Tofu Cannoli

Tofu Cannoli

Everybody loves this classic Italian treat – and now you can convert this high-calorie favorite into a luscious dessert that’s both lower in fat and good for you too!

1 pkg. firm tofu (drained and pressed to release most of the water)
1 c. confectioners sugar, sifted (plus a bit extra for garnish)
2 T. candied orange peel or 2-3 drops of orange oil* (not extract)
1/2 c. chopped semi-sweet chocolate bits (vegan, if possible)
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
6-8 prepared cannoli shells (vegan, if possible)

To prepare:
In a food processor or blender, process tofu until fairly smooth, but textured – about 15 seconds. Think of the consistency of ricotta cheese.

Add the confectioners sugar and pulse to blend, then process for another 10-15 seconds. Add orange peel or orange oil, the cinnamon, and about three tablespoons of the chopped chocolate bits. Pulse for an additional 10 seconds or just until all the ingredients are incorporated. Scrape into a bowl and set aside to chill. (The flavor of the filling improves if left to sit for at least an hour or more.)

Just before serving, fill cannoli shells with chilled tofu filling. I simply use a spoon for this. Holding filled cannoli by its middle, dip each end in the reserved chopped chocolate. When all cannoli are filled, place on a serving platter and dust with additional powdered sugar. Serve and enjoy!

I highly recommend Boyajian Citrus Oils. They’re the best available, last a long time, and you can usually find them locally in speciality stores. A little goes a very long way.

Hint: you can substitute chopped pistachios for the chocolate, if you like.


Where do you get vegan cannoli shells? Do you know a brand name? I want to make this!!


Not at all, yours is a valid question. This recipe is most certainly lower in fat than it's dairy based cousin and because it's made with tofu it's also cholesterol free. The dark chocolate bits are both optional and minimal and do contain flavonoids which are antioxidants. The benefits of chocolate of course depend on which chocolate you choose, and I have chosen a good one, but the whole topic is worth looking into if you are interested. You also have the option to swap out the chocolate with nuts if desired. The cannoli shells I purchase are in fact fried, in pure vegetable oil, but a baked shell is available. The sugar content is about two teaspoons per cannoil, which for a dessert of this nature is pretty good. So the question is, is this dessert healthy or good for you? It's healthier and better for you than it's dairy counterpart. While I have improved on the fat, fiber, cholesterol and sugar content, I always fall on the side of moderation. I stress in all of my programs when it comes to dessert, even those prepared with an emphasis on utilizing healthier ingredients, that part of the meal is a treat and should always be considered and consumed as such. Thanks for writing, and I hope you try this recipe, it really is quite good.


I apologize if this sounds rude, but how exactly is low in fat or good for you? Is it the deep fried cannoli shells, the sugar, the chocolate....? On the plus side, I'm sure it tastes delicious!

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