Cannoli Recipe

Homemade Cannoli Recipe with Mascarpone Cream

Written by Becky

I don’t even need to say anything else right?  Cannoli.  Mascarpone cream.  Chocolate dipped edges.  And a perfectly crisp shell.  This experiment in the kitchen making cannoli from scratch was by far one of my best.  Not the easiest but the most tasty for sure.

Aside from the cannoli for just one second, I have a bit of news to share. If you’ve been wondering where all of the Salt Lake City Restaurant Reviews went, they have all be magically transported to another site,  If you’re a local, give it a whirl.

SLCfoodie website

Now, back to those cannoli. My friend Haley and I had been all talk about making cannoli over the last few months.  But our big talk finally came to fruition and we completed our lofty goal.  And even surpassed it I would say.  We made to two types of cannoli, one with a gluten free shell and a ricotta filling (which Haley is posting on her blog A Fuller Life) and one traditional shell with a mascarpone and ricotta filling(recipe below).

Cannoli Shell Recipe

Cannoli Recipe

Frying Cannoli Shells

One intriguing part of this recipe is how much kneading the dough took.  It said 15 minutes.  I was done after two but then reread the recipe, poured a glass of red wine and kept kneading away.  Who knows if it helped or not but I wasn’t about to screw these delicious little pastries up.  And I will forewarn you that the smell of frying permeates your home for days after you make cannoli.

homemade cannoli recipe with mascarpone cream

homemade cannoli recipe

Homemade Cannoli Recipe with Mascarpone Cream

A classic recipe for homemade cannoli filled with mascarpone cream.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Servings 16 cannoli


Cannoli Shells

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3/8 cup sweet Marsala wine
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, preferably 61 percent cacao
  • Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Mascarpone Creme

  • 3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese, drained overnight w/ cheesecloth & squeezed dry
  • 3/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla or Grand Marnier
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt


Cannoli Shells

  • Combine flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add Marsala and oil, and beat on medium speed until dough comes together. Using your hands, knead dough on a lightly floured work surface until smooth and elastic, about 15 minutes. Wrap in plastic, and let rest 30 minutes.
  • Divide dough into 2 pieces. Pass 1 piece of dough through the widest setting of a pasta machine (keep remaining pieces covered) OR roll out into a thin sheet of dough. Continue passing through narrower settings until it is the thickness of a dime. Lay on a floured work surface. Cut out rounds with a 3 1/4-inch cutter. Gather scraps and reroll.
  • Pour enough oil into a large, heavy saucepan to come about 4 inches up sides. Heat over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 380 degrees.
  • Wrap each round of dough around a 3 3/4-inch-long cannoli form, sealing with a dab of egg white. Working in batches of 3 or 4, fry until golden, about 1 minute. Using a wire skimmer or tongs, transfer to paper towels, and let cool 5 minutes. Carefully slide out forms, and let shells cool. Continue rolling, cutting, and frying the remaining dough.
  • Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Dip ends of cannoli shells in melted chocolate. Let set 15 minutes on parchment paper.

Mascarpone Cream

  • Mix filling ingredients together.
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (at least a couple of hours).
  • When ready to serve, use a ziploc bag (cut the corner) or pastry bag with 1/2 inch star tip. Pipe filling into one end of a shell to the center, then into other end. Repeat with remaining shells and filling. Dust with confectioners' sugar, and serve immediately.
  • Let the filling smoosh out of each end of the shells, just a tad.
  • Some people sprinkle powdered sugar on top right before serving or dip the ends into chocolate shavings.


Cannoli cannot be made ahead of time the shells will get soggy. You can however, make the shells and cream in advance then pipe them right before serving. After making the shells store them at room temperature in an air tight container for up to 4 days. Store the filling in the fridge until ready to use.

Comments (47)

  1. Wow, your photos are absolutely gorgeous! I made cannoli a few years ago and loved them. My only complaint is that now I have 4 cannoli molds sitting in a drawer taking up space. Maybe I should put them to use again?

    Also, congrats on, it looks great!

  2. I make a gluten-free cannoli, but I love the darkness of yours! They’re just beautiful. Cannoli and cream puffs are my favorite desserts, not in that order. And the added chocolate curls are perfect! I’d have it no other way! Well, actually I would, but…

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Those look delicious! Lovely pictures. 🙂

    I live in Germany and the flour is different here. It seems as though every country has a different protein amount in their flour, which makes stuff like this difficult. I tried it anyway and my dough tasted SO yummy and it was so soft… it was really like a yeasty sweet bread dough. Obviously I didn’t use the right proportions of flour (I have to mix different flours) to try to create the American stuff. 🙂

    When I fried them they came out puffy. I think I know what I need to do so I’ll give it another try tomorrow morning! Although they came out soft, like puff pastry, I ate 8 empty shells. Whoops. The marsala and cinnamon just make them irresistible!

    • oh darn! I hope you’ll try again. The dough should be tough and make sure you knead it ALOT then roll it out VERY thin. Glad they still tasted good!

      • I tried again but it still didn’t work. I even used a tablespoon less wine this time! It was just so rubbery. When you poked it, it would bounce back, if that makes sense. So whenever I rolled them out, I’d have to roll them as thin as a piece of tissue paper because they’d just shrink anyway. The ones that worked were delicious, though!

        And I’ll say it again for anyone who didn’t read my first comment – this is only because I live abroad and the flour is different here. I always have such problems with white flour recipes, which is why I almost never make them. This definitely has nothing to do with this recipe.

        I’ll have to try these out whenever we move back to the US! Thanks for the recipe. 🙂

  4. where can I get the cannoli forms at, I have called every where and I would like to try to make them . Thank you for your time . Melisa Salisbury

  5. So, I’ve been preparing to make this recipe for a couple of weeks. First attempt at Cannoli. I searched for the perfect recipe, and this one was it! Incredibly tasty, and everything worked out as it is directed. Thanks, very good and now I don’t have to buy them. I think I’ll even make them as Christmas gifts.

  6. I would so love it if you sent me the recipe for these canolis. My husband loves them and I would love to be able to make them for him.

  7. I bought a really long piece of pine and cut the cannoli forms myself. I got 18 for under $5 but I make lots of them so i need more than 4. I have tried the shells without e wine but it does not taste good, I have even used liquids like Grand Marnier or orange flavor, not the same, the Marsala changes everything for the better.

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