Mini Cannoli Cups

I love cannolis, and have always wanted to try and make them homemade, but the deep frying of the shells is too much work and too fattening. So, I found this recipe for cannoli cups instead!

The “shell” for the cups is made from Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, and is so easy to put together.

For the filling, I recommend straining your ricotta cheese in a cheese cloth overnight, the night before you make your filling. It creates a thicker, more authentic cannoli filling.

Also, I use mini cupcake tins for my cannoli cups, but they could easily be adjusted for regular sized cupcake tins.


2 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Flour for dusting surface
1 15oz. container of whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 425.
Prepare filling by combining all ingredients except chocolate chips in a bowl with an electric mixer.
Place in a one-gallon freezer bag and refrigerate.
Roll out pie crusts and sprinkle each all over one side with sugar and cinnamon.
Roll over dough with rolling pin gently to push cinnamon and sugar into the pie crust.
Using a biscuit cutter, cut out circles in the dough.
Lightly press the circles into ungreased mini cupcake pans to form a pastry cup.
Gently prick the bottoms on the cups with a fork so that they don’t rise too much in the oven!
Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Remove from oven and once cool, fill with cream.
Cut off a small part of the corner of the plastic bag to fill cups.
Sprinkle chocolate chips on top and dust with powdered sugar!

Filling can be kept in the fridge up to 3 days before filling. Fill about 1 hour before serving.

To get cream extra thick, run ricotta through a cheese cloth over night to remove excess water.


134 thoughts on “Mini Cannoli Cups

    • Diana,
      Thanks!! They’re so easy and so yummy! I made them on Easter and all the little kids gobbled them up in minutes!!! Luckily I saved some for the adults, (who loved them too)! Lol

    • Erin,
      I suggest you make the “shells” ahead of time, and make the cream the day u plan on serving them. Fill them with the cream a half hour to an hour before you serve them and then keep them in the fridge until you serve them. If you have leftovers (which we didn’t because everyone loved them) they should be okay in the fridge in Tupperware for a day or two. Also, if you want the cream to be thick run it through a cheese cloth overnight!

      • Just a thought…. I found the cream part to taste better if you use half ricotta and half marscapone. It cuts down on the “grittiness” of the ricotta. Makes them taste more creamy. FYI.

      • Thanks!
        I enjoy the plain ricotta taste, I strain the ricotta so it’s very smooth, thick, and creamy! But I love marscapone so I bet it would be delicious, it’s just more expensive!

  1. Pingback: now it’s really been awhile! | running in the windy city

  2. Hello! Thanks for the recipe, I’m making it next week for a dinner party! I don’t have time to prep these after work before the party. Do you think that they’d be OK in the fridge overnight and not get too soggy? Or should I try to have my husband fill the cups? (A scary thought…)

    Also, how do you run the Ricotta through a cheese cloth overnight? I’m new to baking from scratch 🙂

    Thanks so much!

    • Hey Liz! I’m so glad your trying them out!! All you do is put the ricotta on top of the cheesecloth and then stick a bowl underneath it so it drains. Also, I would suggest you do have your husband fill the cups before the party or they may get soggy, he can do it!!!! Lol!

  3. I would’ve used a mini muffin tin to make these. Glad I read through the comments and saw that you use a regular size one. Might cut smaller circles and use a mini one, though. Had my 1st canoli ever this summer and couldn’t stop thinking about it! Can’t wait to try these!

  4. Just made these last night for my canoli-loving husband. Big hit! Will def try straining the ricotta next time because it was a little runnier than ideal, but all in all fabulous and will def be making it again.

    • That is so smart! I’m going to try it for a party next weekend, I’ll come back and let you know how it turned out. Thanks for the idea!

  5. This is brilliant. I’m def trying these this year! The whole making the shells thing seems way high maintenance; this is way easier and perfect. Can’t wait to try these!

  6. For the commenters that had issues with grainy ricotta, just pulse it in a food processor & it will make it smooth and thick 🙂 These turned out awesome, thank you so much for sharing!!

  7. Hi, this might sound like a stupid question but which side goes into the tin? Is the cinnamon sugar side facing up or the plain side?

  8. I make these for Thanksgiving desert and they came out great. The only thing was they were a little bit too sugary for me. Next time I will leave out the 2 tablespoons of white sugar.

  9. These look fantastic! I want to make them next week but thinking about making them in mini cupcake pans instead of regular size. Have you every made them mini, do you know how many mini ones this recipe makes? Thanks so much!

  10. Pingback: Mini Canoli Cups | Savvy Living

  11. Made these for a cookies exchange and they were a huge hit! I did use a mini muffin tin to make them bite size and it worked out great. Thanks!!

  12. Another option is to line the inside of the crust with a thin layer of chocolate. This prevents them from getting soggy and keeps the crunch. They do this in Sicily at some of the best canoli shops.

  13. I made these tonight and the cream is very runny, any suggestions on how to thicken it up, after it’s all mixed up already?? Thanks!!

