Cannoli Ice Cream

A glass bowl filled with white vanilla ice cream dotted with chocolate chips, pistachios, and broken sugar cone bits.

This Cannoli Ice Cream recipe features an ultra rich and creamy mascarpone cheese-based ice cream with nutty pistachios and chocolate chips dotted throughout. It’s all the flavours of classic Italian Cannoli in one fabulous frozen treat. Every bite is an Italophile’s dream!

Today I am thrilled to bring you this updated cannoli ice cream recipe post (from 2014!) and to share the new photos with you. A few other recently updated recipes include Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream and Armadillo Eggs. Both are delicious summer treats!

Two sugar cones filled with two scoops of white vanilla ice cream dotted with chocolate chips, pistachios, and broken sugar cone bits.

Cannoli Ice Cream

Years ago, I stumbled across a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Cannoli Ice Cream and couldn’t stop thinking about it. It was then that I began developing one of my all-time favourite ice cream recipes. If you love homemade cannoli as much as I do, you’re going to love it even more in ice cream form!

The ice cream mixture contains both super smooth mascarpone cheese and cream cheese, along with some heavy cream and whole milk. Together they form a silky-smooth ice cream base that freezes with the perfect creamy texture.

Simply put, you won’t find a homemade ice cream with a better texture. As the high fat ice cream base churns in the ice cream maker, air molecules are introduced and become trapped. This creates a lighter and creamier texture than freezing ice cream without churning it first.

A glass bowl filled with white vanilla ice cream dotted with chocolate chips, pistachios, and broken sugar cone bits.

This is a very decadent ice cream for special occasions. The recipe makes 6 servings which is just enough to share with family and friends.

What are Cannoli?

Believe it or not ‘cannoli’ is the plural form of ‘cannolo’, so if you have just one in your hand… it’s a cannolo (like ravioli and raviolo). However, you’ll mostly hear it referred to as a cannoli outside of Italy. The word ‘cannolo’ means ‘little tube’, referring to the flaky outer pastry shell or tube of this distinct Sicilian pastry.

Ingredients required to make Cannoli Ice Cream.

Authentic cannoli siciliani (from Sicily) consists of tube-shaped pastry shells formed around cannoli molds before they are deep fried. Once the cannoli shells cool, they are filled with creamy sheep’s milk ricotta cheese. Finally, the ends are decorated with chopped pistachios, chocolate flakes, or candied fruit.

Outside of Sicily, there is a wider range of fillings and add-ins for cannoli. This ice cream recipe uses creamy mascarpone cheese and cream cheese instead of ricotta and contains chocolate chips and pistachios as add-ins. Finally, there are broken pieces of sugar cones to replicate the crunchy texture of the classic fried pastry shells.

Process shots of ice cream churning in an ice cream maker.

Ingredients for Cannoli Ice Cream

  • Mascarpone Cheese
  • Cream Cheese
  • Heavy Cream
  • Milk
  • Sugar
  • Corn Syrup
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Pistachios
  • Vanilla Bean
  • Sugar Cones

This recipe features full fat dairy, please do not substitute lower fat versions of the cream cheese, heavy cream or whole milk. If you can find smooth whole milk ricotta, feel free to use it in place of the mascarpone cheese.

A tub of cannoli ice cream surrounded by sugar cones, pistachios, and chocolate chips.

Granulated sugar and light corn syrup sweeten the dairy just a touch and bring out the flavours of the vanilla bean. If you use vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean seeds, the result will be a more subtle vanilla flavour.

Use either regular chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips and only unsalted natural pistachios for this recipe. Pistachios are naturally a lovely light green colour while pink pistachios are dyed to make them look more ‘attractive’. Do not use pink pistachios unless you want pink ice cream.

Finally, if you have access to fresh cannoli shell pieces feel free to use them in place of the sugar cone pieces.

An ice cream scoop full of white vanilla ice cream dotted with chocolate chips, pistachios, and broken sugar cone bits.

How to Make Cannoli Ice Cream

Making the Mascarpone Mixture

To make the mascarpone mixture you’ll need a blender or food processor. Measure 1 cup heavy cream, 3/4 cup whole milk, 3/4 cup sugar, and 2 tablespoons light corn syrup into the jug of the blender/food processor. Process on low speed until the sugar dissolves into the cream mixture.

