optional

Instructions:

Cannoli Cream Puffs-1-4 copyCream Puffs:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, butter, and salt. Cook until the butter melts completely.Cannoli Cream Puffs-1-11 copy
  3. Add the flour all at once and mix vigorously with a wooden spoon, until the dough comes together in a ball. Continue cooking for a minute or two. Take off the heat.Cannoli Cream Puffs-1-12 copy
  4. You can do the rest of the steps by hand, or use a stand mixer, with a paddle attachment. If you are mixing it by hand, cool the batter for 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, until they are fully incorporated. Cannoli Cream Puffs-1-13 copyIf you are mixing the batter in a stand mixer (or a hand mixer), place the hot batter into the bowl and mix with a paddle attachment, until you don’t see any more steam rising up from the bowl and then add the eggs one at a time. At first, the batter will look curdled, but it will eventually become smooth.Cannoli Cream Puffs-1-14 copy
  5. Pipe out the batter into 1½ inch circles, about 1- 1½ inches apart, on the prepared baking sheet. You can also drop the batter onto the cookie sheet with a spoon or use an ice cream scoop. When I pipe out the batter, I smooth out the top a bit with a damp finger.Cannoli Cream Puffs-1-15 copy
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.Without opening the oven, decrease the temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, bake for another 8-10 minutes. While the cream puffs are baking, try not to open the oven door, or they will fall and deflate.You will have 35-40 cream puffs.
  7. Cream puffs can be stored (without the pastry cream) in an airtight container for up to 2 days; freeze for longer storage. If you are not filling them right away, use a wooden skewer to poke some small holes in each cream puff, to let the steam escape. This will prevent the cream puffs from getting soggy on the inside.Cannoli Cream Puffs-1-17 copy

Cannoli Cream:Cannoli Cream Puffs-1-5 copy

  1. In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment or using a hand mixer, cream the cream cheese and powdered sugar.Cannoli Cream Puffs-1-6 copy
  2. Add the mascarpone cheese, ricotta cheese, and vanilla. You can just fold in the mascarpone cheese and the ricotta cheese with a rubber spatula, since it’s soft enough or mix with the mixer just until combined, about 30 seconds.Cannoli Cream Puffs-1-7 copy
  3. Pour in the cold heavy cream and starting mixing the mixture on low speed, gradually increasing to high speed.Cannoli Cream Puffs-1-9 copy
  4. Mix until the heavy cream is incorporated into the frosting, and it becomes thick and fluffy.Cannoli Cream Puffs-1-9 copy Cannoli Cream Puffs-1-10 copy

Assembling the Cream Puffs:

  1. Transfer the cannoli cream to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip or a plain round tip.
  2. Cut the pastries in half with a serrated knife and pipe the cannoli cream into the center and then cover with the top half of the pastry. You can also insert the tip of a round tip piping tip into the opening of each pastry, and pipe to fill with pastry cream.Cannoli Cream Puffs-1 copy
  3. Drizzle the top of the cream puffs with melted chocolate. (I place some chocolate chunks or chocolate chips into a bowl with half a teaspoon of butter or shortening and melt it in the microwave or over a double boiler on the stovetop.)
  4. Serve immediately or store filled cream puffs in the refrigerator up to two days. Cannoli Cream Puffs-1-2 copy
Cannoli Cream Puffs
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sweets
Serves: 35 cream puffs
Ingredients
Cream Puffs:
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup (8 Tablespoons) butter
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
Cannoli Cream:
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 - 1½ cup powdered (confectioner's) sugar
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1½ cups ricotta cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ - ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
  • melted chocolate, to drizzle on top of the cream puffs, optional
Instructions
Cream Puffs:
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, butter, and salt. Cook until the butter melts completely.
  3. Add the flour all at once and mix vigorously with a wooden spoon, until the dough comes together in a ball. Continue cooking for a minute or two. Take off the heat.
  4. You can do the rest of the steps by hand, or use a stand mixer, with a paddle attachment. If you are mixing it by hand, cool the batter for 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, until they are fully incorporated. If you are mixing the batter in a stand mixer (or a hand mixer), place the hot batter into the bowl and mix with a paddle attachment, until you don't see any more steam rising up from the bowl and then add the eggs one at a time. At first, the batter will look curdled, but it will eventually become smooth.
  5. Pipe out the batter into 1½ inch circles, about 1- 1½ inches apart, on the prepared baking sheet. You can also drop the batter onto the cookie sheet with a spoon or use an ice cream scoop. When I pipe out the batter, I smooth out the top a bit with a damp finger.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.Without opening the oven, decrease the temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, bake for another 8-10 minutes. While the cream puffs are baking, try not to open the oven door, or they will fall and deflate.You will have 35-40 cream puffs.
  7. Cream puffs can be stored (without the pastry cream) in an airtight container for up to 2 days; freeze for longer storage. If you are not filling them right away, use a wooden skewer to poke some small holes in each cream puff, to let the steam escape. This will prevent the cream puffs from getting soggy on the inside.
Cannoli Cream:
  1. In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment or using a hand mixer, cream the cream cheese and powdered sugar.
  2. Add the mascarpone cheese, ricotta cheese, and vanilla. You can just fold in the mascarpone cheese and the ricotta cheese with a rubber spatula, since it's soft enough or mix with the mixer just until combined, about 30 seconds.
  3. Pour in the cold heavy cream and starting mixing the mixture on low speed, gradually increasing to high speed.
  4. Mix until the heavy cream is incorporated into the frosting, and it becomes thick and fluffy.
Assembling the Cream Puffs:
  1. Transfer the cannoli cream to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip or a plain round tip.
  2. Cut the pastries in half with a serrated knife and pipe the cannoli cream into the center and then cover with the top half of the pastry. You can also insert the tip of a round tip piping tip into the opening of each pastry, and pipe to fill with pastry cream.
  3. Drizzle the top of the cream puffs with melted chocolate. (I place some chocolate chunks or chocolate chips into a bowl with half a teaspoon of butter or shortening and melt it in the microwave or over a double boiler on the stovetop.)
  4. Serve immediately or store filled cream puffs in the refrigerator up to two days.

4 Comments

  • Olga Gav

    Hi Olga! These look delicious! I noticed you usually cut your cream puffs in half instead of keeping them whole.
    Do you do that for presentation purposes or it’s a better way of filling them? Thanks!

    • olgak7

      I do it for the presentation, Olga. It looks better in pictures if you can show the different fillings, however, as I wrote in the recipe, you can definitely use a plain round piping tip to pipe the filling right inside the cream puff.

  • Carol F.

    Olga, I have been following you since I came home from St. Petersburg this summer. I wanted to recreate some of the foods I had there and your website popped up. The traditional Russian foods I made from your website were amazing and the same or better than the cafe where I ate for two weeks while in St. Petersburg. This cannoli cream is simply divine. I wanted to dress up the vanilla birthday cake my son requested and since you mentioned that you used it for your wedding, I filled and frosted my son’s cake with your cannoli cream. I can’t believe how easy it is to work with. Keep up the delicious food. I am always curious to see your creations.

  • Olya

    The texture and color on these looks perfect. I’ve made similar ones in the past and I know that mine never looked like that. And the chocolate drizzle on top is very elegant!

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