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Serves: 12
Preparation time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Total time: 16 minutes

Tips for the Best Cannoli
Roll dough super thin or shells won’t end up crispy. Bring oil to proper temperature using a deep fry or candy thermometer and maintain the temperature. Strain moisture from ricotta. Serve cannoli within 1 hour of filling for crispiest results. The moisture of the filling will seep into the shells after a while and soften them.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1 egg
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil or shortening
    a pinch of salt
    1/2 teaspoon dark cocoa Powder
    1/4 cup Marsala wine or white wine
    3 tablespoons milk
    1 egg white for sealing the edges
    vegetable oil for frying

    For the ricotta filling:
    2 cups whole milk ricotta
    1 cup mascarpone cheese
    1/2 cup powdered sugar
    dash of cinnamon
    semi-sweet chocolate chips
    2 Tbsp Orange Blossom Water
    chopped pistachios optional
    powdered sugar for sprinkling on top


  • To prepare Sicilian cannoli, pour the sifted flour onto a work surface, place a spoonful of sugar, oil, egg, a pinch of salt, cocoa, milk, and Marsala (or wine) in the centre, sufficient to obtain a consistent paste.

    Knead everything together and form a ball. Wrap the ball in cling film and let it rest for an hour in a cool place.

    For the filling:

    Work the sieved ricotta and mascarpone in a bowl with the orange blossom water and sugar. When the mixture is creamy, add the rest of the ingredients and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

    Roll out the dough (by hand or with a machine) to 2 mm thick, and cut out discs or squares of 4-inch (10 cm) diameter.

    Wrap each disc of dough around a metal tube, overlapping the two edges and joining them with beaten egg-white like glue.

    When wrapping the discs of dough, make sure that they are not wrapped too tightly to the metal tube so that the cannoli can swell slightly.

    Fry the Sicilian cannoli in abundant oil and, when they are of a beautiful golden-brown colour, drain them on absorbent paper and, when just warm, remove them from the tubes.
    Repeat the operation until all the dough is used up.

    Filling the cannoli:

    Stuff the cannoli with a coffee spoon or a pastry bag. The cannoli must be stuffed just before serving, as the wafer shells becomes soft from the moisture of the filling.

    Decorate each single cannoli with chopped pistachios.

    Finally, sprinkle with icing sugar: your Sicilian cannoli, prepared according to the original recipe, are ready to be served and tasted.

    Variations and Substitutions
    Regionally there are several authentic variations of cannoli.
    Use shortening or lard in place of butter in shells. Fry in vegetable oil, shortening, lard, peanut oil.

    Add 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder or 1/4 tsp cinnamon to the cannoli shell recipe for a light background flavor.
    Use white wine for marsala wine. For a no wine option use grape juice.
    Add orange zest, chopped chocolate or mini chocolate chips, chopped maraschino cherries, cinnamon, vanilla extract or vanilla bean to filling.

    Dip each end of of finished cannoli shells in melted chocolate. Let set in fridge before filling.
    After filling cannoli, dip each end in unsalted chopped pistachios.
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