Add the tub of mascarpone cheese, 4 oz cream cheese, and vanilla bean seeds to the cream mixture and blend or process until it is smooth with no remaining lumps.

A glass bowl filled with white vanilla ice cream dotted with chocolate chips, pistachios, and broken sugar cone bits.

Transfer the mascarpone mixture to an airtight container and place in the freezer for one hour. Remove and stir the mixture after 30 minutes of freezing. Return to the freezer.

Churning the Cannoli Ice Cream

After one hour in the freezer, transfer the mascarpone mixture to an ice cream machine. Churn the ice cream following manufacturers instructions. Pro tip: The volume will increase as air becomes incorporated into the ice cream so don’t overfill the ice cream maker.

A sugar cone filled with two scoops of white vanilla ice cream dotted with chocolate chips, pistachios, and broken sugar cone bits.

When the ice cream mixture begins to thicken, add the chocolate chips, pistachios, and sugar cone bits, saving a portion for the final garnish. Once the add-ins are incorporated throughout the ice cream, transfer the ice cream back into the airtight container.

Freeze ice cream until it is semi-firm and easy to scoop, at least six hours. If it freezes solid, allow the ice cream to sit out on the counter for 5-10 minutes before scooping. Pro tip: Dip the ice cream scoop in hot water in between scoops for easier scooping.

Serve Cannoli Ice Cream in bowls or scoop it into sugar cones or waffle cones. Add reserved garnishes as desired.

Two sugar cones filled with two scoops of white vanilla ice cream dotted with chocolate chips, pistachios, and broken sugar cone bits.
An ice cream cone filled with white vanilla ice cream dotted with chocolate chips, pistachios, and broken sugar cone bits.

Hi! I’m Bernice Hill and I’ve been the sole recipe developer, photographer, and writer at Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen for the past eleven years. It is my pleasure to share easy to follow recipes that are delicious, nutritious, and approachable for the whole family.

If you make this Cannoli Ice Cream recipe, tell me about it in the comments section or leave a recipe rating. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe, please share your photos and tag me @dishnthekitchen on Instagram. I hope you like this recipe!

A white dish holds three scoops of ice cream dotted with chocolate chips and pistachios.
A white dish holds three scoops of ice cream dotted with chocolate chips and pistachios.
A scoop of pistachio and chocolate chip studded ice cream in a cone lying on white marble.
Yield: 6 servings

Cannoli Ice Cream

A white dish holds three scoops of ice cream dotted with chocolate chips and pistachios.

This Cannoli Ice Cream recipe features an ultra rich, thick, and creamy mascarpone cheese based ice cream with nutty pistachios and chocolate chips dotted throughout. It's all of the flavours of classic Italian Cannoli in one fabulous frozen treat. Every bite is an Italophile's dream!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1 (15 oz) container mascarpone
  • 4 oz cream cheese; diced into small cubes
  • Seeds of 1 small vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 3 sugar cones; all smashed up
  • 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup unsalted roasted pistachios; chopped

Instructions

    1. In a blender or food processor combine heavy cream, milk, sugar and corn syrup and blend mixture on low speed until sugar has dissolved, about 1 minute.
    2. Add in mascarpone, cream cheese and vanilla bean seeds and blend mixture until well pureed.
    3. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze 1 hour, stirring once halfway through freezing.
    4. Transfer to an ice cream maker and process according to manufactures directions. I found this mixture to be a bit much volume for my machine so I wouldn't fill it up next time.
    5. Add the pistachios, chocolate chips, and sugar cone bits just when the mixture starts to thicken.
    6. Transfer to airtight container and freeze until semi-firm (I found this was best slightly soft so if you do freeze until firm allow it to rest at room temperature for a bit before enjoying).

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 462Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 196mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 2gSugar: 26gProtein: 7g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

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37 comments

  1. Amy Casey

    Cannolis are a favorite of my dad and I made this delicious ice for him. We all loved it. And it was so easy to make.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Your dad has great taste. It was very nice of you to make this ice cream for him Amy.

