After only a few easy tips, you too can make amazing and creamy, unforgettable restaurant quality Cannoli at home! It’s easier (and more delicious) than you think!
Holy Cannoli, where do I even begin? I’ve been testing Cannoli recipes for the past two weeks and I think I’ve cracked the code! Read on, friends.
Moving to New York City certainly has it’s perks, but the sheer volume of cannoli you can find just brings joy to my heart. There are plenty of amazing ones in the city, and plenty of gross ones too that just need to stop being made. The two best ones I’ve had (both in Brooklyn; Dellarocco’s & Juliana’s Pizza) include a slightly lemony, super creamy, super smooth, cold cold cold filling with a crispy, buttery shell. The worst ones I’ve had are grainy, runny, not sweet enough, too sweet or just stale tasting. The worst possible way to waste calories, in my humble opinion.
Different brands of ricotta cheese mean different amounts of moisture so every.single.time I made these, I would get different outcomes. That is no way to create a recipe. Instead of just sticking with one brand and recommending that across the board, I decided to just use cheesecloth with every brand and wring out as much moisture as humanly possible. I wanted thick and creamy filling that would hold it’s shape after being piped, and hours beyond that. Taking out as much moisture using the cheesecloth is the main thing I did to ensure a stable filling. Got mine here.
I also used a blender to get that unmistakably smooth filling. Not that traditional or authentic, but I don’t care. I create recipes based on my likes and dislikes. I dislike grainy fillings, therefore, I use the blender to get rid of that texture. Another difference between those different brands of ricotta cheese I saw across the board was the graininess. Some had more, some had less. Enter my Vitamix.
Another controversial, inauthentic ingredient I use is heavy cream. Not a ton of it, but enough to give it a lighter, creamier, airy texture. Again, I like things the way I like them and this was the best ingredient to add to get a cannoli filling I LOVED, just like I found in the restaurants.
I ended up ordering pre-made cannoli shells from Amazon and they were surprisingly good. Obviously not as good as homemade, but I’ll be darned if I’m going to buy a bunch of forms just for this one recipe, struggle to find room in my tiny kitchen to store them and end up giving them away. I know myself. That totally would have happened. Also, I hate frying things, unless it’s my pumpkin donuts in October. You are welcome to make the shells from scratch or just get them from amazon. To each her own.
I piped the filling with a disposable pastry bag because they’re easier/sturdier to use than a regular ziploc bag, though those will work in a pinch too.
So after explaining all of THAT, let me say that this recipe couldn’t be easier! (But seriously…)
Wring out excess liquid in ricotta cheese, add to blender with powdered sugar, lemon zest, vanilla and heavy cream, blend, scrape down sides, blend, scrape down sides, etc.. until smooth filling is achieved. Scoop into pastry bag, snip the end off and fill each cannoli as your little heart desires. Top with mini chocolate chips and powdered sugar. Boom. Cannolis = done.
Store in air tight containers in the fridge for up to two days. They are edible after two days, but not as good as fresh.
If you have any questions or comments concerning this recipe, feel free to leave it in the comments section below and I can answer it there.
Please please please keep in mind that not draining or getting rid of that extra liquid in the cheese will not give you the results you’re looking for. I didn’t drain my first few versions of my cannoli filling and after 20-30 seconds in the blender, it was pretty thick and decent, but blending it beyond 60 seconds turned it into liquid. Just fyi 🙂
Happy eating! Printable recipe below, cannoli lovers.
Easy Homemade Cannoli
After only a few easy tips, you too can make amazing and creamy, unforgettable restaurant quality Cannoli at home! It's easier (and more delicious) than you think!
- 12 store bought cannoli shells
- 2-15 or 16 oz. containers whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest or 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 6 tablespoons heavy cream
- mini chocolate chips chopped pistachios, etc.. as garnish
- powdered sugar
Place ricotta cheese into the center of a large piece of cheesecloth and squeeze out any excess liquid. You want the ricotta cheese as dry as possible. Place into the bottom of a high powdered blender.
Add in powdered sugar, lemon zest, vanilla and heavy cream and blend, stopping to stir frequently, until completely smooth OR until a desired consistency is reached.
Spoon filling into a disposable piping bag, cut the corner off and fill each cannoli.
Sprinkle mini chocolate chips onto filling at each end of cannoli and then sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Store refrigerated in airtight container for up to two days.