Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Friday, 14th January 2011

My favourite Sweet Indulgence is Italian Pastries especially Cannoli and Cannoncini alla Crema Pasticcera.  If you’re not familiar with Italian Pastries, Cannoncini are Pastry Horns (also called Custard Horns or Cream Horns) filled with velvety Italian Pastry Cream.

A photo of 2 Cannoncini alla Crema Pasticcera, Italian Pastries.

If you’ve been following me along in “My Sweet Life” journey you may remember that I shared with you my favourite Italian Bakery and Deli, Angelo’s.  I have so many fond memories centred around that bakery, but unfortunately after 48 years of business Angelo’s closed their doors last year.

It was a family-owned and operated business and my heart goes out to my dear friend Caroline and her family.  A little piece of me was lost when they closed the doors.  I can only imagine how Caroline and her family must feel; the emotions must be overwhelming.

A photo of pastry horns cooling on a wire rack.

Although the doors closed a few months ago I am still shocked and surprised and I know that most residents in our city feel the same.  Heading out for my weekly shopping ritual just isn’t the same without a stop by Angelo’s.  Finding a replacement will not be easy.  My kids are as upset as I am and they are filled with the same questions I have  – “Where are we going to get our Italian deli meats and Calabrese Bread?” “Where are we going to get that special Olive Oil we use for our salad dressing?” “Where are we going to get our Italian Pastries?” “What’s in store for Caroline?”

A photo of Italian Pastries, pastry horns filled with Italian pastry cream, displayed on a red cake stand.

You may be wondering what the big deal is?  Angelo’s wasn’t just a bakery and deli it was an experience steeped in tradition.  Most importantly, it was a place filled with happy memories for many.  In fact, it’s a ritual that most will find quite difficult to replace.

So what’s a girl to do when she’s craving an Italian Pastry and has lost her favourite Italian Bakery? Make homemade Cannoncini!  I did take the easy way out and I purchased prepared puff pastry. After my 12-hour pie pastry marathon I thought I’d give myself a little break, but I do plan to tackle puff pastry at some point. Angelo’s pastry horns were pretty amazing, prepared puff pastry doesn’t come close but this recipe will do the trick in a pinch.

A photo of Italian Desserts, Cannoncini alla Crema Pasticcera displayed on a cedar plank.

I’m actually surprised I had any Crema Pasticcera left to fill the pastry horns because after I set it aside to cool, the temptation to indulge in a little spoonful here and there was too much for me. Somehow I resisted eating the entire bowl of creamy goodness and left enough to fill the pastry horns.  I sprinkled white sanding sugar on the pastry horns and it gave it just the right amount of sweetness.

My first bite into the Cannoncini was delicious but also a little “bitter sweet”.  On one hand I knew that I would never again enjoy Angelo’s special Italian Pastries. On the other hand a new tradition was taking root.  The buttery, flaky puff pastry combined with the velvety, vanilla bean flavoured crema pasticcera brought the childhood memories flooding back.

A photo of 4 Italian pastries, Custard Horns.

My passion for food is ignited by all the special memories it evokes.  What fuels your passion for food?

A photo of Cream Horns displayed on a red cake stand.

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Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Custards, Creams & Mousses, Eggs, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Pasticcini, Pastries, Pastry Doughs & Batter, Recipes, Ricette di Base

Comments (84)

84 Responses to “Cannoncini alla Crema Pasticcera (Puff Pastry Horns with Italian Pastry Cream)”

  1. Blog is the New black Says:

    Beautiful job! Your pics are wonderful. They look like they were made with a lot of love.

  2. Diane {} Says:

    They look amazing! I miss the Italian bakery where I grew up that sold these…they are so delicious. I will certainly have to give them a try-you make it look so easy ;) All types of food inspires me, but it’s the items from childhood that bring me the fondest memories that I want to create again.

  3. Grace Says:

    I feel exactly the same Diane. My Mom stopped by with some Italian Scorpelle the other day and it is next on my list to lean how to perfect.

