Cannoli Recipe (How to Make Cannoli Filling & Shells)

Cannoli Recipe (How to Make Cannoli Filling & Shells)

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A foolproof cannoli recipe for shells and filling! Cannoli are seriously dreamy, crisp shells filled with a ricotta and chocolate mixture. Perfect for an elegant dinner party to serve as an eye-catching, impressive dessert. Check out all my tips and tricks for perfectly crisp cannoli shells.


  • Prep Time25 mins
  • Cook Time10 mins
  • Diet: Vegetarian
  • Servings: 24 cannoli
  • Calories: 119.6kcal


For the pastry

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, more as needed
  • pinch salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 4-5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons Marsala wine
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten mixed with 1 tablespoon of water to make egg wash
  • Oil for frying
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

For the filling

  • 2 ounces dark chocolate, grated, more for dusting
  • 12 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 ounces chopped candied fruit, I used candied orange slices


  • To prepare the pastry: Sift the flour, salt, and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Using your hand, rub in the butter until you have a coarse mixture. Mix in the egg and Marsala wine. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand until you have a smooth dough. (If the dough is too sticky, add a little bit of flour at a time and continue to knead until you are able to form a smooth ball.) Place the dough back in the bowl and refrigerate while you make the filling.
  • For the filling: In a mixing bowl, combine the grated chocolate, ricotta cheese, confectioners’ sugar and the candied fruit. Mix with a hand mixer or fork until all is well combined. Set aside for now.
  • Take the pastry dough out of the fridge. On a clean, lightly-floured work surface, roll the pastry dough out until very thin (like ⅛’ thin). Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter or a drinking glass, cut the dough into rounds. You should have between 18 and 24 rounds.
  • Dust 6 cannoli molds with flour and wrap each pastry circle loosely around a cannoli mold. Dampen the edges of the dough with the egg wash and press to seal the edges shut in the middle (make sure you press hard enough using a little of the egg wash so that the dough will not open when it’s fried).
  • Fill a small cooking pot with oil about ⅓ of the way. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F. Deep fry until the cannoli pastry shells turn golden and crisp (this will be quick). Using tongs or a large slotted spoon, remove from the oil and place on a plate lined with paper towel. When pastry shells are cool enough to handle, twist the cannoli forms to release the shells.
  • Using the cannoli molds, repeat the process until you have fried all the cannoli.
  • When the cannoli shells are cold, pipe or spoon the filling into them. Dust with a generous amount of confectioner’s sugar and a bit of the grated dark chocolate. Enjoy!


  • Equipment needed: Rolling pin, 3-inch round cookie cutter, cannoli molds, piping bag.
  • How to dress up cannoli: While I keep mine quite plain to make a star of creamy ricotta, you can dip the cooled shells into melted chocolate, or dip the filled shells into chopped unsalted pistachios.
  • How to store leftovers: Store unfilled cannoli shells in an airtight container at room temperature for about 1 week. The filling can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. Filled shells can be refrigerated, but will quickly become soggy. So try to eat them as soon as possible.

 Nutrition INFO:

Calories: 119.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 18.1g | Protein: 3.5g | Fat: 5.2g | Saturated Fat: 3.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1.5g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 23.8mg | Potassium: 54.5mg | Fiber: 0.6g | Sugar: 5.2g | Vitamin A: 142.9IU | Vitamin C: 0.002mg | Calcium: 36.5mg | Iron: 0.9mg

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