Cannoli Cream Crepes
June 25, 2020
Crepes are one of my favorite easy breakfasts. They can take a little bit of patience, but they are so versatile and fun. You can make them sweet. You can make them savory. Or you can take other classic desserts and combine them together to create something nostalgic and wonderful, which I what I did here. These cannoli cream-filled crepes are a fun twist for a simple yet impressive breakfast treat.
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What You Need to Get Started
You can easily find all of the ingredients for these cannoli cream crepes at your grocery store. If you want to use curbside pick-up or home delivery, check out Instacart to shop online from your favorite local grocery store.
- Pantry: Flour, Sugar, White wine vinegar, Powdered sugar, Mini chocolate chips
- Spice Cabinet: Salt, Vanilla extract, Cinnamon
- Fridge: Butter, Milk, Eggs, Ricotta cheese, Heavy cream
- Equipment: Collander or strainer, Nut milk bag, Mixing bowls, Whisk, Nonstick frying pan, Hand mixer with whisk attachment, Mixing spoon
How to Make Crepes
Crepes are like super thin pancakes, which means you make them in a very similar manner. Begin by mixing together all the wet ingredients for the crepes in a small bowl or measuring cup, and all the dry ingredients in a separate large bowl.
The dry ingredients include flour, salt, and sugar. You’ll notice there’s no baking soda or powder. This is because crepes don’t need to rise. They are almost more like sweet breakfast tortillas than they are pancakes. Whisk these all together until combined.
For the wet ingredients, start by melting the butter, and then let it cool down to room temperature. You’ll also be using milk and eggs, which you will want to let warm up to room temperature. It’s a lot easier to combine when you’re not mixing hot and cold ingredients.
The vanilla and white wine vinegar are for flavor. Your standard crepe recipe doesn’t include vinegar. However, a classic cannoli shell does. I added it here for a little extra tang. Last is a little bit of water, which will help thin out the batter even more. Whisk these all together as well.
Once combined separately, add the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry and mix thoroughly. Crepe batter is best when it’s smooth, so don’t worry too much about over mixing here. Make sure everything is well-combined and there are no dry spots.
When it’s smooth, cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for twenty minutes. This will help the flour better absorb the liquids, which will help to relax the gluten. It’s not required for the crepes to work, but it does make for a better texture.
Remove the chilled batter from the fridge, and give it a last-minute stir while your frying pan heats up. Use a medium to medium-low heat, and grease the pan well. Use a 1/3 cup measure to scoop out some batter, lift the warm pan away from the burner, and add the batter.
Tilt the pan, allowing the batter to spread and cover the bottom as much as possible, before lowering the pan back onto the heat. Then, let it cook for about 2 minutes until the edges appear dry and start to lift away from the pan on their own.
At that point, use a spatula to flip and cook the other side. If the crepe isn’t releasing well to flip, it’s probably not quite ready. Give it another 15-30 seconds and try again. Cook on the second side for about 1 minute more, until dry.
Stack the finished crepes on a plate, and continue making crepes until you have run out of batter. This recipe will make about ten crepes. If you want to speed up the cooking process, you can have multiple pans going at the same time.
However, be careful if you do this. While crepes aren’t a super active dish to stir constantly, you do want to keep a close eye to be sure they don’t overcook. I think two pans is manageable, but any more and things may get out of hand.
Let’s Make Cannoli Cream Crepes
The best time to start mixing up the filling is while the crepe batter is chilling in the fridge. These crepes are being filled with a fairly traditional cannoli cream, which includes sweetened ricotta cheese and cream.
Ricotta can contain a lot of excess liquid, so before you get started you will want to make sure it’s thoroughly strained. A few hours in advance, add the ricotta to a nut milk bag, and place in a collander on top of a large bowl. Place another bowl on top, and add something heavy (like canned food) to apply pressure.
Press down and adjust the positioning every half hour or so. After two hours, squeeze any excess liquid out of the cheese using the nut milk bag. Discard the liquid, and add the dry cheese to a medium bowl.
The flavor of ricotta is really what gives cannoli cream its signature flavor. You may see some recipes that use mascarpone in addition. This is because alternatives needed to be used after Italians immigrated to America, and had trouble sourcing the ricotta needed. However, the traditional filling contains all ricotta, so that’s what I decided to use.
