Don’t Forget the Cannoli

Sicilian Cannoli – tradition and the original recipe

While exploring the tastes of Sicily you always come across the ‘cannolo siciliano’.

These sweets won many palates of people around the world with their crispy cylinder-shaped pastry and delicious cream filling.

A Bit of History

The origin of the Sicilian cannolo recipe is uncertain. Some date it back to Roman times, as it’s mentioned by Cicero in his writings, who describes it as ‘tubus farinarius dulcissimo edulio ex lacte fartus’ which means a ‘farinaceous tube filled with a very sweet milk food’.

Others attribute the distinctive elongated shape to the Arabs.

Over the centuries the recipe was modified several times, and now we have what is considered the true Sicilian cannolo recipe.

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The Original Recipe

The Sicilian cannolo is a true symbol of the island’s confectionary art and is on the list of Traditional Food Products, with its tube-shaped fried wafer and sheep’s milk ricotta filling.

The decoration of cannoli also varies according to the area of Sicily, with chocolate pieces and candied oranges and cherries in the west, and almonds, pistacchio grains in the east.


We encourage you to try and make them yourself, to have that Mediterranean taste in your home!


With these ingredients you get about 16 cannoli. It is necessary to have aluminium cylinders to form the shells.

For the cannoli pastry cases

  • 250 g of 00 flour
  • 1 teaspoon bitter cocoa powder
  • 50 gr of caster sugar
  • 30 gr of soft butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 small glass of marsala
  • a tablespoon of white wine vinegar
  • cinnamon powder
  • vanilla (1 tablespoon extract)
  • 3 g salt
  • oil for frying

For the cannoli filling

  • 800 g sheep’s milk ricotta
  • 300 g granulated sugar
  • 120 g dark chocolate chips


Preparation time: about 1 hour

Cooking time: about 10 minutes

Let’s start with the ricotta cream, which is the heart of this dessert. To make a creamy, lump-free mixture, drain the ricotta in a cloth and transfer it to a bowl. Add the sugar and blend with a food processor, then add the chocolate chips and mix well. Finally, store in the fridge for at least 4 to 5 hours.

To make the pastry case, cream the butter with vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and sugar with whisk until fluffy. Add the egg, continue working with the whisk, and then add the sifted flour, alternating with wine vinegar and marsala. The dough should be firm and workable. Seal with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

To shape the cannoli, divide the dough into 3-4 parts and roll it out thinly with the help of a pasta machine, or a rolling pin. Divide the sheet into squares of about 10×10 cm and place a cylinder in the centre of each and roll the pasty around this. Brush with beaten egg, seal and refrigerate for at least an hour.

When the cylinders are cool, fry the cones one at a time in hot oil. Drain on paper towels, let them cool and fill with the ricotta cream and chocolate chips. Decorate with dried fruit sprinkles, chocolate chips, or candied orange peel depending on preference. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve!

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