Looking for that perfect recipe to enjoy at the end of a summer BBQs, or any event year-round? Then you need to make the ultimate gluten-free cannoli cheesecake recipe.
Instead of the traditional crisp cannoli shell, this recipe uses graham cracker crumbs- I used my homemade gluten-free graham crackers, and then pulsed them in the food processor to make the crumbs, that I needed. However, you can use whichever gluten-free graham cracker crumbs you like.
The ultimate gluten-free cannoli cheesecake recipe is the perfect combination of creamy mascarpone cheese, ricotta cheese, cinnamon, and citrus. A slice of this cheesecake is every bit as good as your favourite cannoli. This recipe is so good that gluten-eating guests, will want to take an extra piece home.
The Ultimate Gluten-Free Cannoli Cheesecake Recipe
Homemade Gluten-free graham crackers (optional):
- 1 ½ cups gluten-free all-purpose flour- I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour
- ½ cup almond meal
- ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 7 Tablespoons COLD butter
- 3 Tablespoons honey
- 3 Tablespoons cold water
- 1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups gluten-free graham cracker crumbs– I used homemade gluten-free graham crackers; but, you can use whichever gluten-free graham cracker crumbs you like
- 6 tablespoons salted butter (softened)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 640 g Ricotta Cheese minus 1/4 c for topping
- 475g mascarpone cheese
- 1 1/4 C granulated sugar
- 1/4C +1 tbsp Cup 4 Cup gluten-free flour (you can use any gluten-free flour you like)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon extract
- 2 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup cold heavy 35% whipping cream
- 3 tbsp powdered sugar or granulated sugar
- 1/4 C Ricotta Cheese
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 C mini gluten-free chocolate chips or chopped gluten-free chocolate chips
Homemade Gluten-Free Graham Cracker Recipe (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 325°
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, almond meal, xanthan gum, brown sugar, baking powder and cinnamon.
- Cut the butter into very small cubes (or grate)
- Either place the dry mixture into the food processor and add in the butter, and pulse until combined, or cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or two forks. Combine until the mixture has a coarse, uniform consistency (no lumps!)
- In a separate, small bowl, combine honey, water, and vanilla, stirring well. Then add the honey mixture to the large bowl or food processor and mix thoroughly until well combined.
- Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate the dough for at least 15 minutes.
- Cut a piece of parchment paper to cover a medium or large-rimmed cookie sheet.
- Remove the parchment from the pan, place the dough on it and place another piece of parchment or wax paper over the top and roll out the dough into a thin even layer.
- Gently dock the base, by making indents with a fork. Do not poke through the dough. This will help the dough not to puff up.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Allow to cool.
- Break into pieces, and pulse the cookie pieces into a fine crumb. Alternatively, you can place the cookie pieces into a Ziplock bag, and use a rolling pin to crush the cookie into a fine crumb.
- Preheat your oven to 325°
Preparing the Pan For The Crust:
- Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit your 9-inch springform pan, or use precut parchment paper rounds.
- Grease the bottom and sides of your 9-inch springform pan, then place the parchment circle in the bottom of the pan, and grease over the parchment paper.
For The Crust:
- Place your gluten-free graham cracker crumbs, and sugar in a food processor, and slowly drizzle in the butter until it starts to come together, and becomes like a wet sand texture.
Pro Tip: You can mix this by hand in a bowl.
- Press the graham crust mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the pan in an even layer.
Pro Tip: Make sure that where the bottom meets the sides the crust is thick so that the filling won't leak out.
Pro Tip: Use a flat-bottom measuring cup or glass to help press the crust evenly into the bottom of the pan. You need the crust to be pressed in well, so that is a solid base for the filling.
Pro Tip: Make sure the crust is even up the sides of the pan.
- Bake the crust for 10 minutes, remove from the oven allow to cool.
Preparing the Pan For The Waterbath
- Once the pan is cool, cover the outside of the pan with a double layer of aluminum foil to prepare the pan for the water bath- this is for the water bath, that the cheesecake bakes in, later.
