Homemade Cannoli Filling Recipe

Do you love the sweet creaminess of Cannoli filling paired with the delicious crunch of the cannoli shell? Well, Stephanie {from the Creative Team}, is here to share her simply scrumptious cannoli filling recipe today. She also gives some awesome tips on how to serve them. Enjoy! -Linda

Homemade Cannoli Filling

Gatherings with my Italian family members in New York are some of my fondest memories. Most of those memories involved goodies that came from the bakery or pastry shop. Cannolis have and always will be one of my favorite desserts. I am excited to share my cannoli filling recipe with you today.

cannoli filling

Like many family recipes, there are variations that taste delicious in their own way. I have made it a goal to eat a cannoli in any place I am, that serves them. This has included places spanning all over the world, including Rome and many states across the US. Even two bakeries a mile apart can make two very different cannolis. So depending on your taste preferences, you may alter any cannoli recipe to match your taste.

Next month, I will be sharing on my blog the details of making homemade ricotta and cannoli shells.  For this post, I will be using pre-made cannoli shells and focusing on the cannoli filling only. You can find pre-made cannoli shells at whole food or specialty food stores near you.

Cannoli Filling Recipe

2 cups of whole milk Ricotta (drain with a strainer if it has excess liquid.)

3/4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (can also use mini chocolate chips.)

1/2 cup heavy cream

optional ingredients you can also add:

1 tbs lemon zest

1/2 tsp cinnamon
Fills about 12-16 cannoli shells.


Drain your ricotta, if necessary, and place it in a medium sized bowl. Using a whisk, stir until a majority of the clumps have become smooth.

Sift in the powdered sugar and continue to make smooth.

how to make cannoli filling

In a mixer, beat your heavy cream until it begins to become stiff and form peaks.

Using a spatula, gently fold this cream into your mixture. As well as the vanilla, chocolate chips, and any other optional ingredients you want to try.

Set this mixture in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to filling your cannoli shells.

*TIP: do not fill your cannoli shells until right before serving. The crunch of the shell is most desirable. As time progresses, the cannoli filling softens the shell.

Fill your cannolis by using a pastry bag OR by cutting the tip off of a sandwich/storage bag. Fill one end of the cannoli shell until the filling comes to the edge. Repeat with the other end of the shell.

how to fill cannoli

You may adorn the ends with other toppings including: shredded chocolate, chocolate chips, chopped pistachios, or whatever you can think of!

cannoli filling recipe

easy cannoli recipe

I hope you enjoy my Cannoli Filling recipe. I’d love to hear what you think after you make it!

Happy cooking!


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I am a mom who loves photography, crafting and anything handmade! I blog about crafting with family in mind, throughout the home and kitchen. I enjoy spending time with family and getting creative.

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  1. 1

    Gorgeous- I have always wanted to make these. You did a great job.

    1. 1.1

      thank you!

      1. Gina

        what do you mean when you say whole milk ricotta

        1. lorettaD

          Whole milk ricotta means it’s not made from skim milk.

          BTW I push the ricotta through a fine sieve and it is smooth as silk. The Italians add minced, candied orange peel and dip the cannoli in ground pistachio nuts.

  2. 2

    I am quite the canoli snob myself. :) I will have to gice your recipe a go!

    1. 2.1

      yes, cannoli snob is exactly what I call myself:) thanks for reading!

      1. Mary l Diaz

        i made your cannoli cream but it comes out too grainy can you tell me why it not as smooth as the store bought ones

  3. 3

    My hubs and I ate at Carabbas this past weekend and sat at the bar where they make the pizzas. We were chatting up the pizza pie guy and after dinner he gave us two cannolis dipped in chopped pistachios. I’d never had one before so I was game……oh my….heaven on a plate. I of course ate mine right up and couldn’t manage to pull my face away from the plate when someone we knew stopped by to say hello. :o( The hubs left two bites sitting there on his plate. If I wasn’t so stuffed to the brim I would have devoured that up as well. But in the end I showed restraint. ;o) Until next time. Ok, I’m off to the baker to see if I can find me one. yum!

    1. 3.1

      glad you liked them so much, and thanks for commenting!

  4. 4

    These look fantastic! Thanks for sharing. Can you get the Cannoli shells at your local grocery store or do you have to go somewhere special to buy them?

    1. 4.1

      :) How embarrasing. After reading your post the second time I noticed that you already said where you can get them. :) so sorry!!

    2. 4.2

      Amazon sells them

  5. 5

    GIRL all I could say is,”MMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!” Thanks for sharing God Bless.

    1. 5.1

      thank you!

    1. 6.1

      Hope you like them! I didnt use the optional ingredients in this go around, but there are many yummy options!

  6. 7

    These look absolutely amazing, not to mention your photos are stunning! Awesome as always!!! Thanks for sharing!

  7. 8

    These look so yummy Linda! Thanks for the recipe!

  8. 9

    Beautiful cannoli… they look too perfect to eat! Who am I kidding, that totally wouldn’t stop me!

  9. 10

    Just made the cannoli filling for my boyfriend. He challenged me to cook with oreos and bacon so instead of chocolate chips in the filling, I used crushed oreos. Also dipped the cannoli shells in milk chocolate and candied bacon before filling. He hasn’t tried them yet, but they look amazing! Thanks for the great recipe!

