Palmiers (Elephant Ears)

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

  • 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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  • 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.


  • Zeba

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


  • Kathy

    Can I freeze these?

    • Elise Bauer

      I don’t see why not, haven’t tried freezing them though.

  • 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 ☺

  • cindy

    Can you substitute fillo. dough for puff pastry?

    • Elise Bauer

      I don’t think that would work well. Filo dough isn’t particularly flexible.

  • Anju

    Oh my god! These were amazing!! I made one batch of savory ears and another batch sweet. And both were fabulous. I now have to exercise extreme self-control and not eat all of them before my husband and son come home in the afternoon. I am so looking forward to showing off with these over Christmas when we have relatives visiting. Thank you!!


  • sarah

    Wow, I loved them! I made these for my French assignment! ;)


  • Sara

    AWESOME! I was looking for something quick and yummy for dessert, using ingredients I had on hand. I used some cinnamon and nutmeg along with the sugar. These were so simple and by far the best “elephant ears” I’ve ever had. Actually, I have to admit, I’m not even a big fan of them in general (have only had them from a bakery when they are already hard and dry). I am a fan now!


  • jonathan

    Simple and delicious.

    I love eating elephant ears, yet it makes me sad to think of all those hearing-impaired elephants running around just so us humans can get a cookie fix.

    Puff pastry tip: I drove 5 miles out of the way to get the Trader Joe’s brand, which is far superior (imo) to the more well-known stuff commonly found in your grocer’s freezer. You know, the brand with the word “Farm” on the box which uses vegetable fats instead of real butter.

  • Leslie

    Thank you for the recipe to one of my favorite cookies! I made these last night with vanilla sugar, and sprinkled toasted poppy seeds on some of them (sprinkling on the dough before rolling up, and then on top of the cookies right before baking as well). Yummm.

  • Abi

    I am hoping to make these as gifts for christmas, could anybody tell me how long they will last/best way to store them?


    These are best made the day of. They’ll last a week in an airtight container. ~Garrett

  • Elsie

    Wow! They’re that simple! I just took out the puff pastry to thaw! :) It’s gonna be dessert tonight!! Wonderful post!

  • Gordon

    I made a batch of Cheddar Black Pepper Palmiers just a few minutes ago – Oh Wow!!! It’s like the best potato chip you’ve ever eaten – only ten times better!! Hooked – for sure hooked :)


  • S. Wong

    This recipe resulted in many compliments! I was looking for somethin easy to make for the office AND a french conversation group I belong too. Didn’t mind telling folks that it was “semi-homemade.” Even my diabetic mother took a few and found it to be not too sweet!

    NOTE: (1) Though the recipe says 1/4 c. of sugar, the puff pastry doesn’t “soak” it all up, internally/externally. (2) Don’t leave in a really cold fridge overnight. I did and the condensation that formed liquified the sugar into a syrupy mess. I used more sugar to give it the granular finish. (3) If your oven runs really hot like mine, I used 375F and flipped the palmiers over during the 8th minute and let it finish off for the remaining 2 mins. Nice golden color was achieved.

  • Jack

    My aunt tried to teach me to make palmiers a couple years ago, and mine came out horrible every time, either black on the bottom and stuck to the pan, or underdone on top. Then this year she remembered to tell me to turn them over halfway (or a little more) through baking, and now they always come out perfect.

    My problem might have been that I was baking the palmiers directly on the tray, instead of on parchment. Could that have caused the bottoms to burn? Either way, my bad palmiers looked a lot like what the South African group described, so maybe they could try turning their cookies.

  • Kathleen

    These sound so easy. About how many does one box of puff pastry make? I would like to make these for a holiday cookie exchange but I need to bring eight dozen cookies!

  • karen van der merwe

    We have a Facebook group in South Africa called “what do we eat tonight” and 2 ladies tried to bake Palmiers with disastrous results; they say the sugar runs out and caramelized in the pan, a total flop! they used 3/4 cup sugar. How much sugar do you use on a roll of pastry? Any suggestions please? Thank you.

    Maybe about 1/2 cup is a good amount. I think I need a bit more information to answer your question though. ~Garrett

  • Joyce

    I tried phyllo instead of puff pastry. Didn’t work. Threw it out.

    Sorry the experiment didn’t work so well. However, phyllo is totally different from puff pastry – puff pastry has layers of butter that when baked boil and create steam pockets which raise the layers of dough. The heat at the same time cooks and hardens these various layers of dough which are separated by the layers of butter. Phyllo dough doesn’t have butter or leaveners of any kind. If you have leftover phyllo I suggest trying the baklava post, it’s easy and gives great results. ~Garrett

  • Serene

    These are absolutely delicious! I second the suggestion to use all-butter puff pastry (the one from Trader Joe’s is really affordable)- I’ve used this recipe several times with both the regular puff pastry you get from the grocery store and the all-butter kind, and there’s a definite difference. Richer and infinitely more flavorful. Soooo good!

