All About Florentine cannoli recipe (Preparation, History, Variations, and Comparison)

by Ceejay

Florentine cannoli are a delightful variation of the classic Italian dessert. These crispy and flaky pastries are filled with a deliciously creamy ricotta filling, creating a perfect balance of textures and flavors. If you’re a cannoli lover looking to try something new, Florentine cannoli are a must-try!



What are Florentine Cannoli?

Florentine cannoli originated in Florence, Italy, where they quickly gained popularity for their unique twist on the traditional cannoli. The dough used to make Florentine cannoli is slightly different, usually containing ingredients such as cocoa powder, cinnamon, or orange zest, which add a hint of flavor and aroma. The delicate pastry is then wrapped around cannoli forms and deep-fried to achieve a crispy and golden shell.

The filling for Florentine cannoli remains the same as the classic version, made with creamy ricotta cheese, sugar, and a touch of vanilla or lemon extract. Some variations may also include chocolate curls for an added indulgence. The combination of the crunchy shell and the velvety ricotta filling creates a heavenly dessert experience.

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Why Florentine Cannoli are a unique twist on the classic Italian dessert

Florentine cannoli offer a unique twist on the traditional cannoli by adding subtle flavor variations to both the dough and the filling. The addition of cocoa powder, cinnamon, or orange zest to the dough adds a delightful hint of complexity to the overall flavor profile of the cannoli.

The crispy and flaky texture of the Florentine cannoli shell sets it apart from its classic counterpart. The dough is rolled into thin ovals, which puff up during the frying process, resulting in a delicate and shatteringly crisp shell. This contrast between the crunchy shell and the creamy filling makes it a truly delightful dessert experience.

Comparing Florentine Cannoli to Classic Cannoli:

FeatureFlorentine CannoliClassic Cannoli
Dough FlavorCocoa, cinnamon, orTraditional dough flavor
orange zest
Shell TextureCrispy and flakyCrispy and flaky
Filling VariationClassic ricottaClassic ricotta filling
filling with optional
chocolate curls

Ingredients and Preparation

When it comes to indulgent desserts, Florentine Cannoli are a must-try. These Italian pastries are made with a crispy, flaky shell and a rich and creamy filling that will satisfy any sweet tooth. Here is a list of the ingredients you will need to make Florentine Cannoli, as well as step-by-step instructions on how to prepare them.

List of ingredients needed for Florentine Cannoli

To make the Cannoli shells, you will need:

  • Cups all-purpose flour
  • Cup white sugar
  • Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Tablespoons shortening
  • Cup sweet Marsala wine

To make the Cannoli filling, you will need:

  • Ounces ricotta cheese
  • Ounces grated dark chocolate
  • Cup powdered sugar
  • Teaspoon cinnamon

Step-by-step instructions on how to prepare the Florentine Cannoli shells and filling

  1. In a food processor, mix the all-purpose flour, white sugar, and ground cinnamon until well combined.
  2. Add the shortening and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Gradually add the sweet Marsala wine while pulsing, until the dough comes together in a soft ball.
  4. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover, and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Heat vegetable oil in a large pot to 345-355 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough thinly and cut into rounds using a cookie cutter.
  7. Wrap the dough rounds around greased cannoli forms and seal shut with egg white.
  8. Fry the cannoli shells in the preheated oil until golden brown and crisp.
  9. Remove the shells from the oil and let them drain on paper towels.
  10. Once the shells are cool, carefully slide them off the forms and let them cool completely.
  11. In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, grated dark chocolate, powdered sugar, and cinnamon. Stir until well combined.
  12. Transfer the cannoli filling into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip.
  13. Pipe the filling into the cooled cannoli shells.
  14. Serve the Florentine Cannoli immediately and enjoy!

These Florentine Cannoli are a perfect treat for any occasion. The combination of the crispy shells and the creamy filling will surely delight your taste buds. So, why not give this recipe a try and impress your friends and family with your baking skills?

The History of Florentine Cannoli

Origins of Florentine Cannoli in Italian cuisine

Florentine cannoli, also known as “Cannoli Fiorentini” in Italian, are a delightful variation of the traditional Sicilian cannoli. While the origins of cannoli can be traced back to Sicily, the Florentine version adds its own unique twist to this beloved Italian dessert.

History: The origins of Florentine cannoli can be traced back to the city of Florence in Tuscany, Italy. Florence is known for its rich culinary history, and the Florentine cannoli is a testament to this gastronomic heritage. While Sicilian cannoli are typically filled with sweet ricotta cheese, Florentine cannoli are filled with a creamy mixture of pastry cream, chocolate, and candied fruit. This variation gives them a distinct flavor and texture that sets them apart from their Sicilian counterparts.

Taste and Texture: Florentine cannoli are known for their rich and creamy filling, which combines the flavors of pastry cream, chocolate, and candied fruit. The filling is light and fluffy, creating a delightful contrast with the crispy outer shell. The addition of candied fruit adds a burst of sweetness and a touch of tartness to the overall flavor profile of the cannoli. Each bite is a harmonious blend of textures and flavors that is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.

