Try this recipe for homemade cannoli, then check out our classic tiramisu, biscotti, Sicilian ricotta cake and more Italian dessert recipes.


  • 150g plain flour
  • 25g caster sugar
  • a pinch baking powder
  • a pinch ground cinnamon
  • ½ lemon, zested
  • 30g butter, melted
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 2 tbsp marsala wine
  • sunflower oil, for deep frying


  • 250g ricotta
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar
  • 100g mascarpone
  • 1 orange or lemon, zested
  • 30g pistachios, finely chopped


  • STEP 1

    Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, lemon zest and a pinch of salt in a bowl, and mix well. Make a well in the middle and add the melted butter, egg yolk and marsala wine. Bring together the dough in the bowl, then transfer to a worksurface and knead until smooth. Wrap and leave to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, or chill overnight.

  • STEP 2

    Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan, no more than half full, to 180C or until a cube of bread browns within 30 seconds. Cut the dough into four pieces, keeping the remaining covered as you work with each piece, and roll out one at a time as thinly as you can. Then, using a straight-edged 10cm cookie cutter, cut three rounds out of each quarter.

  • STEP 3

    Lightly beat the egg white in a bowl, and lightly brush the cannoli rounds with a little more sunflower oil (working in batches if you need to, depending on how many moulds you have). Wrap each round around a cannoli mould and use some of the egg white to stick the two edges together, pressing lightly. Try not to get any egg white on the mould or they can stick.

  • STEP 4

    Deep-fry the cannoli still in their moulds, in small batches, for up to 60 seconds until they’re golden brown, crisp and lightly blistered all over. Drain on kitchen paper while you cook the remaining in batches, reusing the cooled moulds if needed. Leave to cool.

  • STEP 5

    For the filling, drain the ricotta and pat gently with kitchen paper, then tip into a bowl. Beat with an electric whisk until smooth, add the icing sugar, mascarpone and citrus zest. Beat again until just combined. Transfer to a piping bag with a wide star nozzle.

  • STEP 6

    Fill the cooled cannoli with the filling, piping into both ends from the middle out so you get a neat star shape on either end.

  • STEP 7

    Dunk either end in the chopped pistachios, and sprinkle with icing sugar to serve. Best eaten the same day.

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Anna Glover profile
Anna GloverSenior food editor

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