Image by Claudio Pantoni


Cannoli, also known as Sicilian doughnuts, are a pastry filled with sweetened ricotta cheese or chocolate. They are often associated with the Easter season in Italy.


Cannoli is a traditional Italian dessert that consists of fried pastry shells filled with sweetened ricotta cheese or a similar filling. Cannoli are popular in southern Italy, particularly Sicily and Apulia.

The word "cannolo" comes from the Greek kántholos (κάνθολος), meaning "a reed". This may be related to the fact that the pastry tube used to make cannoli resembles a piece of hollow cane or reed.

Cannoli are also known as sfinge alla Siciliana (Sicilian horn), sfingi (singular: sfinge) in Sicily and it is also called sfogliatella in Calabria, as well as sfoglia di latte in Basilicata.

The origin of Cannoli

The origin of cannoli is unknown, but it is believed that they were brought over to Sicily by Arabs who occupied the island from 827 to 1091. Cannoli were originally made with ricotta cheese and candied fruit. In the 19th century, sfogliatelle (cannoli shells) were introduced to ensure that no one was left out on the holiday treats during Lent.

Cannoli can be found in two different types: classic and Sicilian. Classic cannolis have tubes that are rolled out and filled while Sicilian cannolis are formed into tubes by hand and then fried in hot oil before being filled.

FAQs about Cannoli

Do you eat a cannoli warm or cold?

Cannolis are best eaten when they are still warm.

What does a cannoli taste like?

A cannoli tastes like a crispy and flaky pastry shell filled with a sweet and creamy ricotta cheese filling. It is usually topped with chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or candied fruit. It has a unique flavor that includes the sweetness of the ricotta cheese and the crunchy texture of the pastry shell.

What does cannoli mean in Italian?

Cannoli is an Italian dessert made of deep-fried, tube-shaped shells filled with a sweet, creamy filling. The literal translation of cannoli in Italian is "little tubes" or "little cylinders."

What is cannoli filling made of?

Cannoli filling is typically made from sweetened ricotta cheese blended with other ingredients such as citrus zest or chocolate chips. Other common ingredients used in cannoli fillings are mascarpone, marsala wine, vanilla, or cinnamon.

Types of Cannoli

Cannoli is a traditional Italian dessert that consists of a pastry shell filled with sweetened ricotta cheese. The cannoli is sometimes served with a sweet wine called marsala, but it can also be eaten plain or dipped in chocolate or cinnamon.

The name "cannoli" comes from the Italian word for tube.

Cannolis were originally made by monks in Sicily, who used phyllo dough to make the pastry shells. They stuffed them with ricotta cheese and fried them in hot oil. It wasn't until 1920 that cannolis were introduced to New York City by Sicilian immigrants who had brought their recipe with them.