Pro Tip: You can lay your pieces of foil with them overlapped and place the pan on top and pull it up and press it tightly against the pan. Repeat this step; but, with the seam going the other way.
For The Filling
- Lower the oven to 300°F
- Drain the liquid off of the top of the ricotta as soon as you open the container.
- Remove 1/4 C of ricotta and place in an airtight container, and place in the refrigerator for use, later.
- Drain the rest of the ricotta well.
Pro Tip: Place the ricotta in a large piece of cheesecloth, and squeeze well. Squeeze out as much liquid as you possibly can.
- In a large bowl, mix the drained ricotta, mascarpone cheese, sugar, ground cinnamon, cinnamon extract, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and flour, using a hand mixer on low.
Pro Tip: You want to use low speed, and not over-mix, as you don't want to add a lot of air to the mixture. Mixing the batter on high or over mixing may cause the batter to crack when you bake it.
- Taste the mixture, and adjust the flavouring to your liking.
- Crack the eggs into a bowl, and add them one at a time, with the mixer on low.
- Once everything is mixed, scrape down the sides using a spatula and mix again, if needed to ensure that the filling is fully incorporated.
- Carefully, pour the mixture into the pre-prepared crust.
Pro Tip: To ensure the top filling is spread evenly, take a spoon or spatula and smooth it out well.
- Place your 9-inch springform pan (with the bottom covered in foil) into a pan that is larger than the springform pan, so it can sit in the water evenly.
- Boil a kettle of water.
- Once the water is boiled, place the two pans in the oven, and slowly fill the outer pan with the hot water- it should go about halfway up the sides of the Cannoli Cheesecake pan- but not higher than the top of the aluminum foil.
- Bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes, or until the edges are set, but the center has some jiggle.
Pro Tip: Check on the cake at the 1-hour 20-minute mark, and add more hot water to the water bath if needed.
Pro Tip: Ovens can be different so the cake may require more time. Add time in 10 to 15-minute increments or as needed.
- Once baked, turn off the oven, leave the cheesecake in the oven, and allow the cheesecake to sit with the door closed for 30 minutes.
Pro Tip: This slow cooling process is to finish setting the cheesecake, and to help it not crack.
- After the oven door has been closed for a half hour, open the door a crack (you can place a wooden spoon in the door to help keep it opened, if needed) and allow the cheesecake to cool, inside the oven for another 30 minutes.
- Remove the cheesecake from the water bath, and take the cheesecake out of the oven, then remove the foil.
- If the cheesecake pan is still hot to the touch, allow it to cool to room temperature, before covering it with plastic wrap, and placing it in the refrigerator to finish cooling completely.
- The cheesecake should be in the fridge for a minimum of 6 hours, but it is best to stay overnight.
Pro Tip: You can make this cheesecake a day or two ahead of time, and just make the topping the day off.
- Carefully remove the water bath from the oven and discard any remaining water.
- Once the cheesecake is cooled and firm, (preferably overnight) run a butter knife gently around the springform pan, open the springform latch, and close it again.
For The Topping
- Place a metal bowl and/or beaters from your hand mixer in the freezer for 15-20 minutes before making the whipped cream.
Pro Tip: I personally only freeze my beaters, but you can freeze both. Having cold metal items makes it easier to make fluffy and stable whipped cream.
- Pour cold cream into the bowl.
- Begin beating with a hand mixer.
- When the cream starts to thicken, slowly add in the sugar and vanilla.
- As the mixture gets thicker, increase the speed of the mixer.
- Beat until you have creamy stiff peaks.
- Add in the ricotta cheese and beat again.
- Dollop the topping over the top of the cheesecake and spread it into an even layer.
- Sprinkle the cheesecake with an even layer of the gluten-free chocolate chips
Pro Tip: You can chop regular gluten-free chocolate chips into threes or fours, so you have little pieces. I recommend doing this by hand.
- Place in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it.
The ultimate gluten-free cannoli cheesecake recipe seems like a lot of work, and it kind of is, but it is not as daunting as it seems.
As reading (and reading) this recipe and having the ingredients, at hand, will make this so much easier.
Plus, this cheesecake is soooo delicious and craveable you will want to make it again and again.