These homemade cannoli are made with crisp and flaky fried shells filled with a creamy and sweet ricotta filling and dipped in mini chocolate chips. It’s a classic Italian dessert that looks as good as it tastes, and it’s sure to impress everyone who tries it!
Cannoli is one dessert that always intimidated me. Surely making homemade cannoli shells AND filling would be complicated and time-consuming, right? (hence this dip recipe) Oh, was I so wrong! These are actually so easy to make. While they do take a little bit of time and patience, they really aren’t hard at all!
Honestly, the hardest part about making this Italian pastry is learning how to fry the shells without them falling off the cannoli forms. But, don’t let that stop you! I will teach you the ways! With a little bit of practice and the right tools, you can become a cannoli master in no time (and impress your friends with your new pastry-making skills!)
Ingredients in Homemade Cannoli
- White wine or white grape juice
- Ricotta cheese
- Powdered sugar
- Mini chocolate chips
How to Make the Cannoli
- Add flour, sugar, and salt to a mixing bowl. Combine ingredients. Add in butter and mix with mixer until no large clumps remain.
- Mix in wine (or grape juice) and egg.
- Transfer dough to a greased bowl.
- Heat a large pot with vegetable oil
- Roll dough out onto a floured surface.
- Use a cookie cutter to cut dough out. Grease cannoli forms and wrap dough circles around each form. Brush half of the dough with an egg white and press dough around the form.
- Carefully place each shell in the oil. Fry until golden.
- Remove shells from oil using metal tongs. Place on a paper towel to cool.
- Allow shells to cool before filling.
- Mix together ricotta, powdered sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla.
- Scoop filling into a pastry bag.
- Pipe filling into the cannoli shells.
- Dip each end of cannoli with chocolate chips and dust with powdered sugar.
Can You Buy Cannoli Shells?
If you want to take the easy route, you can buy premade cannoli shells. But, what’s the fun in that?! I find homemade cannoli shells are fresher and they taste more authentic, but if you’re pressed for time (or simply don’t want to put in the extra effort) there is no shame in buying premade. I won’t judge!
How Do You Thicken Up Cannoli Filling?
I’ve found that the number one reason why cannoli filling isn’t thick is because the ricotta cheese wasn’t drained. This one simple step is SO important if you want a thick filling! And it’s so easy to do!
To drain the ricotta, you simply line a fine mesh strainer with a cheesecloth and place it over a bowl. Scoop the ricotta into the strainer and place the strainer and bowl in the fridge with a heavy object on top (I usually use something I already have in the fridge like a container of sour cream). I’ve found this is easiest to do the night before you plan on making the ricotta.
How Long Can You Keep Homemade Cannoli Filling in the Fridge?
Cannoli filling can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
More Italian Inspired Recipes to Try:
- Stracciatella Gelato
- Lemon Italian Ricotta Cookies
- Chocolate Tiramisu
- Easy Peach Tiramisu
- Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia Bread
Shop the Recipe
These homemade cannoli are made with crisp and flaky fried shells filled with a creamy and sweet ricotta filling and dipped in mini chocolate chips. It's a classic Italian dessert that looks as good as it tastes, and it's sure to impress everyone who tries it!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 Tbsp white sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup white wine or white grape juice + 1 Tbsp vinegar
- 2 cups ricotta cheese drained
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- mini chocolate chips for garnish
Add flour, sugar and salt to a mixing bowl. Combine ingredients. Add in butter and mix with mixer until no large clumps remain. Mix in wine (or grape juice) and egg.
Transfer dough to a greased bowl and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
Heat a large pot with vegetable oil. Oil should reach 345-355F.
Roll dough out onto a floured surface. Dough should be very thin (about 1/16-inch). Use a 4 inch cookie cutter to cut dough out.
Grease cannoli forms and wrap dough circles around each form. Brush half of the dough with an egg white and press dough around the form.
Carefully place each shell in the preheated oil. Fry until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes.
Remove shells from oil using metal tongs. Place on a paper towel. Use paper towels to remove the shells from the cannoli forms.
Allow shells to cool before adding filling.
Scoop the ricotta into a fine mesh strainer lined with a cheesecloth. Place the strainer over a bowl, cover the ricotta with the cheesecloth and then place a heavy object on top (like a can or container). Refrigerate for 12 hours to allow the liquid to drain.
Mix together ricotta, powdered sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Scoop filling into a pastry bag. Pipe filling into the cannoli shells.
Dip filled cannoli into chocolate chips and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Adapted from Cooking Classy
- Cannoli does not store well as the shells get soggy, so it's best to enjoy this dessert right away.
- If you don't plan on eating the cannoli right away, you can store the filling and shells separately and then assemble them right before consuming.