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225 min


Cannoli Photo 1




225 min


30 persons




4.00 rating-star (139)


Author: Victoria Bailey
This cannoli recipe was invented on July 31st, 2005. I spent a lot of time looking for a good recipe for cannoli shells and filling. Since no two were alike, and since instructions were a bit sketchy, I worked with a friend, Ana, to come up with a good recipe, including some tips that we came up with along the way. Special equipment is needed such as cannoli tubes, a pasta machine, and a pastry bag to help make these cannoli come out just like the ones at Italian restaurants and bakeries. Start with 1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar, and then add more to taste.


  • all-purpose flour: 3 cups
  • white sugar: 0.25 cup
  • ground cinnamon: 0.25 tsp
  • shortening: 3 Tbsp
  • sweet Marsala wine: 0.5 cup
  • water: 2 Tbsp
  • distilled white vinegar: 1 Tbsp
  • egg: 1 piece
  • egg yolk: 1 piece
  • egg white: 1 piece
  • oil for frying, or as needed: 1 quart
  • (32 ounce) container ricotta cheese: 1 container
  • confectioners' sugar: 0.5 cup
  • semisweet chocolate, chopped (Optional): 4 ounces
  • lemon zest, or to taste: 1 tsp

Metric Conversion

Stages of cooking

  1. Make shells: Mix flour, sugar, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Cut in shortening until crumbly. Make a well in the center and add Marsala wine, water, vinegar, egg, and egg yolk. Mix with a fork until the dough becomes stiff, then finish kneading it by hand on a clean surface, adding a bit more water if needed for about 10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
    Cannoli Photo 2
  2. Divide cannoli dough into three balls; flatten each one just enough to get through the pasta machine. Roll a ball of dough through successively thinner settings until you have reached the thinnest setting. Dust lightly with flour if necessary. Place the sheet of dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a cutter or large glass, cut out 4 to 5-inch circles. Dust the circles with a light coating of flour. This will help you later in removing the shells from the tubes. Roll dough around cannoli tubes, sealing the edge with a bit of egg white. Repeat with remaining dough balls.
    Cannoli Photo 3
  3. Heat oil in a deep fryer or deep skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
    Cannoli Photo 4
  4. Fry shells on the tubes in hot oil, a few at a time, until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Use tongs to turn as needed. Remove shells carefully using tongs, and place them on a cooling rack set over paper towels. Cool just long enough that you can handle the tubes, then carefully twist the tube to remove the shell. Using a tea towel may help you get a better grip. Wash or wipe off the tubes, and use them for more shells. Cooled shells can be placed in an airtight container and kept for up to 2 months. You should only fill them immediately or up to 1 hour before serving.
    Cannoli Photo 5
  5. Make filling: Mix ricotta cheese and confectioners' sugar together in a large bowl until well combined. Fold in chocolate and lemon zest. Transfer mixture into a pastry bag and pipe into shells, filling from the center to one end, then doing the same from the other side. Dust with additional confectioners' sugar to serve, if you like.
    Cannoli Photo 6

History of the Cannoli:

Cannoli is a traditional Italian dessert that originated in Sicily. The word 'cannoli' means 'little tube' in Italian, which refers to the shape of the pastry. Cannoli consists of a crispy pastry shell filled with a deliciously creamy filling made with ricotta cheese, sugar, and often chocolate or candied fruit. They are a popular dessert in Italian-American communities and Italian restaurants worldwide.

Tips and Tricks for Cannoli Recipe:

To make perfect cannoli, there are a few tips and tricks you should follow. Here are some of the most important ones:

  • Use a pasta machine to get the perfect thickness for the cannoli shells.
  • Make sure to dust the circles of dough with a light coating of flour. This will help you remove the shells from the tubes later on.
  • Use a good quality sweet Marsala wine for the dough. This will give the cannoli shells their characteristic flavor.
  • When filling the cannoli shells, start from the center and work your way towards the edges to ensure that each shell is filled evenly.
  • Chill the filled cannoli in the fridge for at least an hour before serving so that the filling has time to set.

Tips for presenting the dish:

Cannoli is a visually impressive dessert that will look great on your table. Here are some tips for presenting the dish:

  • Dust the cannoli with additional confectioners' sugar just before serving to give them a snowy, festive appearance.
  • Arrange the cannoli on a platter or cake stand, and sprinkle some finely grated chocolate or candied fruit over the top to make them even more appealing.
  • Serve the cannoli with a drizzle of melted chocolate or caramel sauce for added indulgence.
  • Accompany the cannoli with a glass of sweet dessert wine or espresso to complete the authentic Italian experience.

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