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Sicilian cannoli

Sicilian cannoli easy recipe

Sicily is distilled into one sweet, wrapped in unmistakable aromas and textures that make up the Sicilian cannoli. It is a pride of this splendid island and a classic Italian dish.

  • Prep: 90 minutes
  • Serves: 30 pieces
  • Difficulty level: difficult 

Tools needed for Sicilian cannoli

  • steel cylinders
  • pasta machine


  • 260 g flour 
  • 20 g sugar
  • 30 g cold lard from the refrigerator
  • 5 g bitter cocoa powder 
  • up to 1 tsp salt
  • 20 g eggs
  • 10 g white wine vinegar 
  • 60 g marsala 
  • eggs to taste (to brush)
  • 1 l seed oil (to fry)

For the stuffing 

  • 1 kg sheep ricotta (drained for at least 1 night in the fridge)
  • 130 g sugar 
  • 80 dark chocolate chips 

To seal 

  • candied cherries to taste
  • icing sugar to taste
  • pistachio grain to taste
  • candied orange to taste

Instructions for Sicilian cannoli

Started with the wafer: in a bowl pour the flour, the sifted cocoa, the sugar, salt, cold lard from the refrigerator; take the egg and beat it lightly, then use 20 g to put in the bowl with the other ingredients (keep aside the rest that will be used to brush the cannoli later). 

Then pour the marsala and the vinegar. Start kneading with your hands, then transfer to the surface and work for about 10 minutes until you get a homogeneous mixture. It will take a little patience and energy because the mixture is rather dry. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for about 1 hour, then take it out of the fridge and leave it at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Take the dough, divide it in half. Take one of the two halves, leaving the other well covered, and lightly flour both sides. Spread well with your hands and then insert the piece between the rollers of the pasta-pulling machine. In the beginning, it could tear, do not worry just recompose and repeat.

As soon as it is smoother, close the sheet this time not making two folds but only one, and pass it between the rolls 3-4 more times. At this point fold the sheet again, this time on the short side, and pass it again between the rollers. Gradually lower the numbering, then the thickness. If you notice that the sheet is getting too long, divide it even before proceeding. Keep pulling until you get to number 8 on the machine or the one that corresponds to a thickness of 0.5 mm on your machine. All these steps will serve to make the dough more dilated so that bubbles form during cooking.

After you’ve obtained the sheet of the indicated thickness, you can divide it in half for practicality. Trim the edges and add them to the other half of the dough that you still have aside. With a smooth blade cutter, cut 10×10 cm squares, then take each square of dough in your hand, slide your thumbs from the center outwards to enlarge it slightly and delicately; in the middle place a steel cylinder that goes from one corner to the other.

Wrap a piece of dough on the cylinder, brush the remaining flap with the remaining egg before joining it with the other. Form the first cannoli and continue with all the dough. It is important that the cannoli are left a little to dry in the air before cooking.

Heat the oil until it reaches 180 ° (to be measured with a kitchen thermometer). Start frying the cannoli one at a time, placing them on a slotted spoon, and keeping them immersed for a few moments. This way they will not touch the bottom of the pan and will not burn. It will take less than 1 minute, turn them continuously. Drain the cannoli, using pliers, and transfer them to a tray lined with kitchen paper. Then let them cool before removing the cylinder; to do this, simply squeeze it slightly, the two metal sheets will tend to retract. Then make a slight movement in the opposite direction to the direction of the closure of the cone and gently pull out. At this point the shells of the cannoli are ready, keep them aside until they cool completely and in the meantime prepare the filling.


Sift the ricotta into a bowl, pour the sugar and mix the mixture with a spatula. Then add the chocolate chips and mix again. Transfer to a piping bag, and use it to stuff the cannoli. If you like it, garnish with chopped pistachios, candied orange peel or cherries, and sprinkle with icing sugar, before serving your cannoli. 

Tips for Sicilian cannoli

Make cannoli with squares of dough, to avoid waste. If you prefer, you can use a 10 cm round pastry ring to obtain the classic shape.

As an alternative to chocolate chips, you can use chopped candied fruit. If you are looking for an even more delicious version, you can brush the inside of the cannoli with melted chocolate. Just let it solidify before stuffing it.

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