Cannoli Recipe

Longing for the joys of life or just a really tasty bite? Check out this Cannoli recipe that will bring happiness within sight!

Cannoli-recipe-1-SunCakeMomCannoli is an Italian dessert made of fried pastry dough filled with a ricotta-based filling.

Its name is derived from the shape of the pastry, which basically means a “small tube” in Sicilian where Cannoli comes from or more precisely, come from because Cannoli is the plural form of cannolo.

Of course, we, whose Italian knowledge reaches its pinnacle by ordering a pizza, can’t make such distinction because as it is supposed to be in English, there is no “s” at the end of the word. Apparently, we can’t wrap our head around foreign words ending with or without the letter “s.” Like it is the case with “gyros” which exist on the other side of the “s” dilemma and its ending isn’t supposed to signal its plurality, yet many of us feel obliged to take that constant off and insist on gyro meat.

The origin of Cannoli, although far from being a secret, it is veiled by ages long obscurity and mystery.

Legend has, that the pastry was invented by the harem women of Caltanissetta who created the dessert as vaguely phallic homage to their long absent men. If longing has anything to do with it, then it may explain why someone saw the need of making some of them 8” / 20cm long.

Other says it was nuns who created it and it had something to do with a carnival joke, ricotta flowing out of the water tube instead of water. Either way, its spread had not much to do with lonely wives or solitary nuns but fun and merrymaking as it was a typal carnival offering until it found its way onto the tables of Italian families.

Since no one saw the need to take notes of Cannoli’s evolution thus history, we have to be content with its present. Not like many things have occurred to cannoli, apart from a few touches of modern era, like people no longer use river weed to roll the dough onto, but stainless steel metal tubes, and lard has been swapped for a presumably healthier or at temperature resistant cooking oil.

Due to its Italian nature, Cannoli could have gone on various routes in terms of ingredients, like it’s the case with Bolognese sauce, spaghetti alla puttanesca or risotto, but Sicilian pastry chefs kept its free roaming nature in bay, sticking to recipes that leave fairly little room for variations.

Sure, we still have more than enough options to choose from when making cannoli, like filling it with mascarpone or cream instead of ricotta. Not to mention the rather surprising ingredients, we grind into the dough but apart from that, Cannoli kept to its roots pretty well without trying to set its recipe into stone, like some are trying to do it with Tiramisu.

As mentioned earlier, cannoli can be pretty big with their 8” / 20cm but there are cuter, more playful sizes out there too. We can get metal tubes or cones that start from 3½” / 9cm which is just the perfect size that allows indulging in more of them without feeling overwhelmed.

Making cannoli tubes at home, by rolling up 3 -4 layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil into tubes, is a possible substitution of the metal tubes and instead of scouring all over the internet, an easy way to get the size we find joy in the most.

So, if our longing to cannoli gets unbearable, or never had any and want to try some of life’s greatest joys, nothing should stop us from making our own.Cannoli-recipe-3-SunCakeMom

Ingredients

(50 Cannoli)

Dough

  • 1lb / 500g Flour
  • 1 teaspoon / 5g Salt
  • 4 tablespoons / 60g Butter
  • 3 tablespoons / 45g Marsala wine (optional)
  • 3 medium / 150g Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon / 2g Cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon / 1.5g Espresso coffee beans (ground)
  • 1 teaspoon / 2g Cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoon / 45g Water (only if needed to soften the dough)

Filling

  • 4 cups / 1000g Ricotta
  • 4 cups / 1000g Mascarpone
  • 4 tablespoons / 80g Honey or sweetener of choice (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon / 5g Vanilla extract
  • 2 cups / 300g Raisin, dried fruit (finely diced)
  • Optional for decoration
    • ⅔ cup / 100g Pistachios (crushed)
    • 1 cup / 100g Chocolate chips

Kitchen equipment

  • 6 Cannoli tubes (better to have two set of 6)

