Cannoli Tarts Recipe

Monday, January 24, 2011
In a hurry, and don't have the cylinders to make cannoli shells? No problem using a cupcake tin we got you covered with these easy copycat cannoli tarts they're so easy and delicious that you're going to be completely happy with these little gems in taste.

With a little Marsala wine and butter on the pastry, a delicious cannoli filling with ricotta cheese, and mini chocolate chips, these easy tarts have a homerun flavor for the classic favorite Sicilian Italian cannoli pastry.

Cannoli are usually shaped in log form and filled with rich ricotta cheese filling, these filled little tarts are about the easiest replicas you'll ever find.

A baked pie shell molded in cupcake tins, and much faster and so simple that require no standing over a hot stove frying those cylinder-style shells.

They really are a big hit after any big Italian dinner.

You can make the pie crust ahead of time and just fill them later too when needed! How fun to be able to serve these at a shower, wedding reception, or gathering.

tarts with cannoli filling

cannoli tarts


The cannoli as you know has a long tubular crust filled with rich smooth ricotta pastry cream.

This pie is rich with those same flavors and has that crust with those same flavors infused into it.

Just a hint of cinnamon and my special secret ingredient the crust is brushed with.

Can you guess what it is?

Where I grew up in Utica, New York, some of our local bakeries decorated the edges or the cannoli shells with melted chocolate.

Then the ends are dipped into chopped pistachios, you may remember my cannoli recipe here.

Other pastries also had chopped cherries or whole maraschino cherries on the ends or whole strawberries.

cannoli filling

Garnish Ideas

  1. Brush the crust with melted chocolate and chopped pistachios
  2. Serve with whipped cream topped with maraschino cherries and chocolate shreds
  3. Spread a layer of whipped cream on top with more mini chocolate chips and chopped pistachios
  4. Drizzle hot fudge sauce on the plate before serving the tart

Useful Hints

  • This pie tastes great cold or at room temperature.
  • Any leftovers need to be refrigerated.
  • I usually refrigerate this pie at least 3 hours before serving it.
  • The pie will stay fresh in the refrigerator up to 3 days if it lasts that long.

butter and marsala brushed pie crust for cannoli

Tools Needed

  1. bowl
  2. pastry brush
  3. cupcake tin
  4. rolling pin
  5. knife
  6. fork
  7. pretty individual silicone small baking shapers for tarts see below

So Easy

If you're not a baker, this is the tart to try first, it has very few ingredients to mix and no frying involved.

Italian desserts can be intimidating but this one is the perfect dessert for anyone that tells me they aren't bakers.

All you need is simple ingredients and everything is done in one bowl by hand.

No electric mixers, just stir in the ingredients, pour and bake.

cannoli tarts


  • Use only whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • For a quick crust use refrigerated or frozen pie dough
  • Always chill the filling for at least 2 hours for the tapioca to thicken the ricotta
  • Only use a deep dish pie shell at least 2 inches deep
  • Dip the outer edges in melted chocolate
  • Cool completely before filling
  • For an easy way to fill the tarts just take a zip lock bag, snip the end off of the bag, and pipe the filling in the tart to make it super easy
  • Use little individual tart pans for a fancy tart cup!

mini tart pans lined with dough

Ingredients You Will Need

  • whole milk ricotta cheese
  • mini chocolate chips
  • deep-dish pie crust
  • powdered sugar
  • melting chocolate or any good-grade chocolate melted for dipping
  • Marsala wine's secret ingredient
  • optional: fresh fruits and chopped pistachios are optional for toppings, cinnamon sugar, crushed pistachios

cannoli filling

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Try My Other Favorite Desserts

Original Cannoli

Cannoli Tarts

Cannoli Mousse

Cannoli Ice Cream

Cannoli CupCakes

Cannoli French Toast

Chocolate Dream Cannoli Cake

Cannoli Tarts

Cannoli Tarts
Yield: 12
Author: Claudia Lamascolo
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 20 MinInactive time: 2 HourTotal time: 2 H & 30 M
Small cupcake size tarts dipped in chocolate and filled with an Italian cannoli pastry filling.


