Baked gluten-free Italian cannoli

Baked gluten-free Italian cannoli


First of all, let me tell you that this isn’t the true recipe for original Italian cannoli. These are baked and gluten-free, nothing to do with the true recipe. I had to say this to make sure I won’t lose my Italian citizenship.

Sicilian cannoli are one of the most representative desserts of Sicily, typical of the carnival, however this simple but delicious dessert is eaten all year round and at any time. It is always a pleasure to bite into this particular crunchy shell filled with ricotta cream and garnished with orange peel, candied cherries or, as I did, with some pistachio or chocolate chips.

My recipe is a healthier, less messy version of the for cannoli: it is gluten-free, suitable for all gluten-tolerant and those with coeliac disease. But I assure you that they have nothing to envy of the original glutinous recipe, they will be a guaranteed success!

Is it hard to shape gluten-free cannoli?

When it comes to preparing baked gluten-free Italian cannoli at home there is always the fear of not knowing how to shape them best. After all, they have such a peculiar shape and looks very artisanal crafted. In reality it all lies in creating a good dough for the cannoli, which has a good elasticity. To achieve this, in addition to the good mix of flours and using an egg, we will use some brandy and rice vinegar, which have a strong impact on the texture of the dough.
In any case, the process is quite simple. The dough is rolled out very thinly (it is better not to exceed two millimeters in thickness). Then it is cut into squares, which are “spread” on a cylindrical mold (a tube made of steel).

However, the dough is still very fragile and needs some manual skills. That’s also why you will only find the ingredients in grams and not in tbsp/cups. The weights need to be exact in order to achieve the right dough texture.

How to decorate cannoli?

The funniest part of the Sicilian cannoli recipe is probably the decoration. In this phase, it is possible to practice a little
creativity, without betraying the original recipe. The possibilities are numerous. The simplest, but also the most widespread in Sicily, has candied fruit as protagonists, a symbol of Sicilian cuisine as they are a fixed presence in the famous cassata.
I normally prefer to opt for chopped pistachios, an ingredient widely used in the island pastries. Chopped pistachios create a nice contrast in terms of texture. Grated orange peel is a good choice to give a pleasant slighlty bitter aftertaste. Finally, those with a sweet tooth usually like a little dark chocolate as filling.

How to make baked gluten-free cannoli – step by step:

Baked gluten-free Italian cannoli

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Course: DessertCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Difficult


Prep time




Cooking time


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  • 150 g rice flour

  • 50 g corn starch (or potato starch)

  • 1 medium egg (60 g)

  • 25 g soft butter

  • 1 tbsp brandy

  • 0,5 tsp rice vinegar

  • a pinch coffee powder

  • For the filling
  • 2 cups sheep ricotta

  • 2 tbsp white sugar

  • candied orange peels, chocolate chips or chopped pistachios

How to

  • In a bowl mix the rice flour and starch with sugar, coffee powder, soft butter, egg yolk, brandy and the vinegar. Work briefly with a whisk then kneading by hand, until you get a dough with the same texture as egg pasta.
    Wrap the dough in cling film and let it rest for about half an hour.
  • After the resting time, pre-heat the oven to 355°F/180°C. Then roll out the dough with a rolling pin until you get thin sheets with a thickness of 1-2 millimetres, then cut out squares shapes of 10 centimeters on each side.
    Wrap the squares of dough around the appropriate steel tube, overlapping the edges of the dough by a few millimetre. Press gently the two flaps to prevent them from opening during cooking.
  • Place the cannoli on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then bake in the preheated oven until they are evenly golden (this will take between 12 and 16 minutes), then let them cool completely.
  • Once cooled down, gently turn each cannoli until it detaches from the mould and remove it.
  • Sift the ricotta through a very fine mesh strainer directly into a bowl. Add the sugar then pour the mixture into a piping bag and fill the cannoli. The best choice is to keep the piping bag in the fridge and fill the cannoli at the last moment.
    Decorate them with candied orange peel or chopped pistachios, then serve the baked cannoli at room temperature.

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Looking for other typical Italian pastries, in a gluten-free version?

Check out these super easy almond paste soft cookies or these cream-filled pastries (one of my favorite breakfast when I am in the South of Italy!).

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  1. Pingback: Gluten-free ladyfingers (without gums) - Marta in the jar

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