Cannoli (Shell and Filling Recipes)

Who doesn’t love an authentic, made with love, cannoli? They may require a little more effort than some other desserts but they are well worth it! That flaky, crisp shell enclosing this decadently creamy, sweet ricotta filling which is dotted with dark chocolate chips is pure bliss! They are dessert done right.

Some of you may look at this recipe of cannoli filling, and say, “no that’s not how it’s done. Cannoli filling is made with an all ricotta filling, no mascarpone, some orange zest and plenty of marsala.”

Well, when was the last time I stuck exactly to the way things are done? If that’s how you like them though, by all means do it, I just made them how I prefer! This is also how to make cannoli according to the ingredients I have. :) I don’t keep wine on hand, and I didn’t want to make a special trip to a liquor store for just 1/2 cup for these cannoli, so I improvised and no one would notice the difference. These cannoli taste just like the ones I’ve gotten at Italian bakeries.

How to Make Cannolis
Cannoli Shells

For the cannoli shells, be sure to roll the dough as thin as you can without it tearing. That is what will help give the shells that perfectly crisp texture (also be sure to fully preheat the oil and maintain that temperature, as that is another key for crunch).

If you do happen to end with not so crispy shells you can place them on a wire rack set over a cookie sheet and bake them at 250 until crisp, about 5 – 10 minutes (but you shouldn’t need to if the previous steps are followed).

And side note, even though there is only one egg yolk pictured in the step-by-step photos below I did end up mixing in a second (just don’t want to confuse anyone).

Cannoli Filling

Then for the filling, definitely be sure to strain the ricotta well or you will end up with more of a soupy filling that will never hold any sort of form for piping, and it’s not reversible.

Cannoli forms are needed for this recipe and if you don’t already own some I just used these here and they worked great.

Don’t be scared away by the number of steps in this recipe, the first time will likely go slow but once you get the hang of it Cannoli will become a breeze to prepare! Besides, these delicious treats are so worth learning to make!


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Yield: About 18

2 cups (10 oz) all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp (1 oz) unsalted butter, diced into tiny pieces
1/2 cup (4 oz) white grape juice*
1 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar*
2 large egg yolks
1 egg white
Vegetable oil , for frying

15 oz . whole milk ricotta , strained**
8 oz Mascarpone (I recommend BelGioioso)
2/3 cup (3 oz) powdered sugar
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Melted chocolate , chopped pistachios, mini chocolate chips, powdered sugar, for garnish (optional)

For the filling:
In a mixing bowl, using a rubber or silicone spatula, blend together Ricotta and Mascarpone cheese while running and pressing mixture along bottom of bowl to remove any lumps. Fold in powdered sugar. Fold in chocolate chips. Cover and chill 30 minutes, or until ready to use. Pour into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip to fill shells.
For the shells:

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