  4. Chef Dennis Says:


    how sad your favorite store closed…I understand completely the saddness that it brings…you come to depend upon certain items being a given in your life, its comforting….sigh….then thet go away.
    on the positve note, your creme horns look to die for!!! that pastry cream is screaming eat me and those delicate little pastrys are the perfect home for that delectable cream!
    wish I had a few right now!
    have a wonderful weekend my friend

  5. Grace Says:

    Thanks Dennis! You are so right Dennis, I am scrambling at the moment to find all of my special ingredients elsewhere. I don’t think anyone would have ever thought that they would close. They were so much a part of the community.

  6. Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels Says:

    Wow these are gorgeous! I’m so sorry your favorite bakery closed. :( I must say I LOVE cream horns, they are one of my absolute favorite desserts ever! I wish I could reach into my computer screen and grab one of yours, they look SO delicious.

  7. fooddreamer Says:

    I am fairly certain that I can’t even begin to pronounce it properly, but these are so gorgeous. If and when you do make your own puff pastry, I bet you will succeed! And I am sorry that such a beloved store/deli closed, this economy is so hard on small businesses.

  8. Grace Says:

    Thanks! It really is so unfortunate. They started to add a couple more locations and I think it may have been there downfall.

  9. Adora's Box Says:

    How beautifully you’ve made those pastry horns. I love that you’ve filled it with custard cream rather than just sweet cream. I feel sorry that you’ve lost one of your community landmarks and feel sad for your friend Caroline. Best of luck to her and her family.

  10. Cajun Chef Ryan Says:

    Wow, these all look wonderful. My favorite Italian desserts are Cannoli, Tiramisu, and Spumoni ice cream.

    Bon appetit!

  11. Grace Says:

    Spumoni Ice Cream – Yum!

  12. Lola Says:

    OMG. Those look absolutely amazing.

  13. Tiffany Says:

    The little specs of vanilla bean are so beautiful!

  14. Maria Says:


  15. Annie Says:

    These look so delicious! They remind me of lady fingers.

  16. Christina Says:

    Gorgeous! These remind me of seashells, summertime & the beach! Thank you! I need the warm up! :)

  17. Grace Says:

    I love the beach! Glad I could warm you up.

  18. Felice Says:

    I wish I could reach out and grab one of these because I don’t think I can wait long enough to make them. We definitely do not have an Italian pastry shop here and I really miss these kinds of desserts. Cannoli and a layer cream cake were my favorite desserts growing up since we lived in the Italian area of our city.

  19. Grace Says:

    One of my favourite things to do when I head into Toronto or New York City is to visit Little Italy. I never know where to go first, so many Italian delicacies. Believe it or not we are now down to only two real Italian bakeries in the city and they happen to be clear across town for me.

  20. Vicki @ Wilde in the Kitchen Says:

    I was so glad to scroll down and see “Puff pastry” in your ingredient list for the horns! Phew, now I know I can totally make these!

  21. Grace Says:

    Very easy with the prepared puff pastry.

  22. Lizzy Says:

    Stunning…just stunning.

  23. Tweets that mention Cannoncini, Italian Pastries, Pastry Cream Recipe, Italian Desserts | La Mia Vita Dolce -- Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Recipes and Cuisine and Grace Langlois, William Cooks. William Cooks said: Cannoncini alla Crema Pasticcera (Pastry Horns with Italian Pastry Cream) #food […]

  24. Sandra Says:

    Oh those photos are stunning! And I love pretty much anything Italian LOL! This dessert is so perfect in every possible way!

  25. Sara Says:

    Just so you know, they are among the first thing I have to eat every time I go back home. They are among my biggest cravings. Now, I don’t have an Italian deli close to me that makes great cannoncini so now you are tempting me to buy the molds and make them myself! Great job!

  26. Grace Says:

    Thanks Sara, if you have cannoli forms they would work too

  27. SMITH BITES Says:

    love these Grace, just love them!!!

