Gluten Free Cannoli Recipe + Dairy Free Filling (2024)

A gluten free cannoli recipe – crisp and golden-brown baked gluten free cannoli shells filled with a delicious dairy free custard cream, finished with chopped chocolate and a dusting of powdered freeze dried fruit. An allergy friendly gluten free cannoli recipe perfect for holidays!

Gluten Free Cannoli Recipe + Dairy Free Filling (1)

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Gluten Free Cannoli Recipe

My gluten free cannoli look similar to the authentic ones, but they are made entirely with different ingredients: all gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free and I also baked them instead of frying.

To my surprise when I was experimenting with this healthier gluten free cannoli recipe I realized that making homemade cannoli is so much easier than I anticipated.

The cannoli shells and the cannoli filling are all made from scratch. But I didn’t make everything in one day.

First I made the dairy free custard cream, and the next day I made the gluten free cannoli shells and filled them with the cream. Dispersing the work for two days seemed less overwhelming for me. So I advise you do the same.

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Ingredients For Gluten Free Cannoli

Gluten free Cannoli Shells

I used a gluten free flour mix of my own which worked perfectly:

  • 1/2cupwhite rice flour;
  • 1/3cupbrown rice flour (a healthier whole grain flour);
  • 1/3cupcassava flour (a starchy flour is needed for a finer texture);
  • 2tbspgolden flax seeds–ground (to help keep the dough together);
  • 2tbspcoconut milk powder – helps with browning and flakiness.

Another option is to use this gluten free pastry flour mix or a store-bough version. See the full ingredients list and instructions in the recipe card below.

For The Cannoli Filling (Custard)

  • Plant milk – I used a combination of almond milk and coconut milk, because using just almond milk is too watery and the other has a very strong coconut flavor.
  • Eggs;
  • Maple sugar (a refined sugar free alternative, or use regular sugar);
  • Vanilla extract;
  • Shaved / chopped chocolate or mini chocolate chips to garnish;
  • Powdered freeze dried fruit (for dusting) to replace the regular powdered sugar.
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How To Make Gluten Free Cannoli Shells

These gluten free cannoli shells are made with a dough that is similar to the pie crust I used for my Gluten Free Apple Pie Recipe, though with a few alteration.

To form the gluten free cannoli dough I added all ingredients in a food processor (gluten free flour mix, egg, butter (I used a dairy free version), sugar, spices and a touch of milk (almond milk) and pulsed until a thick dough formed. Pretty easy, without kneading.

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Authentic cannoli shells also include wine, which is added for flavor, acidity and to soften the dough. As a replacement I used apple cider vinegar.

Then I rolled out the dough pretty thin; this ensures the cannoli are flaky and light. Once the dough is rolled out, I cut 3.5 inch circles and wrapped them around individual cannoli forms.

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Then I brushed the cannoli with egg wash and prepared them for baking on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.

The frying process requires too much oil for my liking. So I chose to bake the cannoli shells instead. It takes only 15 minutes.

How To Make Dairy Free Cannoli Filling

Traditional cannoli fillings are made with sweetened ricotta cheese. But since it’s a dairy free version I had to improvise.

So, as filling I decided to use a pastry cream recipe which is basically a creamy custard thickened with starch (I used arrowroot starch) and eggs (you will need only the egg yolks).

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To make it dairy free all you need is substitute the milk with a plant-based milk.

This cannoli filling is also gluten free,because I used arrowroot instead of flour to thicken it. Some pastry cream recipes use flour, or both flour and cornstarch, but that’s not necessary here.

The cannoli filling recipe calls for 1/2 cup (99g) ofsugar, which makes a filling that’s just barely sweet. To make it refined sugarfree I replaced the regular sugar with maple sugar, and is absolutely delicioustoo!

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Recipe Tip

To make the cannoli shells, you will need a cannoli form – a hollow tube about 1 inch in diameter and 5 1/2 inches long.

Where can I get cannoli tubes/forms?I used these stainless steel mini cannoli forms from Amazonor some stores like Walmart or Target. But you can also improvise and use whatever you have in your home that is the right size and it doesn’t melt while baking.

