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5 Ingredient Cannolis


Have you been searching for a foolproof homemade cannoli recipe? This 5 ingredient version is impressive and SO easy! They will be the hit of the party!

prep inactive total yield 8 cannolis



  • 8 cannoli shells, homemade or store bought
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips, divided
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Optional:  2 teaspoons fresh orange zest


  1. Place ricotta cheese into a fine mesh strainer and place it in the fridge to drain for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.
  2. When you’re ready to make the filling:  In a large bowl combine the drained ricotta cheese, confectioners’ sugar, 1/4 cup of the mini chocolate chips, vanilla extract, and orange zest (if using); mix well.
  3. Using a spatula, carefully scrape the mixture into pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch open tip. Use at once, or refrigerate until needed; filling can be made up to 24 hours in advance.
  4. When ready to serve, pipe the filling into one end of cannoli shell, filling shell halfway, then pipe into other end. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can use a heavy ziplock plastic bag with a corner cut OR simply spoon the filling into the shells. Repeat with remaining shells.
  5. Place remaining mini chocolate chips on a small plate. Dip each end of the cannoli into the chocolate chips, then lightly dust with confectioner’s sugar. Serve at once.


Note for success:

  • Draining the ricotta cheese is the most important part of this cannoli recipe.  It MUST drain for at least 12 hours, preferably overnight. If you use it as is, your filling will be wet and grainy and make the shells soggy. To drain,place the cheese in a fine mesh strainer and cover it with a piece of saran wrap. Place some pie weights (or just dry beans) on top of the saran wrap and place the strainer over a bowl. Put in the fridge until needed. You’ll be surprised to see how much liquid comes out!
  • If using store bought cannoli shells. Bellino cannoli shells are very good if your local pastry shop is out of fresh ones. If you’re ambitious, you can also make and use your favorite homemade cannoli shell recipe.
  • You may prefer a simple cannoli with just a dash of vanilla extract, but feel free experiment. Add in orange zest, chopped pistachios, or even sprinkles! Just be sure not to make the filling too chunky if you plan on piping it into the shells..

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