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Homemade Italian cannoli shells

Crispy, light and flaky homemade Italian cannoli shells with hundreds of crunchy air pockets. Perfect to make amazing cannoli!

I was thinking about making cannoli for a while but there was always something that prevented me. Ok, maybe not, maybe I was just too lazy and just the idea for being stuck in the kitchen for hours did not sound very appealing. Yep, this is it, I admitted it.But, one day I kicked my lazy ass and just went for it and to my surprise it was nothing but fun to make these Italian cannoli shells. Yes, it was a little bit time consuming but if you prepare the dough ahead of time it helps. At the end, nothing good in life comes effortless, right?

Homemade Italian cannoli shells

How to make homemade Italian cannoli shells?

Making Italian cannoli will take some time. The good thing is that you can make pastry dough in advance and fry it the next day. To make pastry dough you need to mix all ingredients together and knead the dough until it will get to unified consistency.

The next step is very important, you need to keep cutting the pastry dough with the knife and kneading it together for about 10 minutes. It will help to create these lovely and delicious crispy air pockets on the cannoli. Please do not miss this step. Then you need to leave the pastry dough in the fridge to rest.

When it comes to shaping cannoli, you can make as big cannoli as you wish depending on the size on the metal tubes. Try to roll your cannoli pastry quite thin so the shells are crunchy and crispy. Oil temperature is vital, it should be 175C. If the Pay attention to sealing cannoli shells properly so they do not open up while frying.

Homemade Italian cannoli shells

What do homemade Italian cannoli shells taste like?

Making this recipe will reward you with the most delicate, flaky and crunchy Italian cannoli shells. The taste of deep fried pastry and bursting air pockets are so addictive that you will end up eating eating shells without filling them. Been there, done that 🙂

Homemade Italian cannoli shells

These homemade Italian cannoli shells stay fresh for a long time (unfilled) and they are 100000 times better than shop-bought – even if they do not look as perfect. In my eyes, though, they look great.

If you are looking for more cannoli recipes I can recommend you the following:

I hope you will make my recipe and if you do, please leave a comment below and let me know your feedback. You can also find me on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Gab and Gettr. Please say hi and do not forget to tag me in if you make my recipe. I love seeing your creations.

Recipe source – The recipe for these crispy beauties comes from my Italian friend Mike, to be more precise from his wife. How nice, that she let me use her recipe on my blog 🙂

Bon appetit!

Homemade Italian cannoli shells

Crispy, light and flaky homemade cannoli shells.

Prep Time 10 mins Cook Time 2 mins Rest Time 120 mins Total Time 2 hrs 12 mins Difficulty: Intermediate Servings: 30 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year



  1. In a medium bowl add flour, cinnamon, salt, sugar and butter into a medium bowl, mix well.

  2. Add egg and marsala wine and mix together.

  3. Transfer the dough on a working space and using your hands knead the pastry dough until it becomes unified and no crumbs are remaining.

  4. Now, it is important to work pastry dough for at least 10 minutes and while doing so, cut pastry dough into smaller pieces and knead together again. Repeat the process couple of times. The purpose of this step is to incorporate as much air in the pastry dough as possible so we can get lots of bubbles on the cannoli shells.

  5. When pastry dough is ready, let it rest for at least 2 hours or even better overnight.

  6. When you are ready to make your cannoli, prepare a large plate or try lined with paper towel. Set aside.

  7. Prepare metal tubes, working surface, egg white, flour for dusting, a round cookie cutter or a glass

  8. Cut out circles from the pastry dough and roll each pastry dough into an oval shape. This step will help to create this famous cannoli shape.

  9. Wrap the oval dough loosely lengthwise around a cannoli tube.

  10. Brush one end of the dough with egg white and then press the other end of the dough on top. Make sure you seal it well so the dough does not 'open up' while frying.

  11. Preheat your oil in a deep pot until it reaches 175°C. It is important to get oil to this temperature otherwise cannoli will not fry properly.

  12. Depending on the size of your pot, carefully place about 3 or 4 cannoli in the pot.

  13. Fry each cannoli for about 2 min until golden brown.

  14. Remove cannoli from the pot and place them on a paper towel and let them cool down before removing the metal moulds.

Keywords: cannoli, Christmas, Easter, New Year's Eve
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