Vegan Cannoli (Recipe)

Vegan Cannoli (Recipe)

Welcome to our plant-based twist on a classic Italian dessert – Vegan Cannoli! Whether you follow a dairy-free lifestyle or simply want to try a delicious cruelty-free treat, this homemade vegan cannoli recipe is sure to impress. We’ll guide you through each step, from making the easy vegan ricotta filling to creating the crispy cannoli shell. Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways:

  • Enjoy a dairy-free, plant-based version of the beloved Italian dessert, cannoli.
  • Learn how to make homemade vegan ricotta for the creamy filling.
  • Create a light and crispy cannoli shell without the use of eggs, lard, or butter.
  • Discover variations of vegan cannoli, including chocolate-infused options.
  • Store your vegan cannoli properly to maintain their fresh taste and texture.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Preparing a delicious vegan cannoli requires a carefully selected set of ingredients. Here are the key components you’ll need to make this dairy-free treat:

Ingredient Substitution
Soy Milk Almond milk or oat milk
Vinegar Lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
Vegan Ricotta Cashew ricotta or tofu ricotta
Sugar Coconut sugar or maple syrup
Dark Chocolate Chips Vegan chocolate chunks or cocoa nibs
Grated Orange Zest Lemon zest or lime zest
Flour Gluten-free flour blend or almond flour
Homemade Margarine Coconut oil or vegan butter substitute
Marsala or Wine Non-alcoholic wine or grape juice
Cacao Powder and Cinnamon Carob powder or pumpkin spice
Oil for Frying Canola oil or coconut oil
Pistachios Almonds, hazelnuts, or walnuts
Candied Orange Peel Candied lemon peel or dried apricots
Powdered Sugar Stevia or powdered erythritol

These substitutions will ensure that you can adapt the recipe based on your dietary preferences or ingredient availability. Experiment with different options to suit your taste and needs.

“The beauty of vegan cannoli is that you can customize the ingredients to meet your dietary needs while still enjoying all the flavors and textures of the traditional Italian pastry.”


Now that you have gathered all the ingredients, it’s time to dive into the step-by-step instructions for making your own homemade vegan cannoli. This delightful plant-based Italian pastry is sure to impress your family and friends with its delicious filling and crispy shell.

Making the Vegan Cannoli Filling

  1. Start by draining the vegan ricotta to remove excess moisture. Place the ricotta in a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth-lined colander and let it sit for about 30 minutes. This step is crucial for achieving a creamy and satisfying filling.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the drained vegan ricotta, sugar, dark chocolate chips, and grated orange zest. Stir well to incorporate all the ingredients.
  3. Once the filling is mixed thoroughly, cover the bowl and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour. This will allow the flavors to meld together and the filling to set.

Preparing the Cannoli Shells

  1. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and homemade margarine. Mix them with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Add the marsala or wine gradually while stirring the mixture. Continue adding the liquid until the dough comes together and forms a smooth ball. Be careful not to overwork the dough.
  3. Cover the dough and let it rest for about 30 minutes to relax the gluten.
  4. After the dough has rested, divide it into small portions and roll them out into thin circles or ovals, about 4-5 inches in diameter.
  5. Wrap the dough circles around cannoli forms or metal tubes, sealing the edges with a little water or plant-based milk. Be sure to leave an opening for piping in the filling.
  6. Heat oil in a deep pot or fryer to the appropriate frying temperature. Carefully fry the cannoli shells until they turn golden brown and crispy, about 3-4 minutes per shell.
  7. Once fried, remove the shells from the oil and place them on paper towels to drain any excess oil. Let them cool completely before removing the forms.

Now that you have prepared the vegan cannoli filling and shells, it’s time to assemble these delectable treats. Make sure to fill the cannoli shells with the prepared filling just before serving to maintain their crispiness. You can dust the finished cannoli with powdered sugar, top them with crushed pistachios or candied orange peel, or drizzle them with melted vegan chocolate for an extra touch of indulgence.

