Italian Cannoli Pastry

Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Italian Cannoli is one of our favorite pastries ever invented and of course, everyone will tell you they make the best, just like I will tell you now, this is my mom's recipe and she made the best!

The creamy filling of mascarpone and ricotta is just an addicting confection you just want to grab a spoon and keep eating.

Although you can buy premade cannoli shells, we always made our own and my step-by-step instructions will certainly take any doubts in your mind that there is anything hard about them, easy but you have to have the right tools.

This tubular fried crust then filled with this smooth rich delectable cheese filling inside is incredible.

The cylinder tubes can be found online, you can get them at a specialty shop for baking also.

The cylinders are a must-have to make these, some folks do a pizzelle maker but if I am going to only make these once a year on Easter, they're going into hot oil like the original way mom made them.

We love cannoli and I make a fabulous Cannoli Pie Cannoli Mousse, Cannoli Ice Cream, Cannoli Tarts, and of course a fabulous modern-day Cannoli Dip.

I'm not going to lie, this is a bit time-consuming but every Easter it's a tradition to make these pastries and there is no way I would want to disappoint my family, so beware, you will be starting your own tradition with these they're so delicious.

Scroll down to the printable recipe card and give it a try and message me with any questions or concerns, please read my tips they will help immensely.

this is an Italian pastry filled with mascarpone cheese and ricotta

A Little History Cannoli

The cannoli is a popular Italian dessert that is widely known throughout the world.

However, even though millions of people have consumed the delicious treat, not many people know exactly what it is or how it originated.

The tube-like dessert has many conflicting stories of where or who originated but most of the information believes it was first made in Palermo, Italy.

In that time period, the cannoli was specifically made for Carnivale in Sicily.

This festive season occurs right before lent and consists of parades and masquerades similar to Mardi Gras.

Today, the cannoli is enjoyed throughout the year and is thought of as a decadent treat and Sicilian dessert.

We keep the Easter tradition every year and make these in my mom's memory and now my son helps me fill them.

this is how to make cannoli Italian pastry with a collage of step by step photos

Ingredients You Will Need

  • Filling:
  • whole milk ricotta cheese,
  • Mascarpone cheese (or use whipped cream cheese in a pinch) both should be at room temperature.
  • powdered sugar)
  • mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (more for garnish)
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • Optional: garnish on top chopped pistachios, fresh berries
  • dough:
  • flour
  • sugar
  • sweet  Marsala Wine
  • egg
  • shortening

these are cannoli shells dipped into melted chocolate

Garnish Suggestions on each side of the Cannoli:

  • strawberries fresh on each end
  • any kinds of fresh berries or fruit you like even maraschino cherries
  • mini chocolate chips on each end
  • amaretti crushed cookies
  • pistachios crushed
  • toasted almonds
  • colorful sprinkles
  • chopped covered almonds
  • crushed chocolate chip cookies
  • dip each end in melted chocolate
  • add orange or lemon zest to the filling

this is a ziplock bag to fill cannoli shells its filled with mascarpone and ricotta sweet cheese filling


  • cutting board
  • rolling pin
  • cookie sheets 
  • deep fryer or deep cooking pan
  • large round cutter and small (those are optional you can roll the dough out and use a round bowl to cut the dough also)
  • metal cylinder tubes to fry with

these are all the tools including cylinders and rolling pin to make homemade cannoli shells


  1. Make you use whole milk ricotta cheese or if you can, always better to make it Homemade
  2. Remember to strain the ricotta, so it isn’t watery.
  3. If you have a problem with running ricotta, you may not have squeezed out all the water or strained it enough. To fix it you will have to add 1 tablespoon of instant tapioca pudding or instant vanilla pudding and let it sit  a few minutes until it thickens
  4. Refrigerate and chill until ready to serve or fill cannoli shells at the last minute.
  5. Don't fill the cannoli in advance because the crust will not stay crunchy
  6. for mini cannoli make two small cut out dough with smaller cutter on each end of the tube, seal and fry

this is the recipe on how to make cannoli filling and all the ingredients are in this bowl

More Cannoli Recipes

Italian Cannoli Cupcakes

Cannoli Cake

these are around 24 cannoli shells fried

Pin for later

these are the directions and recipe on how to make homemade cannoli in pin for later

Treat Yourself to these Fabulous Pastries

If you're a cannoli lover look no further than this recipe, the homemade cannoli dough, and decadent ricotta mascarpone cheese filling is fabulous, bar none.