How to make Cannoli

  1. Knead flour, salt, butter, optional Marsala wine, eggs, cocoa powder, ground coffee beans and cinnamon.Cannoli-recipe-Process-1-SunCakeMom
  2. Add water if necessary to bring the dough uniformly together.Cannoli-recipe-Process-3-SunCakeMom
  3. Cover the dough and let it sit for about 30 minutes.Cannoli-recipe-Process-2-SunCakeMom
  4. Roll the dough out on a well floured surface.Cannoli-recipe-Process-4-SunCakeMom
  5. Cut the dough that matches with our cannoli tubes. In our case that means 4″ / 10cm diameter circles. Cannoli cones require an ellipse shape which is achieved by rolling out the cut out circle sideways only. Rework the leftover dough until there’s no more left.Cannoli-recipe-Process-5-SunCakeMom
  6. If a pasta machine is available enjoy its possibilities and the even dough.Cannoli-recipe-Process-7-SunCakeMom
  7. Make the ellipse shape by sending the circles through the pasta machine.Cannoli-recipe-Process-8-SunCakeMom
  8. Roll the dough onto the cannoli tubes. While placing the dough onto the tubes is fairly easy, rolling the cones need a bit of fiddling to find the best angle for perfect dough distribution.Cannoli-recipe-Process-9-SunCakeMom
  9. Brush the overlapping dough with egg whites to make them stick together better.Cannoli-recipe-Process-6-SunCakeMom
  10. Or simply use a bit of water.Cannoli-recipe-Process-15-SunCakeMom
  11. Press the overlapping edges onto each other.Cannoli-recipe-Process-16-SunCakeMom
  12. Heat oil to 345°F – 355°F / 175°C – 180°C which is just below most oil’s smoke point then place the Cannoli tubes in.Cannoli-recipe-Process-13-SunCakeMom
  13. Fry until golden brown, about 1 – 3 minutes. We can deep fry them or use a skillet with less oil. Flip them over as necessary to get an even color.Cannoli-recipe-Process-14-SunCakeMom
  14. Once they got the lovely golden brown color take them out and let them drip off any excess oil.Cannoli-recipe-Process-12-SunCakeMom
  15. Grab the metal tubes with a dry kitchen cloth and pull off the Cannoli shells. Use a fork or knife to slide them off if necessary.Cannoli-recipe-Process-17-SunCakeMom
  16. If our favorite ricotta tends to overflown with liquid, drain it in advance.Ricotta-cheese-drain--gp--1-SunCakeMom
  17. Cut the dried fruit up into size that will surely get through the hole of our piping attachment.Raisins-apricot-dried-fruit-cut-dice--gp--SunCakeMom
  18. Beat the drained ricotta, mascarpone together then mix in the fruits and honey or sweetener of choice. Leave some fruits out for decoration if desired.Cannoli-recipe-Process-20-SunCakeMom
  19. Load the piping bag up then fill the cannoli shells.Cannoli-recipe-Process-21-SunCakeMom
  20. Dunk the cannoli ends into finely diced dried fruit, crushed pistachios or chocolate chips as desired.Cannoli-recipe-Process-22-SunCakeMom

Enjoy!Cannoli-recipe-2-SunCakeMom

Note: Once the shells are stuffed the moisture from the cheese filling starts to seep into them making them soft in a day or so. Keep shells and filling separately until consumption.

F.A.Q.

What is the cannoli filling made of?

Cannoli filling originally is made of ricotta cheese and some sort of sweetener, like sugar. Nowadays, mascarpone, especially outside of Sicily, is routinely used to mix with or substitute ricotta.

How is a cannoli made?

Cannoli shells are fried in hot cooking oil then filled with sweetened ricotta or mascarpone cheese. The filled tubes are decorated with a variety of dried fruits, nuts or chocolate chip.

What ingredients are in cannoli shells?

Cannoli shells can contain a variety of ingredients but the most basic ones are flour, eggs, butter, and marsala wine or water.

What cream is in a cannoli?

The cream in Cannoli traditionally made of sweetened ricotta cheese but nowadays Mascarpone cheese is also used sometimes partially or wholly replacing ricotta.

