Mini cannolis

I went to college near Boston and when I discovered the Italian North End, I discovered pollo a la Lucia and cannolis!  I loved the creamy ricotta filling combined with the crunchy shell. For me, the traditional plain cannolis at Modern Pastry Shop was a must.  In those days, their cannolis were amazing!  Being in Orange County California, it's difficult to find an Italian bakery and when you do find cannolis, the ricotta filling is too sweet and the shells are oftentimes either too hard or soggy.  So, I decided to create my own version.  These mini cannolis are perfect.  The shells are lighter than the thick cannoli shells and the ricotta filling is the perfect sweetness with a hint of lemon zest and lemon juice.  A perfect combination of creamy, sweet with a hint of freshness!

These mini cannolis are perfect to serve for a DIY dessert bar.  Place a variety of cannoli cream fillings in different bags and allow your guests to make their own customized cannolis!

Tips for making mini cannolis

Dumpling wrappers.

These mini cannolis are made with fried dumpling wrappers.  The dumpling wrappers need to be the thick, gyoza oblong wrappers.  The thin wrappers will end up being soggy and not strong enough to hold up the filling.

Gyoza wrappers

Gyoza wrappers

Fried mini cannoli shells

Fried mini cannoli shells

Ricotta Cheese Filling

Use whole milk ricotta cheese for the filling.  The ricotta cheese needs to be thick.  Place the ricotta cheese in a sieve to drain the excess liquid from the ricotta cheese before mixing the ricotta cheese with the rest of the ingredients.

Drain ricotta cheese through a sieve

Drain ricotta cheese through a sieve

Drain liquid from ricotta cheese.

Drained liquid from ricotta cheese.

The powdered sugar needs to be sieved to ensure there are no lumps.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to incorporate.  When the cannoli cream is ready, place it in a piping bag or a plastic storage bag with an icing nozzle.  

Push piping nozzle through incision.

Push piping nozzle through incision.

Fill piping bag with cannoli cream.

Fill piping bag with cannoli cream.

Pipe the cannoli cream into the shells just before serving to ensure a crisp, light shell. Enjoy and let me know if you come up with any creative fillings!

Mini cannolis


Michelle Sam
These mini cannolis are made with dumpling wrappers and are the perfect size for entertaining or a DIY dessert bar!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 30
Calories 86 kcal


  • aluminum foil
  • 1" diameter tube or rod This forms the tubular mold with the foil
  • 1 quart food storage bag
  • icing nozzle


  • 1 package thick gyoza dumpling wrappers
  • oil for deep frying
  • 425 grams whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 125 grams powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • water to stick dumpling edges

Other optional cannoli fillings

  • chocolate chips
  • ground pistachios
  • unsweetened cocoa powder
  • instant coffee powder


  • Place the ricotta cheese in a sieve to drain the excess liquid. This helps make the filling thicker.
    425 grams whole milk ricotta cheese
    Drain ricotta cheese through a sieve

Making the shells

  • Cut your foil into small rectangles with the width a little thicker than the diameter of the dumpling wrappers. The foil tubes are re-usable to make additional cannoli shells.
  • Wrap the foil around the tube.
  • Wrap the dumpling wrappers around the foil and stick the edges together with a little water.
    1 package thick gyoza dumpling wrappers, water to stick dumpling edges
  • Slide the foil tube with wrapper from the rod. Make as many as you have foil wrappers.
  • Heat the saucepan of oil or deep fryer to 350-375℉ or 175-190℃
    oil for deep frying
  • Fry the dumpling wrappers with the foil mold until golden brown, making sure that the interior side of the wrappers, touching the foil, are cooked and crisp.
  • Remove the fried wrappers and drain until cooled.
  • Remove the foil tubes from the cooled shells and re-use them to make more cannoli shells.
    Fried mini cannoli shells

Making the filling

  • Place the drained ricotta into a mixing bowl.
    425 grams whole milk ricotta cheese
    Drain liquid from ricotta cheese.
  • Sieve the powdered sugar into the ricotta cheese.
    125 grams powdered sugar
  • Add the salt, pure vanilla extract, lemon juice and zest.
    1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract, ¼ tsp sea salt, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Mix until combined.

Prepare bag for filling

  • Use a piping bag or cut a small corner of a 1 quart plastic storage bag
  • Push the icing nozzle through the cut corner, making sure that some of the plastic sticks to the nozzle.
    Push piping nozzle through incision.
  • Fill the bag with the cannoli filling and seal.
    Fill piping bag with cannoli cream.
  • Just before serving, pipe the cannoli filling into each end of the cannoli shells.
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.
  • Other optional cannoli filling add-ins can be added for variety.
    chocolate chips, ground pistachios, unsweetened cocoa powder, instant coffee powder



To keep the cannoli shells crisp, pipe the cannoli filling just before serving.
The calories does not take into account the oil used for frying the wrappers. 


Serving: 30gCalories: 86kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 3gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 117mgPotassium: 28mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 65IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 37mgIron: 1mgNet Carbohydrates: 13g
Keyword cannoli, Fried glutinous rice dumpling wrapper, ricotta cheese
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was or if you have any questions or suggestions!
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