Enjoy your homemade vegan cannoli, and savor every bite of this dairy-free, plant-based dessert that captures the essence of Italian pastry tradition!


If you’re looking to put a unique twist on your vegan cannoli, there are several variations you can try. These creative ideas will take your plant-based Italian dessert to the next level and impress your taste buds.

1. Vegan Chocolate Cannoli: For all the chocolate lovers out there, why not make a chocolate shell for your cannoli? Use cacao powder and cinnamon in the dough to give it a rich and indulgent flavor. Fill it with your homemade vegan ricotta and sprinkle some vegan dark chocolate chips on top for an extra touch of sweetness.

2. Vegan Cannoli Nachos: Add a playful twist to your cannoli by turning it into a delicious dessert nacho platter. Instead of traditional cannoli shells, slice the dough into triangles and fry them until crispy. Serve them with dollops of vegan ricotta and sprinkle with crushed pistachios, candied orange peel, and powdered sugar. It’s a fun and festive way to enjoy your vegan cannoli!

3. Exploring Different Nuts: While traditional cannoli recipes often use pistachios, you can experiment with different nuts to add a unique flavor profile. Try using chopped almonds, walnuts, or hazelnuts as a substitute or mix them together for a delightful nutty variation.

Tips for Making Vegan Cannoli Variations:

  • Be creative with the presentation of your cannoli. Decorate them with edible flowers, drizzle chocolate sauce over the top, or sprinkle them with colorful sprinkles.
  • Consider adding spices or extracts to the filling to enhance the flavors. Vanilla extract, almond extract, or even a hint of cinnamon can take your cannoli to the next level.
  • Experiment with different fillings, such as fruit-infused vegan ricotta or adding a touch of espresso for a mocha-flavored cannoli.
  • Don’t be afraid to try something completely unique! Use your favorite vegan ice cream as a filling, or create a savory version of cannoli by using vegan cream cheese and herbs.

Remember, the beauty of making vegan cannoli is the ability to get creative and adapt the flavors to suit your preferences. The possibilities are endless, so don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun with your plant-based Italian dessert!


In conclusion, this vegan cannoli recipe offers a delightful twist on a classic Italian dessert. By replacing dairy-based ingredients with homemade vegan alternatives, you can savor these delicious treats while adhering to a plant-based lifestyle. The combination of the creamy vegan ricotta filling and the crispy cannoli shell creates a truly authentic experience.

With the provided variations, you can experiment with different flavors and textures to suit your taste. Whether you prefer the rich indulgence of vegan chocolate cannoli or the playful twist of cannoli nachos, there are endless possibilities to satisfy your cravings.

Furthermore, this recipe offers the convenience of easy storage, allowing you to enjoy homemade vegan cannoli at your leisure. Simply follow the storage tips mentioned in this article to keep your cannoli fresh and delicious for longer.


Can I make vegan cannoli with store-bought vegan ricotta?

Yes, you can use store-bought vegan ricotta as a convenient substitute for homemade ricotta. Just make sure to choose a variety that has a smooth and creamy texture for the best results.

Can I use a different type of milk instead of soy milk?

Absolutely! If you prefer, you can use almond milk or oat milk as a substitute for soy milk in this vegan cannoli recipe. Choose a plain, unsweetened variety for best results.

Are there any gluten-free alternatives for the cannoli shells?

Yes, if you’re looking for a gluten-free option, you can try using gluten-free flour blend instead of all-purpose flour in the cannoli shell recipe. Just make sure to follow the appropriate substitution ratios provided by the manufacturer.

How long can I store vegan cannoli?

Vegan cannoli can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. However, keep in mind that the cannoli shells may lose their crispness over time, so it’s best to enjoy them fresh if possible.

Can I freeze vegan cannoli?

While it’s not recommended to freeze the assembled cannoli, you can freeze the unfilled cannoli shells for up to 1 month. Just make sure to thaw them at room temperature before filling. As for the ricotta filling, it’s best to make it fresh for the best taste and texture.

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