Cannoli-recipe-16x9-SunCakeMom
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5 from 1 vote

Cannoli Recipe

Longing for the joys of life or just a really tasty bite? Check out this Cannoli recipe that will bring happiness within sight!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian, Sugar free recipe
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 50
Calories 240kcal
Author SunCakeMom

Equipment

  • 6 Cannoli tubes better to have two set of 6

Ingredients

Dough
  • 1 lb Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 4 tablespoons Butter
  • 3 tablespoons Marsala wine optional
  • 3 medium Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon Espresso coffee beans ground
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoon Water only if needed to soften the dough
Filling
  • 4 cups Ricotta
  • 4 cups Mascarpone
  • 4 tablespoons Honey or sweetener of choice to taste, dried fruit can be used to add sweetness
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 2 cups Raisin, dried fruit finely diced
  • Optional for decoration
  • cup Pistachios crushed
  • ½ cup Chocolate chips
  • 1 cup Cooking oil more is needed, value for nutritional purposes only

Instructions

  • Knead flour, salt, butter, optional Marsala wine, eggs, cocoa powder, ground coffee beans and cinnamon.
    Cannoli-recipe-Process-1-SunCakeMom
  • Add water if necessary to bring the dough uniformly together.
    Cannoli-recipe-Process-3-SunCakeMom
  • Cover the dough and let it sit for about 30 minutes.
    Cannoli-recipe-Process-2-SunCakeMom
  • Roll the dough out on a well floured surface.
    Cannoli-recipe-Process-4-SunCakeMom
  • Cut the dough that matches with our cannoli tubes. In our case that means 4" / 10cm diameter circles. Cannoli cones require an ellipse shape which is achieved by rolling out the cut out circle sideways only. Rework the leftover dough until there's no more left.
    Cannoli-recipe-Process-5-SunCakeMom
  • If a pasta machine is available enjoy its possibilities and the even dough. Atlas 150 settings 7.
    Cannoli-recipe-Process-7-SunCakeMom
  • Make the ellipse shape by sending the circles through the pasta machine.
    Cannoli-recipe-Process-8-SunCakeMom
  • Roll the dough onto the cannoli tubes. While placing the dough onto the tubes is fairly easy, rolling the cones need a bit of fiddling to find the best angle for perfect dough distribution.
    Cannoli-recipe-Process-9-SunCakeMom
  • Brush the overlapping dough with egg whites to make them stick together better.
    Cannoli-recipe-Process-6-SunCakeMom
  • Or simply use a bit of water.
    Cannoli-recipe-Process-15-SunCakeMom
  • Press the overlapping edges onto each other.
    Cannoli-recipe-Process-16-SunCakeMom
  • Heat oil to 345°F - 355°F / 175°C - 180°C which is just below most oil's smoke point then place the Cannoli tubes in.
    Cannoli-recipe-Process-13-SunCakeMom
  • Fry until golden brown, about 1 - 3 minutes. We can deep fry them or use a skillet with less oil. Flip them over as necessary to get an even color.
    Cannoli-recipe-Process-14-SunCakeMom
  • Once they got the lovely golden brown color take them out and let them drip off any excess oil.
    Cannoli-recipe-Process-12-SunCakeMom
  • Grab the metal tubes with a dry kitchen cloth and pull off the Cannoli shells. Use a fork or knife to slide them off if necessary.
    Cannoli-recipe-Process-17-SunCakeMom
  • If our favorite ricotta tends to overflown with liquid, drain it in advance.
    Ricotta-cheese-drain--gp--1-SunCakeMom
  • Cut the dried fruit up into size that will surely get through the hole of our piping attachment.
    Raisins-apricot-dried-fruit-cut-dice--gp--SunCakeMom
  • Beat the drained ricotta, mascarpone together then mix in the fruits and honey or sweetener of choice. Leave some fruits out for decoration if desired.
    Cannoli-recipe-Process-20-SunCakeMom
  • Load the piping bag up then fill the cannoli shells.
    Cannoli-recipe-Process-21-SunCakeMom
  • Dunk the cannoli ends into finely diced dried fruit, crushed pistachios or chocolate chips as desired.
    Cannoli-recipe-Process-22-SunCakeMom

Notes

Once the shells are stuffed the moisture from the cheese filling starts to seep into them making them soft in a day or so. Keep shells and filling separately until consumption.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 240kcal (12%) | Carbohydrates: 17g (6%) | Protein: 5g (10%) | Fat: 17g (26%) | Saturated Fat: 8g (50%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 40mg (13%) | Sodium: 89mg (4%) | Potassium: 106mg (3%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 3g (3%) | Vitamin A: 389IU (8%) | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 74mg (7%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)

Pin now, Enjoy later!

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