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Cannoli Shells Header

 Cannoli Shells

   Cannoli Shells Photo
Category: Desserts
Servings: 18 - 20
Total time: 1 hr + 1 hr resting time
Level: Intermediate
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An authentic Italian recipe from our kitchen to yours. Buon Appetito!


 - 2 cups all purpose flour + more for dusting

- 1/4 cup sugar

- 1/3 cup lard, shortening or canola oil

- 1/8 teaspoon salt

- 1 1/2 teaspoons cocoa powder

- 1 medium egg + 1 egg white, divided

- 2 tablespoons marsala wine

- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

- Oil for frying


1.  For this recipe, you will need one piece of specialized equipment: a set of cannoli tubes or forms which can be easily found online.

2.  In a mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, lard, salt, and cocoa powder. Using your fingers, mix the ingredients to combine them evenly, breaking down the lard into small pebbles as you mix.

3.  To that mixture, add the egg, wine and vinegar. Mix the ingredients again using your fingers or a spatula until a shaggy dough begins to form. If the dough is too wet, add more flour in small amounts until you begin to get a shaggy ball. Do not add too much flour. The dough should eventually be the consistency of Play Doh - moist and slightly firm.




4.  When you have a shaggy dough, turn it out onto a floured work surface and knead the dough until the ingredients are uniformly combined and you have a moist, soft but slightly firm ball of dough.

5.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour.

6.  After resting, remove the dough from the refrigerator.

7.  Fill a heavy pot or Dutch oven with frying oil until it is at least 1/2 full. Heat the oil gently over medium heat.

8.  While the oil is heating, unwrap the dough and place it on a floured surface.

9.  Divide the dough into 3 - 4 sections.

10.  Take one segment of dough and roll it out into a large rectangle roughly 1/16 inch thick.

11.  At this point, you can cut the dough in one of two ways. For cannoli with round edges, they need to be cut in oval shapes, large enough to wrap around your cannoli forms well. To do this, take a large, round cookie or biscuit cutter and proceed cutting the dough into rounds. Then, take each round and gently stretch it into an oval by pulling from two edges with your hands. If you want to minimize waste of any dough, simply cut the dough into squares large enough to wrap around the forms. They will have pointed ends.

12.  Once you have cut the shapes you desire, flour them adequately and set them aside.

13.  Continue steps 10 - 12 until you have cut all of your dough.

14.  At this point, the oil should be hot and ready for frying. Prepare a draining station by placing several layers of paper towels onto a baking sheet.

15.  Place the remaining egg white into a bowl.

16.  Take one piece of dough and wrap it around the cannoli form. Make sure you have at least one inch of dough that will overlap in order to close the cannoli well. To close the cannoli, brush (or use your finger) a thin layer of egg white onto the dough that will overlap and roll it over the top of the dough attached to the form. Press the dough gently to seal the form. Repeat this step until you have prepared all of your forms.

17.  Gently place the dough wrapped tubes into the frying oil and fry, rotating consistently, until the shells are a deep golden brown and pocked with bubbles on all sides.

18.  When the shells have finished frying, carefully remove them from the oil with tongs and place them on the draining station to drain.

19.  Wait until the forms are cool enough to handle with your hands before removing them from the finished shells, then gently pull them out.

20.  Repeat steps 16 - 19 until all of the shells have been fried.

21.  Allow the shells to cool for at least 30 minutes before filling them.