Vegan Cannoli – Reader request!!! (Can be baked OR fried)
Ok, so I posted my Vegan Ricotta recipe late last week on a whim, it was a bonus post for the week. My feed EXPLODED with positive feedback, including many of you asking if I had managed to make a sweet ricotta for vegan cannoli yet. As you can imagine, I spent the better part of the next two days experimenting and fiddling around with the ricotta and cannoli recipes. Just so you know, I’ve NAILED it! My hubby says you can’t even tell the difference between my vegan cannoli filling and the traditional stuff.
These are sweet and creamy in a crisp shell that has the right amount of crunch that you want from a good quality cannoli. If you have been hankering a cannoli, these will definitely satisfy the craving! If you prefer pistachios or dried fruit in your cannoli, feel free to swap out the chocolate for your desired addition. This is really a blank slate base from which to build your favourite sweet Italian flavours! Please enjoy 🙂
So, as you know if you’ve been reading my blog, we moved across the country a few months ago and apparently I lost my cannoli tubes/molds in the move. Not one to be dissuaded from a challenge, I decided to see if I could BAKE the cannoli pastry in mini tarts and it worked! FYI: If you prefer to deep fry your cannolis with the tubes, this recipe is the very same. Just form them as you normally would and deep fry (I’ll include the instructions for both methods in the recipe below).
I’ve updated the ricotta recipe here so just use the “sweet” option when making the ricotta and then carry on with this recipe to turn the “sweet” ricotta into vegan cannoli filling.
The pastry is a simple pastry, akin to any pie crust. What gives cannoli shells their distinctive flavour is a bit of wine in the batter. If you don’t have wine or don’t want to use wine, you can simply use cold water. However, if you are able to use the wine I strongly advise doing so, it helps raise the cannoli-ness of the treat. Also, the traditional recipe for cannoli shells includes the use of one egg. I used 1 egg’s worth of Ener G egg replacer and it worked well. I suspect you could use a flax egg (I did not because I didn’t want the flax flecks in my crust) or possibly even omit the egg altogether.
To make the vegan cannoli crust:
Amass all your ingredients: Flour, shortening, sugar, cinnamon, wine, egg replacer
Cut the shortening into the flour until pea sized crumbs
Stir in the sugar and cinnamon
Gradually, 1 tablespoon at a time, mix in the wine
Mix in the egg replacer and enough more wine (1 tbsp at a time) to form a ragged dough
Form the dough into a ball and chill for 1-2 hours
After the dough has chilled, roll it out very thin (about 1/8th of an inch). If baking, cut out with 1.5-2″ round cutter for mini tarts. Dock each round with a fork to keep it from puffing during baking. (Frying instructions will appear in the recipe below)
Press into your mini muffin tin and bake at 350’F for 14-18 minutes (this will depend a bit on how thin you rolled out your dough) until just golden and quite crisp. Remove to a rack and let cool completely.
For the vegan cannoli filling:
Add sweet vegan ricotta, powdered sugar, and vanilla to a medium bowl.
Beat well with beaters and fold in the chocolate chips. Store in the fridge, this will thicken as it is chilled. If you are concerned about excess lumps you can press this through a fine mesh sieve.
To assemble the vegan cannoli:
Simply pipe or spoon filling into the baked and cooled tart shells and promptly devour! Bear in mind, fill the shells RIGHT before you are going to eat them otherwise the shells will get soggy. If you are frying the cannoli tubes, simply pipe the filling to the centre from each end.
Vegan Cannoli (baked or fried shells)
For the pastry
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp shortening can substitute coconut oil
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 4 tbsp cooking wine may need a bit more
- 1 egg's worth of egg replacer I used Ener G
For the filling
- 2 cups vegan ricotta cheese https://kindnesskitchen.ca/vegan-ricotta/ THE SWEET VERSION, see notes!
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup vegan mini-chocolate chips or grated dark chocolate
For the pastry
- Cut the shortening into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs
- Fold in the sugar and cinnamon
- Gradually add the wine, 1 tbsp at a time, stirring with a fork between additions.
- Stir in the "egg" replacer.
- If the dough is too dry to form a ball, add 1-2 more tbsp of wine (or as needed) until a ragged dough is formed.
- Form the dough into a ball and chill for 1-2 hours.
For BAKED shells
- Roll out the dough very thin, about 1/8"
- Cut out the dough the appropriate size for your tart pan. I used the 1.5-2" round cutter for the mini muffin tin.
- Dock each round all over with a fork and press into the muffin tin.
- Bake at 350'F for 12-18 mins (this will depend on how thin you rolled out your dough).
- Bake until golden and quite dry and crisp.
- Remove to a rack and let cool completely.
For FRIED shells
- Roll out the dough very thin, about the thickness of a dime. I have even used a pasta roller to achieve this.
- Cut out 5" ovals (can use a cardboard cutout as a stencil).
- Loosely wrap each oval piece of dough around the metal cannoli tube
- Seal the edges where they overlap with a dab of non-dairy milk.
- Deep fry in 2" of oil at 400"f.
- Remove when golden brown all over (about 2 mins).
- Drain on paper towels and let cool briefly before removing the metal tube/forms.
- Let cool completely before filling.
For the filling
- In a medium bowl beat together the vegan ricotta, the vanilla, and the powdered sugar.
- Fold in the chocolate.
- Chill in the fridge (it will thicken as it chills).
- Pipe or spoon the ricotta mixture into the shells.
- For the fried tubes, simply fill to the centre from each end.
- Fill right before serving.
*Find the link to my ricotta recipe here*
If you make this recipe, please rate/comment below. Thanks! 🙂