Cannoncini alla Crema Pasticcera (Puff Pastry Mini Cannoli Cones)

Nicoletta December 23, 2018

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Cannoncini alla Crema Pasticcera (Puff Pastry Mini Cannoli Cones), a quick, easy, and delicious dessert made of store-bought all-butter puff pastry shaped into mini cannoli cones and filled with homemade vanilla bean pastry cream. These Cannoncini alla Crema Pasticcera are always present in Italy on dessert trays at festive gatherings.

Song of the day: Shake up Christmas –  Train.

Cannoncini alla Crema Pasticcera

This early morning, on our way to the farmer’s market, Loreto was driving along the beautiful river valley road, I was on the passenger seat, and the radio was set on the Acoustic Christmas Pop station.


It was still dark, but you could see a gleaming light on the horizon, announcing a beautiful day. I was taking it all in, the cityscape, the soft tunes in the background, my love close to me. And as the scenery was moving fast on the other side of the window, I was at peace, a content smile on my face. I counted all the blessings I had in my life, grateful for what the Universe had decided to bring me, mentally saluting all the wonderful people I had the pleasure to encounter, to share my path with.

With the music playing and the sound of the truck roaring down the road, I was led in my mind to a state of reflection. Thinking about my family far away, on the other side of an immense ocean, thinking of people that are no longer with us, my dear nonni, Loreto’s dad. Christmas has shaped into a different thing for both of us after they’re passing, but no one can erase the beautiful memories of the best Christmases ever. Also thinking of what Christmas would have been like if our babies had decided to stay with us instead of leaving us way too soon. One would be almost 7 years old, the other 6, what a whirlwind our life would have been, but how beautiful all the same.

Cannoncini alla Crema Pasticcera

I guess some of life’s hardest lessons have made me a little insecure. So, every time I bake, there is this battalion of thoughts challenging my confidence. However, Loreto slides across the floor with a cape around his neck to take those thoughts and throw them into oblivion. Then, he proceeds to fill those thoughts with nothing but loving kindness and reassurance that anything that I bake, make, or do, is going to be incredible.

Loreto has this wonderful tool called rationality, that I seem to be missing from my toolbox. He always asks me “Out of all of the things you’ve ever baked how many were a flop? And How many people didn’t like them?” Honestly, when I think about the answer, not very many.

Cannoncini alla Crema Pasticcera

These Cannoncini alla Crema Pasticcera (Puff Pastry Mini Cannoli Cones) are among my success side of things. They are dainty and cute, easy to eat and look beautiful on a tray. The aroma of the vanilla bean releases nothing but good hormones and there is something about that buttery fragrance that evokes beautiful smiles.

When you bite into one, the flakiness of the puff pastry blends beautifully with the silkiness and lusciousness of the pastry cream. If you opted for a dusting of icing sugar, you might end up with fun whisps of sugar on your face and maybe clothes. Whether an adult or a child, these Cannoncini alla Crema Pasticcera (Puff Pastry Mini Cannoli Cones) would bring joy and laughter to your festive table.

Cannoncini alla Crema Pasticcera

From our kitchen to yours, Buon Natale! Merry Christmas!

Song of the day: Shake up Christmas –  Train.

Cannoncini alla Crema Pasticcera

Cannoncini alla Crema Pasticcera (Puff Pastry Mini Cannoli Cones)

  • Author: Nicoletta
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: about 12 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian


Cannoncini alla Crema Pasticcera (Puff Pastry Mini Cannoli Cones), a quick, easy, and delicious dessert made of store-bought all-butter puff pastry shaped into mini cannoli cones and filled with homemade vanilla bean pastry cream. These Cannoncini alla Crema Pasticcera are always present in Italy on dessert trays at festive gatherings.


  • 1 sheet all-butter puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, for brushing
  • granulated sugar or cane sugar, for sprinkling
  • icing sugar, for dusting (optional)

Pastry Cream

  • 4 egg yolks, organic free-range
  • 140 g granulated sugar
  • 40 g cornstarch
  • 400 ml milk
  • 100 ml half and half cream or whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla bean


