Crisp and flaky pastry dough is shaped into a tube and filled with rich citrus-scented ricotta-mascarpone filling.


Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Josh Hoggle

Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
8 servings
14 to 16 cannoli

Cannoli, a crisp and creamy Italian dessert with origins in Sicily, is made of pastry dough that has been molded into a tube and fried until crispy. The fried pastry is filled with orange-scented mascarpone and ricotta cheese filling and then dipped in chopped chocolate or pistachio.

The butter-based dough easily comes together in a food processor and is infused with Marsala wine and cinnamon which gives the flavor profile warm spicy notes.  

Most of the effort in this recipe is done in creating the cannoli shell. After portioning the dough, you’ll wrap each piece of dough around a stainless steel cannoli mold. A cannoli mold is about 5 inches long and 1 inch in diameter. Wrap the dough around the mold and fry the pastry. The stainless steel can withstand the heat and will fry the pastry into perfect tubes. Use a hard oil like refined coconut oil or lard, to ensure the pastry stays crisp for several days. Using a regular fry oil like vegetable or canola oil means that the pastry won’t stay crisp for as long.

Orange zest is incorporated into rich mascarpone-ricotta filling. Use a stand mixer to beat the mascarpone for the best results. Fills the pastry shells with the creamy filling then dip the edges in chopped chocolate or pistachio for a decorative appearance and textural upgrade.



  • 1 1/2 cups (about 6 1/3 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface and dough

  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 4 tablespoons cold water

  • 3 tablespoons Marsala

  • 1 large egg white, beaten

  • Refined coconut oil (four 14-ounce jars) or lard

  • Cooking spray


  • 8 3/4 ounces whole-milk ricotta cheese, drained (1 cup)

  • 1 (8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese

  • 3/4 cup (about 3 ounces) powdered sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh orange zest (from 1 orange)

  • 1/2 (4 ounces) (70% cacao) bittersweet chocolate bar, chopped (1/3 cup)

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped salted roasted pistachios


Prepare the Dough:

  1. Pulse flour, butter, salt, and cinnamon in a food processor until butter is completely incorporated into flour, about 10 pulses. Add water and Marsala, and process until dough forms a soft, tacky ball, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a lightly greased medium bowl; cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour or in refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

  2. Remove dough from bowl, and place on a heavily floured work surface. Sprinkle dough generously with flour, and roll to 1/16-inch thickness, about a 14 inch circle. Brush excess flour from surface of dough, and brush evenly with egg white (do not discard leftover egg white). Fold dough in half and dust with additional flour; roll to 1/16-inch thickness. Cut out as many 4-inch rounds as you can from dough. Reroll scraps up to 3 more times (14 to 16 rounds total).

  3. Heat coconut oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high until a thermometer registers 360°F. Lightly coat cannoli forms with cooking spray. Wrap dough rounds around greased forms, and dab dough with remaining egg white where rounds overlap; seal dough, being careful not to get egg white on cannoli forms. Line a large baking sheet using paper towels.

  4. Working in 4 batches, slowly lower prepared cannoli forms into hot oil, and cook until blistered and browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer cooked cannoli shells to prepared baking sheet. While cannoli shells are still hot, hold each cannoli shell using tongs, and tap tapered end of cannoli form on a work surface until cannoli shell slides free. Remove form, and let cool before wrapping with additional dough. Let shells cool until room temperature, about 30 minutes. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Prepare the Filling:

  1. Beat ricotta and mascarpone with a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on high speed until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add powdered sugar and orange zest, and beat on high speed until thickened, about 1 minute and 30 seconds. Transfer to a piping bag or ziplock plastic bag; snip off end, and pipe a heaping 2-tablespoons filling into each cannoli shell. Dip each exposed end of shells into either chopped chocolate or chopped pistachios. Serve immediately.

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