Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Sicilian cannoli
( Cannoli siciliani )

Authentic Italian cake recipe of Sicilia

The cannoli are cakes ... very sweet but delicious, typical of Sicily. Unfortunately they are also a bomb for calories, fats and sugars. So you can't eat them too often. This page shows you their recipe, dough included. Typically, the cannoli are matched to a Sicilian white wine (Moscato di Pantelleria) but Carlo and I often match Sicilian cannoli to arancino (orange-flavored liqueur) that reduces their intense sweet. Interested in other cakes and desserts?

difficulty: medium

time: 1 h 5 minutes

calories: 876 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 6

  • For the cannoli dough
  • 150g (5 1/3 ounces) white flour
  • 10g (1/3 ounce) lard (Italian strutto) or unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Marsala liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon brandy liqueur
  • 1/2 tablespoon bitter cocoa
  • 1/2 tablespoon powdered coffee
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • Pinch of salt
  • For the cannoli filling
  • 250g (8 3/4 ounces) ricotta cheese
  • 125g (4.4 ounces) icing sugar
  • 20g (3/4 ounce) candied fruit, cut into little pieces
  • 20g (3/4 ounce) pure chocolate, cut into little pieces
  • Other ingredients
  • 300ml (10 fluid ounces - 1 1/3 cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 60ml (2 fluid ounces - 1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons) almond oil replaceable with unsalted butter in the same amount
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 40g (1 1/2 ounce) peeled pistachios
medium difficulty
preparation: 45 minutes
cooking: 20 minutes
total: 1 h 5 minutes
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 876 (kcal) 44 % - 3666 (kJ)
Protein: 9.6 (g) 20 % GDA
Total fat: 71.7 (g) 103 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 51.0 (g) 19 % GDA
Sugars: 30.2 (g) 34 % GDA

Download free PDF version (395 download).

Sicilian cannoli recipe

Prepare the dough for the cannoli shells. Mix the flour with the lard (strutto or sugna); you can also use unsalted butter. Add a pinch of salt, sugar, cocoa and coffee, liqueurs and egg white. Knead the ingredients on a lightly floured surface until you obtain a smooth dough. Shape the dough as a ball, cover with a napkin and let it rest for almost 2 hours. Roll out on a lightly floured surface the dough, beginning from the center, to a very thin thickness; you have to use a long pasta rolling pin for this.
Cut 12 round shapes; everyone must have a diameter of 10 cm (4in).
Lightly butter the metal tubes used for making cannoli. You can substitute butter with almond oil if you find it. Wrap the round shapes around the tubes. Don't press the dough against the tubes too much; otherwise it will be difficult to remove the shells afterwards. Wet the overlapping part with the egg white, lightly beaten, and press on the edges to stick them together.
Put the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and bring to the frying temperature. Fry the tubes with the shells until golden a few at a time. Take away the tubes from the oil and put them on absorbent kitchen paper to drain the excess fat. Let the shells cool completely before removing them from the tubes.
Prepare the filling. Put the ricotta cheese together with icing sugar, candied fruit and chocolate in a bowl and stir. Fill the shells shortly before serving cannoli. In this way the ricotta mixture doesn't wet the shells too much. Fill the shells with a little spoon or a pastry bag. Decorate with chopped pistachios or pieces of candied cherries.


  • - Metal tubes are cylinders whose borders are drawn and not soldered. Their lenght must be 10-15 cm (4-6in) and diameter 1,2-3 cm (1/2 - 1 1/4in).
  • - The shells are fried in the lard in the traditional recipe.
  • - You can prepare the shells even a week before serving cannoli. Chill them until filling.
  • - There are a lot of recipes about the cannoli shells and their filling; we have suggested the most popular version.
  • - Sicilian cannoli were created in Palermo in S. Catherine monastery. Ricotta cheese was introduced by the Greeks and mixed to candied fruit, chocolate, liqueur according to Arabian style.
  • - A little curiosity. These cakes are typical Carnival pastry but nowadays you can find them all year. Generally Sicilian people give them as a present by the dozen.

Healthy eating

  • - Calories and fat of Sicilian cannoli you can read in nutrition facts are not completely accurate. It's impossible to calculate the right amount of olive oil that shells can absorb during their frying. Calories and fat could be lower. In any case Sicilian cannoli are high-calorie cakes ;))


What's the right wine for " Sicilian cannoli "?

Our suggestion is: Moscato di Pantelleria (sweet white wine from Sicily - Italy) or arancino (orange-flavored liqueur) after eating them