Pastry Cream

  1. With a small knife cut the vanilla bean lengthwise and extract the seeds. The pod will go to flavor the milk in the pot, while the seeds will be added to the mixture of egg yolks and sugar.
  2. In a pot with a thick bottom, pour the milk and cream (if you prefer, you can use all milk). Add the vanilla bean pod and bring everything close to a boil.
  3. In a bowl, add the yolks (reserve the whites in a small Tupperware for another baking project), the seeds of the vanilla, and the sugar. Whisk everything quickly and well (if you leave the sugar in contact with the egg yolks it absorbs the watery part, crystallizing the proteins and making them insoluble).
  4. Sift the cornstarch directly into the bowl with the egg mixture. Stir to incorporate.
  5. Remove the vanilla bean pod from the pot. Add a ladle of warm milk to the egg mixture to temper the eggs and blend with a whisk. Then, pour the mixture into the pot with the rest of the milk.
  6. Let it thicken over low heat, stirring constantly with the whisk.
  7. Pour it immediately into a bowl. The ideal would be to have a larger bowl with ice in which to place the smaller bowl with cream inside to cool it quickly, mixing with the whisk. At this point, the custard is ready to be used; otherwise, cover the top with plastic wrap ensuring that the plastic wrap is in contact with the surface of the cream. Let it cool at room temperature first, then in the fridge.
  8. Preheat the oven to 390°F (200°C).
  9. Unroll the puff pastry and you will have a rectangle. Running parallel along the long side of the rectangle, with a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, cut the dough into 12 strips, about 2 (two) centimeters wide.
  10. Brush the lightly beaten egg along the strips.
  11. Roll each strip on a metal cannoli cone greased with butter and flour starting from the pointed side. Slightly overlap each turn of dough, keeping the egg wash side up so it will be the glue to hold the cannoncini layers together.
  12. Press the dough a little at the two ends to fix the dough on the cannoli cone. Sprinkle the top with granulated (or raw cane) sugar.
  13. Arrange all the cannoncini sugar side up on a wire rack lined with parchment paper, and place it on a baking sheet.
  14. Bake the cannoncini in the preheated oven in the middle rack for about 18-20 minutes, checking them often. Look for that nice golden color and puffed texture.
  15. Take out of the oven, let cool on wire rack, then gently release the cannoncini squeezing the mold a bit to decrease its circumference with one hand while gently holding the puff pastry with the other hand.
  16. Once cooled, fill them with the pastry cream with a piping bag with a star tip.
  17. Dust with icing sugar (optional), arrange on a tray and serve.


Make sure to buy all-butter puff pastry for best results.

I bought the metal cannoli cones in Italy. If you cannot find them here, you can make the cones out of foil paper and parchment paper.

Also, for best results, the cannoncini should be filled not long before serving so that the pastry remains crisp and does not become moisten.

You might have some pastry cream leftover. It might be enough for two sheets of puff pastry.

You could fill your cannoncini with chocolate, whipping cream, chantilly cream or lemon custard.

The cannoncini keep for about 2 days in the refrigerator, even though they will tend to absorb the moisture of the cream gradually losing their flakiness.
You can keep the un-filled cannoncini in a tin box for 4-5 days and then fill them when you are going to serve them. Freezing is not recommended.

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Cannoncini alla Crema Pasticcera

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  • Avatar
    Reply Elaine Benoit December 25, 2018 at 7:33 am

    I totally forgot about cannoncini! I looked at your little molds and instantly flashed on my grandmother. She used to make this delicious pastry. I always thought it looked so fun to make. I have to try it!!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta December 27, 2018 at 11:05 am

      So happy to hear that your grandma had these molds! Cannoli cones or cannoncini are very popular in Italy. Thank you, hope you try it!

  • Avatar
    Reply Gloria December 26, 2018 at 11:30 am

    I would devour these for sure. I would serve these for dessert, an afternoon tea party….brunch….or just because. You can never go wrong with delicious treats like this any time of day.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta December 27, 2018 at 11:05 am

      Thank you, Gloria! They would look beautiful for an afternoon tea party!

  • Avatar
    Reply Tatiana December 30, 2018 at 6:47 am

    Those little things are so adorable! I like the taste of homemade pastry cream so much!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta December 30, 2018 at 8:53 am

      Pastry cream, especially the one flavored with a vanilla bean, is so delicious! Here it is the star of the show.

  • Avatar
    Reply David December 30, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    These look fun and tasty! I like the presentation and also each one seems small enough to enjoy when you just want a little treat after a big meal.

  • Avatar
    Reply lauren December 30, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    Yuuum! These are one of my very favorite Italian treats. Not as filling as a cannoli but with all the good stuff! I’m going to try these maybe with a little shaved chocolate!

  • Avatar
    Reply Leslie Haasch December 30, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    My dad used to pick these up from the store as a special weekend treat for my growing up, but I only started making them myself a few years back. LOVE these!

  • Avatar
    Reply Jessica (Swanky Recipes) December 30, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    I love puff pastry way too much and I just picked up two of them from the grocery store last night, too. Looks like I will need to save my recipe for later and try this one first!

  • Avatar
    Reply Jyothi (Jo) December 30, 2018 at 11:04 pm

    Those cute little cannoncini looks really tempting. With evening tea , oh how much I’m craving for it now

  • Avatar
    Reply Sam | Ahead of Thyme December 30, 2018 at 11:08 pm

    These are adorable!! I have tried canolis but never even heard of cannoncinis. They would be perfect with a cup of tea.

  • Avatar
    Reply Claire | The Simple, Sweet Life December 30, 2018 at 11:30 pm

    These sounds so easy and so delicious! Which is exactly what we need during this busy time of year. Thanks for sharing this fantastic recipe. 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply Holly December 31, 2018 at 10:19 am

    This is such a sweet post! I love when recipes are attached to such fond memories like this one. These Cannoli Cones look so yummy and easy to make. I’m excited to give them a try!

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