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The Best Christmas Cannoli's Recipe

Cannoli’s are a traditional, and popular Sicilian dessert. We created these delicious Christmas Cannoli’s with a creamy sweet ricotta filling, added mini chocolate chips, dipped them in melted chocolate, and finished them with colored holiday sprinkles. They’re so fun to make, and the results are the ultimate dessert for the holidays or anytime.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: cannoli's, easy dessert, holiday dessert recipe
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Dyana - Busy Little Chefs



  • 20 small canolli shells (or 8-10 large cannoli shells)


  • 32 oz ricotta whole milk cheese (Do not use reduced fat, or light)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (3/4-1 cup, add more for sweeter)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips (added to filling and to decorate)


  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on the top)
  • 1 cup red candy melts
  • 1 cup white candy melts
  • 1 cup Ghiradelli dark chocolate discs (Can purchase online or Michael's has them)


  • This is the most important part of making this recipe. You must strain the liquid from the Ricotta whole milk cheese. Also, since the cannoli shells are too difficult for the kids to make. I opted to buy them at out local Italian deli, and they were great! 
  • Use a medium to large size mixing bowl, line a fine-mesh sieve or wire strainer with a couple layers of cheesecloth and place it over a mixing bowl. Then let the liquid drain from the ricotta cheese overnight. If you set something heavy on top of the ricotta cheese, more of the liquid will drain out. Empty the liquid and clean the mixing bowl.
  • Add the ricotta cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, vanilla, lemon zest, stirring until combined and smooth.
  • Next, add 3 tablespoons of the mini semisweet chocolate chips and fold into the filling mix.
  • Spoon the filling into a piping bag using Wilton 1M open star decorating tip. Then place in the refrigerator until you're ready to use.
  • Melt the candy melts, and chocolate in the microwave in 20-30 second bursts stirring every time. Do not overheat these as it will burn and turn hard and clumpy. It's best to remove while you still see a few bits of the candy not melted. Then stir until dissolved.
  • Time to dip the cannoli shells. Dip the edges into the the melted candy about 1/-3/4 inch, sprinkle them while they're still wet, and set them on parchment or wax paper to dry. To speed up the drying, place them in the refrigerator for 3 minutes until they're dry.
  • They can be filled right away when the candy is dry. Using the piped filling squeeze into one side until at least to the center or further. Then turn to the other side, and squeeze the filling until it's coming out the end.
  • Since the filling comes out at the ends, it will be easy to press the cannoli into the mini chocolate chips. Then set back onto your wax paper or a plate.
  • Add some powdered sugar to a sifter or a mini strainer, and sprinkle in the middle of the cannoli's keeping away from the edges.
  • Set them on a plate to display, and these can be enjoyed right away. 


  1. Step 1 is very important. If the ricotta cheese is too moist then your filling won't be as creamy, it will slide out the ends, and the cannoli shells will get soft from the moisture. 2. This recipe yields 15-20 small cannoli's. You may half the recipe if you need to make less. 3. To get a thinner texture with your candy melts and chocolate, add a teaspoon of Crisco and this will thin is and make it easier to dip.