  10. 12

    hi, can i use this filling for a cake? adore your pictures. great job.

  11. 13
    Jennifer Essad

    OM Gosh Cannoli’s are my husbands favorite – I have been thinking about making the shells from scratch….thanks for this awesome recipe

    1. 13.1

      I was just wondering for how many Cannolis can u fill with this recipe?

  12. 14

    How many cannoli shells do you think this fills? I just made a batch and have 24 mini shells ton fill tomorrow for Thanksgiving. My eye for measurements is no good, so how many does this fill for you?


  13. 15

    when you say whole milk ricotta is it milk or cheese

  14. 16
    m schneickert

    Your recipe is the closest to the cannoli I grew up with minus thte citrus fruit. I make the filling without the citrus because my kids won’t eat them. So, like you, I make the filling with mini chocolate chips. I also add fresh orange zest. This brightens the filling…not so rich! These my children will eat.

  15. 17

    My filling came out VERY watery. I have it in the fridge now, but it doesnt seem like it will harden up. I have had canolli’s for years and know the filling is a delicious creamy texture mine looks runny. Any suggestions? This is about the 3rd try with various recipes. I can’t figure it out!

    1. 17.1

      Might be the heavy creme?i beat the cream for awhile before it stiffened up a bit.

  16. 18


  17. 19

    hi! i wont have time in the morning to make it before school, so can the filling be made the night before?

  18. 21

    my filling seems runny no thick,,,,,is this normal

  19. 22

    All I can say is “OMG” sooo good. I made your recipe and it tasted just like what I’m use to. I wanted to keep it as authentic Italian as I could and yours held up to the test. I can’t wait to share my homemade cannoli’s. Do you have a recipe for pizzelle’s?


  20. 23

    Wonderful recipe! I tried a different one this passed sunday night (first time making cannolis ever) and the filling came out less than good…it didnt taste like real cannoli..so the next day i found your recipe for cannoli filling tried it and wow! What a difference! Your recipe is delicious and my boy friend also agrees! Thank you for posting! Will use again soon!

  21. 24

    Does this recipe make a “grainy” cannoli filling? The last recipe I used was grainy and I used fat free ricotta and no heavy cream and drained the ricotta overnight

      1. Tony

        I saw several inquiries, asking for the quantity for which this recipe can be used. How about 5″ cannoli?

  22. 25

    Several People have asked the same question regarding how many cannoli shells will this recipe fill? I have yet to see an answer to this question. I realize there are different sizes of shells. Perhaps you could give us an answer as to how many small and large cannoli shells this recipe should fill. It would really be helpful to we who haven’t done this before. Thank you for any help you can be.

  23. 26

    How far in advance can I make the cannoli cream?

    Do you have the recipe for cannoli cream made with half and half and not using ricotta? Its more like a custard.
    Its very authentic as its practically the only kind of filling used in Sicily, the origin of the cannoli.

    1. 26.1

      You can make it a day or two ahead of time. This is the only cannoli recipe we have. :)

  24. 27

    do you have receipe for the canna lies to make? Or can you buy them already made in a store? Thanks .o

  25. 28

    Looks yummy

  26. 29

    Do u think I can use it as macarons filling?

  27. 30

    ive never had cannoli before, but we are doing an Italian theme for dinner for Valentines Day. How sweet should the filling be?

    1. 30.1

      Sweet, but not overly sweet.

  28. 31

    Can this be used as a cake filling as well? I’d like to Make it for my hubby’s birthday this weekend as a filling!!!

    1. 31.1

      Yes, I believe it can

  29. 32

    I’ve never had a canoli but, they look and sound delicious!

  30. 33

    Hello, thank you for reposting this recipie. It looks absolutely wonderful and I can’t wait to try it. After clicking on this link and scrolling to the bottom, I have to say this is the best page I’ve seen. With many links to so many wonderful crafts and recipes. I could be here all day clinking on and reading everything! Thank you for such a great post!

  31. 34
    Betty Pugliese

    Can you make the filling a day ahead of time and refrigerate?

  32. 35
    Cynthia A. Randall

    I have made the cannoli filling before (not from this recipe) and it was grainy. For me what has helped was putting the ricotta in a blender to help with the graininess. When I puréed it, it came out smooth.

  33. 36

    Can this filling be frozen for later use?

  34. 37

    They look delicious…will give them a try this week.

  35. 38
    nancy dale mccombs

    where do you get your shells or do you make them home made? if you make them home made then how do you make them? thank you.

  36. 39




  37. 40

    Hi Linda,
    I have a request for a wedding cake filled with cannoli. Do you think your recipe will hold up in a 3 tired wedding cake with fondant? They just want the filling with the chocolate chips, Please let me know what you think about this situation. Thank you Karen

    1. 40.1

      Hi Karen, I think it might be a bit soft for a cake, but I am not completely sure as I’ve never tried to do that :)

  38. 41

    I have a better cannoli filling recipe, made with half and half instead of with ricotta cheese. I don’t like the grittiness or the taste of ricotta cheese. My cannolis are the best ever.

  39. 42

    I replaced the sugar with sucralose drops and it was still so yummy! My new keto mousse dessert!