I love to watch the eyes rolls on their first taste of that crunch shell and creamy cheese filling, and it's the first dessert gone on the table.

They really aren't hard to make, just take time, so put some aside you won't be sorry I promise.

Every cannoli lover will fall in love at first bite.

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Yield: 24
Author: Claudia Lamascolo
Italian Cannoli Pastry

Italian Cannoli Pastry

Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 4 MinTotal time: 19 Min
A decadent Italian pastry that's tube-shaped filled with creamy ricotta cheese and popular all over the world


  • Dough Ingredients:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of Marsala wine or use white if you don't have Marsala
  • 3 tablespoon shortening
  • 1 egg beaten
  • water for sealing the edges of the dough on the cylinder
  • Filling ingredients:
  • 2 cups whole milk Ricotta or use Homemade Ricotta Recipe strained in a cheesecloth
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar or more to taste sifted
  • 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
  • dash of cinnamon
  • Note: make sure you strain the ricotta or it will be watery, also for a super creamy filling you have to sift the powdered sugar.


  1. Dough Instructions:
  2. Mix all the ingredients to form a ball, if it's too dry keep add a little more Marsala at a time until it holds together trying not to overwork the dough.
  3. Let the dough rest around 15 minutes covered.
  4. Roll the dough as thin as you can or use a pasta machine. ( I roll it around 1/4 inch thick.)
  5. Cut the dough into a 4 x 4 round or 3 x 3 for miniature cannoli.
  6. Wrap the dough around an oil sprayed cannoli cylinder sealing the edges with a little water.
  7. Heat the oil to medium.
  8. Drop a tiny piece into the oil if floats to the top the oil is ready to fry the cannoli shells.
  9. Fry turning constantly (if using a deep saucepan) keep turning starting off with the seam side down.
  10. (It takes just around 3 minutes on each side in a deep saucepan.)
  11. If you have a deep fryer with a basket, just place the cannoli cylinders in the basket DO NOT CROWD them and deep fry until golden for either method around 3 to 4 minutes watching carefully.
  12. Cool completely before sliding off the cylinder.
  13. Store in an airtight container and only fill before serving or they will get soft.
  14. Filling instructions:
  15. Mix all ingredients until evenly blended together.
  16. Add the chocolate chips.
  17. Using a plastic ziplock bag, fill it and cut the end and fill each cannoli shell your serving.
  18. Garnish with our suggestions if desired below:
  19. strawberries fresh on each end
  20. any kinds of fresh berries or fruit you like even maraschino cherries
  21. mini chocolate chips on each end
  22. amaretti crushed cookies
  23. pistachios crushed
  24. toasted almonds
  25. colorful sprinkles
  26. chopped covered almonds
  27. crushed chocolate chip cookies
  28. dip each end in melted chocolate
  29. add orange or lemon zest to the filling



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Created using The Recipes Generator

Pin for later

these are the directions and recipe on how to make homemade cannoli in pin for later

Recipes We Love

Cannoli Stuffed French Toast

Italian Pizzelle Waffle Cookies

this is how to make cannoli Italian pastry with a collage of step by step photos

Disclosure: This recipe was originally shared in 2010. It was edited and re-published in 2021.


  1. These ricotta stuffed cannoli look divine! I don't think I have ever had them prepared this way....awesome!

  2. LOve these! I do not have shapes for frying but baking them might be as close as it gets although they need to sizzle in oil!

  3. --With a cup of coffee there is nothing better. Glad you enjoyed cooking with your son; they turned out beautifully!

  4. An Upstate favorite. I like the smaller ones and the original version, less chocolate or mini chips in the cannoli filling.

    I only tried frying my own cannoli shells one time. SCARY! I don't deep fry well. Unfortunately, you can really taste the difference when you resort to buying the shells. No where near as good as home made.

  5. One of the most popular Italian dessert! Great version!

  6. My favorite dessert of all time.

    Looks like HEAVEN.

  7. Good for Chad and you are a great Mom! They look delicious and I'd love a cannoli right now. I buy them at the Italian bakery nearby but after seeing this I should try it myself! Your photos are excellent! Good job!

