Homemade Cream Horns... SO EASY when you opt for store bought puff pastry!

Reposting for 2016:  Homemade Cream Horns and SO EASY when you opt for store bought puff pastry!

I was going for QUICK and easy - not 'pretty' this time. But had I used a pretty star tip these could be guest-worthy!

I've posted about cream horns (also can be called by some 'lady locks' or 'clothespin cookies') in the past but I thought I'd update and let everyone know how unbelievably easy and FAST they are to make using a puff pastry.

I was craving these yesterday and I kid you not;  30 minutes from start to eating.  True story.  By the time 30 minutes had passed I was eating my 4th one and had cleaned up the mess to make them!

Note;  You WILL need a 'form' to make these.  Our Great Grandmothers used round clothespins, but I prefer a cream horn mold as it makes them tapered from  larger to smaller which not only makes them pretty but makes them simple to fill.

Here is the set I ordered 2 of on Amazon a few years ago and they are still available: Cream Horn Set
I was frustrated yesterday however to find that my 2 big cream horn sets are MIA.  Yet another victim of our recent relocation with the worst movers we've had in 11 relocations.  I have a 20 piece set of smaller, straighter forms from Grandma Joans, but they are not the larger, tapered version I prefer.  Still, they are nice and work like a charm. So the cream horns in these photos are the smaller, thin style - not the larger size you find in bakeries and at, for example, Walmart or the grocery store.  Buy the larger sized forms for that size.  

Quick and Easy Cream Horns

1 package Puff Pastry (2 to a package, makes about 32 total if you use both sheets)
1 recipe cream filling*
Sugar (or Xylitol sugar substitute) for sprinkling

Thaw the puff pastry according to directions.  I used just 1 of the two sheets and it makes about 15-16 cream horns so the whole package would make about 32.  

Preheat your oven to about 400 degrees.  Lay the puff pastry out on parchment paper (or lightly flour your counter).  Slice the pastry about every half-inch to make about 15 strips or if you want to make them larger, about 8 1-inch slices.  

Wrap one long strip of pastry around your mold.  Leave the large round end open without it overlapping to make removal easier later. I spray the tops with butter flavored Pam and then sprinkle with large crystals of sugar or Xylitol (available through my low carb product link at the top of the page).  

Bake on a lightly greased or non-stick baking sheet for about 10-12 minutes until golden brown and crisp.  While they are baking, mix up your favorite butter cream or other filling.  Removal from oven, remove from pan to a cooling rack and let cool completely.  Use a pastry bag with a large tip to squeeze filling into each horn.  These are wonderful if you can let them set up or even refrigerate them to chill the filling but they are delicious eaten immediately too!  

Filling (half this recipe for the recipe above)

1 c Crisco
1 c butter
4 c powdered sugar
4 t vanilla
3/4 c marshmallow creme

Cream the Crisco and butter. Add the sugar gradually and then the creme and vanilla. Beat well until it's smooth like whipped cream. Fill cooled or chilled cream horn forms. Does not need to be refrigerated for storage.
Makes homemade cream puffs effortless

Wrapping around a form

Sprinkled with Xylitol or Sugar and ready to bake

Mix up your filling

Baked golden brown

Leave the end open so you can slide it right off the form


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Red Velvet Cake Balls

Reposting from 2012 -

2012 Red Velvet Cake Balls
As I continue to bake for the Christmas holiday cookie trays, the cake balls are complete!  These are a favorite of my husband, who has already 'tested' three of them!  Ha.  So pretty, you can make these and decorate as you wish.  I list my recipe with white candy coating but you could do them in chocolate if you wish as well.

In addition to the recipe ingredients you may want either Lollipop Sticks (available at cake supply stores, online or hobby stores) or for very small balls, toothpicks work. You will also need 1 pound of vanilla almond bark, also known as candy coating; available in the baking aisle of most grocery and general merchandise stores or white chocolate or white candy chips.  (For those that can't find almond bark, you can also order it online here .)

