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Homemade Cannoli Shells & Filling Recipe

These Homemade Cannoli Shells are the perfect Italian pastry shell filled with a simple cannoli cream filling. This Italian dessert recipe creates crisp from scratch fried tubes that make the perfect homemade cannoli recipe with mascarpone cream and ricotta filling.

homemade cannoli shells & filling recipe

Easy Cannoli Shells

To simplify this recipe, you can pick up premade cannoli shells online, at the grocery store, or local bakery. You could also use pizzelles as cannoli shells and simply fill them with this recipe for mascarpone-based cannoli cream.

Although there is nothing quite as good as fresh homemade cannoli shells and after you try making your own cannoli with this recipe, I think you will agree that homemade fresh crispy fried cannoli shells using a cannoli mold or tube form is worth the effort.

Those old shells from a cardboard box sitting on a store shelf will not taste as good as fresh fried pastry dough formed with a cannoli tube but they will save you some time and effort.

Cannoli Shell Ingredients

All-purpose flour – This versatile ingredient forms the base of the cannoli shell, providing the necessary structure and texture when combined with other elements, contributing to the crispy and delicious outcome.

Sugar – Sweetness is introduced to the cannoli shell, enhancing its flavor profile and complementing the richness of the filling, ensuring a delightful balance in each bite.

Cinnamon – Infusing a hint of warmth, cinnamon adds a subtle yet aromatic dimension to the cannoli shell, elevating its taste and creating a harmonious blend with the other ingredients.

Kosher salt – A dash of kosher salt acts as a flavor enhancer, subtly intensifying the overall taste of the cannoli shell and balancing the sweetness, creating a well-rounded culinary experience.

Butter – The inclusion of butter contributes to the flakiness and richness of the cannoli shell, ensuring a melt-in-your-mouth texture and a buttery undertone that enhances the overall indulgence.

Large egg – Serving as a binding agent, the large egg plays a crucial role in bringing the dough together, providing structure to the cannoli shell, and facilitating the adhesion of the layers during frying.

Egg white – Brushing the cannoli shell with egg white before baking ensures a golden, crispy exterior, adding to the visual appeal while creating a protective layer that maintains the shell’s integrity.

White grape juice or Marsala wine – Introducing a touch of acidity and sweetness, the white grape juice or Marsala wine not only imparts a distinctive flavor to the cannoli shell but also aids in achieving the desired dough consistency, resulting in a perfect balance of taste and texture.

Cannoli Filling Ingredients

Ricotta Cheese: Bringing a velvety texture, 3/4 cup of Ricotta Cheese forms the luscious base for the cannoli filling.

Mascarpone Cheese: In perfect harmony with Ricotta, an equal measure of Mascarpone Cheese enriches the filling with its luxurious creaminess.

Powdered Sugar: A sweet transformation comes from the addition of 1/4 cup of Powdered Sugar, elevating the cannoli’s overall flavor profile.

Vanilla Extract: Adding a layer of sophistication, 1/2 tsp of Vanilla Extract imparts a nuanced and delightful essence to the filling.

Ground Cinnamon: For a warm and aromatic touch, 3/4 tsp of Ground Cinnamon infuses the filling with a hint of spice.

Kosher Salt: A Dash of Kosher Salt brings balance, highlighting the sweetness and enhancing the overall flavor profile of the cannoli.

How to Make Cannoli Shells & Cannoli Filling

This section shares how to make cannoli shells as well as mascarpone and ricotta cannoli filling. To get an easy-to-read recipe with all of the measurements and instructions in one place, head to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step One: Mix all of the Ingredients

Prepare the cannoli shell by combining all the ingredients in a mixer, allowing the dough to rest while focusing on crafting the delightful filling. After creating the filling, refrigerate it until ready to use, seamlessly transitioning back to the dough preparation.

rolling out dough to make shells

Step Two: Roll Out Cannoli Dough

When rolling out the dough, ensure a hassle-free process by using floured plastic wrap; if the dough proves sticky, layering another sheet of plastic wrap prevents any potential mess. Roll the dough to a thickness of approximately 1/8 inch, followed by cutting out circles measuring about 4 inches in length.

Step Three: Form the Cannoli Tubes

In a skillet, heat about an inch of canola oil, waiting for it to bubble as a signal that it’s ready to embrace the dough. Folding the circles in half and pressing the edges together at the center forms a funnel, with the aid of a cannoli form ensuring impeccably shaped shells.

frying the cannoli shells

Step Four: Cook the Cannoli Shells

Seal the overlapping dough edge with egg white, gently pressing the dough together for a secure closure. To prevent the top from collapsing during cooking, consider placing a fork inside the shell. Cook each shell for 2-3 minutes, utilizing tongs to achieve an even golden brown while turning.

mixing the mascarpone and ricotta filling

Step Five: Cannoli Filling

Upon completion of the cooking process and allowing the cannoli shells to cool, delicately detach the cannoli form. Subsequently, blend the ingredients for the filling.

Following this, carefully spoon the ricotta and mascarpone filling into the cannoli shells, then dusting with powdered sugar. Elevate the experience by topping with chocolate chips, introducing enhanced texture, and flavor.

What Can I Substitute for Cannoli Shells?

