Cannolis Recipe

Cannolis are one of my favorite Italian dessert recipes! My homemade cannolis start with a scratch made shell filled with the best creamy filling!

Servings : 31


Cannoli shells:
3 cups all-purpose flour (unsifted)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice)
3 Tbs unsalted butter (cold and cut into small pieces)
1 egg (slightly beaten)
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine
1 Tbsp vinegar
2 Tbsp water
1 egg white (slightly beaten)
Oil (for deep frying (about 1 quart))

Ricotta Filling:
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
16 ounces Ricotta cheese (whole milk)
1 cup powdered sugar
4 tsp pure vanilla extract
zest from one lemon
zest from one orange
1/4 teaspoon pistachio flavor (optional)

10 ounces mini chocolate chips (less if you don’t add them to the filling)
1/4 cup chopped pistachios


To make the Ricotta filling:

  1. Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip heavy cream using whisk attachment until peaks form. This takes just a few minutes. Transfer to a separate bowl. Add mascarpone cheese to stand mixer bowl and blend until light and fluffy, just for a minute or two. Transfer mascarpone to the bowl with the whipped cream. 
  2. Add ricotta to the stand mixer bowl and blend ricotta cheese until smooth. Mix in powdered sugar, vanilla, and zest. Fold in previously whipped heavy cream and mascarpone cheese along with pistachio flavor (if using).
  3. Cover and chill several hours or chill overnight.

To make the cannoli shells:

  1. Whisk together flour, salt, sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter. Make a well in the center and add the egg and and the egg yolk, wine, vinegar, and water. Mix with a fork to combine or use your hands to mix, if needed. Knead by hand or with a dough hook in your stand mixer for about 10 minutes. Form into a ball, wrap dough with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about an hour.
  2. Roll out a rounded tablespoon of dough, press flat into a disk shape, and coat both sides with flour. You can try to roll it by hand, but I find it ideal to run through my pasta roller. The goal is to create flat ovals that are about 4-6 inches long, and the thinner and more uniform, the better they will cook.
  3. Using an Atlas pasta roller, I processed the dough starting at setting 1.
  4. Then I continued to increase the setting through to level 6. 
  5. Lightly oil the outside of a tube (oil spray works great).
  6. Lay the tube on one end of the disc and roll the tube.
  7. When you reach the end dab egg white on the flap and finish rolling.
  8. Lightly press the the end with the egg white to seal.

To cook the cannoli shells:

  1. Heat oil to 350 degrees F. Fry 2-3 at a time (while still wrapped around cannoli form) until golden, about a minute. Remove with tongs and place on paper towels to drain. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, gently slip the form out of the shell. Cool completely before filling. Note: this process is SOOOO much easier if you have one person rolling the cannoli shells and the other person is cooking them.

To fill cannoli:

  1. Remove ricotta filling from refrigerator. If it appears too liquid to stuff into the shells, whip with a whisk attachment on a stand mixer for about a minute on high speed. That should thicken it up. If you want chocolate chips mixed in with the filling, add about half to the filling and stir.
  2. Add ricotta filling to piping bag with a wide tube fitting and pipe into each shell. Insert at each end, start filling at the middle of the cannoli and work your way out. To serve, dust with powdered sugar and garnish ends with mini chocolate chips and crushed pistachios.

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