  8. I can eat them for dozens - ricotta with strawberries dipped in chocolate, you know that I love them :) Agree yum yum with Chad!



  9. Claudia, You've made something that I've always, always wanted to try and need to just do it! I love cannolis so much; never grew up with them in my family for some reason, so I gobble them up whenever I find them.

  10. These Cannoli look sinfully delicious! Great photos and beautiful pastries :)

  11. Cannolis are heaven on earth. Your recipe is almost identical to mine - you don't use tons of powdered sugar either(why gunnk it up?) Life got easier when I read about the trick of rolling the dough thin in a pasta machine...

  12. These are heavenly Claudia! Nothing compares to making them homemade. So sweet that you showed your son how to make them!

  13. wonderful treat and you & Chad make it so easy - great recipe

  14. Holy cannoli! (can't believe I was the first one to say that...LOL)

    They look absolutely delicious.

  15. I'm so impressed! This is a dessert I've seen done on the Food Network and would never attempt!

  16. Thank you for sharing this recipe. He's a lucky son! -Tien

  17. Claudia, OMG! THIS IS YUM!!! I have so been wanting to learn how to make these! Just killer! Thanks for sharing this! Fresh Cannoli's Oh My!

  18. I just made cannoli the other day! It is such a compliment when your son wants the recipe, they sure do look delicious!

  19. I haven't made these in years! Loved how you made your own shells. What a perfect thing to pass on to your son! I'm going to have to make some for my girls!

  20. Lovely. Great to see a family sharing time in the kitchen making such a wonderful dish.


  21. your cannoli looks like a beautiful dream ,claudia!family,traditions and o scrumptious!

  22. I'm wondering why you call these "upstate NY style"?

  23. @cara mia, I tried to leave you a message on your email you left on your blog, it said it couldnt reached that fatal error listed for AOL if you send me your email I will resend

    @angie @jelena @gera @tabletalk @joanne @tania @emily @ Erin @pam @alison @drick @motherrimy @lazaro @deb @tian @anthony @whatsfor @roz @tien @claudia @reeni @lazaro @mags
    thank you all so much!

  24. amazing!! im from NY and grew up on these puppies, and Id love to try and make them!!

  25. Looks like I'll have to make these now. They seem very easy. My daughter and I had some incredible ones at Mike's Pastry in Boston and I have't been able to think of anything else.

  26. I love and miss connollis. Have never made them. Have put filling in cream puffs though.

    Kraft has a CAKE connolli recipe that is the best close thing. Made with vanilla wafers on three levels between cream.

    check it out on the KRAFT website. It is delicious, fast and easy. Lower in calories

  27. when you say you used quick cooking tapioca, did you mean you make a batch of quick cooking tapioca and use 2 Tbsp of it. or it a dry ingredient?

  28. Yes the tapioca is dry and you just stir it in the ricotta

  29. I JUST found you on Pinterest! You have made my DH so happy! He is from Rome, NY born and raised in an Italian family as well. We live in Seattle and I have been on the lookout for many of your recipes! Thank you so much for sharing. As soon as he is home from deployment he's getting these!

  30. I JUST found you on Pinterest! You have made my DH so happy! He is from Rome, NY born and raised in an Italian family as well. We live in Seattle and I have been on the lookout for many of your recipes! Thank you so much for sharing. As soon as he is home from deployment he's getting these!

  31. They look great! This is a first for me....Tapioca? I'm from Syracuse, now in Europe and don't ever recall seeing tapioca. I've used it for years in my fruit pies to hell up the juice. It's this in the cannoli cream for the same reason. I've only tried making them once and the cream was too thin.

  32. I am so in love with this italian dessert! Thanks a lot for sharing this! They look fantastic and delicious!

  33. These have always been my favorite Italian dessert and now it's so fun making them at home with this recipe. Really love making my own ricotta for the filling too!

  34. Oh wow! this Italian cannoli recipe turns out so great! My whole family keeps asking for more!

  35. Thank you so much for this recipe! It was a huge hit at my house!

  36. I've been looking for a cannoli recipe for ages -- bookmarked this for when I get the molds! Can't wait to try it!

  37. They look super delicious. Just got the molds and need to try it.


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