I was recently invited to a good friend’s birthday and of course I wanted to bring something along – I had a dessert in mind. When I asked, the reply was “something Italian, northern Italian would be great!” My Italian repertoire is somewhat limited. I thought of Tiramisu, which I had made many times before, and cannoli – which I have always wanted to make but have never done so until now!

Sweet Masala Cannoli

Beautiful flaky pastry filled with smooth sweet choc orange ricotta

Makes approx 45 cannoli


For the cannoli shells

125g butter
680g flour
2 eggs
3 egg yolks
1 cup marsala
1 cup icing sugar
1 egg, beaten
Sunflower oil, for deep frying

For the filling

500g fresh ricotta
125g caster sugar
80g (1/2 cup) grated dark chocolate
2 tsp finely grated orange rind
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Special Equipment

Wooden dowels or cannoli forms


For the cannoli shells

Combine flour and sugar in a bowl of food processor. Add butter.
Pulse until mix resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add eggs and egg yolks one at a time.
Add marsala in small amounts until dough comes together.
Tip dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead to form a smooth dough.
Wrap dough in plastic film and refrigerate overnight.

Heat about 6cm of oil in a pot to 180C.
Roll dough out in a pasta machine until about 1mm thick.
Cut into 10cm diameter circles.
Brush edge with beaten egg and wrap around a cannoli form or wooden dowel.
Deep fry in clean oil for 30 seconds until centre is cooked.
Drain on paper towel and when cool enough to handle, remove cannoli forms.
Repeat with remaining dough.

For the filling

Place the ricotta, sugar, chocolate, orange rind and vanilla in a large bowl. Mix well to combine.
Spoon filling into a piping bag fitted with a 1.5 cm star nozzle.

To assemble

Pipe filling into cooled cannoli.
Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.


Fill cannoli shells only just before serving as the shells will soften from the moisture in the filling.
However, should you be feeling creative, melted chocolate can be used to line the inside of the shell allowing you to fill the shells much earlier as the chocolate will act as a moisture barrier.

linkwheels - August 28, 2011 - 8:31 am

You need to take part in a contest for one of the most useful blogs on the internet. I will advise this site!

admin - August 17, 2011 - 11:21 pm

Hey Marie, wait til you see what’s coming up in the next couple of weeks!

Marie Lyons - August 17, 2011 - 5:42 pm

Craig, you are keeping me very busy in the kitchen….., can’t wait to try these little gems.

CateCanCook - August 17, 2011 - 7:04 am

I have an Italian friend who drive miles to get fresh Cannoli – perhaps I should just send him to you!! They look great!