Just a note about the recipes on my site. First of all, most of them are not mine, so I include a link to every original recipe I post. Second, as mentioned on my Introduction page, not only do I not use professional photography, but I also modify just about every recipe I make…partly due to having alternative ideas, partly due to anxiety. The main thing is that the end result is simply “amazing!” Haha
Besides, I’m not going for any awards here. Case in point: How do you like the plastic wrap I used to line the tray in the finished shot? Or the fact that there are four tarts missing…hmm, I wonder what happened to them. 🤣 I was anxious (there’s that word again) to try them and didn’t plan on photographing them for my blog at the time. Oh well…
Despite my Italian heritage, I was never particularly fond of cannoli growing up. I know, what kind of Italian am I, right? It’s mainly due to my dislike for the crunchy shells, and while I am crazy about ricotta, I don’t care for it sweetened…at least not the way the traditional version is made. I still feel that way somewhat, so I got the idea recently to find a healthier cannoli recipe that didn’t involve the hassle of making the standard tubular shells. That’s what led me to the following recipe.
The original recipe is vegan, but it wasn’t vegan when I got done with it. Sorry, but ricotta is a must in my book, especially when making cannoli (see link to original vegan recipe below). They are still healthier than the traditional version. I’ve made them twice now, slightly different each time, and both times they turned out stellar!! One of my best desserts yet. 🙌
The following recipe has been adapted to include the addition of ricotta cheese to the filling for more of an Italian authenticity. It also includes ground pistachios added to the dough, pure maple syrup added to the filling, and crushed pistachios for the topping, along with other alterations and procedural changes. See original recipe here.
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked in water 4-8 hours and drained)
- 1 cup extra firm tofu (drained well)
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons milk of choice
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup ground pistachios
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup milk of choice
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- mini chocolate chips or chocolate shavings
- crushed pistachios (optional)
Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and blend until relatively smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Adjust the ratio of powdered sugar to milk to achieve desired consistency.
Transfer to a bowl, cover, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Lightly oil two mini muffin tins.
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together all dry ingredients. Add milk and coconut oil, and stir well with a fork to incorporate. Work into a dough, and gently knead a few times until smooth and elastic.
Shape dough into small balls about one-inch round, one at a time, and place each ball into prepared mini muffin tins. Using fingers, lightly press down and around the inner circumference of the muffin cups ensuring the dough conforms to the inner surfaces and forms shells.
Bake 10-12 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely.
Transfer filling to a piping bag or a plastic bag with the corner snipped off and pipe into shells, or simply spoon the filling into shells.
Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips or chocolate shavings. Top with crushed pistachios if desired.
Store in an airtight container in refrigerator and consume within 3 days for best flavor. Any unused filling can be frozen and thawed for later use.