Sugar Free & Low Carb Sicilian Cannoli. 1.8g net carbs.

Recipe type: Desserts

Cuisine: Ketogenic. Low Carb. Sugar Free. LCHF. Grain Free. Gluten Free.

Prep time:  30 mins

Cook time:  15 mins

Total time:  45 mins

Ridiculously good, this classic Sicilian dessert is yet another example of Italy’s finest patisserie. My version is both keto-friendly and shockingly like the original.

Ingredients For the Shells:

  • 1 large egg (55g)
  • 30g erythritol 
  • 20g high-oleic cold-pressed sunflower oil 
  • 40g fine almond flour 
  • ¼ tsp xanthan gum 
  • 40g almond milk (or other milk of choice)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 

For the Filling:

  • 150g ricotta
  • 50g mascarpone
  • 60g double (heavy) cream
  • 5g gelatine powder 
  • 40g icing ‘sugar’ or Make your Own, or try allulose
  • 1 lemon (zest only)
  • 1 orange (zest only)

InstructionsMake the Shells:

  1. heat your waffle cone maker 
  2. you’ll need to work fast, so lay a clean towel, a metal cylinder/cannolo tube and a flexible spatula over your work space, ready to use.
  3. with a hand-held electric whisk , whip egg, vanilla and erythritol until smooth.
  4. add oil, milk, then almond flour and xanthan gum, whipping for 5 seconds or so in between each addition – you should end up with a dense but smooth paste that slides off your spoon slowly.
  5. scoop a heaped dinner-spoon of batter and place it in the centre of the ice cream machine, flattening it a little to form a disc shape, close the lid very gently and wait 2-3 minutes until the steam subsides (timing will vary depending on the machine you have – I suggest checking every minute, as the ‘pastry’ can burn quickly).
  6. when ready (golden brown), pull up the edge of the shell using the spatula, lift it with your fingers and flip it onto the towel; place the metal tube over one end and roll as tightly as you can, but carefully, as the shell will be quite soft and delicate at this stage.
  7. once rolled up, position it onto your towel with the outer rim at the bottom and press it lightly – this will ensure a tight seal once dried.
  8. move on to the next shell, then, when almost ready, go back to the first one and pull out the metal tube, place the hardened shell aside and re-use the metal tube.
  9. continue until you’ve used all the batter – you should be able to make 6 large cannoli tubes (approx 11.4cm/4.5” length).
  10. leave them uncovered, on your kitchen counter – they will remain crisp for days.

Make the Filling:

  1. pour cream into a small microwave-proof bowl and sprinkle gelatine over it; stir with a dessert fork and leave to bloom for a few minutes; once it turns into an almost solid mass, place it in the microwave and heat it for 1 minute or so on medium-low power (I use 600W setting); when the mixture has returned to a liquid state, give it a good stir and leave aside to cool down.
  2. drain any visible liquid from ricotta and mascarpone, then scoop and weigh the required quantities into a Pyrex glass or similar mixing bowl, add grated lemon and orange zest, plus icing ‘sugar’ or allulose.
  3. whip for 2 minutes using a hand-held electric whisk, then incorporate the gelatine/cream mixture and continue to whip until you achieve a silky, stiff whipped cream.
  4. place the filling into a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle (I use a 10mm one) and squeeze some into both ends of your cannoli, so they’re filled all the way in.
  5. dust with icing ‘sugar’ before serving.

NotesCombining the gelatine/cream when it’s still warm will make the mixture too fluid for piping. If so, chill it for 20 minutes and it will firm up to the right consistency.

The shells can be made in advance and left, uncovered, on the kitchen counter – they’ll stay crispy for up to 5 days, depending on humidity.

You can keep the finished cannoli, in the fridge and covered with cling film, for 3 days max. I actually prefer the softer shell induced by the filling + refrigeration. If you prefer a crispy shell, add the filling only when you’re ready to serve the cannoli.

I like to use high-oleic cold-pressed sunflower oil, as it’s light and almost tasteless, plus very low in omega-6 PUFAs. You can substitute it for an oil of your choice (e.g. hemp, flaxseed, etc.) but I wouldn’t recommend extra virgin olive oil because it’s too heavy and aromatic.

To replicate the classic Sicilian Cannoli look, I dipped each end in a pistachio praline crumb, but that’s entirely optional.


  • Yield: 6 large
  • Serving: 1 cannolo
  • Calories: 171
  • Fat: 15g
  • Net Carbs: 1.8g
  • Protein: 6.5g

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