What is the Comparison and difference between Sicilian cannoli and Florentine cannoli

Comparison: While Sicilian cannoli are more widely known and popular, Florentine cannoli offer a unique and delicious alternative. Here’s a comparison between the two:

Cannoli TypeSicilian CannoliFlorentine Cannoli
FillingSweet RicottaPastry Cream, Chocolate, and Candied Fruit
RegionSicilyFlorence, Tuscany
Flavor ProfileSweet and CreamyRich and Creamy, with a touch of Tartness
TextureCreamy and SmoothCreamy Filling and Crispy Outer Shell

While Sicilian cannoli have their own charm, Florentine cannoli offer a unique and delectable alternative for those looking to try something different. With their delectably creamy filling and crispy outer shell, Florentine cannoli are sure to delight your taste buds. Whether you prefer the traditional Sicilian version or the decadent Florentine variation, cannoli remain a beloved and iconic dessert in Italian cuisine.

So why not indulge in the rich flavors and textures of Florentine cannoli and experience the delight that this Tuscan twist on a classic Italian dessert has to offer?

Variations of Florentine Cannoli

Florentine cannoli are a delicious Italian pastry that can be customized and personalized in various ways. Here are some different flavors and fillings that you can try:

  1. Classic Ricotta Filling: The traditional filling for cannoli is a creamy combination of ricotta cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. It’s the perfect balance of sweetness and richness.
  2. Chocolate Chip Filling: Add mini chocolate chips to the ricotta filling for an extra burst of chocolatey goodness.
  3. Nutty Filling: Mix in chopped nuts like pistachios, almonds, or hazelnuts to the ricotta filling for a crunchy texture and added flavor.
  4. Fruit Filling: If you want a fruity twist, you can add chopped dried fruits such as cherries, apricots, or figs to the filling. This adds a delicious sweetness and chewiness to your cannoli.
  5. Flavored Fillings: Experiment with different extracts or liqueurs to flavor the ricotta filling. Some popular options include almond extract, coffee liqueur, or orange zest.

Creative Ways to Customize and Personalize Florentine Cannoli

Don’t be afraid to get creative and make your Florentine cannoli unique. Here are some ideas to personalize your cannoli:

  1. Dip the Ends in Chocolate: Melt some chocolate and dip the ends of the filled cannoli shells for an extra layer of indulgence. You can also sprinkle some crushed pistachios or colorful sprinkles on top before the chocolate sets.
  2. Different Shells: Instead of the classic fried cannoli shells, you can experiment with different types of pastry or cookie shells. Puff pastry, phyllo dough, or even chocolate-dipped waffle cones can add a new dimension to your cannoli.
  3. Seasonal Fillings: Follow the seasons and use fresh fruits as your filling. Strawberries, raspberries, or peaches can create a delightful summer twist on traditional cannoli.
  4. Garnish with Fresh Herbs: Sprinkle some fresh mint, basil, or lavender on top of your filled cannoli for an unexpected burst of flavor. This adds a beautiful aroma and elevates the presentation.

With these variations and creative ideas, you can take your Florentine cannoli to the next level and enjoy a personalized dessert that suits your taste preferences.

Serving and Presentation

When it comes to serving Florentine Cannoli, presentation is key. These delicious Italian pastries deserve an eye-catching display that will make your guests’ mouths water. Here are some tips on how to plate and garnish Florentine Cannoli for a stunning presentation:

  1. Use a decorative platter: Choose a platter that complements the colors and aesthetic of your cannoli. A white or marble platter works well for a classic and elegant look, while a colorful or patterned platter can add a festive touch.
  2. Arrange the cannoli in a row: Place the filled cannoli in a straight line on the platter. This creates a clean and organized presentation, allowing each cannoli to stand out.
  3. Dust with powdered sugar: Just before serving, dust the cannoli with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. This adds a touch of sweetness and gives the pastries a beautiful and professional finish.
  4. Add a garnish: Consider adding a garnish to enhance the visual appeal of the cannoli. Some popular options include fresh berries, mint leaves, or a drizzle of chocolate sauce. Get creative and choose garnishes that complement the flavors of your cannoli.

Tips for serving Florentine Cannoli at parties and special occasions

  • Provide small plates and forks: While cannoli can be enjoyed by hand, providing small plates and forks allows guests to savor the cannoli without making a mess. It also adds a touch of elegance to the dining experience.
  • Label different flavors: If you are offering a variety of cannoli flavors, consider labeling each one. This helps guests identify their favorite flavors and adds a thoughtful touch to your presentation.
  • Serve alongside coffee or dessert wine: Florentine Cannoli pair wonderfully with a warm cup of coffee or a glass of dessert wine. Offer these beverages alongside the cannoli to enhance the overall dining experience.
  • Keep cannoli chilled until serving: Cannoli are best enjoyed when the shell is crispy and the filling is chilled. Keep the cannoli in the refrigerator until it’s time to serve, especially if you are hosting an outdoor event or during warmer weather.

