Cannoli Recipe


I was never really a huge fan of the cannoli.

Until I started making my own.

I know, I know that sounds really egotistical, but it’s true!

This cannoli recipe (in my opinion) is one of the best.

There is just something super weird about that cinnamon oil ~ rubbery texture I’ve had in many other bakery cannolis that I just never liked.

I make my cannoli recipe with just a few very basic ingredients.

It is more of a cannoli mousse though, so it can be used not only to fill cannoli shells, but I love this recipe as a filling for my Cannoli Cake!

See what you think, and YES you can leave out the gelatin (or substitute with Agar Agar)

If you can get your hands on Impastada Cheese – EVEN BETTER!

But good ol’ ricotta works fine! Just try to get a brand that has very little moisture.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Cannoli Cream Recipe
Prep time
Total time
Serves: Yield 2 Qt Enough to Fill 12 Large Cannoli's or 4dz Mini
  • Ricotta Cheese 15oz container (420g) - *If you can get Impastada Cheese this is the best.
  • Confectioners Sugar 1 cup (120g)
  • Ground Cinnamon ¼ teaspoon
  • Unflavored Gelatin Powder 1 Tablespoon (8g)
  • Cold Water 3 Tablespoons (45ml)
  • Miniature Chocolate Chips 1 cup (175g)
  • Heavy Cream 1 cup (240ml)
  • Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon (5ml)
  1. Bloom the gelatin in the cold water and let it stand to absorb for about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile combine the ricotta cheese and the sifted confectioner's sugar together in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Then add the cinnamon and vanilla extract.
  4. At this point the gelatin should be bloomed and you can now melt it over low heat in a small saucepot, or in a microwave safe bowl for only 5-10 seconds at a time until it is melted.
  5. Whip the heavy cream to medium peaks and then add the melted gelatin mixture while whipping on high - continue whipping to medium- firm peaks
  6. Fold this stabilized whipped cream into the ricotta cheese mixture in the bowl and then fold in the chocolate chips.
Fill your cannoli shells and serve immediately with a sprinkling of confectioner's sugar or transfer the entire recipe of cannoli cream to a clean container with a lid and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

You may fill your cannolis as you wish to serve them, but you should not fill cannolis more than 2 hours before serving them or the shells will absorb the liquid from the cream and your cannolis will be soggy.
Now to make the Cannoli Shells!

Here’s the deal with making your own cannoli shells, and I know I will get some flack for saying this, BUT- I really feel like some things are best left to the professionals!

Like the real deal professional companies that specialize in cannoli shell making!

There is something about frying at home that to me, is just not really my favorite thing!

I feel like it is dangerous #1 (unless you have a Self Contained Deep Fat Fryer which I do not~ and perhaps if I did, I would enjoy the whole process more, but honestly I am not frying enough to warrant this purchase!) and #2 it kinda stinks up the house!

There is a weird lingering smell that sticks around after a a frying extravaganza, and well….. if you do decide to do it BUY INCENSE! LOL

Ok, enough about my pet peeves on deep fat frying at home!