Add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla into the bowl with the cheese. Then use a hand mixer or spoon to thoroughly combine it. It may be a little tough to mix at first, since you removed most of the liquid. But be patient, and it will come together.
Next, you can whip up the heavy cream. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, add the cream, and use a hand mixer with a whisk attachment to whip it up. Start on low, slowly increasing the speed on the mixer all the way up to high. Mix for about 5 minutes, until the cream holds its shape. Then lick the whisk of course!
Fold the whipped cream into the bowl with the cheese mixture. This will help lighten it up, and make the filling have more of a mousse texture. The cream also adds a little extra sweetness, from the natural sugars.
Sprinkle in the mini chocolate chips – a cannoli staple! The bittersweet chocolate is a great counter to the tangy cheese flavor. Some other additives used in cannolis include chopped pistachios or almonds, or even orange zest. So have a little fun and experiment!
When everything is mixed. Cover the bowl, and chill the filling for twenty minutes. This will help it solidify slightly, so it stays in the crepes better. Don’t forget to sneak a little taste of the filling to hold you over. It’s worth it!
Once you have your stack of crepes, and your chilled cannoli cream, it’s time to fill! Scoop out about 2-3 tablespoons of the cream, and spread it down the middle of a crepe.
Fold the two edges over gently, and then place the crepe seam side down on a plate. Keep filling, rolling, and stacking, until you’ve reached the bottom or your crepe pile and your filling bowl.
Separate the crepes onto plates for serving. Two-three crepes per person is a good amount, but I won’t tell if you don’t want to share that much! Trust me, I get it, I ate five.
Top with a dollop of whipped cream, and sprinkle some additional mini chocolate chips on top, and inside the open edges of each crepe. This will help give these treats even more of that cannoli look.
These cannoli cream-filled crepes are such a fun, sweet, and tangy treat for brunch!
How to Serve Cannoli Crepes
These are perfect for a sweet breakfast or brunch, and taste the best when served immediately after filling. You can store them in the fridge for 1-2 days, and then eat cold later. However, while the filling is just as tasty, the crepe loses a bit of it’s soft texture.
If you’re looking for a more traditional brunch choice, try a bruleed grapefruit brown derby, which has it’s own balance of sweet, bitter, and tang. Or try a cinnamon, pear, and rum cocktail for something sweet.
Use Up Leftover Ingredients
- Heavy cream can be whipped to make a quick topping for any treat, but it’s excellent inside of easy cream puffs with coconut-almond cream.
- Powdered sugar is perfect for sprinkling on top of anything fried, like sweet corn fritters or whole wheat jelly donuts.
- Cinnamon goes well in everything! Try it in a loaf of cinnamon brown butter banana bread or cinnamon praline stuffed challah.
Cannoli Cream Crepes
- 1 Cup Flour
- 2 Tbsp Sugar
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 Tbsp Butter melted
- 1 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
- 1 Cup Milk
- 2 Eggs
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 Cup Water
- 15 oz Ricotta Cheese strained
- 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1/3 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips plus more for garnish
- Before starting, strain the ricotta by placing it in a nut milk bag in a colander, and using a heavy weight to apply pressure.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. In a smaller mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, vinegar, milk, eggs, vanilla and water. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and whisk until smooth. Cover and chill for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, combined the strained ricotta, powdered sugar, salt, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Mix using a mixer or spoon until combined. In a small bowl, jar, or measuring cup, whip the cream using a hand mixer, until it holds its shape.
- Fold the whipped cream into the ricotta mixture, and then add and fold in the chocolate chips as well. Cover and chill for 20 minutes.
- Heat a nonstick frying pan over medium heat, and spray or grease. Use a 1/3 cup measure to scoop out crepe batter. Lift the warm pan from the heat, and pour the crepe batter into it, tilting the pan to spread
- Cook for about 2 minutes on the first side, until,the edges look dry and begin to pull away from the pan. Flip and cook the other side for another 1-2 minutes, until dry. Repeat for the rest of the crepes.
- Add a large spoonful of the cannoli filling into a strip in the middle of each crepe. Fold in the two sides, and place seam side down on a plate. Stack the crepes, top with a dollop of whipped cream and additional chocolate chips and serve immediately.