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Tips For Making Gluten Free Cannoli

  • To roll out the dough, you need a rolling pin or a pasta machine. Be sure to roll the dough very thin — to about 1/16-inch thickness.
  • You don’t need to roll the dough between two parchment papers, just grease the table once with a little oil and it will be enough to prevent sticking.
  • You don’t have to add egg wash when sealing the two ends of cannoli. They do not open while baking.
  • To remove the cannoli from the form smoothly, let them cool for 1 minute. Then use tongs and your fingers to very gently slide them off.Also make sure to lightly grease the form before rolling the dough over.
  • To leave out the wine in the dough, use apple cider vinegar or lemon juice instead.
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GF Cannoli Storing

  • Can cannoli shells be frozen?Yes, they will freeze well. Place in an airtight container and store in the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
  • The cannoli filling, though, cannot befrozenbecause gelled starch breaks down during thefreezingand thawing process.
  • Assembled cannoli should be eaten the same day, or no longer than 24 hours, as the filling will cause the shell to get soggy.
  • The shells can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5-6 days. The filling should be kept separate in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for up to 5 days.

More GF / DF Dessert Recipes You Might Like:

Healthy Apple Crumble Pie/Tart (Gluten Free Vegan)

Apple Crepe Cake With Caramel Sauce

Gluten Free Carob Cake – Dairy Free, Sugar Free

Enjoy this gluten free cannoli recipe and leave me a comment if you make it, I would love to hear your thoughts! Your feedback is super helpful for me and readers.Thank you!

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Baked Gluten Free Cannoli Recipe + Dairy Free Cannoli Filling

A gluten free cannoli recipe made with dairy free filling: crisp and golden-brown baked cannoli shells filled with a delicious dairy free pastry cream, finished with chopped chocolate and a dusting of powdered freeze dried fruit. A healthier homemade allergy friendly gluten free cannoli recipe perfect for holidays!

Prep Time1 hour hr

Cook Time30 minutes mins

Inactive Time10 minutes mins

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: Clean Eating, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Italian, Sugar Free

Servings: 20 cannoli

Calories: 79.2kcal

Author: HealthyTasteOfLife

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Gluten Free Cannoli Shells

Dairy Free Cannoli Filling

  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk - from the can
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup maple sugar - or regular sugar, or a pinch of stevia
  • 3 tbsp arrowroot starch
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp Miyoko's butter - plant based, cold


Make The Dough For The Shells:

  • Combine all dry ingredients first in the food processor. Then add the cold butter, the egg, the milk and apple cider vinegar. Pulse until the mixture begins to come together. If necessary, add 1 more tablespoons of liquid. Transfer the dough to a clean work surface and knead until it is mostly smooth.

    Keep in mind that flax seeds absorb a lot of liquid, so it may seem a little too wet first. Once you let it rest for 10 minutes you'll have a firm yet tender dough. Always keep the dough wrapped, exposure to air will dry it an make it too crumbly.

  • Preheat the oven to 410 F.

  • Divide the dough in half. Re-wrap one half and flatten the other with your palm. Grease the surface with a tsp of oil and roll out the dough as thin as you can, about 1/6 inch (4 mm) thick.

  • Use a cookie cutter or any round shape you have – 3.5 inch in diameter. Cut as many rounds as you can. Gather up the scraps and wrap them to re-roll later.

  • If the dough rounds stick to the table use a knife to help detach it. Roll the circles around lightly greased cannoli forms. Roll around until the opposite point overlaps it. Press to make sure is sealed. If it cracks it's ok, use your fingers to fix it. Then roll the wrapped cannoli form on the table like a rolling pin for a few times – it will help smoothen out the unevenness and make the shells even thinner.

  • To create some patterns on the shell I pressed a metal whisk while rotating the shell. But this is totally optional.

  • Brush the surface with lightly beaten egg to give them a nice golden color while baking. Repeat with the remaining cannoli tubes.

    Place all cannoli tubes on a cookie sheet and bake them at 400 F for 15 minutes.

