The History of The Cannoli

When you think of Sicily, do you think of the Island’s breathtaking architecture or it’s beautiful beaches? Maybe you think about the awe-inspiring views and moon-like landscape on Mount Etna. Well, as much as we love everything that Sicily offers, here at Sweet Boutique, we think about their delicious and decadent Cannoli!




The Cannoli means “little tube” and is known for its Sicilian origins. Though this decadent dessert’s origin story varies depending on who you ask.


Early Origins

Some historians may say that the Cannoli had existed as early as 70 BC. The great orator, Marcus Tullius had mentioned in one of his literary works of a “tubus farinarius, dolcissimo, edulio ex lacte factus” which translates as “a tube prepared with flour and stuffed with a very sweet filling made of milk.” 


Concubines & Cannoli

Many believe that the Cannoli originated in Caltanissetta between 827 and 1091.  During Saracen times, the Arabs had dominated Sicily. The concubines of a Saracen Emir had invented these delicious desserts in the Arab Prince’s castle. They were cylindrical pastries filled with ricotta, almonds, and honey.


Convent Origins

On the other hand, another theory is that the nuns residing in a convent outside of the castle had invented a pastry shell filled with ricotta, sugar, chocolate, and almonds to celebrate Carnivale. Despite being enjoyed any time of year, the Cannoli were usually prepared and eaten before Lent begins.


Sicilian Cannoli Customs

Regardless of where and when this Sicilian dessert originated, the Cannoli is enjoyed throughout the whole island of Sicily. The size and fillings of the Cannoli varies depending on what part of Sicily you’re at. If you ever decide to visit Sicily, when it comes to serving sizes of Cannoli, there needs to be at least 12 or more on a serving plate.


Craving Cannoli?

Experience a Cannoli shell with a fluffy and sweet ricotta filling without booking a flight to Italy. Indulge in authentic Sicilian Cannoli right at home at Sweet Boutique! Get a taste of Sicily with our Plain Cannoli, Pistachio Cannoli, and Chocolate Dipped Cannoli! Enjoy a single Cannoli or get a box of 12 like the Sicilians do!


Order Online or Come In-Store Today!

Feed those Cannoli cravings and head to our store or order online to get your sweets delivered to your door. Order Cannoli boxes this holiday season and check out our other holiday treats! We provide fast and free shipping throughout the GTA when you spend over $100. What are you waiting for? Order today!