Remember, both the taste and presentation of Florentine Cannoli are important for a memorable dining experience. So take the time to arrange and garnish them beautifully, and your guests will surely be delighted.

Tips and Tricks for Making Perfect Florentine Cannoli

When it comes to making Florentine Cannoli, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you achieve perfect results. Here are some key insights to keep in mind:

  1. Use whole milk ricotta cheese: It’s important to use whole milk ricotta cheese for a creamy and luscious filling. If possible, make your own ricotta or ensure that you strain the store-bought ricotta to remove excess water.
  2. Strain the ricotta: Straining the ricotta is crucial to prevent a watery filling. You can use cheesecloth or spread the ricotta on paper towels and pat it dry before using.
  3. Experiment with flavorings: While the traditional Florentine Cannoli filling is made with ricotta, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla, feel free to get creative with additional flavorings. You can add chopped nuts, candied fruit, or even chopped chocolate for added texture and flavor.
  4. Measure the flour accurately: When preparing the cannoli shells, it’s important to measure the flour accurately to avoid adding too much. The best way to measure flour is by using a kitchen scale, but if you don’t have one, fluff the flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and level it off with a knife.
  5. Rest the dough: After kneading the dough, allow it to rest for about an hour. Resting the dough helps to relax the gluten and improves its elasticity, resulting in more pliable and easier-to-handle dough.
  6. Fry in smaller batches: When frying the cannoli shells, it’s recommended to fry them in smaller batches rather than overcrowding the pot. This ensures that the oil temperature remains consistent and allows for even frying.
  7. Fill the shells just before serving: To maintain the crispness of the cannoli shells, it’s best to fill them just before serving. If filled too far in advance, the shells may become slightly soft.

With these tips and tricks in mind, you’ll be well-equipped to make perfect Florentine Cannoli that will impress your friends and family. Get creative with flavors and enjoy the delicious results!

Gluten-free and Vegan Options for Florentine Cannoli

If you’re following a gluten-free or vegan diet, there’s no need to miss out on the deliciousness of Florentine cannoli. With a few simple ingredient substitutions and alternative recipes, you can enjoy this classic Italian pastry while adhering to your dietary restrictions. Here are some options to consider:

1. Gluten-free Cannoli Shells

To make gluten-free cannoli shells, you can use alternative flours such as almond flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour. There are also gluten-free cannoli shell recipes available that use a combination of gluten-free flours and xanthan gum to achieve a similar texture and taste.

2. Dairy-free Ricotta Filling

For a vegan or dairy-free version of the traditional ricotta filling, you can use tofu or cashews as the base. Blend them with a sweetener like maple syrup or agave and add a touch of lemon juice for a tangy flavor. You can also find pre-made dairy-free ricotta alternatives in some specialty stores.

3. Vegan Chocolate Options

Instead of the traditional chocolate chips for the cannoli filling, consider using dark chocolate or vegan chocolate chips that are free from dairy products. These will still provide that delicious chocolate taste while keeping the recipe vegan-friendly.

Remember to always check the ingredients of store-bought products to ensure they are gluten-free and vegan. Additionally, homemade versions can give you greater control over the ingredients and customization of flavors.

Overall, with these gluten-free and vegan options for Florentine cannoli, you can indulge in this delightful Italian treat while adhering to your dietary needs. Enjoy the flavors and textures of cannoli without compromising on your gluten-free or vegan lifestyle.


After our journey through Italy, indulging in various culinary delights, it is only fitting to conclude with a discussion on the magnificent Florentine cannoli. This traditional Italian dessert holds a special place in Italian gastronomy and is a must-try for any food enthusiast. Here are my final thoughts on Florentine cannoli and its place in Italian cuisine:

The Perfect Balance of Flavors

Florentine cannoli are known for their delicate balance of flavors. The crispy and sweet pastry shell paired with the creamy and rich ricotta filling creates a harmonious combination that tantalizes the taste buds. The addition of nuts, such as almonds, brings a delightful crunch to every bite, while the sweetness of the honey adds a subtle yet satisfying touch.

A Rich History and Tradition

Florentine cannoli have a rich history dating back centuries. Originating in Florence, Italy, these delectable treats have been crafted with love and care for generations. The traditional methods and recipes have been passed down through families, ensuring that the authenticity and quality of Florentine cannoli remain intact.

A Symbol of Italian Culture

Florentine cannoli have become synonymous with Italian culture and are often enjoyed during festive occasions and celebrations. Their presence at weddings, birthdays, and other special events adds a touch of sweetness and tradition to the festivities, creating lasting memories for all who partake.

In conclusion, Florentine cannoli hold a special place in Italian gastronomy. From their perfect balance of flavors to their rich history and cultural significance, they are a true representation of the culinary excellence that Italy has to offer. Whether you savor them in Florence or recreate them in your own kitchen, Florentine cannoli are sure to leave a lasting impression on your taste buds.

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