  • Remove from the oven, let them cool for 1 minute, they will release some steam and will be easier to slide them off the tube. Use the metal tongs to hold the tube and with the other hand carefully slide the cannoli shell off the tube.. Let the tubes cool completely before using again.

  • Continue until you have baked all the cannoli shells. Let cool completely before filling.

  • See steps below

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Make The Dairy Free Cannoli Filling

  • Add the plant milk into a saucepan. Heat the milk over medium high heat and bring it to a simmer, but don't boil.

  • While the milk is being heated, place the maple sugar, egg yolks, arrowroot starch and salt in a bowl. Whisk (or use a mixer) until you have a smooth mix. Add vanilla bean paste or extract.

  • As soon as the milk starts to simmer, remove it from the heat. Take about a half of the hot milk and slowly pour in a thin stream, into the egg mix – whisking constantly to temper the egg mix. Then add the egg mix back into the remaining hot milk in the saucepan.

  • Continue whisking vigorously over medium heat, until it starts to thicken – this should take about 2-3 minutes.

  • Continue until it starts to release bubbles. Lower the heat to minimum and cook for a further 1-2 minutes after you see the first bubbles. Remove from the heat and add the butter. Whisk in the butter, until it’s completely mixed in.

    Don't overcook it or it can curdle and separate.

  • Pour the cream into a clean bowl, let it cool for a few minutes then cover the surface with plastic wrap. Making sure the plastic wrap is touching the whole surface, so it doesn't develop a skin, then refrigerate until cool.

    In case you decide to make it in advance, keep refrigerated up to 5 days. After that it may start to weep.

Assemble The Gluten Free Cannoli

  • When ready to serve, fit a pastry bag with a wide tip and fill with cream. Pipe the cream into both ends of the cannoli shells. Or use a small spoon to do that.

  • Garnish the ends with an optional sprinkle of mini chocolate chips, shaved chocolate, or anything you like. I used these dairy free chocolate chips and I chopped them in smaller pieces.

  • To serve, dust the filled cannoli with powdered sugar. For a refined sugar free version – use the powder of freeze dried fruit (I used freeze dried mango).



Gluten Free Cannoli Tips

  1. If you prefer you can use your favorite gluten free flour mix instead, use 1.4 cup. But I made my own: white rice flour + brown rice flour + cassava flour + golden flax seeds – ground and coconut milk powder.
  2. Where can I get cannoli tubes/forms?They are available onAmazon or some stores like Walmart or Target.
  3. If you want to make the cannoli ahead of time, keep the filling and shells separate.

Storing Gluten Free Cannoli

  1. The cannoli shells can be frozen but the cannoli filling cannot be frozen because gelled starch breaks down during the freezing and thawing process. You can make the filling 1 to 3 days ahead, keep in mind that it can stay refrigerated up to 5 days.
  2. Assembled cannoli should be eaten the same day, or at least no longer than 24 hours, as the filling will cause the shell to get soggy.

Tried this recipe?Mention @HealthyTasteOfLife or tag #healthytasteoflife!


Serving: 1cannoli | Calories: 79.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.5g | Protein: 1.9g | Fat: 3.6g | Cholesterol: 55.3mg | Sodium: 70.9mg | Potassium: 35.5mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 2.5g | Vitamin A: 1.9IU | Calcium: 1.8mg | Iron: 1.7mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.

Gluten Free Cannoli Recipe + Dairy Free Filling (25)

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Gluten Free Cannoli Recipe + Dairy Free Filling (2024)


Do cannolis contain dairy? ›

The traditional cannoli filling is made out of ricotta cheese and sugar. However, you can find more modern variations that use pistachios crumbles or chocolate chips in it. It's rich, creamy and so different tasting than any other flavored ice cream you may have had.

What can I use to thicken cannoli filling? ›

Slowly add the confectioners' sugar and continue mixing. Add vanilla and mix until combined. To thicken, add cornstarch 1 tbsp. at a time until desired consistency is reached.