  • Tart:
  • 1 recipe of your favorite homemade pie crust dough or store-bought frozen or refrigerated pie dough
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter mixed with 1 tablespoon of Marsala wine
  • 1 cupcake tin (12 cups) medium size tray
  • 1 can of butter cooking spray
  • Filling:
  • 1 container 15 to 16 ounces of Whole Milk Ricotta cheese storebought or homemade
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of quick-cooking tapioca
  • Optional: cinnamon sugar to sprinkle on top


  1. Make the dough first or if using store-bought just cut to fit each tin.
  2. Prepare the cupcake tins with cooking oil spray.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Take a small piece of dough to fit the size of each cupcake tin, rolling out around 1/4 inch thick.
  5. Use a fork to poke holes in the bottom of each cupcake tart.
  6. Brush each cannoli tart with a mixture of butter and Marsala.
  7. Bake crust until golden brown, around 20 minutes.
  8. Cool completely before filling.
  9. While the tarts are baking make the cannoli filling and refrigerate.
  10. In a small bowl mix the ricotta, mini chips, powdered sugar, and tapioca together. refrigerate for at least two hours so the tapioca has time to thicken the filling.
  11. Prepare the rims of each tart with chocolate but dip them in melted chocolate (you can also sprinkle the edges after dipping them with crushed pistachios.).
  12. Place on wax paper to dry.
  13. Fill each cooked tart shell with cannoli filling.
  14. Add more chocolate chips to the top if preferred or a cherry, or strawberry or leave them plain with a dusting of cinnamon and sugar on top.
  15. These were delicious substitutes for the original Italian cannoli pastry!
  16. If you have leftovers refrigerate them and they will last up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Facts



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cannoli tart, tarts with cannoli filling, chocolate dipped cannoli tarts, Italian pastry, Italian desserts
dessert recipes, Italian dessert recipes, tart recipes, ricotta recipes

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  1. I was looking for cannoli recipe there, but like it with pie shell.

  2. Wow, marsala that sounds like a fabulous touch! You have wonderful ideas and these look delicious. It would be hard to stop at one.

  3. Just Awesome Claudia! My son would LOVE this. He is a huge cannoli fan!

  4. Claudia, you are just so creative! These look pretty and delicious. Lovely to know it;s so easy to make. Have a great day. MaryMoh at

  5. I am going to have to make these, my wife loves Cannoli. I bet they would freeze well.

  6. These look fantastic! I would love these. I am a huge cannoli fan.

  7. Oh, genius! Sneaky, yet so gorgeous. Marsala dough - innovative.

  8. You are so smart, this is way easier than making cannoli shells! Thank you!!

  9. looks devourable and great.. just perfect..awesome recipe!!

    US Masala

  10. I love cannoli and these look stunning!! A Must try.

  11. Genius! I love cannoli, but don't have the patience (or those special metal tubes) to make them, but this is much easier and definitely a fun (and slightly healthier) alternative! Love it!

  12. I put Marsala in my shells so it stands to reason it is perfect in the pie crust. I love anything cannoli - so this will be squirrelled away for my next cannoli day!

  13. Claudia,
    Of course, cannoli is an all time Italian dessert favorite of ours. The Brocatto Italian Ice Cream shop in NOLA makes them to order and some of the best in the city.

    Now these tarts! I will take a dozen of them to go please!

  14. Sublime dessert Claudia - more read more I want it!

    Cannoli tarts come here :)



  15. this is wonderful Claudia, I love the ease of it and brushing the shells with Marsala is brilliant to achieve the flavor... the filling sounds like a snap to make also and tasty, oh my goodness, this is a good one girl...

  16. Ok GF you really did it this time. What a great idea!!! Man, even I can accomplish these. You know those cannoli shells are a bit scary for me lol

  17. A wonderful idea! These are gorgeous and sound totally scrumptious!

  18. What scrumptious little treats Claudia! Wish I had one. Or two.

  19. Claudia these tarts look delicious. I like your creativity, your technique for filling the tarts was perfect!!

  20. Fantastic Idea! Love the baked shell idea! I do have a question...uncooked Tapioca? What does it do to the texture of the cream?

  21. Oh my goodness these are just amazing! Very creative :)

  22. Excellent idea! I love that you made these so simply!

  23. Really loving this twist on Cannoli, quick easy, and bite sized. It doesn't get any better! :)

  24. That looks incredibly tasty, and incredibly bad for my self control! ;) Genius twist!

  25. Claudia, You are both creative and resourceful. Thank you for sharing the recipe, I'm looking forward to giving them a try!

  26. These look so cute and not to mention delicious! A great and fun idea! Thanks for sharing :)

  27. Omg these are flipping incredible. You really blew my mind here. I must make these. Super buzzing this one. Lol!

  28. Haha at Cajun Chef. Seriously, I've never heard of Cannoli...until now that is. :)

  29. Great idea to revamp a cannoli recipe!

  30. Beautiful tarts Claudia. I love cannoli's so much! these look fantastic.

  31. Such an easy alternate to the traditional cannoli! They look amazing!


Remember to use the search option for a recipe you're looking for and thanks for all your kind words and support. We love our readers all the best Claudia