Sicilian Crunchy and Sweet Dessert: Cannoli filled with Ricotta Cheese

The cannoli are one of the most popular Sicilian and Italian desserts in the world. They are made by a crunchy and slightly sweetened envelope filled with a sweet cream based of ricotta cheese and covered with candied fruit, chopped pistachios or chocolate flakes.

Today we are sharing the classical version with you: cannoli filled with sheep ricotta. This type of ricotta gives a more intense flavour and a thicker consistence to the cream.

Going around in Sicily you could taste different versions of these treats, either with chocolate in the shell dough, filled with custard, or filled with ice-cream.

Sicilian Crunchy and Sweet Dessert: Cannoli filled with Ricotta Cheese

INGREDIENTS for around 10 Cannoli

To Make the  Shell dough:

  • 250 g of pastry flour
  • 30 g butter
  • 30 g sugar
  • 1 small egg
  • 50 grams Marsala wine
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 g cinnamon powder
  • grounded orange zest

To make the Shell:

  • 1 yolk egg
  • Cannoli mold
  • Rice oil or peanut oil (to fry)

To make the Filling:

  • 800 g sheep ricotta cheese
  • 320 g powdered sugar
  • chocolate flakes, to taste

To decorate:

  • candied fruit, chopped pistachios or chocolate flakes, to taste
  • powdered sugar


  • Sift the flour and the cinnamon powder in a bowl or on a wooden surface. Add the sugar, the salt and the orange zest. Cut the butter in small pieces and start combining it all together. While kneading, add the egg and pour the Marsala wine, a bit at a time. Work the dough until forming a consistent and elastic dough. You can make the dough using a Kitchen-aid machine, equipped with the dough hook, or by using an electric mixer. Let the dough rest for about two hours in the fridge.
  • Then, on a well-floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1.5 mm .
Cannoli Molds
Cannoli Molds

  • Using a circular cutter ( ∼ 10 cm diameter ) cut the dough.  Then, with your hands, stretch the circle slightly to obtain an oval shape.  Roll each oval on a cannoli mold,  seal the edge with a bit of egg yolk. Cover the dough with a towel or plastic wrap.
  • Heat the rice oil or peanut oil in a deep frying pan. Pour enough oil to completely submerge the cannoli molds. The oil temperature cannot to be higher than 170 ºC. To check if the oil is ready for frying, drop a small piece of dough into the oil. If it comes back to the top and starts bubbling all around then the oil temperature is perfect to fry.
  • Once the oil has reached the right temperature, fry the mold with cannolo until golden brown. When frying, do not remove the mold. Once ready, with tongs remove the cannolo  from the oil and let cool it on an absorbent paper for a few minutes. As soon as the cannolo has cooled, gently remove the mold.
  • To prepare the filling, mix the ricotta, the sugar and the chocolate flakes (or candied fruit) together in a bowl until well combined.  Choose the nozzle you want to use and fill a pastry bag with the cream. Gently fill each cannolo. Decorate the cannoli as you prefer (with candied fruit, chopped pistachios or chocolate flakes). Dust with sugar and serve them!
Sicilian Crunchy and Sweet Dessert: Cannoli filled with Ricotta Cheese

8 thoughts on “Sicilian Crunchy and Sweet Dessert: Cannoli filled with Ricotta Cheese

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  1. O my goodness cannoli are my favorite!! I don’t eat them that often, because i’m not always near a place that makes them the right way. I should finally try to make them myself. What type of cannoli molds do you recommend?

    Liked by 1 person

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