Cannoli Recipe

Sicilian Cannoli Recipe

cannolo (a little tube) or cannoli (more than one little tube) are one of my favorite Italian desserts. I found this cannoli recipe from Sicily and translated it for you. What makes this Sicilian you ask. It’s the orange.

I’ve discovered recently that ricotta in Italy is made from Sheep’s milk – maybe it’s good for those with lactose intolerance?

Don’t forget to buy those cannoli forms at Michael’s or wherever, or buy the already made shells in the Italian food section of your grocery store.

Sicilian Cannoli

Course Dessert, Dolci
Cuisine Italian
Ricotta Drying Time 8 hours
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 15 cannoli


Cannoli Shells

  • 1-1/4 cups flour
  • 2-1/2 tsp sugar
  • cocoa powder
  • instant coffee
  • salt
  • 2 tbsp marsala or dry white wine
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp butter, melted
  • 1 egg white
  • 16 oz peanut oil


  • 8 oz ricotta from sheep, dried (instructions below)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup candied orange, cubed
  • 2 oz dark chocolate, grated
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, chopped
  • candied cherries



  1. Mix the flour, granulated sugar, 1/2 spoon of cocoa, 1/2 spoon of coffee, a pinch of salt, the Marsala, the egg, and the butter; knead to obtain a firm dough, wrap it in saran wrap and store in the refrigerator for an hour. 

  2. Roll out the shell dough to a thickness of 2-3 mm (really thin, like less than 1/10th of an inch) and make discs about 4" in diameter. 

  3. Roll the discs gradually around cannoli forms (5" long) that have been slightly greased with butter; seal them with a little egg white. 

  4. Fry them a few at a time in hot peanut oil at 350° F until golden brown; let them cool then remove them gently from the cannoli forms.

To "Dry" the Ricotta

  1. Place a cheesecloth lined strainer large enough to hold all the ricotta over bowl.

  2. Add the ricotta, and using a rubber spatula, gently push and spread the ricotta into an even layer.

  3. Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator at least 8 hours, or overnight.

  4. Discard the accumulated liquid in the bowl.

Cheese Filling

  1. Mix the ricotta, powdered sugar, candied orange, chocolate, and vanilla seeds for the filling.


  1. Fill the shells with the ricotta cheese mixture, decorate the sides with pistachios and half a candied cherry, then sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve, but don't eat them all at one time.

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