Traditional Italian Cream Horns (Cannoncini)

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Cannoncini (also known as Italian cream horns) are made of crispy buttery puff pastry with a luscious, creamy Italian Pastry Cream filling. You can use chocolate, vanilla, or this pistachio cream filling for these delicious treats.

You can also use cannoli filling. Bring a taste of an Italian bakery in your home with this light and delicious cannoncini recipe!

You can also make little cream puffs using the same ingredients: Puff Pastry filled with Italian Chocolate Cream and Puff Pastry filled with Italian Cream

This recipe is perfect for a fancy dessert that is easy to prepare. Wow your guests with this delicious Italian dessert.

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Simple Ingredients

These delicious flaky buttery pastries with luxurious cream filling are surprisingly easy to make with a few quality ingredients.

  • Store bought puff pastry dough (this is a huge time saver)! I prefer the Pepperidge Farm Brand
  • Pistachio Cream Filling:
    • Egg yolks
    • Powdered Sugar
    • Cornstarch
    • Pistachios (blended, shelled, and blanched pistachios)
    • Milk
    • Vanilla extract

See quantities in recipe card.

Special Tools

This is the HORN MOLD I use for forming the dough. You can use these mold to make BEST Authentic Sicilian Cannoli Recipe, although I usually use a tube mold for those. Both shapes are popular in Italy and you can find them shaped as a tube or as a cone/horn.

If you don’t want to bother with this just make them into Puff Pastry filled with Italian Cream.

Italian cream horns on a plate

Instructions with Step by Step Photos

The first step to make the Italian cream horns is making the pistachio cream. See this post for step by step instructions: Best Italian Pistachio Cream. You can also make the chocolate or vanilla versions.

After the cream is made cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until later use. You can also make the cream a few days ahead of time!

pastry cream in pan

Photos 1-4.

Lay your puff pastry on a well floured surface and lightly brush all over with egg wash. Cut into twelve ¾-inch-wide strips.

puff pastry process for cream horns
Cut and egg wash the puff pastry.

Photos 5-9.

Place the horn molds in a shallow dish and spray them with cooking spray on all sides. Set aside. 

Start wrapping the puff pastry around the molds. Starting at the pointed end of the cone mold, wrap the dough strips around the mold, overlapping slightly and lightly stretching the dough to wrap about half way up the mold (if you have longer strips it may reach the end). Press the last part unto the mold well to seal. It doesn’t have to be perfect!

Place seam side down onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Sprinkle generously all over with powdered sugar. (TIP: keep the egg wash away from the mold, or it will make it harder to remove the pastry horn from the mold once baked)

Bake the puff pastry. Bake at 400 degrees F. for about 15-20 minutes until golden on top.

Let the puff pastry cool for a couple of minutes and gently remove from the mold. If the pastry sticks to the mold, use a the sharp end of a knife and very gently wiggle it in between the pastry and the mold until it comes off.

baking the puff pastry
Wrapping and baking the puff pastry.

Photos 10-12.

Filling the puff pastry horns with pistachio pastry cream. Just before serving, fill the pastry with the cream using a piping bag.

Get the pastry cream out of the fridge and fill a pastry bag with a wide round tip.

Start at the very bottom of the cream horn and fill to the top, finishing with a swirl!

Filling the Cream Horns with Italian Pistachio Pastry Cream

Pro Tips

Best tips to get these Italian bakery style treats right every time.

  • Keep the puff pastry dough cold! Otherwise, the dough will start to lose consistency. So, you want to work quickly and possible.
  • Use egg wash to keep the shells on the molds. If you skip this step the puff pastry will explode out of the mold (trust me, I know from experience!)
  • Make the Pistachio Cream ahead of time. Since it needs to cool it will be ready right when you need it!
  • Fill the shells right before serving. If you fill them too early they risk getting soggy.

The layers of buttery puffy pastry will melt in your mouth and the delightful Italian pastry cream filling will feel smooth as velvet on your tongue!

Why I love this recipe

This traditional Italian recipe is one of my favorites! I love to order cream filled pastries at Italian cafes when I’m home in Italy.

I grew up eating cannoncini for breakfast when my zia (aunt) or nonni (grandparents) would take me to breakfast in Cagliari, Sardegna.

What does Cannoncini Mean in Italian?

The word “cannoncini”, which means “little cannons” as it refers to the shape of these horn shaped cream filled pastries.

Italian Cannoncini (Cream Horns) are delicious little pastries that are made with puff pastry that is wrapped around metal molds, baked until crisp, and then filled with Italian pastry cream.

When I miss Italy I crave these Cannoncini. If you’ve never had one before, you can now!

The buttery puff pastry is baked to perfection and then filling with a sweet cream of your choice! They are AMAZING!

If you love Italian Pastry Cream filled desserts as much as I do here are more recipes for you:

Made with Amore, Elena. From My Cucina to Your Table. Mangia! Mangia! (Eat!)

Try these delicious Italian Cream Horns (Cannoncini) soon! They will make you feel as though you’re in an Italian cafe enjoying a sweet treat.

Don’t forget to leave a STAR rating and REVIEW after making the recipe! I look forward to hearing from you!

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Italian cream horns on a plate with pistachio cream

Italian Cream Horns (Cannoncini)

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5 from 2 reviews

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Cannoncini known as Italian cream horns are made of crispy puff pastry and filled with luscious, creamy Italian Pastry Cream filling. You can use chocolate, vanilla, or this pistachio cream filling for these delicious treats. You can also use cannoli filling. Bring a taste of an Italian bakery in your home with this delcious and light cannoncini recipe!

  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale

Cream Filling

Use any of the pastry cream filling recipes you like:  Best Italian Pistachio CreamItalian Chocolate Pastry Cream (Crema Pasticcera)

For the Cannoncini

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry, defrosted (about 225 g)
  • 1 egg, well beaten (for egg wash)
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions

Cream Filling

See step by step instructions and recipe for Best Italian Pistachio Cream.

  1.  Make the pastry cream, cover with plastic wrap, and leave in fridge until needed. 
  2. Heat oven to 475 F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Place the horn molds in a shallow dish and spray them with cooking spray on all sides. Set aside. 
  3.  Lay your puff pastry on a well floured surface and lightly brush all over with egg wash. Cut into twelve ¾-inch-wide strips.
  4. Start wrapping the puff pastry around the molds. Starting at the pointed end of the cone mold, wrap the dough strips around the mold, overlapping slightly and lightly stretching the dough to wrap about half way up the mold (if you have longer strips it may reach the end). Press the last part unto the mold well to seal. 
  5. Place seam side down onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Sprinkle generously all over with powdered sugar. (TIP: keep the egg wash away from the mold, or it will make it harder to remove the pastry horn from the mold once baked)
  6. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until golden on top. Let the puff pastry cool for a couple of minutes and gently remove from the mold. If the pastry sticks to the mold, use a the sharp end of a knife and very gently wiggle it in between the pastry and the mold until it comes off.
  7. Just before serving, fill the pastry with the cream using a piping bag. Enjoy! 
  • Author: Elena Davis
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes (cooling time 1 1/2 hours)
  • Category: Sweet
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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