  28. Paolo Says:

    Your cannoncini look fantastic! Oh how many memories… Among the different types of Italian pastries, cannoncini are always the first ones to go. I haven’t been able to find any good ones in Vancouver, I’m going to have to try an make them myself – with your help :)

  29. Cakewhiz Says:

    Those look so creamy and crispy …yum! Just perfect :)

  30. elisabeth@foodandthriftfinds Says:

    Your cannoncini are a labor of love! So perfect, beautiful, and yummy. Also love the pastry cream you made for them.
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes!

    So sorry that your longtime favorite bakery closed.
    I know the feeling, we have lost a few oldies here, as well, in our area, in S. Florida!

  31. Grace Says:

    Thank you Elisabeth! Oh how I wish I was in South Florida right now. I’ve had enough of the snow and the cold weather. Curious, what’s in season for you now?

  32. Hester aka The Chefdoc Says:

    Wowzers, these look so beautiful! I don’t think I’ve ever had cannocini but, mmm mmm mmm do they look good!

  33. Lora @cakeduchess Says:

    Oh Grace-I wish I had a place like Angelo’s near us. Too bad it closed for you:( These look amazing!! You are such a talented baker. Every post is stunning!

  34. Grace Says:

    Thank you so much Lora!

  35. Trish @I_am_Succeeding Says:

    These look amazing! Congrats on being on the Top 9!

  36. Grace Says:

    Thanks Trish

  37. Cooking with Coley Says:

    Wow these look so incredible – congrats on the top 9!

  38. Kori Says:

    These are beautiful! So delicate and unique looking, I’m sure they are a wonderful pastry. Congrats on the top 9, too!

  39. Grace Says:

    Thanks Kori

  40. Says:

    congratulations on today’s top 9! :-)
    thismustbe delicious! I alsolove the presentation! excellent work! (^_^)

  41. Sandra Says:

    Congrats on top is well deserving! Photo, and recipe is amazing!!!

  42. Grace Says:

    Thanks Sandra

  43. sarah-jane Says:

    How sad about Angelo and Caroline’s Deli

    At least with you they have left many happy memories of good food, indulgence and friendship. I do hope that things work out for them what ever they choose to do.

    I’ve just discovered you from Foodbuzz top 9. Congratulations ! Your pastries look amazing ….. and good enough for me to remember in the way you remember Angelo’s shop..

    Lovely !

  44. Grace Says:

    What a very nice thing to say thank you so very much Sarah-Jane.

  45. Tess Says:

    Wow! These look fabulous! Do you know where I could order the metal cones? I’m in a very rural area and have never had a deli/bakery like the one you loved, but I keep dreaming!

  46. Grace Says:

    Thank you very much Tess. I have emailed you with the direct link to an online retailer (fantes (dot) com) that carries the Cream Horn Molds.

  47. Julie Says:

    Woah!!! These just look AMAZING. You have put so much effort into it. I even can see the specks of vanilla beans! Congrats on making top 9 again!!! Julie

  48. Grace Says:

    Thanks Julie!

  49. Jenny Nguyen Says:

    I love these! I am too afraid to make them though as I will probably eat them all on my own :(

  50. Peggy Says:

    It’s so disheartening when great places like your Italian Bakery get shut down. There was this restaurant my fiance and I always frequented (always packed too) and last year they closed as well… without any indication that they would! So it was definitely a sad day for us! These pastries look so gorgeous though!

  51. Grace Says:

    Thanks Peggy, I feel your pain. It’s hard especially when there’s no indication.

  52. Claudie Says:

    Simply beautiful!
    Oh my, I haven’t had those since I was a child… it’d been a while, (like a very very long while)! I must correct that! Although, I’ll admit one thing: I’ve so far tried only ones with chocolate cream inside, so I’m curious to try out your recipe!

  53. Grace Says:

    Chocolate, I have to try that for sure!

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