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How to Make Italian Dessert Cannoli

italian dessert cannoli

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Cannoli is a beloved Italian dessert that consists of crispy, fried pastry shells filled with a sweet and creamy ricotta cheese filling. This classic Italian treat is not only delicious but also visually appealing with its tubular shape. Here’s a step-by-step recipe for making traditional cannoli:


For the Cannoli Shells:
– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
– 1 egg yolk
– 1/2 cup white wine
– Vegetable oil, for frying

For the Cannoli Filling:
– 2 cups ricotta cheese, drained
– 1 cup powdered sugar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
– Candied orange peel or citron (optional)
– Chopped pistachios, for garnish (optional)


**For the Cannoli Shells:**

1. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the softened butter and egg yolk, and mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

2. Gradually add the white grape juice, apple juice, or white grapefruit juice, a little at a time, and knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic. You may not need all the white grape juice so add it slowly.

3. Form the dough into a ball and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes.

4. After resting, roll out the dough on a floured surface until it’s very thin, about 1/8 inch thick.

5. Using a round cutter or a glass, cut out circles from the dough, about 4-5 inches in diameter.

6. Heat vegetable oil in a deep, heavy-bottomed pot or deep fryer to 350°F (175°C).

7. Wrap each dough circle around a cannoli tube or a metal cannoli form, sealing the edges with a bit of water. Make sure the edges overlap slightly to seal the cannoli securely.

8. Carefully lower the cannoli into the hot oil, seam-side down, and fry until they are golden brown and crispy, about 3-4 minutes. Use tongs to turn them if necessary.

9. Remove the cannoli shells from the oil and place them on paper towels to drain and cool. Once they are cool, gently slide the shells off the tubes.

**For the Cannoli Filling:**

1. In a mixing bowl, combine the drained ricotta cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth and creamy.

2. If desired, fold in mini chocolate chips and candied orange peel or citron for added flavor and texture.

**To Assemble:**

1. Using a pastry bag or a small spoon, fill each cannoli shell with the ricotta cheese mixture. Fill them just before serving to keep the shells crispy.

2. Optionally, dip the ends of the cannoli in chopped pistachios to garnish.

3. Serve your homemade cannoli immediately, and enjoy this delightful Italian dessert!

Cannoli is a delightful dessert that’s perfect for special occasions or anytime you want to savor a taste of Italy’s sweet culinary tradition.


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