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Discovering Delight: What Does Cannoli Taste Like?

Cannoli comes from a wealthy background, presenting itself with an even wealthier taste palette.

It’s an Italian treat that’s hard to resist and finds its way onto your plate at any cafe.

If you’ve never heard of it, or would like to know more, this article is the right one for you.

Today, we will discuss the various facts about this tube-shaped goodness, including a brief introduction to it, with different serving methods to enjoy it.

Apart from what it is, the most critical question is, “what does Cannoli taste like?” Let’s find out with the help of this article.

What is Cannoli?

Cannoli is a popular Italian dessert.

This tube-shaped pastry is composed of fried pastry that’s stuffed with creamy cheese and a sweet filling.

The outer crispy shell of cannoli is made using usual pastry ingredients like sugar, flour, butter, and whole eggs.

It’s typically spiked with marsala, a type of fortified wine to add sweetness and a distinct flavor.

The alcohol content also keeps the pastry tenderized, thus, ensuring a flaky finished product.

The creamy filling is made of ricotta cheese (although mascarpone is used sometimes), and sugar is also typically spiked with orange or lemon zest to add subtle brightness.

The finished cannolis are then dusted off with powdered sugar.

In many Italian regions, singular cannolis are termed as “cannolo,” while multiple cannolis go by as “cannoli”.

However, in the U.S., it is most commonly referred to as “cannoli” for singular use and “cannolis” for plural use, which is what we’ll stick with throughout this post.

What Does Cannoli Taste Like?

If you’re looking for a short answer, it tastes heavenly.

Cannolis contain a sweeter side but not excessively.

The filling is quite creamy, smooth, and rich, paired with a subtle cheesy flavor.

The outer shell also delivers subtle hints of sweetness and crispness yet is strong enough to hold the thick filling.

Comparatively, cannolis are only slightly sweet, and their taste shares a resemblance to unfrosted donuts but with a thinner and crispier texture.

Overall, it has a mild sweet presence.

The filling is composed of sweetened creamy ricotta cheese along with traditional flavorings such as chopped nuts, candied fruits, vanilla, cinnamon, orange, and lemon zest.

Many often compare cannolis to cream horns.

After all, they’re both tube-shaped desserts of Italian origin.

However, that’s pretty much where the comparison ends.

Cream horns contain puff pastry shells with sweetened custard or whipped cream filling.

Meanwhile, cannolis contain fried pastry shells with a different filling (which we’ve already mentioned above).

Even in terms of the filling, cannolis contain denser fillings, and the shells are also much crispier and thinner.

In terms of preparation, there are several ways you can make cannolis.

For instance, traditional cannolis tend to contain a much simpler ricotta filling with sugar and, at times, vanilla extract.

Some of the most common and widespread variations of cannoli include candied fruits, chocolate chips, or chopped pistachio fillings.

The finished cannolis may also be dipped in delicious melted chocolate to add elegance and flavor.

How to Serve Cannoli?

Just like different types of pizza eaters, there are also different ways people eat cannolis.

While some prefer to eat them directly with their hands, others prefer to use the plate and cutlery method.

But, what about serving cannolis? When serving this dessert, it’s best to serve it warm and filled; cannolis must be served or eaten within an hour.

This will help keep the outer shell fresh and crisp.

Although it’s preferred to serve them warm, you can also serve chilled cannolis.

This can help retain the shape of the creamy filling; however, the filling can still end up soaking the crisp shell.

Typically, the American tradition with serving cannolis is with a cup of espresso or coffee.

But, if you want to stay true to tradition, you can serve them with dessert wine in pure Italian style.

Given just how delicious cannolis are, you may feel like storing leftovers, but it’s best to avoid refrigeration as the constant temp change can result in color (or taste) change.

But a fresh batch of filled cannolis must be refrigerated before serving.

As mentioned earlier, assembled cannolis must be eaten immediately to avoid the filling from getting soggy.

So, it’s best to fill the cannolis moments before serving.

Without the filling, cannoli shells can be stored in airtight containers at room temp for about a week.

The same applies to the filling.

Just ensure they’re both kept apart in separate airtight containers.

Although cannolis are enjoyed as it is by many, there are several items you can serve alongside this delicious dessert, including:

  • Fresh strawberries.
  • Vanilla wafers.
  • Cannoli Croutons.
  • Apple slices.
  • Cannoli Chips.
  • Graham crackers.
  • Chocolate cookie wafers.


Cannoli and otherwise cannolo (in the true Italian sense) is a mouthwatering delight that so many people enjoy, and there’s a valid reason for that.

It ‘s the sort of comfort food that keeps you desiring more.

If you’re searching for a snazzy dessert to keep you satisfied, try this Italian treat.

It has a silky core, a crispy shell, and a sweet and cheesy counterbalance.

Do you still not believe it? You have to try it to start believing it, so go ahead and give it a shot.

What Does Cannoli Taste Like? Does it Taste Good?

Curious about the taste of cannoli? Explore its flavor profile and find out if it's a delightful dessert choice.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Food Taste
Servings 1 Serving


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Keyword What Does Cannoli Taste Like
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