Rainbow Colored Cannoli

Posted on by Jennie

When Kelly from Studio DIY asked if I had ever made cannoli before, I said no, but “How hard could it be?” She confessed she had never deep fried anything before, and I was horrified because of that. Never deep fried? I could deep fry in my sleep! And so I decided we must rectify this immediately…so I offered to collaborate.

The catch? Kelly, of course, didn’t want to just make any cannoli – she wanted to make rainbow cannoli. Easy, peasy, I said.


And so, we found a recipe, and we made some cannoli. Here’s the recipe:

(Modified from Mario Batali’s recipe)


2.25 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
6 tablespoons Marsala wine
food gelĀ 
for dying shells

1 pound ricotta
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 tablespoons grated orange zest, plus extra for garnish

1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 quarts oil, for frying
sprinkles for ends

Start with your dough – mix together your dry ingredients. Add your food gel to your butter and wine, then mix in with your dry ingredients, kneading if necessary to get the color throughout the dough.

Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes before rolling out. Roll out using four-inch circles, then roll VERY thin (like 1/16 of an inch) and wrap around the cannoli forms. Brush with egg white and pinch close – if you don’t, you risk losing a cannoli shell when it hits the oil! When you’re pinching closed, make sure to only get the egg white on the dough – otherwise you’ll have a hard time getting the cannoli off the forms later on!


Now mix your filling – I found that the recipe’s filling was a bit runny, so I’ve lessened the lemon juice, orange zest, and vanilla. Mix all your ingredients up and then put the filling in the fridge, too, so it can firm up.

Now, make sure your oil is about 375, and then drop ’em in two or three at a time, depending on how big your oil receptacle is. Let them fry for about two and a half minutes, then pull them out. You’ll be putting them in on the cannoli forms, so be careful when pulling out – they’re hot.

When cooled, simply twist off the cannoli form, and then let cool all the way before you fill (using a piping bag or a spoon) and stick sprinkles on the end.



And there you have it – rainbow cannoli! Happy almost St. Patrick’s Day, y’all!




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  1. Krysti

    Disaster ! Not enough explanation. How many does this make? How much food gel? I wanted to make only blue ones for a party and I couldn’t even finish them. I had to use WAY more Marsala than listed, and the color turned out an awful dark green brown, disgustingly unappetizing. Just wasted those ingredients, I will be discarding this dough. Funny that you added flour from the original recipe even though all the reviews say the shell dough was too dry even with only 2 cups flour. Also, the filling is too watery, too much lemon juice. Figuring out how to thicken it up and buying store bought shells tomorrow.

    • Jennie

      Hi Krysti – we’re sorry you had a bad experience with the recipe!! They definitely turn out darker if you use more marsala, I would suggest using more water if your dough is too dry. How did you measure your flour out? If you find that your filling is too watery, I would add more ricotta or a little extra sugar to thicken it up. We’ll have to make this recipe again and tweak to bring you better results.