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  • Writer's pictureHeather

Cannoli with Lemon Coconut Cream (non-dairy)

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Cream-filled Cannoli on a plate

These light and crispy Italian cookies look tricky to make, but are surprisingly easy. We've filled them with a non-dairy coconut lemon cream.

Prep Time: about 1hr

Cook time: 40 min

Servings: 12

Special Equipment

  • Cannoli forms

You can buy these (typically made of metal) or if you're handy, you can make your own. We made them from a wooden dowel, cut into 5 inch lengths and sanded smooth. They worked great and weren't too hot to handle, unlike the metal ones.


Cannoli dough

  • 2 cup (240 g) all purpose flour

  • 1/2 tsp (5 g) cocoa powder

  • 2 tbsp (25 g) icing sugar (or granulated if that's what you have)

  • pinch of salt

  • 1 egg, well beaten

  • 1/8 cup (25 g) cold butter, cut in cubes

  • 1/4 cup (60 g) Marsala wine, more if needed

  • Coconut oil, for frying (about 8 cup; vegetable will work too)

  • 1 egg, well beaten for egg wash

Coconut Lemon Cream (non-diary)

  • 1 (14 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated for 24 hours

  • 1–3 tbsp powdered sugar (to taste)

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


Cannoli Shells

  1. In a large mixing bowl sift in flour, cocoa, powdered sugar and salt. Add egg and butter. Mix until crumbly and butter is in small pieces (use your hands or a pastry blender). Add marsala wine a tbsp at a time until dough comes together. You may need to add a little extra wine to create a soft dough.

  2. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead on a floured surface for an additional 10 min. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer to a bowl. Cover and let rest at room temperature at least 30 min, up to 2 hrs.

  3. Heat a large pot with 1 1/2-inches oil to 345 - 355F. Working with half the dough at a time (and keeping other half covered in the bowl) roll dough out very thin onto a well floured surface (nearly 1/16-inch). You can use a pasta machine to roll it out thin or a rolling pin.

  4. Use a 3 to 4-inch cookie cutter or water glass to cut dough into rounds. Wrap individual dough circles around each cannoli form, brush about 3/4-inch of one end lightly with beaten egg. Press edge to opposite side to seal the dough together on the cannoli form.

  5. Using metal tongs, carefully immerse shell in preheated oil and fry until golden brown and crisp, about 1 - 2 min. Be careful not to burn the shells.

  6. Remove from oil using metal tongs to grasp the cannoli shell, transfer to a rack over paper towels to drain. Carefully hold one end of the mold and wrap a paper towel around shell to carefully slide off.

  7. Repeat process with remaining dough circles. If using metal forms, allow to cool before wrapping them again. Shake excess flour from the scraps, press back together, cover in bowl and let relax at least 10 min, then use.

  8. Allow to cool on a wire rack then pipe in the cannoli filling and decorate as desired (see below for ideas).

Coconut Lemon Cream

  1. Place your mixing bowl and beater in the freezer for 5-10 min to chill.

  2. When you are ready to make the coconut whipped cream, remove the mixing bowl from the freezer. Then carefully remove the can of coconut milk from the refrigerator without shaking or tipping it. Remove the top of the can, then use a spoon to carefully spoon out the thick layer of coconut cream that should have separated to the top of the can, and transfer it to your chilled mixing bowl (you will not use the layer of coconut water that has settled to the bottom of the can).

  3. Using a whisk attachment, beat the coconut cream on medium speed for 2-4 min, or until the cream becomes light and fluffy and small peaks form. Add in sugar and vanilla extract, and beat until incorporated.

  4. Serve the coconut whipped cream immediately, or transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate until ready to use. If the whipped cream becomes too firm in the refrigerator, you can re-whip it to reach the desired consistency.

Zhuzh it up!

  • After piping in the cream filling, dip ends in your choice of chopped nuts (pistachios are pictured above), mini chocolate chips, or dust with powdered sugar - or make them celebratory with birthday sprinkles!

  • If you prefer the traditional ricotta filling, check out the recipe below for inspiration.

This fantastic cannoli shells recipe was found on


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