Recipe for Homemade Cannoli with Creamy Ricotta

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I love learning about and trying new Italian recipes. Homemade Cannoli with Creamy Ricotta is a delicious dessert that has just the right amount of sweetness. Plus chocolate and pistachios! Our family loves them.

Serving Homemade Cannoli with Creamy Ricotta for an Italian Dinner

(Post modified on 3/28/24.)

The first time I heard about cannoli was during an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, when a little boy gets in to some of Ray’s cannoli in The Annoying Kid. Ray’s mother was always making these for the family, and her boys loved them. 

For this recipe you’ll want to purchase a set or two of cannoli forms. They are not very expensive and you can purchase them at an Italian grocery store or on Amazon. You’ll also need a rolling pin or a pasta roller, and a Dutch oven or deep fat fryer for frying the shells.

 

More Italian Desserts to Try

 

Ingredients for Homemade Cannoli with Creamy Ricotta

(See the full recipe at the bottom of this post.)

Cannoli Wraps

  • all-purpose flour
  • granulated sugar
  • baking cocoa
  • ground cinnamon
  • salt
  • Marsala or dry white wine
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • egg white
  • semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • pistachios, chopped
  • powdered sugar for dusting
  • peanut oil for frying

Ricotta Filling

  • whole ricotta cheese
  • powdered sugar
  • mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • orange zest
  • vanilla extract
  • ground cinnamon
  • salt

 

Instructions for Making This Recipe

Gather the ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table. Using a nut chopper or knife and cutting board, chop the pistachios and place in a bowl until needed.

 

Prepare the Cannoli Shells

In a large mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking cocoa, ground cinnamon and salt. Add Marsala wine and olive oil and beat on medium speed until dough comes together.

You may substitute a dry white wine for the Marsala, or even apple juice.

Preparing Dough for Rolling

Using your hands, knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 2-3 minutes. Wrap in plastic and let rest 30 minutes.

Divide dough into 2 pieces, covering unused piece. Pass one piece of dough through the widest setting of a pasta machine, passing through narrower settings until it is the thickness of a dime. 

Using a pasta roller will ensure that you have thin, crispy cannoli. If you don’t have a pasta roller, you may roll out by hand with a rolling pin into a thin sheet of dough.

Forming the Cannoli Shells

Lay thin pieces of dough on a floured work surface. Cut out rounds with a 3 1/4″ cutter. Prick dough with a docker roller (used for pizza or crackers) or a fork to give the fried shells their blistered texture. Gather scraps and reroll. 

Wrap each round of dough around a 3 3/4″ cannoli form, sealing with a dab of egg white.

Deep Frying the Shells

Pour enough oil into a large Dutch oven to cover 4 inches. Heat over medium heat to 350-375°F. Working in batches or 4, fry until dark golden brown, about 40-50 seconds.

To prevent your shells from becoming oil laden and soggy, try to keep your oil temperature between 350-375, making sure not to fry when below 350°.

Using a wire skimmer or tongs, transfer to paper towels and cool 5 minutes. Carefully slide out of forms, and let shells cool. Continue rolling, cutting, and frying the remaining dough.

 

Garnish the Cannoli

I like to add a little something extra on the cannoli and love how the chocolate and chopped pistachios look for this dessert.

Decorating the Cannoli Shells

Melt chocolate in a glass bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Dip ends of cannoli shells in melted chocolate and then dip each end in chopped pistachios. Let set for at least 15 minutes on wax paper. You may store cannoli shells in a sealed container at room temperature for 2-3 days or in freezer up to 3 months.

 

Make the Filling

If your ricotta is wet, you may need to drain it the night before, or pat dry using paper towels. I like to buy ricotta that is rather dry and this step is not always necessary.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together ricotta cheese and powdered sugar until fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Beat in chocolate chips, orange zest, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, and salt. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

 

Assemble the Cannoli

When ready to prepare, transfer filling to a pastry bag and pipe filling into one end of a cannoli shell to the center, and then into the other end. Repeat with remaining shells.

Serving Cannoli with Creamy Ricotta for an Italian Dinner

Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately on a pretty tray. (You may fill the cannoli up to an hour before serving, but any longer than that may result in soggy shells.) This recipe makes 16 cannoli.

Pair this dessert with a favorite sweet Riesling or Moscato wine.

See more Italian Recipes Here. See more Dessert Ideas Here.

 

 

Recipe for Homemade Cannoli with Creamy Ricotta

Homemade Cannoli with Creamy Ricotta

I love learning about and trying new Italian recipes. Homemade Cannoli with Creamy Ricotta is a delicious dessert that has just the right amount of sweetness. Plus chocolate and pistachios! Our family loves them.
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting/Cooling Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Serving Size 12

(As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Ingredients 

Cannoli Shells

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup Marsala or dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large egg white (lightly beaten)
  • 2 oz. semisweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
  • 1 cup powdered sugar for dusting
  • 1 quart Peanut Oil (for frying)

Ricotta Filling

  • 15 oz. ricotta cheese (drained, or patted dry with paper towels)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  • Gather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

Prepare the Ingredients

  • Chop the pistachios into small pieces. Zest an orange.

Make the Cannoli Wraps

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking cocoa, ground cinnamon and salt. Add Marsala wine and extra-virgin olive oil and beat on medium speed until dough comes together.
  • Using your hands, knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 2-3 minutes. Wrap in plastic and let rest 30 minutes.
  • Divide dough into 2 pieces, covering unused piece. Pass one piece of dough through the widest setting of a pasta machine, passing through narrower settings until it is the thickness of a dime. (Or roll out by hand with a rolling pin into a thin sheet of dough.)
  • Lay thin pieces of dough on a lightly floured work surface. Cut out rounds with a 3 1/4" cutter. Prick dough with fork or docker to give the fried shells their blistered texture. Gather scraps and reroll.
  • Pour enough oil into a large Dutch oven to cover 4 inches. Heat over medium-high heat to 350-375℉.
  • Wrap each round of dough around a 3 3/4" cannoli form, sealing with a dab of egg white. Working in batches or 4, fry until dark golden brown, about 40-50 seconds. Using a wire skimmer or tongs, transfer to paper towels and cool 5 minutes. Carefully slide out of forms, and let shells cool. Continue rolling, cutting, and frying the remaining dough.

Garnish the Cannoli

  • Melt chocolate in a glass bowl set over a pan of simmering water.
  • Dip ends of cannoli shells in melted chocolate and then dip each end in chopped pistachios. Let set for at least 15 minutes on parchment paper.
    May store cannoli shells in a sealed container at room temperature for 2-3 days or in freezer up to 3 months.

Make the Filling

  • If your ricotta is wet, you may need to drain it the night before, or pat dry using paper towels.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together ricotta cheese and powdered sugar until fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Beat in mini chocolate chips, orange zest, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, and salt. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

Assemble the Cannoli

  • When ready to prepare, transfer filling to a pastry bag and pipe filling into one end of a cannoli shell to the center, and then into the other end. Repeat with remaining shells.
  • Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately. (You may fill the cannoli up to an hour before serving, but any longer than that may result in soggy shells.) Makes 16 cannoli.

Nutrition

Calories: 366kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 86mg | Potassium: 115mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 177IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 1mg

 

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