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If you've ever had a cannoli from an Italian restaurant or cafe before, you know how delicious these delicate little pastries are. A good cannoli perfectly complements a nice, strong cup of coffee, but a great cannoli is perfect all on its own. Everyone should know how to make a basic cannoli if only to impress your friends when they come over for dinner. While this recipe definitely takes a while to make, and maybe even a little while to master, the end result is well worth the trouble. This easy Italian dessert recipe is one of the classics, and now you can make it in the comfort of your own home!
Do not fill the cannoli shells until you are ready to eat them or they will become soggy.
Preparation Time30 min
Chilling Time1 hr
Cooking Time - Text45-60 minutes
- Cannoli Shells
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon sweet Marsala
- 2 cups whole milk Ricotta cheese
- 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1 quart canola oil (for frying shells)
- 1 egg beaten
- 24 whole maraschino cherries, drained of juice
- 1/2 cup crushed pistachios
- confectioner's sugar for dusting
For more classic Italian favorites, check out our full collection: 24 Easy Italian Desserts
Prepare the cannoli shell dough by whisking the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl.
Using your fingers or a pastry cutter work the butter into the flour until you have a sandy consistency.
Mix in the egg yolk, wine and marsala until the dough comes together and is smooth, do not over work the dough or it will be tough.
Place the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and gently press down, cover and chill until you are ready for the dough.
While the dough is resting prepare the filling. In a medium bowl add the ricotta. Add the confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon. Mix gently to blend well.
In a chilled bowl beat the heavy cream until you have stiff peaks.
Gently fold the whipped cream into the ricotta mixture.
Stir in the chocolate chips and orange zest.
Cover and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
While the filling is chilling prepare the cannoli shells.
In a medium heavy sauce pot heat the oil to 360 degrees F.
On a flat surface sprinkle some flour. Divide the dough into thirds. Cover the dough pieces not being rolled out with plastic wrap so they do not dry out.
Roll each piece of dough to about 1/8-inch thick. Using a bowl that has a 3-4 inch diameter cut around the bowl with a small sharp knife.
Wrap each dough circle around a cannoli mold. Seal the top edge with some egg wash pressing to secure and flare out the edges slightly.
Carefully place the cannoli mold into the hot oil using tongs to submerge. Fry for 2-3 minutes until golden and crispy.
Using the tongs, carefully remove cannoli shell from the oil. Hold the mold in one hand with the tongs and gently hold the shell in your other hand using a clean kitchen towel. Carefully slide the shell off of the mold. Place on a cooling rack over several paper towels to drain and cool.
Repeat until all the shells are fried.
Place the cannoli filling into a pastry bag and pipe each end of the shells with the filling making sure the entire shell is filled.
Place a whole cherry at one end and crushed pistachios on the other end. Dust with confectioner's sugar.
Who doesn't love a good tiramisu? Try our test kitchen recipe here: Easy Tiramisu Recipe
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