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Cannoli Recipe (How To Make Cannoli Filling & Shells)

Suzy Karadsheh
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 Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dessert, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 24 Servings
Calories 119.6 kcal


For The Pastry

  • 2 Cup cups all-purpose flour more as needed
  • ▢ pinch salt
  • 3 tbsp tablespoons sugar
  • 4-5 tbsp tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small pieces
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 3 tbsp 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 Cups 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. 
sponsored by Mediterranean Supermarket 
Keyword cannoli, italian