Every Holiday Party Deserves a Cheeseball Dessert

If you didn’t already know, we at Skillet are big fans of cheese balls . They are amazing, impressive, shareable and just crazy. I understand if you’ve only rolled delicious cheese balls so far, but whipped dessert cheese balls are the appetizer you need for your upcoming holiday get-togethers. I’ll tell you right now, there’s a recipe for cannoli cheese balls at the end, and it’s great .

While I think cannoli flavored with ricotta cheese, cinnamon, mini chocolate chips, and pistachios make a perfect dessert (especially served with these cannoli crackers ), you can make a dessert cheeseball with any combination of sweet flavors you like. Part of the beauty of cheese balls is their versatility and ease of preparation. They make a big contribution to a party appetizer, typically with five to seven ingredients that you can tweak to suit your budget. Use simple ingredients or cheaper brands to make it more affordable, or go crazy with artisanal chocolate and gold leaf if you prefer. Try chocolate chip-covered peanut butter cheese balls or Reese’s slices. Maybe a Nutella dipped in crushed hazelnuts is better for you, or make it fruity and use your favorite jam for flavor.

Once you’ve decided on the cheese balls recipe, mix the ingredients together. I usually start with room temperature ingredients because they blend more easily, but most recipes don’t specify anything, so it all depends on how much fat you want to add. The advantage of working with cold ingredients is that the fats stay solid, so you can usually form it into a ball right away and hastily roll it into an outer garnish. If you decide to use room temperature ingredients and your mixture seems a bit runny, pour it into the center of a sheet of plastic wrap, gather the corners, and shape it into a ball with the cling film. Chill it in the fridge for a couple of hours until it hardens, then unwrap it to cover the garnish ingredients. I used a spoon to press the pistachios and chocolate chips into the sides and it helped a lot with shaping.

This cannoli cheeseball includes ricotta cheese, which makes the mixture deliciously soft and spreadable, but can add extra water. Before adding the ricotta, lay it out on a couple of paper towels and press it to “dry”. After mixing all the ingredients for the curd balls, let them sit in the fridge for a couple of hours before rolling them in the chocolate chips and pistachios. Serve with cannoli crackers , plain tea biscuits, Nill’s waffles, or any hard biscuit.

Cannoli Cheeseball


  • ¼ cup ricotta (dry with paper towels)
  • ½ brick cream cheese (4 oz)
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • Zest of ½ orange
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon pistachios, chopped (optional for garnish)
  • Mini chocolate chips for decoration (about ⅓ cup)

Mix dried ricotta, cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Stir in the melted butter quickly so that it doesn’t become lumpy. Mix orange zest, cinnamon and one tablespoon chopped pistachios.

Place the chocolate chips and additional pistachios in a bowl large enough to hold the cheeseball. Form the mixture into a ball and roll it in the garnish, using a spoon to press down on the sides of the chips. If the mixture seems too runny, let it harden in the refrigerator first or place the mixture in a piece of plastic wrap and gather the corners to form a ball. Let it chill in the fridge for a couple of hours. Remove the film and roll it in the chocolate-pistachio mixture. Serve with cannoli crackers, biscuits, biscuits, or just eat with a spoon (tested and approved).


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