Now for you warriors in the kitchen let’s make some CANNOLI SHELLS!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Cannoli Shells Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
I am using a slightly tweaked up version of Alex Guarnaschelli's recipe for cannoli shells here.
I have found so many recipes to be slightly different in the type of acid being used, and she uses white wine which I happened to like the flavor it imparts to the dough. Others will use vinegar or marsala instead.
Feel free to use any recipe you like best and you can still follow the same method for mixing the dough and frying the cannoli shells as I show you here, I won't be mad if you get a different recipe!
Serves: 18-24 shells
  • All Purpose Flour 2 cups (250g)
  • Granulated Sugar 1 tablespoon (14g)
  • Salt ¼ teaspoon
  • Ground Cinnamon ¼ teaspoon
  • Unsalted Butter 2 Tablespoons (28g)
  • Egg White 1 (30g
  • White Wine ½ cup (120ml)
  • Egg White for sealing the dough *See below instructions
  • Vegetable Oil for frying *3-4 cups
  1. Combine the flour, salt, cinnamon, and sugar together in a mixing bowl
  2. Grate in the cold butter and then work it through your fingers to a course meal.
  3. Add the egg white & white wine and mix to a soft dough
  4. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface & knead it gently until it comes together, then wrap in plastic wrap to rest for about 10 minutes.
  5. On a floured surface roll the dough as thin as possible (this is a nice pliable dough that is capable of rolling thin)
  6. Roll to at least ⅛" thick then cut out rounds that are 3-4" in diameter
  7. Start to heat your oil in a heavy bottom frying pan to 360°F on a frying thermometer
  8. Wrap the discs around the metal cannoli forms and seal the seam with a dab of egg white
  9. Drop carefully into the hot oil be careful not to splash
  10. Turn the metal tubes several times during the frying to brown evenly all sides.
  11. Carefully remove the tubes from the hot oil and transfer to a paper towel or a silicone mat until they are cool enough to handle
  12. Be sure to protect your hands from burning while you complete this entire process, I use thick gardening gloves to ensure I do not burn myself on the hot steel tubes as I slip the cannoli shells from the tubes
Cannoli shells will stay fresh wrapped well in an airtight container for several weeks.

Fill cannoli shells with cream just before serving to avoid soggy shells


5.0 from 3 reviews
Alternative Cannoli Shell Recipe~ no alcohol
This recipe is from the Cake Boss for cannoli shells
Serves: 24 cannoli shells
  • All Purpose Flour 2 cups (250g)
  • Granulated Sugar 6 Tablespoons (85g)
  • Shortening 4 Tablespoons (56g)
  • White Distilled Vinegar 4 Tablespoons (60ml)
  • Eggs 4 (200g)
  • Cinnamon pinch
  • salt pinch
  1. same method as for above dough recipe

You may also like


  1. Gretchen,
    Who make a good shell and where can I find it if I don’t want to make the shells myself ? I enjoy all your recipes and I just want to thank you fir all that you do for us.


    1. Hi there. I plan on making cannoli for my two son’s and their lady friends for Valentine’s Day. I don’t own a deep fryer so my question to you is after I get the cannoli dough rolled out can I bake them in the oven if so what tem. and how long should they be in the oven

  2. Hi Gretchen,
    Thank you so much for this recipe. I always make my own cannoli cream and years ago even made my own shells. I am so eager to try your recipe using the white wine and your cannoli cream. I never thought to use gelatin in the cream to make it stiff. My daughter’s birthday is coming up and this will definitely be one of the sweets on my dessert table, which will consist mostly of your recipes. You have become a name very familiar to my big Italian family! By the way, I am not sure where you are in Florida, but my nephew just opened up a restaurant called “Dirt”, clean eating, located in Miami Beach. Have a great weekend!

    1. HI Anna! thanks yeah! I hope you try it and let me know how it compares! I am in north east Florida ~ Miami is pretty far for me! But great luck to him that is awesome! Love it !

  3. Hi Gretchen: Your amazing and how awful to those people who thought to rip your recipes off, such a shame and I am glad you did something about it. My question is can you share your cannoli cake again. I thought I had it but do not. Thank you so much for sharing your talent with all of us.


  4. Hi Gretchen,
    I know this recipe is good as a filing but how can I make it as a buttercream? I want to make cannoli cupcakes. Thank you

  5. Hi Gretchen
    I love how you add alternative recipes you are an amazing women. I am learning so much from you. Thank you so much for sharing

  6. Hi Gretchen, your Cannoli cake can you please email me the recipe, as I’m going to try your Cannoli dip. Never made this before. I would like to try the cake also. Thank you, Debbie

  7. Hi Gretchen I have a question… can I wrap the cannoli shells on something else? Because I don’t have the cannoli forms. Thank you, Madeline

