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    Homemade Cannoli Recipe

    Published July 10, 2020. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    Learn how to make delicious Sicilian style homemade cannoli’s that are stuffed up with an amazing sweet sheep’s milk ricotta cheese.

    We absolutely are a dessert family and if you’re anything like us then you should definitely check out how to make my Zeppole’s and Italian Cheesecake recipes!

    stacked up cannolis on a plate with powdered sugar

    Cannoli

    Cannolis are Sicilian, they were founded in Sicily and everyone knows them as such.  There is an incredible history behind it stemming back all the way to 800-1100 a.d.  During the Arabic rule of the island, the kind had quite a few concubines that would make him amazing foods and desserts.  Of those desserts was a cylinder-shaped pastry filled with ricotta, almonds, and honey.

    There is another tale that takes place on the opposite end of the spectrum in a convent that made a similar cylinder-shaped pastry stuffed with ricotta, sugar, and chocolate.  Regardless, they are absolutely delicious, and not all that hard to make.

    The few ingredients for the cannoli include:

    • Flour
    • Eggs
    • Marsala
    • Salt
    • White Wine Vinegar
    • Sugar
    • Sheep’s Milk Ricotta
    • Chocolate

    How to Make the Cannoli Shells

    Follow these simple instructions for how to make cannoli shells:

    In a large bowl sift together the flour, sugar, salt, and cocoa powder.

    sifting together ingredients into a bowl

    Add in the lard, egg, white wine vinegar, and marsala wine, and knead the dough for 10-14 minutes.

    kneading cannoli dough on a clean surface

    Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour to rest.

    wrapped cannoli dough in plastic wrap

    Remove the dough and place on a clean floured surface and roll it out until it is about a ¼” thick.

    rolling out cannoli dough on a floured surface with a rolling pin

    Using a 1 ½ circle cutter, cut as many dough rounds as possible in the dough, about 20-25.

    cutting circle rounds out of cannoli dough

    Roll out each individual dough round until it’s about 5”-6” in diameter.  Repeat until all of the rounds are rolled out.

    rolling out cannoli shells

    Form each dough round around a metal cylinder cannoli mold and rub a little bit of whisked egg to help form the two ends together.

    wrapping a cannoli round around a cylinder tube

    Fry in the cannoli cylinders in oil at 350° for 1 to 2 minutes or until browned.

    frying cannoli shells in oil

    Remove the cooked cannoli shells from the oil, drain on a rack and then carefully remove them from the metal cylinders once they are cooled.

    draining fried cannoli shells on a rack

    How to Make Cannoli Filling

    Here’s how easy it is to make the filling for this delicious recipe:

    1. Add the sheep’s milk ricotta to a chinois or a strainer with cheesecloth and drain off as much liquid as possible in the refrigerator, at least 2 hours or overnight.
    draining sheeps milk ricotta in a chinois
    1. Add the ricotta to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and whip at low speed while slowly pouring in the sugar until is mixed in and smooth.
    mixing ricotta in a stand mixer while adding in sugar
    1. Finish by folding in some mini semi-sweet chocolate chips.
    adding chocolate chips to a stand mixer
    1. Transfer the filling to a piping bag with no tip and generously pipe the filling into the cooled cannoli shells.
    piping cannoli filling into a cannoli shell

    Variations

    There are quite a few things you can do with the cannoli filling as well as incorporating the shells including:

    • Cheesecake
    • Dip
    • Cake
    • Pound Cake
    • Cookies
    • Ravioli

    Make-Ahead and Storage

    Make-Ahead: While best served and eaten within a few hours of making them, you can make these up to 1 day ahead.  Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

    How to Store: Place covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  They will also freeze well covered for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day or until softened.

    Chef Billy Parisi

    chef notes + tips

    • You can re-roll out the dough to make even more cannoli shells.
    • Make sure to not form the dough around the cannoli metal molds so that it is hanging over the edges or else it will cook over and will ruin when trying to release them from the metal mold.
    • You should get fried air pockets in the cannoli shells when frying them.
    • Some Sicilian variations of the filling include thickened cream with milk and cornstarch, but this is not authentic.
    • You can also use milk or bittersweet chocolate chips.
    • Another very classic addition to adding to the filling is citron.
    • Northern Italy most often uses whole milk ricotta while Southern Italy and Sicily use sheep’s milk ricotta.
    • When kneading the dough think of pasta, it’s the exact same technique and takes the same amount of time.
    • There will be some filling leftover which is perfect for dipping graham crackers in!
    filled and cooked cannolis on a plate

