Recipes with Dainess Chef’s School: Cannoli


Cannoli is  made by deep-frying pastry dough shells in vegetable oil and then filling them with cream cheese, which is typically flavoured with mini chocolate chips, mixed with ground cinnamon and unsalted pistachios (optional).

However, no matter what the flavouring happens to be, Cannoli is relatively simple to make. Cannoli are traditionally dusted with caster sugar and decorated with different kinds of chopped nuts and candied fruit or fruit peel. Yet, today they can be found coated in chocolate and studded with chocolate chips or even sprinkles. The rich ricotta filling remains creamy while the Cannoli shell breaks crisply under your teeth. Bon Appetit!


Cannoli (Shells)
All-purpose flour (scoop and level to measure)    – 3/4 cups (250g)
Granulated sugar                                                         –  1 1/2 Tbsp (18g)
Salt                                                                                 – 1/4 tsp
Unsalted butter, diced into small pieces                 – 3 Tbsp (43g)
Marsala wine                                                                – 1/3 cup (Add more as needed)
Large Egg                                                                       – 1
Egg white                                                                      -1
Vegetable oil for frying                                              – about 8 cups


Cream cheese                                                           –   32 oz.
Powdered sugar                                                        –  1 1/2 cups (180g)
Mini chocolate chips                                                – 3/4 cup (126g)
Ground cinnamon                                                     -1/4 tsp
Chopped unsalted pistachios (optional)


  1. To a food processor add flour, sugar and salt. Pulse in short bursts about 10 times. Add butter and pulse in short bursts just until there aren’t clumps of butter.
  2. Add in Marsala wine and whole egg. Pulse to mix well, while adding additional wine to bring dough together in a soft shaggy mass (you shouldn’t need more than a few Tbsp. extra wine).
  3. Mold into a round shape, transfer to an oiled bowl. Cover and let rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  4. Heat a large pot with 1 ½ cups of vegetable oil to 345 – 355o. Working with half the dough at a time (and keeping other half covered in the bowl) roll dough out very thinly onto a well-floured surface (nearly 1/16-inch).
  5. Using a 3 1/2 to 4-inch cookie cutter, cut dough into rounds. Spray cannoli forms with cooking spray then wrap individual dough circles around each cannoli form, while brushing about 3/4-inch of one end lightly with egg white (use a pastry brush or just your fingertip). Press edge to opposite side.
  6. Using metal tongs, carefully immerse the shell in preheated oil and fry for about 1 – 2 minutes until golden brown and crisp (be sure to watch oil temperature so oil doesn’t get too hot and burn shells. You can fry up to 6 at a time).
  7. Remove from oil using metal tongs to grasp the cannoli shell (let oil from inside forms drain back into pot), transfer to paper towels to drain. Use metal tongs to hold mould (or folded layers of paper towels) and wrap a paper towel around shell to carefully slide off form.
  8. Let forms cool and repeat process with remaining dough circles. You can shake excess flour from scraps, press back together, cover in bowl and let relax at least 10 minutes then reuse.
  9. Allow to cool on a wire rack then fill with cannoli filling and decorate as desired (with melted chocolate on edges, chopped pistachios, mini chocolate chips or dust tops with powdered sugar).

For the Cannoli Filling:

  1. In a mixing bowl, fold and stir together cream cheese, powdered sugar, chocolate chips, and cinnamon. Transfer into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe filling into cooled Cannoli shells.

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