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These cannoli thumbprint cookies are soft pillowy cookies topped with cannoli cream! They’re gluten and dairy-free, and so simple to make.

A serving dish of cannoli thumbprint cookies sitting on a counter.

Growing up in an Italian-American family in New York, cannolis were a huge favorite! We would often get cannoli from bakeries or restaurants growing up, and they’ll always be special to me. If you’ve never had a cannoli, it’s a Sicilian pastry with a hard, fried shell filled with ricotta cream and chocolate chips. How can you go wrong?!

Actual cannolis take some special tools and pastry-style prep, so I wanted to make it a little easier and festive for the holidays. Enter, thumbprint cannoli cookies, but of course, make it gluten and dairy-free!

Why You’ll love these Cannoli Thumbprint Cookies

  • The flavors of cannolis, but easier! Cannolis can be tricky to make with special tools, but these cookies give the flavor without all the work!
  • The leftover cream is delicious as a dip! You may have some cream leftover and you can always make more cookies, or I love to use as a fruit dip for strawberries!

The Ingredients for Cannoli Thumbprint Cookies

  • Almond Flour and Tapioca Starch. These form the base of the thumbprint cookies.
  • Maple Syrup.
  • Coconut Oil and Vanilla Extract.
  • Palm Shortening. This is the palm shortening I like to use.
  • Coconut Cream. You can use canned coconut cream or the cream that hardens on the top of a can of coconut milk.
  • Dairy-Free Cream Cheese. I use Kite Hill, but you could also sub more coconut cream.
  • Powdered Sugar. This really helps making the cannoli cream. I like to use this powdered sugar.
  • Mini Chocolate Chips. These are my favorite mini dairy-free chocolate chips!

How to Make Cannoli Thumbprint Cookies

  • Step One. Make the cookie dough.
  • Step Two. Scoop the cookie dough onto the baking sheet, bake, and allow to cool.
  • Step Three. Make the cream.

Photos of the cannoli cream after being mixed and the cookies after baking.

  • Step Four. Pipe the cream onto the thumbprint cookies and enjoy!

The cookies being topped with cannoli cream.


Tips & Tricks

  • Make the cookies smaller. Keeping these cookies more of a classic thumbprint cookie size is a better ratio or cookie to cream!
  • You’ll likely have some extra cannoli cream… here’s how to use it! You can make more cookies, or the cannoli cream is great as a fruit dip for strawberries!

Can you make these cookies AIP or nut-free?

You can easily make the cookies nut-free by using this cookie base instead of the one written here. The cannoli cream does really benefit from having the powdered sugar, so it’s hard to make this specific recipe AIP.

Can you save these for later? How do you store them?

These are best fresh as the cannoli cream will harden in the fridge. If you do store them for later, save them in glass in the fridge and let them come closer to room temperature before serving.

A cannoli thumbprint cookies being held in a hand with a bite taken out of it.

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Cannoli Thumbprint Cookies (Gluten & Dairy Free)

  • Author: Michelle
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cookies 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Units Scale

For the cookie

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 tbsp tapioca starch
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the almond flour and tapioca starch in a bowl and whisk well. Add the maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract. Fold to combine until a dough forms.
  3. Scoop into small cookie dough balls and transfer to a baking sheet. Slightly flatten the cookies with your hand and use your thumb to form an indent in the middle.
  4. Transfer to the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully transfer to a cooling rack to allow to cool.
  5. To make the cream, cream together the palm shortening, coconut cream, and cream cheese. Sift in the powdered sugar and stir to combine. Add the vanilla and chocolate chips and gently fold.
  6. Add the cream to a pipping bag, and cut off a large tip. Squeeze the cannoli cream into the thumbprint space on top of the cookies, topping off with extra chocolate chips if desired.
  7. Serve fresh and enjoy!


All nutritional information are estimations and will vary. Estimations do not include optional ingredients.

  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian Inspired


  • Serving Size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 177
  • Fat: 11.3g
  • Carbohydrates: 10.2g
  • Fiber: .6g
  • Protein: 1.6g