T’s Homemade Cannoli Recipe

(Makes two dozen miniature Cannoli or about a dozen regular sized)


  • 2 pounds of Ricotta Cheese
  • Pre-made cannoli shells (can be purchased at bulk food stores or Italian markets)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of confectioner’s sugar
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips about 1/4 to half a cup
  • Diced dried/candied fruit, 1/4 to half cup
  • Chopped nuts, sprinkles, shaved chocolate for decorating

Cannoli look complicated but the truth is they’re one of easiest dolce (sweet treats) to make especially if you use a good quality store-bought cannoli shell. You can make your own shells, of course. But why bother spending all of that time rolling and frying when you can have these delectable bites done in a snap giving you more time to spend with family and friends. Depending on personal taste, you can use a variety of items in the cream. Chocolate chips and candied fruit are popular among traditional Italian recipes, but use your imagination and have some fun with whatever sweet ingredients you would like to add.

Here is another tip; a new hot item on store shelves the last few years has been cannoli chips in several flavors such as lemon and cinnamon. This is another great dessert option as you can serve the cannoli cream or mixture as a dip with the chips and/or fruit.


  • Mix ricotta cheese with confectioner sugar, vanilla, and spices. Taste for sweetness and add a bit more sugar if necessary.
  • Separate the cannoli cream if using different items for filling.
  • Fold chocolate or fruit into cream.
  • Fill cannoli shells by using a pastry bag or long spoon.
  • Dip the shells in colored sprinkles, shaved chocolate, or crushed nuts.
  • Sprinkle confectioner sugar over the plate of cannoli for a wintery or snow effect.

Serve the same day as prepared as the shells will get soft if prepared too far ahead of serving time. The cannoli cream can last up to a week refrigerated.


Photo: NoirChocolate/Shutterstock