Cream Filled Cannoli

Cannoli originated in Sicily and are very popular there. These tube-shaped shells are filling with a ricotta filling and they vary in size from little finger-sized ones to fist-sized ones. Cannoli make a great dessert or snack, and everyone loves them including the kids. The outside is crunchy and the inside is cool and creamy.

You can choose from flavours and toppings, and make a batch all the same or else a variety of different ones. Because they take a while to prepare, it is worth making a big batch of shells, because they will keep in an airtight container for a couple of months, and then you only have to make the filling and stuff them.

Serve this macaroni cheese with cauliflower with your choice of chicken or fish. It makes a nice side dish but actually it’s also nice as it is, as a comfort food. And it is very much a kid-friendly meal. Most kids love pasta and also love cheese. And as for the cauliflower? They won’t even taste it!

Homemade Cannoli are Best

Although cannoli are available from your local Italian bakery, nothing beats the homemade variety. Not only can you have fun making these but you can also get creative with the fillings. Try using lemon zest or grated orange zest instead of mixed peel, or add maraschino cherries or chocolate chips. Some people like to dip the cream ends in chopped pistachios, so you can use your imagination to make tasty cannoli.

You need cannoli tubes to make these. If you don’t have any, you can buy them online. You will be frying some of the cannoli shells, then removing the cannoli from the tubes and using those tubes to make the next batch of cannoli. These cream-filled treats are delicious served with a cup of tea or coffee, or with your favourite cold drink.

Photo by Esimpraim, on Flickr


For the Filling


  1. Combine the flour, cinnamon and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Cut in the butter until it is in pieces the size of peas.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the mixture.
  4. Add the egg and egg yolk, the vinegar, wine and water.
  5. Mix the dough with a fork until it is still.
  6. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes.
  7. Cover and refrigerate it for a couple of hours.
  8. Divide the dough into 3 pieces and flatten them so they will go through a pasta machine.
  9. Keel rolling it thinner until it is as thin as possible.
  10. You can dust it with flour if you need to.
  11. Put the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut out 10cm circles.
  12. Dust these with some flour.
  13. Roll the dough around cannoli tubes and use some egg white to seal the edge.
  14. Now you need to heat the oil to 190 degrees C in a deep fat fryer.
  15. Fry the cannoli shells a few at a time for a couple of minutes, or until golden.
  16. Turn the shells using tongs as they cook.
  17. Remove them using tongs and put them on a wire rack over kitchen towels.
  18. When they are cool enough to handle, you can twist the cannoli shells off the tubes.
  19. Wipe the tubes and you can use them to make the next batch of cannoli shells.
  20. You can keep them for up to 2 months in an airtight container, or proceed with the recipe.
  21. Combine the icing sugar and ricotta with a spoon, then fold in the cut peel and the chocolate.
  22. Pipe the filling into the shells using a piping bag.
  23. It is easiest to pipe from the middle of the tube to one end, then repeat on the other side.
  24. Dust the cannoli with icing chocolate and grated chocolate and serve.