Cannoli recipe

(57 ratings)

Cannoli is a pastry traditional made in Italy and filled with a creamy, cheese filling - these pastries are perfect for parties

(Image credit: steele2123/Getty Images)
Preparation Time20 mins plus 5 mins resting
Cooking Time10 mins
Total Time35 mins
Cost RangeCheap

You would think these delicious pastries came from the USA with the number of times you hear them mentioned in the movies. They actually originate from Italy and traditionally have a ricotta cheese filling. Our crisp cannoli are as light as a feather and filled with mascarpone cheese for extra creaminess. The cannoli pastry shell is deep-fried and requires special cylindrical cannoli moulds which are available online. Alternatively use the ends of 2 wooden spoons placed next to each other and carefully dip them into the hot oil. This way you will need to use a wide saucepan and cook in smaller batches.


  • 200g plain flour plus extra for rolling
  • 25g butter, cut into small cubes
  • 3tbsp caster sugar
  • Finely grated lemon rind
  • 1 medium egg, separated
  • 100ml Marsala wine
  • Vegtable oil for deep frying

For the cannoli filling:

  • 1 (250g) tub mascarpone cheese
  • 3tbsp double cream
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • Cocoa powder and icing sugar for dusting




  1. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Add the butter and use finger tips to rub into the flour until fine. Stir in the sugar. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the egg yolk. Using a wooden spoon, start to draw the flour into the egg and mix together.
  2. Add the wine gradually and continue mixing until you have a smooth dough. Use fingers to bring the dough together and turn out onto a well floured surface.
  3. Knead the dough for 5 mins until smooth. Leave to rest for 5 mins. Cut the dough into 16 piece. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough pieces into thin circles. Stack up dusting with a small amount of flour between pieces.
  4. Fill a large saucepan two-thirds full with oil. Heat gently until a small piece of the cannoli dough sizzles, rises to the surface and browns within 1 min.
  5. Wrap the dough circles carefully around the cannoli moulds and seal with a dab of egg white. Lower the cannoli into the oil 3 - 4 at a time and cook for 1-2 mins, turning over once, or until crisp and pale golden.
  6. Remove from the oil with a draining spoon and drain on absorbent kitchen towel; leave until cold.
  7. Repeat until all the cannoli are fried and leave to cool whilst making the filling.
  8. To make the filling, place the mascarpone cheese in a large bowl and beat in the cream, sugar and vanilla extract. Spoon into a disposable piping bag and snip off the end to make a medium large hole (see tip). Use the piping bag to fill the cannoli with the mascarpone mixture.
  9. Serve the cannoli within 1 hour of filling with cream, lightly dusted with a mixture of cocoa powder and icing sugar.
Top Tip for making Cannoli

Alternatively use and piping bag fitted with a large plain nozzle. Store unfilled cannoli in an airtight tin for up to 2 days.