Region: Sicily





Cannoli Siciliani is one of my favorite desserts, right up there with cheesecake.

When I was a kid, Mamma would make cannoli during the Christmas and Easter holidays, and was always served after Christmas dinner and Easter Dinner, that was it.

Once in a great while, other than Christmas and Easter, if we pleaded and begged, she would make them, but that was very seldom.

One year I actually managed, somehow, to talk Mamma into making cannoli for Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner. I was so happy, you’d thought I won the lottery.





Serve your Cannoli with Homemade Limoncello Creamy, click here:



  • Deep fryer
  • Cannoli forms
  • Pastry bag fitted with tip number 804

  • Yield: about 24 cannoli
  • Prep time: 1-1/2 hours
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes


For The Cannoli Shells

  • 2-1/4 cups / 300 grams all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoon / 30 grams granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon / 3 grams  kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon / 1 gram cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons / 3 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoon / 45 grams unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup dry marsala wine
  • Flour to roll dough
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 2 quarts peanut oil, for frying

For The Canolli Filling

  • 1 pound sheep or cow’s milk ricotta, drained 1 hour in a cheesecloth-lined conical sieve
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup superfine sugar, to taste –
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon shaved chocolate, 80% bittersweet, optional –
  • Zest from 1/2 lemon, optional –
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting, optional
  • 1/4 cup / 30 grams pistachio nuts, toasted and chopped, optional


For The Cannoli Dough

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt, cinnamon, and cocoa. Pass the flour mixture through a fine sieve.
  2. Work the butter pieces into the flour with your fingers until the mixture becomes coarse and sandy.
  3. Add the egg and work into the flour mixture. Add the marsala wine and mix until it becomes a smooth dough.
  4. Spread a piece of plastic wrap on a flat surface and place the dough in the center. Wrap the dough in plastic and place in the fridge for 30-minutes while you make the filling.

For The Canolli Filling

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the ricotta until smooth. Stir in the sugar and vanilla.
  2. If you want to use the chocolate and lemon, add the chocolate and the lemon zest. Mix well to incorporate.
  3. Spoon into a pastry bag with an open tip and place in the refrigerator. Refrigerate for a half hour to an hour.

Rolling And Frying The Cannoli Shells

  1. Fill the deep fryer according to the level indicated on your deep fryer. Set the temperature to 350 degrees F / 175 degrees C.
  2. Meanwhile, lightly dust a work surface with flour. Flour a rolling pin. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide into 4 pieces, keeping the unused dough covered.
  3. Roll one piece onto a flat surface with a rolling pin to a 1/16-inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut 4-inch circles from the dough. Using the rolling pin, roll each circle into an oval and wrap each oval lengthwise around a metal form, sealing the edges with egg whites. Flare the edges open with fingers. Flaring will allow the oil to penetrate each cannoli shell as they fry.
  4. Place four cannoli shells in the deep fryer basket and submerge and fry the shell in the oil until crispy, about 2 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oil, and rest on a paper towel lined plate until the shells are cool enough to handle. Holding the mold in one hand with a kitchen towel, gently grip the shell in your other hand and carefully slide it off the mold.
  6. Set aside to completely cool. Repeat until all of the dough is used.

Filling The Cannoli

  1. Just before serving, use the pastry bag to pipe the ricotta into the cannoli shells.
  2. Fill the cannoli shells from both ends so the cream runs through the whole shell.
  3. Dip each end of the cannoli into the pistachios and dust with powdered sugar, as you like. Serve immediately.


  1. Make and fry the shells and make the filling. Don’t fill the shells with the cream until you are ready to serve them. Everyone loves a crispy cannoli.
  2. To shave chocolate run a peeler along the sides of the chocolate bar. It will come off in little shavings.
  3. If you don’t have a deep fryer, you can deep fry in a saucepan set over a burner. Just be certain to use a deep fry thermometer. Use a pair of tongs to hold the edge of the mold as you submerge and fry the shell in the oil until crispy, about 2 minutes.
  4. If you don’t have a pastry bag, you can use a zip-lock plastic bag. Fill the bag half full, squeeze out the excess air, and seal the bag. Work the filling into the bottom half of the bag and snip one of the corners off the bag. You can pipe the filling that way.
  5. Superfine sugar is also called baker’s sugar or caster sugar. Alternatively you can grind granulated sugar to a powder in an electric spice mill.







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