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Angled view of a group of cannoli decorated with pistachios and chocolate chips.

Sicilian Cannoli (Cannoli Siciliani)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Sabrina Russo
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: about 2 dozen cannoli 1x


Sicilian Cannoli are a must have treat for Christmas.  This recipe reminds me of the delicious cannoli I grew up.




  • 16oz full-fat ricotta cheese (450g)
  • 16oz mascarpone cheese or more ricotta (450g)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (140g)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt (1/4 tsp fine salt) (2g)
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract, or to taste
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon, or to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped candied orange peel, or more to taste (optional) (45g)


  • 1 ¾ cup 00 flour or all-purpose flour (265g)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (25g)
  • ½ tablespoon cocoa powder (3g)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or ½ tsp fine salt (4g)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cold, cut into ½ inch cubes (30g)
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ to 1/3 cup marsala wine (60-80ml), or as needed
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar (10ml)
  • 1 egg white, for sealing dough
  • Oil for frying, such as cannola or vegetable


  • Semisweet Chocolate Chips (regular or mini size) (optional)
  • Pistachios, toasted, roughly chopped (optional)
  • Powdered sugar


  1. Strain ricotta: Place ricotta in a fine mesh sieve lined with a piece of cheesecloth. Place over a bowl to catch the liquids. Place a small plate weighted with a can or jar on top. Refrigerate overnight to drain the excess liquid.
  2. Mix filling: Combine strained ricotta, mascarpone, sugar, salt, vanilla and cinnamon in a food processer and blend until smooth. Stir in candied orange peel. You can also whisk together filling in a bowl as depicted above; however, it will not be as smooth and creamy as in the food processer. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Combine dry ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa and salt.
  4. Add butter: Add butter to bowl of dry ingredients. Toss to coat in flour. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut butter into flour to form coarse crumbs. This can also be done in a food processer.
  5. Combine wet ingredients: In another bowl, whisk together egg, ¼ cup of marsala and vinegar. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir to combine. Add more marsala, a couple teaspoons at a time as needed, until dough comes together. Form into a disc, cover in plastic and refrigerate at least 1-2 hours or up to 1-2 days.
  6. Roll out dough: Cut off about ¼ of the dough, leaving the remaining dough in the fridge. I find using a pasta machine is the easiest way to flatten the dough, but you can also do this by hand with a rolling pin. If you’re using a pasta machine, start at the widest setting (1 on a KitchenAid). Flatten the dough as much as possible and run through the machine. Run through the widest setting at least 3-4 times, until the dough is smooth and uniform. It may break apart at first, but just fold it  back together and run through the machine as needed. Then, move to the 2nd setting. Run dough through this setting once, fold in half and run through 1-2 more times. Repeat to the 3rd setting if using a KitchenAid attachment. The final thickness should be between 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick. Repeat with remaining dough after cutting out shapes.
  7. Heat oil: Fill a heavy-bottomed pot with high sides, such as a Dutch oven, with about 3 inches of frying oil. Warm to 350F while preparing the dough.
  8. Cut out dough: Using a 4 inch round cutter, punch out circles of dough. You can re-roll scraps once or twice.
  9. Wrap dough onto cannoli molds: Place a cannoli mold on top of a round of dough. Wrap around one half of dough. Brush other edge of dough with a little egg white. Wrap over this piece of dough and press down gently to adhere egg white to dough.
  10. Fry dough: Submerge 4-5 cannoli shell molds at a time into preheated frying oil. Cook 1-2 minutes, until browned and  crispy. Transfer to a wire rack over a sheet tray to drain. The tray will catch any excess oil. Once slightly cooled, slide mold out of shell. Repeat with remaining dough.
  11. Fill cannoli: Using a piping bag or ziploc bag with a corner snipped off, pipe filling into the cannoli. Start on one end, then flip the cannoli around to fill from the other side. Dip in chocolate chips or pistachios, if desired. Dust with powdered sugar. Enjoy!



Depending on your flavor preference, feel free to add a pinch of cinnamon or omit the cocoa in the shells.

Many traditional recipes use lard or shortening instead of butter, but I have not tested this.

If you don’t want to use marsala wine, other cooks recommend trying white wine or water instead, however, this will impact the flavor.

If you don’t have a 4-inch round cutter, you can cut out circles using a sauce turned upside down and a paring knife. You can also cut out square shapes, but I found this more difficult to perfect.

The cannoli filling can be stored in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.

The cannoli shells can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

I don’t recommend freezing cannoli, but you can freeze the raw cannoli dough for up to 3 months and defrost it when you plan to fry it.

  • Prep Time: 2.5 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Fry
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Serving Size: 1 cannoli
  • Calories: 250
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Sodium: 114mg
  • Fat: 18g
  • Saturated Fat: 9g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 9g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 16g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Cholesterol: 50mg