    More Amazing Dessert Recipes

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    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Video

    Homemade Cannoli Recipe

    5 from 4 votes
    Learn how to make delicious Sicilian style homemade cannoli’s that are stuffed up with an amazing sweet sheep’s milk ricotta cheese.
    Servings: 25
    Prep Time: 45 minutes
    Cook Time: 5 minutes
    Resting Time: 1 hour
    Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

    Equipment

    • Cannoli Tubes

    Ingredients 

    For the Filling:

    • 800 g sheep’s milk ricotta or 3 cups
    • 300 g sugar or 1 ½ cups
    • 250 g mini semi-sweet chocolate chips or ½ cup

    For the Shells:

    • 250 g 00 flour or 1 ½ cups
    • 20 g sugar or 1 ½ tablespoon
    • 3 g salt 3 or 1/2 teaspoon
    • 2 g cocoa powder or 1 teaspoon
    • 25 g lard or 1 tablespoon
    • 45 g eggs or 1 egg, whisked + 1 more separate
    • 50 g marsala wine or ¼ cup
    • 8 g white wine vinegar or 1 teaspoon

    Instructions

    • Filling: Add the ricotta cheese to a chinois or a strainer lined with cheesecloth and place it over a bowl and in the refrigerator to drain excess liquid for at least 2 hours or overnight.
    • Remove the ricotta and place it in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and whip on low speed while slowly adding in the sugar.
    • Mix until the cheese is smooth and then fold in the chocolate chips until they are completely mixed in. Refrigerate until ready to use.
    • Shells: Sift together the flour, sugar, salt, and cocoa powder into a large bowl.
    • Add in the lard, egg, wine, and vinegar and mix by hand until combined, about 2 minutes.
    • Transfer to a clean surface dusted with flour and knead the dough for 10-15 minutes.
    • Wrap the dough in plastic and let it rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
    • Remove the dough and place on a clean surface dusted with flour and roll it out until it is about a ¼” to 1/3” thick.
    • Using a 1 ½” diameter circle round cutter, cut as many rounds as possible out of the dough as possible, which will make about 20-25.
    • Roll each round out until they are about 5” to 6” in diameter, be sure to dust with flour wherhe needed to avoid any sticking.
    • Whisk 1 egg together in a bowl and set aside.
    • Wrap each rolled out dough round around a metal cannoli cylinder and rub a little whisked egg onto the end of the cannoli dough and wrap the other end over top and gently press to secure. Repeat until all of the cannoli shells are prepped.
    • Fry in oil at 350° for 1 to 2 minutes or until browned. Set aside to drain on paper towels or a rack on a sheet tray.
    • Once they are cool, remove the shells from the metal cannoli cylinders.
    • To Stuff: Take the filling out of the refrigerator and add it to a piping back with no tip.
    • Once the filling is in there use scissors to cut off the end of the piping bag, which is about a ½” up from the tip of the bag.
    • Generously stuff each cannoli shell using the filling in the piping bag. You will have to pipe in one side then turn it to pipe in the other side.
    • Generously sprinkle on powdered sugar and serve!

    Notes

    Chef Notes:
    • Make-Ahead: While best served and eaten within a few hours of making them, you can make these up to 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
     
    • How to Store: Place covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. They will also freeze well covered for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day or until softened.
     
    • You can re-roll out the dough to make even more cannoli shells.
     
    • Make sure to not form the dough around the cannoli metal molds so that it is hanging over the edges or else it will cook over and will ruin when trying to release them from the metal mold.
     
    • You should get fried air pockets in the cannoli shells when frying them.
     
    • Some Sicilian variations of the filling include thickened cream with milk and cornstarch, but this is not authentic.
     
    • You can also use milk or bittersweet chocolate chips.
     
    • Another very classic addition to adding to the filling is citron.
     
    • Northern Italy most often uses whole milk ricotta while Southern Italy and Sicily use sheep’s milk ricotta.
     
    • When kneading the dough think of pasta, it’s the exact same technique and takes the same amount of time.
     
    • There will be some filling leftover which is perfect for dipping graham crackers in!

    Nutrition

    Calories: 215kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 5gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 77mgPotassium: 105mgFiber: 1gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 157IUCalcium: 75mgIron: 1mg
    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: Italian, Sicilian