Palmiers (Elephant Ears)


Quick and easy to make palmiers, or elephant ear cookies, with puff pastry and sugar.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Please welcome guest author Garrett McCord who shares his dead-easy palmiers cookie recipe with us. ~Elise

Sometimes I just want a quick cookie. Something simple, yet flashy, with very little work on my part. A quick rendezvous in the kitchen with near instant cookie gratification.

The answer to this cookie conundrum is the palmier, or elephant ear cookie. A simple French classic, and even though it’s French don’t let that scare you. Puff pastry and sugar. Bake. Done. Class dismissed.

This cookie, due to its simplicity, pairs well with many other desserts or after dinner espresso, coffee, and tea. Yet at the same time the simple addition of spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom or vanilla sugar can make this a very fragrant way to end a meal.

The palmier can also be reworked into a great savory appetizer if you want; instead of using sugar and spices, replace the sugar with grated Parmesan and roll into it a very thin layer of pesto.

Palmiers (Elephant Ears) Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Dough Chilling time: 30 minutes


  • Lots of granulated sugar
  • Puff pastry
  • Parchment Paper (aka baking paper) or a Silpat baking mat


1 Roll out the puff pastry, sprinkle with sugar: Preheat oven to 400°F. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of sugar over your workstation. Roll out the puff pastry to about 10X12 inches. Sprinkle another 1/4 cup of sugar (and spices if using) over the dough.

2 Roll left and right edges inward to meet in the middle: Roll up the left vertical side inward, stopping in the middle of the dough. Roll up the right side of the dough. The two rolls should be meeting at the middle and touching. Press the two sides together gently. Repeat with any more puff pastry you may have.

3 Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.

4 Slice cookie forms from dough logs, sprinkle with sugar: Starting at one end, cut off pieces of the log, in slices about 1/2 inch in thickness. Lightly sprinkle sugar onto each side. Pinch and press the sides of the two rolls together to ensure that they don't unroll during baking.

5 Place on lined baking sheets. The palmiers will increase size dramatically, so leave plenty of room between each cookie and only bake a dozen at a time.

6 Bake: Set the tray in the middle of the oven. Bake at 400°F for about 10-15 minutes or until the sugar has caramelized.

7 Cool on rack: Allow them to cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

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Pesto palmiers from The Brewer and the Baker

Chocolate and orange palmiers by Clotilde


Garrett McCord

Garrett McCord is a professional writer and recipe developer whose work has appeared in many print and online publications such as Gourmet Live, Saveur, Huffington Post, Smithsonian, and NPR. Past clients also include numerous food companies, wineries, and distilleries. Garrett writes about cocktails on his website, Coupe de Grace.

More from Garrett

36 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Linda Ponce

    I made these tonight and they were Delicious! So much better than the ones we buy at they Mexican bakery. Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe.


  2. Zeba

    Turned out brilliantly. I used Demerara sugar for mine. Thank you!


  3. Kathy

    Can I freeze these?

    Show Replies (1)
  4. Marlene

    I used to have these in France and loved them! These are spot on. I own a very small bakery & always make my own puff pastry (very, very simple). I prefer sweet, my boyfriend prefers savory. Today, I’m just making sweet. Thank you for this recipe ☺

  5. cindy

    Can you substitute fillo. dough for puff pastry?

    Show Replies (1)
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