Cannoli Bites

Published April 10, 2013. Updated March 18, 2020

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All the flavors of cannoli in mini oven baked treats. Made with a crisp pastry shell, filled with a sweet ricotta filling and finished with chocolate chips. Who could resist this tempting treat?

Cannoli Bites {Cooking Classy}

Make these Cannoli Bites. Devour these Cannoli Bites. That is all I have to say. Okay not really all I have to say because these are my dream dessert, I have such a soft spot for Italian and French pastries so, really I have plenty to say about these.

First of all, the cups for these are made from a cannoli dough (I made it a bit thicker than I would for a cannoli shell that would be wrapped around a flute and fried, simply so it could hold it’s shape a little better). The cups are baked in mini muffin cups, not fried.

So, to add a bit of that fried flavor I sprayed them with vegetable oil before baking (so I suppose if you want to be a bit healthier you could leave it off, but I think it’s nearly a must).

I’m not a traditional cannoli filling kind of person, I need a cannoli filling with Mascarpone to be completely satisfied with this dessert. There is just so much Mascarpone has to offer that Ricotta doesn’t, so whenever I make cannoli anything I always use a combo of both. Mascarpone is probably the best cheese this world has to offer. Okay along with cheddar, I am American. It’s like cream cheese meets royalty.

Cannoli Bites {Cooking Classy}

It’s utterly creamy texture and delicate sweetness is something no other can imitate. I’d call it the cheese of Heaven. Anyways, yes cannoli needs Mascarpone but it is not the most traditional way. Another cannoli must I’d say is some form of chocolate.


Whether you dip the shells in chocolate or sprinkle these with mini chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate or even chocolate curls), please don’t leave the chocolate out.

And If you really want to make these fancy, dip and coat the shells with pistachios. It makes them not only irresistibly decadent but also pistachio cannolis are such an Italian classic.


If you have sweet Marsala wine on hand you can use that in place of the juice and vinegar (so just omit both of those and replace it with 1/2 cup Marsala wine).

Take these to your next party and they may likely become the highlight of the gathering. I don’t care who’s there or what awaits for dinner, I just want cannoli bites =). Enjoy!

cannoli cups

Cannoli Bites {Cooking Classy} cannoli bites19
Cannoli Bites {Cooking Classy}

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4.38 from 8 votes

Cannoli Bites

All the flavors of cannoli in mini oven baked treats. Made with a crisp pastry shell, filled with a sweet ricotta filling and finished with chocolate chips. Who could resist this tempting treat?
Servings: 48 bites
Prep30 minutes
Cook12 minutes
Ready in: 2 hours


Cannoli cups:

Cannoli Filling

  • 12 oz whole milk Ricotta cheese , strained
  • 8 oz Mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar**
  • 1/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • powdered sugar , for dusting (optional)
  • Optional toppings:
  • Melted chocolate , chopped pistachios, sprinkles, toasted sweetened coconut


  • For the cannoli cups:
  • Add flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt to a food processor and pulse until blended. Pour in melted butter and pulse until well combined then add egg white and pulse until blended.
  • In a bowl combine juice and vinegar, with processor running slowly pour in juice mixture and pulse just until mixture begins to come together.
  • Divide dough into two pieces, shape into balls and transfer to a resealable bag. Chill in refrigerator 30 minutes - 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400 degrees during last 10 minutes of refrigeration.
  • Meanwhile prepare 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. Cover and chill 30 minutes (or until ready to use).
  • Roll each chilled dough out on a lightly floured surface (dust top with flour too) into a 14-inch circle, to about an 1/8-inch thickeness. Cut into circles using a 2 1/2-inch round biscuit cutter.
  • Transfer rounds to an ungreased mini muffin tin, pressing evenly into sides and bottom of muffin well. Spray tops evenly with vegetable oil spray (I just poured vegetable oil in to my Misto to spray).
  • Bake in preheated oven 11 - 13 minutes until lightly golden (I liked these best crisp). Remove from oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Once cool dip tops in chocolate if desired then into coating if using (such as pistachios) and allow chocolate to set.
  • Remove cannoli filling from refrigerator, transfer to a piping bag fitted with a tip (or you can use a large resealable bag and cut the tip of the end). Pipe filling into cups and sprinkle with chocolate chips and dust with powdered sugar. For best results serve within 2 hours. Store in refrigerator.
  • *Update - some have mentioned their dough being too thick and not elastic enough to keep a shape when rolling and cutting, so I'v updated it to be 6 - 8 Tbsp of juice rather than just 6 Tbsp.
  • **You can add 2 Tbsp more if you'd like it a little sweeter.
  • Recipe Source: Cooking Classy, inspiration from Cooking with Sugar


Please note nutritional information does not include the optional toppings.
Nutrition Facts
Cannoli Bites
Amount Per Serving
Calories 78 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 10mg3%
Sodium 42mg2%
Potassium 23mg1%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 125IU3%
Calcium 24mg2%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.
Cannoli Bites | Cooking Classy

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  • Diane

    Here are a couple of suggestions to get the shells right. First, don’t use the food processor. It is too easy to over process the dough, which will make it hard to work with and tough. I mixed the dry ingredients by hand – use a whisk. Then add the liquids and mix by hand and finish with a short burst with a hand electric mixer, just to combine. Instead of using a rolling pin, use a pasta roller, if you have one – much easier to get the dough thin. I used the pasta roller attachment to my Kitchen Aid mixer; started with #1 setting (thickest) and progressed to #5, which gives you a very nice thin dough (fyi, the thinnest setting is #8, as a point of reference). IMO, 1/8″ thick is much too thick and likely is the reason that so many have had issues with the shells. Hope this is helpful. Good luck! :-)

  • Liz at

    I like the sound of adding mascarpone to the filling! This recipe looks great, can’t wait to give them a go!

  • Gina

    Hi. I searched the comments to see if there was an answer. Can you freeze the empty cups?
    Thank you
    Love your recipes!!


    Im a professional Baker. After 2 tries with the shells, they were all epic fails. The dough was so elastic, it was next to impossible to roll. Your recipe called for 1/8″. First batch I did that, baked for 11 minutes, the bottoms were still raw. Added another 5 minutes, and they were a chewy, rubbery mess. The gluten was way too activated in the processor. The cream was delish, but the shells were a disaster. Twice.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      What method did you use to measure flour? I use scoop and level method (like ATK does). Back when I posted this I didn’t share recipes in grams which is the best method because then there’s not mix ups with measurement as everyone uses a different technique. Sorry they didn’t work out!

  • Leah

    Made these yesterday and they turned out fantastic! I realizes, after I started, that I didn’t have the vinegar or juice, so I had to improvise. I used Riesling and apple cider vinegar and they worked beautifully.

  • Marta

    I have to start by saying that I am Italian. Born and raised in Italy for 26 years. I moved to the US and my Italian recipes don’t always work with the ingredients I can find here (the flour, for example, gives very different results), so I find myself looking for Italian recipes on American websites, hoping they would give better results! Well, I made these today, encouraged by the positive comments. I followed the recipe as written and I am SO disappointed! The shells are hard as a rock… they are supposed to be flaky, crumble when you bite them and melt in your mouth! The filling doesn’t taste like anything really… I even added some vanilla extract but it’s still nowhere close to being decent. It is not the author’s fault, it’s just VERY hard to cook/bake Italian outside of Italy!