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Sicilian Cannoli

Sicilian Cannoli

  • Author: Silvana
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cannoli 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Make delicious Sicilian cannoli featuring crisp shells filled with luscious ricotta cream, chocolate drops, and candied fruits—a classic Italian delight!


Units Scale

Cannoli Shells:

  • 300 g white spelt flour
  • 25 g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon of powdered cinnamon
  • 30 g butter (or lard) at room temperature
  • 50 grams of sugar
  • 200 ml white wine (or, even better, Marsala)
  • 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
  • A pinch of salt


  • 800 g ricotta cheese, drained
  • 300 g sugar
  • 60 g chocolate chips
  • Candied fruit to taste (orange, citron, and pumpkin) – optional

For Frying:

  • 1 litre of seed oil

To Decorate:

  • Candied fruit (cherries and orange peels)
  • Chocolate chips
  • Finely chopped pistachios

To Sprinkle:

  • Icing sugar


For this recipe, you’ll first prepare the dough for the shells, followed by the ricotta filling. Finally, you’ll assemble and serve the cannoli.

Prepare the dough:

  1.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, a pinch of salt, sugar, cinnamon, and the softened butter or lard.
  2. Gradually add the white wine and the vinegar, mixing the dough with your hands. Adjust the amount of liquid as needed to achieve a soft, moldable dough with a somewhat firm consistency.

  3. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface, shape it into a ball, and wrap it in plastic wrap.

  4. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.

Prepare the ricotta filling:

  1. In a separate bowl, combine the sieved ricotta and sugar, mixing until smooth.

  2. Stir in the  chocolate chips, and candied fruit pieces if desired.

  3. Cover the filling with plastic wrap and refrigerate to cool.

Shape and fry the shells:

  1. Roll out the dough to a thin sheet (about 1mm thick) on a lightly floured surface.

  2. Use a 9 cm diameter cookie cutter to cut circles from the dough. Stretch each circle into an oval and wrap it around a cannoli mould, sealing the edge with a little egg white or beaten yolk.

  3. Heat seed oil to 170-180°C (338-356°F) in a deep frying pan or pot. d. Fry the shells in the oil for 1-2 minutes, working in small batches to maintain the oil temperature.

  4. Drain the cooked shells on paper towels to absorb excess oil, then let them cool before removing the moulds.

Assemble the cannoli:

  1. Transfer the ricotta filling to a pastry bag and pipe it into the cooled shells, filling them completely.

  2. Decorate each end of the cannoli with candied fruit (half a cherry or an orange peel), chocolate curls, or chopped pistachios.


  1. If not serving immediately, wait to fill the shells to preserve their crispiness.

  2. Before serving, dust the cannoli with a sprinkling of icing sugar.


Ensure you drain the ricotta for at least 2 hours before making the cream. 

Fill cannoli just before serving to keep the shells crisp.

For a “travel cannoli” version, coat the shell’s interior with melted chocolate and let it set, forming a barrier to prevent sogginess.

Let the cannoli shells cool completely before filling to avoid melting the ricotta and creating a mess.

Traditional cannoli use ricotta cream, but feel free to explore variations like chocolate, pistachio, or custard. Have fun experimenting!

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Rest Time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Desserts
  • Cuisine: Italian
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