If you love a crisp pie-crust cinnamon roll, then you’re going to flip over these simple palmiers, (also known as Elephant Ears)! They start with a roll of pre-made puff pastry but they don’t end there!
What is Puff Pastry?
Puff pastry is also called pâte feuilletée in French. It’s a really versatile and flaky pastry dough that is used in a wide range of sweet and savory dishes.
What sets puff pastry apart is its light, airy texture and multiple thin layers that puff up when they are baked. The baking process creates a fine, delicate, crispy, and crust with buttery flavor and texture.
Like most other doughs, puff pastry is made up of simple ingredients: flour, water, salt, and butter. What sets it apart is the process of rolling and folding the dough over and over, which creates alternating layers of dough and fat. This is known as “laminating” the dough.
And this, my friends, is why I decided to purchase my puff pastry and not make it from scratch. I attempted it once before, only to fail miserably.
And after all, Out of the Box Baking is really about simplifying the process of baking. So, why not start with packaged puff pastry? (Hey, no judging, y’all!)
My Puff Pastry Journey
I had a roll of puff pastry in my fridge in anticipation of a baking day with the grandkids. We had every intention of making Nutella Christmas tree out of it.
Unfortunately, the baking day got canceled at the last minute, which left me with this lovely container of puff pastry dough.
Alone in the house on a Sunday afternoon—after a long weekend of busy ministry stuff—I had a hankering for something sweet. That pastry dough was calling my name.
I looked online for recipes involving puff pastry dough and found so many great ones. But I wanted something simple. So, when I stumbled across this recipe for Cinnamon Palmiers at Allrecipes, I knew I had a winner.
What are Palmiers?
Palmiers are also known as elephant ears (or sometimes palm leaves). In some places they’re known as pig’s ears. They’re a lovely sweet pastry made from puff pastry dough.
Because of the distinct shape, these pastries are called elephant ears. They get this name from their distinctive shape, which resembles an elephant’s ear.
These delicious cookies are known for their crispy, caramelized exterior (yum!) and their sweet, flaky layers on the inside. (Thank you, puff pastry, for doing the hard work for me!)
I’m getting hungry, just writing all of this!
Let’s don’t wait a minute longer. Let’s bake these delicious elephant ears cookies!
You will find a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this post but here’s a quick peek at what you’ll need. These are simple ingredients you can find at your local grocery store.
- refrigerated puff pastry (store-bought puff pastry)
- granulated sugar
- ground cinnamon
- melted butter
- white sugar
How to Make Elephant Ears Cookies
These came together so quickly and easily. I almost felt like I was cheating by using the puff pastry!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Stir cinnamon into 1/3 cup of granulated sugar. Set aside.
Sprinkle remaining 1/4 sugar onto work surface.
Place sheet of puff pastry onto the sugar.
Use a pastry brush or the back of a spoon to coat the pastry with melted butter.
Sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Roll in toward the middle, using the natural curve of the dough.
Wrap in the parchment paper and place in the freezer for 10 – 15 minutes.
Remove from freezer and remove parchment paper.
Using a sharp knife cut into pieces and place on prepared cookie sheet. They will triple (or even quadruple) in size while baking so spread them out.
The recipe recommended 1/4 inch but mine were probably more like 1/3 inch.
Depending on the depth of your cut you’ll end up with 15 – 18 cookies.
Place in preheated oven and bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and cookie sheets on a wire rack to cool.
Allow to cool completely before serving. (They will crisp up as they cool.)
Place leftovers in an airtight container to store (or wrap in plastic wrap).
They should stay good for 3 – 4 days at room temperature. I don’t recommend refrigerating or freezing these, as they will lose their crispiness.
What to Expect from these Elephant Ears
True to their name, these sweet palmiers look like a palm tree leaf!
This buttery puff pastry is crisp, and loaded with cinnamon sugar goodness. These palmiers are absolutely delightful.
I loved the caramelly stickiness of the backs of these cookies.
And the snap as you broken them in two.
What really amazed me was the fact that, in spite of the crispness, they still felt soft in the center.
I was so happy to discover such a simple and tasty cookie, one that doesn’t require pulling out the mixing bowl! I can’t wait to share these cute little pastries with my family and friends.
Variations on this Palmier Cookies Recipe
These are amazing just as they are but I love to change things up. Next time I might try:
Brown sugar: I love the combination of brown sugar and cinnamon. I think it would add depth of flavor to use this combination for the filling.
Finely chopped pecans: I love pecans in and on everything.
Orange-cranberry: Next time I might add orange zest and (finely chopped) craisins to these. I think that flavor combination would be amazing!
Cocoa-sugar: I might add 2/3 cup sugar with tablespoon of cocoa powder in place of the cinnamon-sugar mixture in the future, just to see how it would taste. I’m guessing it would be delicious.
Other Cinnamon-Sugar Treats from Out of the Box Baking:
That’s it for this post, friends! I hope you enjoyed this delicious recipe.
If you make this recipe and love it, don’t forget to leave a review and a comment below. And while you’re at it, go ahead and pin some photos to your Pinterest boards!
See this recipe at
Learn more about doctored cake mixes, the theme of this blog.
For the master list of all doctored cake mix recipes on this site, visit Doctored Cake Mix Recipes, Master List.
About the Author
Janice Thompson is an author, baker, and all-around mischief maker! She has overcome a host of baking catastrophes, including a toppled wedding cake, to learn more about the baking process. Janice has published over 150 books for the Christian market but particularly enjoys writing recipes and baking devotions. To learn more about Janice or to drop her a note, visit her About the Author page.
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- 1 package refrigerated pastry dough
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Stir cinnamon into 1/3 cup of granulated sugar. Set aside.
- Sprinkle remaining 1/4 sugar onto workspace.
- Place puff pastry onto the sugar.
- Use a pastry brush or the back of a spoon to coat the pastry with melted butter.
- Sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Roll in toward the middle, using the natural curve of the dough.
- Wrap in the parchment paper and place in the freezer for 10 - 15 minutes.
Remove from freezer and cut into pieces.
- The recipe recommended 1/4 inch but mine were probably more like 1/3 inch.
- Depending on the depth of your cut you’ll end up with 15 - 18 cookies.
Place on prepared cookie sheets.
- Place in preheated oven and bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and cookie sheets on a wire cooling rack.
- Allow to cool completely before serving. (They will crisp up as they cool.)
- Place leftovers in an airtight container to store (or wrap in plastic wrap).
They should stay good for 3 - 4 days at room temperature. I don’t recommend refrigerating or freezing these, as they will lose their crispiness.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 104Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 73mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 0gSugar: 7gProtein: 1g
The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.