  2. Megane

    all this flavour in a simple ice cream! Delicious and a big win with the whole family. Thank you!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      So glad you all enjoyed this ice cream Megane. Thank you for trying the recipe!

  3. Nicoletta De Angelis

    I have yet to meet somebody that doesn’t like cannoli, and this cannoli ice cream might be the next best thing. I can just imagine how smooth and creamy it is with mascarpone, cream cheese, heavy cream, and whole milk. An absolute delight.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Hahaha same. Who doesn’t love cannoli?! Thanks for stopping by Nicoletta.

  4. sophie

    I tried this unique and indulgent ice cream, and it was a real treat. The creamy ice cream infused with the flavors of classic cannoli, was a match made in dessert heaven. It’s a perfect blend of creamy, crunchy, and sweet textures that will satisfy any sweet tooth

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Wow, thank you for the kind review Sophie. So glad you enjoyed this ice cream.

  5. Mandy

    I adore the mascarpone based ice cream. So rich and creamy. This was a winner!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Thank you so much Mandy! It’s hard to go wrong with such great ingredients.

  6. Jacqueline Debono

    This cannoli ice-cream recipe has inspired me to add an ice cream maker to my wish list. We love cannoli. My hubby is Sicilian and every time we go to Sicily, the first thing we do is buy cannoli! Now, I’m dying to make this ice cream version! Genius idea!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      hahaha that makes me nervous now Jacqueline! I hope he adores it as much as we do.

  7. Sean

    I haven’t had a cannoli in ages but this ice cream reminded me of the last time I was in Rome and had one.

    Reply

  8. Tammy

    This sounds like heaven. One scoop and I’d be instantly transported to Italy…what a delicious homemade batch to enjoy this summer.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      It’s soooo creamy. Tastes like the real deal! Thanks for stopping by Tammy.

  9. Marta

    This cannoli ice cream really took me back to Arthur Ave in the Bronx. The area is an enclave for Italian-Americans and it was my favorite place to grab cannolis. I loved how straightforward and easy this recipe was!

    Reply

  10. Gloria

    Just what we need to cool down for the heat we are having. Homemade ice cream is the best. I know this will not last long in my freezer.

    Reply

  11. Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

    […] freshly mowed green grass, garden vegetables and frozen treats whether they are in the form of ice cream or slushy wine cocktail. There’s no better way to beat the heat with a chilly […]

    Reply

  12. Jennifer Tammy

    I love cannoli’s – this is such a fun version for the summer! My kids would love it!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Oh, for sure they will. Enjoy!

  13. cynniebuns

    Oh my goodness. Mascarpone cheese in ice cream. I think you’ve just inspired me to develop a tiramisu ice cream recipe. Thank you! (from Cynful Kitchen)

    Reply

    1. dishnthekitchen

      mmmm, yes! that sounds divine as well!

  14. Edible Woman

    This looks amaaaaaaazing! Two of my favourite things, cannoli and ice cream. So glad I can make it in the food processor! 🙂

    Reply

    1. dishnthekitchen

      mmmmhmmm! yeah..so good and easy too!

  15. taranoland

    I love this, what a great idea!!

    Reply

  16. Redawna

    I have never made ice cream before. This recipe makes me what to change that. Immediately. OMG

    Reply

  17. chef mimi

    Wow. That looks amazing! You know, the 18 years do go by fast, but once they’re gone, it’s pretty wonderful!!!

    Reply

  18. foodisthebestshitever

    Holy shit that ice cream is something I would like to eat. Me likey!

    Reply

  19. Foodisms of The Office Broccoli

    Mmm.. I would love to try this. Except it will have to wait until I get an ice cream maker, or an attachment for my stand mixer.

    Reply

    1. dishnthekitchen

      you know…I really loved the texture after I mixed everything in the food processor. It was really light. I bet you could try it without the ice cream maker.

  20. cindyhkim

    Oooooh this looks like heaven. I must make it soon!

    Reply

    1. dishnthekitchen

      thank you 🙂 please give it a try and let me know how you like it. I think you could do without the cream cheese and I might try this next time.

  21. Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate

    Looks delicious Bernice. And woohoo, it’s finally SUMMER!

    Reply

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