What is cannoli filling made of? ›

Traditional cannolis have a simple filling of ricotta (or mascarpone), sugar, and sometimes vanilla extract. Here are a few common additions and variations: Chocolate chips or candied fruits add welcome bursts of sweetness to the filling or the shell.

Are all cannolis gluten-free? ›

The cannoli shell is traditionally made with lard, and it's not gluten-free. Perhaps there's a better chance of gluten-free than lard-free (for vegetarians) because so many have gluten intolerance here, and even celiac. Just request the filling in a cup, and avoid the crust.

Does ricotta have dairy? ›

While soft, fresh and processed cheeses—cottage cheese, ricotta, burrata and others—contain significantly more lactose than hard cheeses, they still have far less than that found in milk, yogurt and ice cream: 1 to 6 grams/serving versus 6 to 14 grams/serving.

Can you get lactose free ricotta? ›

Galbani ® Lactose Free Ricotta is made with 4 simple ingredients: milk, vinegar, salt, lactase enzyme. Now you can enjoy this ricotta cheese in all your favorite dishes, desserts and snacks while keeping the same great taste and texture.

How do you thicken cannoli filling without ricotta? ›

If the cannoli filling is too thin and runny, take two tablespoonfuls of the filling and place in a glass bowl. Add 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Heat in microwave 45 seconds, stir until smooth texture and add to the filling.

How do you thicken cannoli filling without cornstarch? ›

Your cannoli cream is a runny mess. My recommendation at this point is to add about ¼ to ½ cup of heavy whipping cream and an additional 1 - 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar. Beat with a hand mixer on medium until it thickens up. It will fill more cannoli shells but will save you tossing the soupy filling out.

Why is my cannoli filling not firm? ›

Drain the ricotta: One essential technique for achieving a thick and creamy cannoli filling is to drain the ricotta overnight in the refrigerator. Place the ricotta on paper towels to absorb excess moisture, which will help prevent a watery filling [1].

What is holy cannoli? ›

“Holy” Cannoli are a Sicilian dessert. Sicilian pastry chefs form and fry dough rounds, they then fill them with a ricotta filling or sometimes, a cream filling. They are absolutely delicious, not too sweet and are just fun to eat treats.

What is the difference between Italian and American cannoli? ›

In Sicily, where cannoli are thought to have originated, sheep's milk ricotta is typically favored. Traditional cannoli filling in the United States, however, is most often made with cow's milk ricotta since it's the most readily available product.

Is mascarpone or ricotta better for cannoli? ›

Cannoli is traditionally made with ricotta, but some people prefer mascarpone. It simply depends on your personal preference.

Is ricotta cheese gluten-free? ›

Ricotta, cottage cheese, cream cheeses, and shredded cheeses are usually gluten-free, but some may have additives, always check the ingredient label. Always check the label on non-dairy cheese alternatives as they are processed products that contain many ingredients.

Is ricotta and mozzarella gluten-free? ›

Mozzarella cheese is gluten-free. Parmesan cheese is gluten-free. Provolone is gluten-free. Ricotta cheese is gluten-free.

Can you get gluten free cannelloni? ›

Cannelloni is a tube-like pasta that is usually filled, covered in sauce and baked. Try filling with spinach and ricotta or minced beef, covering in Napolitana sauce and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Make delicious gluten free Cannelloni, easily with Casalare Cannelloni Shells.

What are the allergens in cannolis? ›

Peanut butter, almonds, pecans, walnuts,pistachios, hazelnuts and Nutella are used in our kitchen. Wheat and dairy products are found in all regular cannoli.

What cheese are cannolis made of? ›

An All-Time Italian Classic dessert, the Cannoli

Everyone enjoys the crunchy shell, smooth and sweet Ricotta cheese, and rich chocolate chips from this Italian staple. This is the perfect dessert for any special occasion or simply to have after a typical everyday meal, because it is quick and easy to make.

How unhealthy is a cannoli? ›

Made with sweetened ricotta cheese and deep-fried pastry shells, cannoli are typically high in calories. While these Italian desserts may be hard to resist, they're best left for rare occasions if you're trying to manage your weight.

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