Need:     Red Velvet Cake
              Almond Bark or White Chocolate
              Optional:  lollypop sticks, sprinkles

Red Velvet Cake

1/2 c butter
1 1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
2 oz. red food coloring (1 oz is fine, but 2 will give you a deeper red)
3 T cocoa
2 1/4 c flour
1 t salt
1 t vanilla
1 t baking soda
1 c buttermilk
1 T vinegar

Grease and flour a 9 X 13″ cake pan. Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter, sugar and eggs. Make a paste with the food coloring and cocoa and add to mixture. Add salt and flour alternately with buttermilk and vanilla. Mix soda and vinegar and add to the mix.  Beat just until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake approximately 30-35 minutes or until done. Remove from oven. Cool completely. (Since you are not making this into a layer cake, you can let it cool in the pan if you wish.

Basic Cream Cheese Frosting

You can use your favorite frosting (that link goes to the frosting I use for Red Velvet)  or here is a basic cream cheese frosting recipe to use, as many like cream cheese frosting with this particular cake.  You could even use store bought if you like.

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese
16 oz. box powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Beat softened butter and cream cheese until well blended. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until creamy.  Set aside.

Crumble the cooled cake completely with your hands or use a food processor and process in 2 or 3 batches depending on the size of your appliance.

Red Velvet cake crumbs
Mix your frosting recipe into the cake crumbs. Start with about 1-2 cups of frosting and mix well with a wooden spoon and then, your hands. If it’s a dry mix, add more frosting by quarter cup increments. You just want the cake to be the consistency of play dough so it holds together well and forms balls.

Scoop dough out to the size cake ball you want. 30 large or up to 50 or 60 if you are making 1 inch rounds. Roll in your hands until smooth and place each ball on a parchment lined baking sheet. Depending on the size of the cake ball use either a lolly pop stick or toothpick in the top. Place in the freezer and freeze for 2 hours until firm.

Melt the vanilla candy coating (almond bark) according to package directions over low heat or in the microwave. Dip each cake ball into the vanilla and place on parchment paper to set. If you wish you can sprinkle them with desired colored sugar or sprinkles at this point.

Leave on the counter while the candy coating sets. After hard these can be kept in a container as they are as the coating keeps the cake moist. I’ve also froze them for up to a month, and left to thaw on the counter until needed.

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No Bake Fruitcake Bars - Christmas Baking Classic

Repost from 2012

  The term fruitcake in the name of this recipe will turn a lot of people off of it - even though it isn't really a fruitcake.  Our family has tried to think of a good name for them that doesn't have the word fruitcake in them, since many of the kids friends or adult guests will say;  "Oh, I don't like fruitcake" - but we always resort to their name;  fruitcake bars, as that is what they are!  I've been making these bars for about 20 years and although I don't make a traditional 'fruitcake', there is no way I can skip making these.  They are unbaked, with a base of marshmallows and graham crackers.  So good!

No Bake Fruitcake Bars

1 lb. butter
1 lb. mini marshmallows
3/4 c evaporated milk
1 lb. pecans
1/2 lb. walnuts
1/2 lb. whole green candied cherries
1/2 lb. whole red candied cherries
1 lb. raisins
1 lb. graham cracker crumbs

Melt the butter, marshmallows and evaporated milk in a pan on the stove over low to medium heat.  In a very large bowl mix the rest of the ingredients.  Add the melted marshmallow mixture.  Stir and mix well.  Press into a greased or foil lined 9X13" pan.  Press flat and freeze or refrigerate overnight.  Thaw a bit before slicing to make it easier.  Slice into 3 long sections or rows and slice each row into thin slices to serve.

**I've been using a little less butter over the past few years (perhaps 3 1/4 sticks instead of 4) and it's been perfectly fine.  Feel free to cut back a bit on the butter if you want to try it that way.
You can also change the amounts of the nuts, raisins and cherries, etc. I've used craisins some years, and doubled the red cherries and halved the green cherries, etc.  You can play with this recipe a bit.  

If you enjoy visiting An American Housewife, please consider using this affiliate link if you are planning to shop for anything (seriously, anything!) at Amazon.  - American Housewife at Amazon 

You might be interested in these related products available through Amazon:

Candied (Glazed) Red Cherries. 16 oz bag
Candied (Glazed) Green Cherries. 16 oz bag
Nordic Ware Classic Metal 9x13 Covered Cake Pan
ExcelSteel 298 5-Quart Stainless Steel Non Skid Base Mixing Bowl

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