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What size is cannoli cutter?

Cannolis are a classic Italian dessert consisting of a fried pastry shell filled with sweet ricotta cheese. To prepare cannolis at home, you’ll need a cannoli cutter or tube to shape the pastry shells. But with different cannoli cutter sizes available, how do you know what size to get?

Common Cannoli Cutter Sizes

Cannoli cutters come in a range of diameters, but there are three common sizes:

  • Small: 1 inch diameter
  • Medium: 1.5 inches diameter
  • Large: 2 inches diameter

The most versatile and commonly used size is the medium 1.5 inch cutter. Here’s an overview of the best uses for each cannoli cutter size:

Cutter Size Best Use
Small (1 inch) Petite cannolis or cannoli “bites”
Medium (1.5 inches) Standard size cannolis
Large (2 inches) Jumbo cannolis

Small Cannoli Cutters

A small 1 inch cannoli cutter is best suited for making bite-sized mini cannolis or cannoli petit fours. The small size also works well for filling with unique flavors beyond traditional ricotta. For example, mini cannoli shells can be filled with chocolate, nutella, or fruit purees for dessert platters and parties. The downside to the small cutters is that the shells are more delicate and prone to breaking.

Medium Cannoli Cutters

A medium 1.5 inch cutter creates the standard cannoli shell size you’ll find at Italian bakeries and restaurants. This versatile size works well for both traditional ricotta-stuffed cannolis as well as creative fillings. The medium shell is sturdy enough to hold its shape but small enough to eat easily in one or two bites. Most cannoli recipes and tubes are based on a 1.5 inch diameter.

Large Cannoli Cutters

A large 2 inch diameter cutter produces extra-large jumbo cannoli shells. These are great for filling with extra ricotta or custom creations like cannoli cake or over-the-top sundae fillings. However, the large size can make them difficult to eat neatly. Very large cannolis may be better served in a cup or bowl. The bigger shells also require thicker pastry dough to prevent breaking and cracking.

Choosing the Right Cutter Size

When selecting a cannoli cutter, keep these tips in mind:

  • If making traditional ricotta-filled cannolis, go for the 1.5 inch medium size.
  • For petite bite-sized cannolis, use a 1 inch cutter.
  • For overstuffed cannolis, choose a 2 inch large cutter.
  • Buy an adjustable cannoli set with multiple cutters to have all sizes handy.
  • Match the cutter size to the cannoli tube for best results.

The cutter diameter will determine the cannoli shell length when cut to size. Here’s a guide to the shell lengths based on cutter size:

Cutter Size Cannoli Shell Length
Small (1 inch) 3-4 inches
Medium (1.5 inches) 4-5 inches
Large (2 inches) 5-6 inches

Adjust the cut shells to your desired length, keeping in mind that shorter shells are sturdier while longer shells may crack more easily.

Metal vs. Plastic Cannoli Cutters

Cannoli cutters come in two main materials: metal or plastic. Here’s how they compare:

Metal Plastic
– More durable – Lower cost
– Even heat distribution – Lighter weight
– May be sharp edges – Flexible and bendable

Metal cutters are best for their durability, longevity and ability to crisply fry cannoli shells. But plastic offers a cheaper alternative that’s still effective. Look for high-heat plastic made from nylon, PTFE or other heat-resistant materials if going with a plastic cannoli cutter.

Tips for Using Cannoli Cutters

To use a cannoli cutter properly:

  • Chill cutter before use for easier release.
  • Dip cutter in flour between shells to prevent sticking.
  • Gently twist cutter to release shell.
  • Reroll scraps to minimize waste.
  • Work quickly while frying to keep shells from over-browning.
  • Let shells cool completely before filling.

Storing Cannoli Cutters

To maintain cannoli cutters:

  • Hand wash cutters after use and dry thoroughly.
  • Store in a safe, protected spot to prevent bending.
  • Never put metal cutters in the dishwasher.
  • Clean plastic cutters as recommended.
  • Avoid harsh scouring that could damage the cutting edges.


From petite one-bite cannolis to giant stuffed shells, the cannoli cutter size you choose will determine the shape and style of your cannolis. A 1.5 inch medium cutter is the best all-purpose option for most recipes. But having a range of cutter sizes opens up creativity and flexibility. With the right cutter and a batch of crunchy shells ready to fill, you’ll be on your way to crafting the perfect Italian cannolis.