    • Only thing I can suggest is to add more powdered sugar and keep the cream in the fridge. It is much runnier when you don’t run the ricotta through the cheese cloth unfortunately. But they are still delicious!

  14. Made these today for a family gathering. Beautiful and delicious! These will definitely be added to my party recipe list. Thanks!

  15. My filling came out lumpy too 😦 Read through reviews and checked the expiration date of my ricotta cheese. It expires 2 months from today. Aside from the small cottage cheese like lumps, the filling is a tad too sweet. I used an my kitchenaid stand mixer so I don’t know where it went wrong.

    • It could have possibly just been a bad container of ricotta to begin with…it should have have looked firm, but not solid, and a little grainy when you opened the package. Ricotta is a bit lumpy, but if you mixed it well enough it should have came out smooth. Sorry that it didn’t come out the way you wanted!

  16. These were really easy and fun! I recommend doubling the filling recepie and folding in the chocolate chips, though. These were really yummy!

  17. Made these for Super Bowl and they were a big hit! Shells take a little work, but the filling is super easy. Definitely worth the effort. Baked pie crust tastes just like a fried cannoli shell.

  18. Made these tonight with a friend and we loved them! Definitely easy and super delicious. My friend strained the ricotta overnight and it was smooth and perfect for the filling. Anyhow, thanks so much for sharing.

  19. Pingback: Valentine Endeavors. | Sunshine Endeavors

  20. Pingback: Mini Canoli Cups | Good Stuff Only

  21. Pingback: Mini Canoli Cups | Kelli's Culinary Adventures

  22. In the comments you say you used a regular muffin tin but in the recipe it says you used a mini one? I’m just wondering which one is correct! 🙂

  23. The picture is deceiveing, of the finished product (canolis cups) I did these in mini cups (even though I knew the 2″ cutter was for larger muffin cups) and barely had enough ‘area’ too put the filling, but it worked if your cheese is EXTRA dry and really squeezed thoroughly after the day of draining the ricotta. The taste, yet to be determined I am making them and prepping them ahead of time. we’ll see what we say about the overall “taste test.

    • Would be better and much more authentic to go to an Italian Import Store and buy the shells. Make your own filling and then you would have real cannolis

  24. I wanted to try this recipe but I’m confused by the comments on the muffin tin size, in the recipe it says to use a mini muffin tin and the 21/2 in cutter but so many people are saying the the recipe is for full size muffin tin?? In the picture at the bottom of the recipe they look like mini to me, so if they’re mini did you use the 21/2 inch cutter for the crust? Thanks

    • To be honest, I made this recipe so long ago that I do not remember. I believe I have used both mini and regular muffin tins. The size of the biscuit does not matter, as long as the piece your cutting is big enough to place inside whatever muffin well you’re using and when you press it down the pastry should come up the sides a little bit! Hope that helps!

    • Carly, you can definitely make the filling the day of, but I highly suggest you strain the ricotta the night before so the filling isn’t too watery!
      As long as the filling is in the fridge at least 2 hours it should be fine.
      Don’t fill the cups until shortly before serving.

  25. Pingback: Mini Cannoli Cups | The Guy Corner NYC

  26. Pingback: Mini Cannoli Cups | The Guy Corner NYC

  27. Is there a way to make a chocolate version of these? I would love to do the half regular and half chocolate for a christmas party

    • Amanda,
      If you add cocoa powder to the ricotta mixture you could easily make a chocolate filling 🙂 I would try 2 tablespoons, taste test it, then add more if necessary. Or, you could try adding some of the Philadelphia chocolate cream cheeses they have!

  28. When you say mix all ingredients except semi sweet chocolate chips? Does it mean we mic the confectioners sugar too, or is that only for dusting lighly at the end??

  29. Originally coming from Queens, in NYC, most Italian bakeries put citron/orange peel in their cannoli filling. Other than that, these look fabulous! Will try them this holiday season.

  30. Crazy question but are you using ground cin. or sugar cin? I love trying any type of new dessert since I am always responsible for them at the holidays:) So the shells don’t stick to the pan? I always have a hard time getting anything out of my muffin pans/mini muffin pans? But I’m so o o o o o looking forward to making these! Happy Holidays to you All!

    • Debbie,
      You can make the shells ahead of time and freeze them.
      I’m not sure about the filling. I would say yes, but do not fill them and freeze them, freeze shells and filling separately, then when you thaw the filling, fill right before serving.

  31. Hi Louise, Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year. Let’s have lunch some time. I am going to try these cannoli cups using the mini tart shells you buy already baked.
    Rose Mary

    • Amanda,
      You place the cheesecloth in the bottom of a bowl, then put your ricotta on the cheesecloth. Tie the ends of the cheesecloth up over your ricotta so that the water drains out the bottom!

  32. Pingback: Roundup: Roadtrips, Ice Cream, and Not Sharks | Straight Up Z

  33. Hi, I make some walnut little tartlets, I am wondering if the shell would work for this as well.
    1 cup of butter
    1 bar cream cheese
    2 cups of flour
    Mix the dough, form little balls and coat mini cupcake forms with it?
    What are your thoughts?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s