Cannoli Cupcakes

I was inspired to make these tasty cupcakes for our football tailgate last Thursday when I saw this recipe on Cooking Classy's blog.  The cupcakes turned out great.



I did realize, after I had already made the batter of course, that I was almost out of cupcake liners.  Ahh!  Luckily, I had some mini cupcake liners on hand, so I made half mini cupcakes and half regular cupcakes. 


Thank goodness, because I did not have time to go to the store as full-on tailgate prep madness had already begun!!

The mini cupcakes went like hotcakes at the tailgate and all 24 that I brought were eaten.  Score!  (If only our football team could score when it counted!)



Ingredients
Makes 2 dozen cupcakes

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup salted butter, at room temperature
4 large eggs
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream

1 1/3 cup Mascarpone cheese
1 1/3 cup part skim ricotta cheese, strained slightly*
1/2 cup powdered sugar

3 cups heavy cream
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
*Measurement taken before straining. To strain, place the ricotta onto a layer of clean paper towels then wrapped it up and squeezed to strain out the liquids. You don't need all of the liquid removed just some of it.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, whip together butter and sugar on medium high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 - 4 minutes. Stir in eggs one at a time mixing until combined after each addition. Mix in sour cream and vanilla. With mixer set at low speed, slowly add dry ingredients and mix just until combined, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl as needed.
Divide batter among 24 paper lined muffin cups, or 48 mini muffin cups, filling each cup about 2/3 full.  Bake in preheated oven 21 - 24 minutes for large cupcakes, or 10 minutes for mini cupcakes, until lightly golden and toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool several minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool. Cool cupcakes completely.

For the cannoli filling:
In a small mixing bowl, using a rubber or silicone spatula, blend together mascarpone and ricotta cheese while pressing mixture along bottom of bowl to create a smooth texture and removing any lumps. Add in 1/2 cup powdered sugar and mix until well blended.

For sweetened chocolate whipped cream:
In a mixing bowl, blend together on low speed the heavy cream, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, cocoa and vanilla until combined. Increase mixer to medium-high speed and whip until stiff peaks form.

To assemble cupcakes ~ Fill a piping bag fitted with a plastic or metal tip with the cannoli filling mixture.  Poke a hole into each cupcake with the tip of the piping bag, and squeeze some of the mixture into each cupcake.  Repeat for each of the cupcakes. 
Fill a clean piping bag with the whipped cream frosting and pipe on top of each cupcake.