New Jersey - Cannoli

While I currently live in New Jersey, I'm not from New Jersey so I thought it would be fun to enlist the help of NJ natives in choosing their state sweet.  A great blog in Hoboken,, agreed to post a survey to determine what sweet I should make.  

The choices were:
Crumb Cake / Crumb Buns

Over 600 people voted and 257 chose Cannoli as their pick for NJ's state sweet!  I have to admit, I was hoping Crumb Cake / Crumb Buns would win because it is a mild obsession of mine but, the people have spoken and Cannoli it is!  

Cannoli are a Sicilian dessert consisting of fried pastry tubes filled with a sweet, creamy filling made primarily of ricotta cheese and sugar.  Mix-ins like chocolate chunks or candied orange peel are common and Cannoli are usually kissed with a dusting of powdered sugar before serving.  

In pastry school we made cannoli dough, shaped the shells and fried them before filling them - a lot of work but much easier in a professional kitchen.  This time around, I cheated and outsourced the shells...  luckily, in NJ you can buy empty cannoli shells at the grocery store bakery which made this a much easier recipe to complete in my home kitchen! 

Now that we have the shells, time to make the filling! 


2 lbs Ricotta cheese (Impastata if you can find it) 
8 ounces confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ounces semisweet chocolate 
chopped pistachios for garnish
Cannoli shells 
* this amount of filling should fill about 48 mini cannoli shells 


  • whip ricotta and confectioners sugar until light and fluffy
  • mix in vanilla extract and cinnamon
  • stir in chocolate and any other desired mix in's by hand
  • no more than one or two hours before serving, fill the shells using pastry bag
  • sprinkle the ends with chopped pistachios and dust with confectioners sugar 

I had a great time making this local favorite and appreciate everyone's participation!  Special thanks to Perry at Hoboken 411!  



  1. These were surprisingly delicious (I'm so not a cannoli girl). Do you have any simple vegan recipes? I'm not vegan but I have a couple of friends who are. I made cookies for them for the holidays from a recipe I found online and they were really gross. I'd like to make them something easy and that's actually tasty this year!

    1. Glad you liked the Cannoli Gloria! Unfortunately, I don't have any vegan recipes to share with you. : ( I have dabbled in a little bit of gluten free baking, but not vegan. There is a bakery in the East Village called Tu-Lu's Gluten Free Bakery and they have a line of vegan cookies and cupcakes - so maybe you outsource baking for vegan friends! ; ) I'll let you know if I come across anything that looks good in the meantime!

  2. These were not only yummy but also pretty - I liked how the green pistachios added a little pop of color!