Cannoli (Shell and Filling Recipes)


Cannoli | Cooking Classy

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 and say no that’s not how it’s done. Cannoli are 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. I also made them 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 to get it just to use 1/2 cup in these so I improvised and no one would notice the difference. They taste just like the ones I’ve gotten at Italian bakeries.

For the 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). 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 (filling and shell recipes)| Cooking Classy

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 they’ll become a breeze to prepare! Besides these delicious treats are so worth learning to make!

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 | Cooking Classy


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
  • Filling
  • 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:
  • In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add butter and using your fingertips work butter into mixture until it starts to become sandy. Add grape juice, vinegar, and egg yolks and stir with a wooden spoon until it starts to come together. Then mix and knead by hand to make a nearly smooth ball. Divide into two equal portions, flatten into disks then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Heat a large pot with 1 1/2-inches vegetable oil to 360 degrees. Working with one disk at a time, roll dough out very thinly onto a well floured surface (nearly 1/16-inch). Using a 3 1/2 to 4-inch cookie cutter, cut dough into rounds. Spray cannoli forms with cooking spray then wrap dough circles around cannoli forms, while brushing 3/4-inch of the end lightly with egg white to seal shell shut.
  • Flare edges out slightly (to allow oil to run up through) and using metal tongs, carefully immerse and hold shell in oil and fry until golden brown and crisp, about 1 - 2 minutes (be sure to watch oil temp so oil doesn't get too hot and burn shells. It should stay between 360 and 370 degrees).
  • Remove from oil and use metal tongs to hold mold, wrap a paper towel around shell to carefully slide off of form. Repeat process with remaining dough circles. Allow to cool on a wire rack then fill with cannoli cream filling and decorate as desired (with melted chocolate on edges, pistachios, mini chocolate chips or powdered sugar).
  • *The white grape juice and the red wine vinegar can also be replaced with equal parts Marsala wine, so 1/2 cup + 1 1/2 Tbsp marsala wine. I just never keep it on hand so I used the juice and vinegar instead.
  • **Here is a link that shows two straining methods here. You'll want to strain out about 3 oz.

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  • Averie @ Averie Cooks: Wow, these are a labor of love and what I wouldn’t give to just try one bite right now! March 4, 2015 at 10:10pm Reply

  • Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg: My boyfriend’s mom and I made homemade cannolis back in October. It was a lot of work, but it was such a fun process. I think the best part of making any laborious dessert is the end result when you eat everything! Yours look beautiful! March 5, 2015 at 5:09am Reply

  • Andrea @ Cooking with Mamma C: Cannoli have always been a big deal in my family, and yours look beautiful! I’d love to try it with the Mascarpone. One thing that helps to keep the shells crisp is to only fill what you need and store extra filling and extra shells separately. You can enjoy leftovers for a few days that way. March 5, 2015 at 5:54am Reply

  • Laura Dembowski: These are gorgeous! I’ve never had a cannoli but I’d love to try one! March 5, 2015 at 6:33am Reply

  • Kate @ Diethood: These are so beautiful and perfect!! I make Cannoli very often as my husband thinks he’s Italian and that we should eat all the things that come from there. :-) March 5, 2015 at 10:48am Reply

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar: Cannoli is one of my fav treats!! Love your version. March 5, 2015 at 10:52am Reply

  • Joanne: I am italian,and I love cannoli. I am an avid baker, and make pretty much everything. The one thing that I have always wanted to make are cannoli. Your step by step seems as though I can do it. I tell you, nothing beats a day old cannoli that’s been in the fridge and gets just the right amount soft. Thanks for the recipe. Will for sure be making these. March 5, 2015 at 11:09am Reply

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci): These cannoli are just gorgeous, I love that you made your own shells and filling! March 5, 2015 at 3:24pm Reply

  • Barb: Thanks! I think I just gained five pounds from looking at all of your beautiful pictures! Not to mention the drool problem…. March 5, 2015 at 3:38pm Reply

  • Shari Kelley: Wow, these are so beautiful! I have never even eaten a cannoli before, but have always wanted to try one. I had no idea what the filling was made out of. Now you have me wanting one more than ever! I appreciate the tips you gave for being successful. Thanks, Jaclyn! March 5, 2015 at 4:09pm Reply

  • A Taste Of Madness: Surprisingly, I have never tried cannoli. This looks amazing!! March 5, 2015 at 11:51pm Reply

  • Hala: Hello.. thank you for the wonderful recipe. What if we are not allowed to have any liqueur? Can I use all grape juice? March 8, 2015 at 12:39am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes just use the grape juice and the vinegar, you can use another type of vinegar if needed. April 4, 2015 at 3:54pm Reply

  • Dark Roast Coffee in Chicago: I love cannolis! Rumor has it I once at 6 in one sitting… okay, it’s a fact. June 22, 2015 at 7:05am Reply

  • Cupy: Superbe recette ! J’ai hâte de l’essayer ! :) August 10, 2015 at 11:28am Reply

  • Jerri: I just recently tried making cannoli. My filling of part skim riccotta cheese, powered sugar, mini chips and a drop of vanilla tasted great but was to runny to fill my shells. Any idea what i did wrong? I have have used part skim riccotta in the past. I did not strain the riccotta and haven’t in the past. September 2, 2015 at 11:03am Reply

    • Jaclyn: It sounds like the ricotta needed to be strained. When I don’t strain mine well enough it ends up soupy and runny too. September 9, 2015 at 4:37pm Reply

      • Jerri: Thanks Jaclyn. What’s the best way to strain the ricotta? I have never done that before September 9, 2015 at 4:54pm Reply

  • Alexis: Can the dough be refrigerated overnight before being rolled out and fried? February 11, 2016 at 4:40pm Reply

    • Jillian: I was also wondering the same thing. Hope you can help! March 10, 2016 at 5:33pm Reply

  • Yolanda garza: Thank you for sharing the cannoli I”m going to make these for sure thank you. February 16, 2016 at 10:17pm Reply

  • lamar: thanks for this nice recipe im really interested to try it but can i use all grape juice not vinegar?? April 4, 2016 at 1:21pm Reply

  • Barbara: I add amaretto to the filling and use a good ricotta from Italy or it will be gritty. May 6, 2016 at 7:16am Reply

  • Millie: How do you strain the ricotta? September 8, 2016 at 6:42pm Reply

  • Karen L: I just got a set of cannoli forms. Really anxious to try these! I’ve never tasted cannoli, but they promise to be amazing! September 12, 2016 at 2:08pm Reply

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