For a unique twist, you can use a cannoli shell substitute such as Pizzelle cookies. These thin, waffle-like treats, crafted with a specialized press, serve as a delightful alternative to the traditional cannoli shell. With the convenience of a pizzelle iron, these shells offer a simpler and more manageable option for your cannoli creation. Alternatively, consider experimenting with filo dough cups or even chocolate-dipped sugar cones for a diverse and delicious twist on the authentic Italian cannoli recipe.

You can also follow this recipe and mold the cannoli shells yourself without the tubes. They may come out looking like my first attempt which resembles a cannoli eclair rather than a traditional cannoli.

make cannoli without tube or cannoli form.

Are Ricotta and Mascarpone Interchangeable?

Mascarpone: As an alternative Italian cheese, mascarpone proves to be an excellent substitute for ricotta. Due to its pronounced tartness and flavor, it is recommended to reserve mascarpone for dishes featuring robust and bold flavors. Take the opportunity to explore other alternatives like cottage cheese or whipped cream for a unique twist in recipes calling for ricotta but when making cannoli, one of the best cannoli filling calls for both of these cheeses.

Homemade Cannoli Recipe without tubes

What is Traditional Cannoli Filling Made of?

Cannoli filling is traditionally crafted from a blend of ricotta cheese and sugar. In its contemporary form, this delectable filling incorporates heavy whipping cream, whipped to perfection and sweetened with sugar. Explore personalized adaptations by exploring versions that integrate mascarpone cheese or flavored extracts for an exciting twist on the classic Sicilian ricotta cannoli filling recipe.

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cannoli with mascarpone filling
Yield: 12 Cannoli

Easy Homemade Cannoli

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Learn how to make authentic Italian Cannoli Shells and cannoli filling with ricotta and mascarpone cheese.


To Make the Homemade Cannoli Shells

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Dash of kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tablespoons white grape juice or Marsala wine

To Make the Homemade Cannoli Filling

  • 3/4 cup Ricotta Cheese
  • 3/4 cup Mascarpone Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • Dash of Kosher salt


    To make the cannoli shell you will add all ingredients to a mixer and then let the dough sit while you mix up the filling. Once your filling has been made place it in the refrigerator until ready to use and you can get back to the dough.

    When rolling out the dough, be sure to roll the dough out on floured plastic wrap, if it is sticky add another layer of plastic wrap to prevent a huge mess. The next step is to roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thick then cut out circles that are about 4 inches long.

    Heat a skillet with about an inch of canola oil and when it starts to bubble it’s ready to cook the shells. Fold the circles in half pressing the edges in the center together to create a funnel. Use a cannoli form for perfectly shaped cannoli shells. Seal the overlapping dough edge with egg white and press the dough together gently to seal.

    While cooking you may need to place a fork inside of the shell to keep the top from caving in. Cook each shell for about 2-3 minutes, using tongs to turn while cooking.

    Cannoli Filling
    Once they are done cooking and cooled, remove the cannoli form. Then mix the filling ingredients.

    Next, scoop the filling inside and then sprinkle with powdered sugar. Sprinkle on chocolate chips for extra texture, flavor, and a better presentation.


You can make the cannoli filling ahead of time and let it sit for several hours before making the cannoli shells to ensure all of the flavors mix well.

To ensure a creamy filling, drain the ricotta cheese by placing it in a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth over a bowl. Allow it to drain in the refrigerator for at least a few hours or overnight.

If you choose to swap out the grape juice with marsala wine, use the same measurements.

You can also use premade shells to cut down on time and ingredients to make this homemade cannoli recipe.

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Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 255Total Fat 18gSaturated Fat 10gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 66mgSodium 212mgCarbohydrates 19gFiber 1gSugar 6gProtein 6g

The nutrition in recipes is caluculate by AI, mistakes happen. It is highly recommended to check carb counts to make sure these recipes fit into your diet.

About Thirty Something Super Mom

Melissa Dixon Thirty Something Super Mom
Thirty Something Super Mom | Website

My journey started after a Crohn's disease diagnosis, inspiring a commitment to well-being. This site shares my distinctive approach to healthy living with my collection of nutritious recipes that boast authentic flavors, mimicking the indulgence of traditional dishes. I love sharing guilt free recipes for low carb, keto, gluten-free, paleo, and the specific carbohydrate diet. I also share tips on natural living, including homemade cleaners and cleaning hacks. I also share my experience as a veterinary technician and pet groomer, to integrate pet health tips, homemade dog food recipes, and grooming insights to ensure your pets thrive.


Friday 8th of March 2024

You make this sound good and so easy, but not sure which ingredients are for the shells and which ingredients are for the filling? Help please!


Monday 11th of March 2024

Hi Tammy, thanks for stopping by and for your comment. I updated the recipe to make this easier to read and follow, I appreciate the feedback!

Janeane M Davis

Friday 12th of March 2021

Cannolis are sucha delicious dessert item. I have never made them at home, but I would like to try it.

Mama Maggie's Kitchen

Thursday 11th of March 2021

This is making me drool! Your Cannoli Recipe looks absolutely scrumptious!

Chef Dennis

Tuesday 9th of March 2021

Yum! This Cannoli recipe looks absolutely scrumptious! My sons will love this.


Tuesday 9th of March 2021

We had an Italian cafe open up nearby so I got to try these. I'd love to attempt to make my own though.

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