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Sicilian Cassatelle with Ricotta

Sicilian Cassatelle with Ricotta

Sicilian Cassatelle with Ricotta are traditionally served during Carnevale in Italy These creamy ricotta filled crescents can be enjoyed baked or fried!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Sicilian-Italian
Keyword cassatelle, Sicilian desserts, Carnevale dessert, Sicilian cooking, cassatelle with ricotta
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 24 cassatelle
Calories 122kcal


For the dough:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp. cold butter cubed
  • 1 orange zested
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp Marsala wine or red Port

For the filling:

  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg yolk with 1 tbsp. milk for brushing
  • powdered sugar for serving


For the dough :

  • Mix flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter. Using your fingers, crumble the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles a course meal. 
  • Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the Marsala, eggs and orange zest. Beat the eggs with a fork gradually incorporating the flour to make a dough. Turn the dough onto counter and knead for about 5 minutes until smooth. If the dough is dry, add a tbsp of water at a time, just enough for the dough to come together. 
  • Flatten into a disc, wrap in a sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to an hour.

For the filling:

  • Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a bowl combine the ricotta, sugar and cinnamon and stir until smooth. Set aside in the refrigerator.

To assemble:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  • Cut the refrigerated dough into 4 pieces. Using a pasta roller, roll the dough until the second to last setting. Alternately, use a rolling pin to roll the dough until very thin, about 2 mm. 
  • Using a 12 cm cookie cutter, cut circles of dough. Keep covered until ready to fill to prevent from drying. Place about 2 heaping teaspoonfuls of filling in the bottom third of each circle of dough. Fold over the edges to form a half moon shape and use the tines of a fork to seal the edges well. 
  • Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Continue with the remaining dough. Brush each cassatelle with the egg yolk/milk mixture.
  • Bake for 20 minutes until golden in colour and lightly browned underneath. Let cool before dusting with powdered sugar.


Red Port may be substituted for Marsala.
A handful of chocolate chips may be added to the filling as well.
I used a 12cm empanada mold to cut the circles of dough. Be creative and use whatever you have on hand with a similar size. I found an empty yogurt container with a similar sized opening. The amount of cassatelle you make will vary according to the tool you use to cut your dough.
Resist the temptation to overfill the cassatelle. About 2 tsp is plenty, otherwise the ricotta will ooze out when baking or frying.
Make sure to crimp your edges with the tines of a fork to seal the edges well.
Due to the fresh ricotta filling, Cassatelle do not keep for very long. If you don't serve them right away, keep them refrigerated and dust lightly with powdered sugar before serving.
Cassatelle may be fried. Fill a heavy bottomed pot with about an inch of vegetable oil. When the oil is very hot, carefully place a few cassatelle (do not overcrowd) in the pot and fry until the dough is golden and puffs up, turning the cassatelle once to brown both sides. This will take about 2 minutes. Place on a paper towel covered platter and cool slightly before dusting with powdered sugar. 
Cassatelle may be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Separate layers with parchment paper. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and bring to room temperature before serving dusted with powdered sugar.


Calories: 122kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 33mg | Potassium: 41mg | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 150IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 0.8mg