  8. Hi Gretchen 🙂 I tryed the cannoli recipe today. This was the first time I made and ate cannolis. What should I say? Thank you so much 🙂 for sharing this amazing recipe! Normally famous cooks like Martha Stewart said that making a cannoli is very difficult. But your shell recipe is so simple to make. I made them with tinfoil. I had the fear, if I give the tinfoil in to the very hot oil, that my kitchen might burning or it will explode :D. But nothing happened. Okay I nearly burned my fingers as I tryed to pull the tinfoil off the cannolis becaus they were SO hot, but it was worth it. I let the cannolis after I gave them out of the oil cool a bit. I waited for about 6-10 min. Then I got the tinfoil nicely off the cannoli. I made a different cream that I thought it might be good in to the cannolis. All who ate a cannoli from me said that they are very good! No one who have a website like yours write somebody back so fast. Only after 2 o more years so thank you. 🙂 You have such a big talent , so I decided to make more re recipes from you in the future.

  9. Hi Gretchen,

    Just found you and I must say I can’t wait to make your American buttercream and your recipes look amazing. I love cannoli’s and I was wondering if I could use it as a filling in a cake? Thanks so much.

  10. Gretchen, thanks for the recipe. It is a bit different from our family’s, but I always love to play around and explore variations.

    My dad made these for years before he passed away. He made the shells easily by using 1″ diameter, stainless steel pipe rods cut down to 3 inches and deep frying. Works like a charm! Just wrap the shells JUST SHORT of the ends and tap the metal and the shells slide right off. Sicilian and Napoli ingenuity! Very proud of our heritage. Making them again this year for Christmas.

  11. Love your recipes and videos!!! I was wondering…..can the gelatin be used to stabilize my white cannoli pudding that I use in my cannoli? Sometimes after beating (after the chilling it), the pudding breaks down. In Italian bakeries which use the white pudding instead of the ricotta filling, the filling is firmer than my pudding. Also, do you recommend to cool the gelatin down a little before adding it to the whipping cream?

    Oh by the way, I baked your red velvet cake and it was wonderful! I layered it with a cheesecake layer. Perfect! My friends loved it!

    1. Sure it would probably work fine, You can add the gelatin warm, just be sure to be whipping FAST when you do so it doesn’t get a chance to set up

  12. Perfect Cannoli Shells recipe! My 2nd try in testing out recipes…1st was blech then saw yours! Wish I can post a pic. I already made my cake before, but will try your cake/filling recipe next time! Thanks!

  13. Perfect Cannoli Shells recipe! My 2nd try in testing out recipes…1st was blech then saw yours! Wish I can post a pic. I already made my cake before, but will try your cake/filling recipe next time! Thanks!
    PS- I used heavy duty foil as my ‘tubes’, around 5-6” long,3/4”thick rolled up tight & smooth as possible. Then wrapped the cut out dough around the foil pretty loosely so when it’s cooked, it puffs up & won’t be as tight around the foil. Make sure it’s sealed good w the egg white. Let cool down for a minute and remove HOT foil w tongs(while gently holding one end of shell) & gently twisting the foil as you pull(I had few trial/error w this!haha)

  14. Can you freeze the dough for later use like you would with pie crust or does it change the texture/taste of the dough when you cook it?

  15. Hi I tried the non alcoholic version of this recipe and the batter is wet and sticky. Did I have to add only egg whites or the whole eggs and also the vinegar 2 tbsp?

    1. Hey there, I provided the Cake Boss recipe for the non alcoholic version for those who wanted a “tried and true” version. I would hope to think his recipe was indeed tried and true though! I just now doubled checked his recipe as I wrote it here and it is correctly written. Whether it was correct as HE wrote it though? Hmmm Cake Boss… shakes head….
      I have another option for you that is slightly different from the traditional fried cannoli shells, this one has been a real hit I just posted it last month and it is getting rave reviews!
      CLICK HERE to check it out

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: