Lemon Cream Horns with puff pastry and lemon custard filling, a super easy dessert to make at home without the horn moulds. It's quick and the lemon kick makes this dessert perfect for Easter too.
The term horns might be a bit confusing when it comes to a dessert, but it's just some pastry strips wrapped around a metal horn and baked until golden. They are then filled with a delicious cream to make this popular sweet treat that is a family favourite.
If you do happen to have the horn moulds, that's perfect, otherwise you can make your own horns using kitchen foil. My horns were not made on a mould either, and while the foil ones are not perfect, they surely are handy.
The common filling for the horns is the vanilla cream or custard, but any flavours can be added too. For my lemon cream I used lemon zest and lemon extract, and the taste was divine. I added some yellow food colouring, although that's entirely optional, no need to buy some specially for this recipe, the taste will still be the same.
Alternatively, you can go for other flavours like orange, mint, strawberry, chocolate, coffee and the list is endless. Or just go for the traditional version of the simple, yet delicious vanilla flavour.
Step-by-step photos and instructions to make the lemon cream
- pour half of the milk into a pan set over a medium heat
- add the sugar to it, and let to simmer for the sugar to dissolve
- the other half will be mixed with the flour - whisk well to avoid lumps forming, if that happens, pass the mixture through a sieve to get rid of the lumpy bits
- add the flour mixture to the sugar one, together with the lemon zest and lemon extract
- whisk well until the mixture thickens into a cream
- leave to cool for 5-10 minutes, then add the cubed butter and yellow food colouring, and mix well to incorporate them
- allow the cream to cool completely
Step-by-step photos and instructions to make the pastry horns
- cut the kitchen foil to a length of approximately 20x20 cm, (8x8 inches)
- hold it in half, then half again, then roll it into a cone
- cut the puff pastry into strips of 2 cm wide, and 15-20 cm long
- starting from the bottom up, roll the strips around the cone making sure there are no gaps in between - for a stronger cone, you can wrap the foil around some ice cream cones, or some paper cons, but mine worked fine just like that
- bake in the preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) for 20 minutes until golden
- leave to cool completely, then remove the moulds carefully
How to assemble the cream horns
It is crucial for both pastry and cream to be completely cooled off before assembling, otherwise the cream will make a proper mess. Simply add the cream to a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle, and fill the horns well.
Sprinkle with icing sugar for a nicer touch, but you can also leave them just as they are. Store the horns in a cool place, and consume within 2 days.
And that's all, a simple dessert to make, but divinely delicious, and perfect for any celebration. Happy Spring!
My lemon cream has been tweaked from a vanilla cream that I used for the yummy Chocolate Eclairs Recipe. This cream works wonderfully well here: it's thick enough not to make a mess, but still the right consistency to fill the horns well. There is nothing more frustrating that horns with not enough cream, and not filled till the very end.
Puff pastry works the best with this recipe - it's flaky and golden, and very easy to work with too. Especially if you use ready-rolled puff pastry. Alternatively, the puff pastry block is as good, just roll it to the desired thickness and length.
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Lemon Cream Horns
- 1 ready-rolled puff pastry
- 2 cups milk
- ⅔ cups sugar
- 80 g butter (⅓ cup)
- 7 tablespoon flour
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- zest from one lemon
- 1 teaspoon yellow food colouring
- kitchen foil to make the horns
- icing sugar for decorating
- To make the cream, pour half of the milk into a pan set over a medium heat.
- Add the sugar and leave to simmer for 2-3 minutes for the sugar to dissolve.
- Mix the other half of milk with the flour, whisking well to avoid lumps forming.
- Pour the flour mixture over the sugar mixture together with the lemon zest and extract, and whisk well until you get a thick cream.
- Remove from the heat, and allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Cut the butter into cubes, and add it to the cream, mixing well to incorporate it.
- Leave the cream to cool completely.
- To make the horns, cut the puff pastry into strips of about 2cm wide, and 15-20cm long.
- Cut the kitchen foil into a square of 20x20cm.
- Fold it in half, then half again, and roll it into a cone.
- Starting from the bottom up, roll the pastry strips around the cone, making sure there are no gaps in between.
- Repeat to make 7 horns.
- Bake in the preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) for 15-20 minutes until golden.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely, then remove the moulds carefully.
- Put the cream into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle, and fill the horns.
- Sprinkle with icing sugar.