  • Katie

    Garrett, last year I tried my hand at your adorable tuxedo strawberries. This year, pressed for Valentine’s Day prep time, I adapted your Palmiers- tried, true, and oh-so-easy. Sprinkle sugar, add another sprinkle of red sugar crystals, roll ’em up like you said, squish into a contorted heart, and voila! The red sugar crystals make the rolled spiral bubbly pink and the hearts are subject to interpretation, but I’d call it cute, festive, and tasty. Thanks for having such a bake-genius friend, Elise!

  • Cecilia

    Thanks, Garrett and Elise! I made these for dessert for my friends yesterday and they were a hit! So light, flaky and easy to make, too.

  • katy

    Garrett and Elise,

    I made a savory version of this recipe for a dinner party last week —

    They were absolutely delicious, and almost too easy for words. And they looked so elegant! Thank you so much for sharing the technique!


  • gailey

    Oh my, I cant find any puff pastry in any of my local stores.

    From what I hear, pie dough can work as a decent substitute. Never tried it myself, so if you give it a go, I hope you’ll report back to us with your results! ~Garrett

  • wt

    I hope this isn’t a silly question, but do I need to defrost the puff pastry from the freezer prior to making these? And if so, how do I go about doing so? (She sheepishly asks…). Thanks for the great blog. Love your recipes!

    Read the package on thawing the puff pastry. Maybe about 40 minutes out of the freezer should do it though. ~Garrett

  • Harley

    I just made these, but I had a slight problem with one side browning a lot before the middle was cooked enough. I used parchment paper on a cookie sheet – should I maybe double up on the parchment paper, or is that how they are supposed to be?

    The edges will brown a bit before the center as with any baked good. It also could just simply be a quirk of your oven, the weather outside, or any number of factors including bad luck. Baking is a definite science where anything can affect the outcome. However, do not despair, a few of mine came out a little over brown, but they tasted delicious the same. ~Garrett

  • Home Cooking Kitchen

    YUM! How easy, and they turned out beautifully!

  • EJ

    I’ve had these cookies a million times, and because they’re so delectable and delicate, I figured they’d never be something I could pull off. But when I saw an recipe — and one that looked so simple??? I made them the same day! They came out beautifully, so delicious, and perfect for entertaining. I made the sweet ones, but I can’t wait to try adding cheese, spices, etc., to really blow my own socks off.

  • Francie

    I love this! I do mine like Ina Garten. She adds a bit of kosher salt to the sugar. It gives it more of a salty/sweet punch.

  • Patti Berent

    Sprinkle some ground cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg onto the puff pastry before rolling up along with the sugar and it’s delectable! So good with coffee, tea or lattes! Enjoy!

  • Rose

    These look *dangerously* easy. Can you substitute phyllo dough for puff pastry? I have a box of that stuff in my freezer right now that I have no idea what to do with…

    Not sure if phyllo would work here. However, there is an excellent baklava recipe here on Simply Recipes that might be perfect for you. ~Garrett

  • Katie

    Um, I don’t really know what puff pastry is and in what state one can get it. Frozen? Can puff pastry be made if I can’t find it in stores? Shoot, this is one of the easier recipes I’ve seen, but I’m missing some important info.
    I call ’em Schweineohren, too!

    Puff pastry is a light, flakey, unleavevened pastry containing many layers of fat. Made with flour, salt, water, an enough butter to kill a racehorse, it expands greatly when baked.

    You can find it in the frozen dessert section of any grocery store. And yes you can make it, but for something like this that’s supposed to be quick and easy, I suggest you just buy some as it’s not expensive. In a pinch, extra pie dough can be used for this recipe as well, though I am not sure what the baking time and temperature would be. ~Garrett

  • grace

    Am I correct in assuming that these beauties are best right out of the oven and lose quality pretty quickly (even after a day)? I hope I’m wrong because I’m making the desserts for a wedding reception and I think these could be a great addition.

    Store them in an airtight container and you should get a few days out of them, like any cookie. I would suggest a test run for everything you plan to make far in advanced though for any sort of event, just to work out the kinks and see what works and what doesn’t. ~Garrett

  • Ulrike aka ostwestwind

    How funny we call it “Schweineohren” pig ears in German :-)

  • trish

    This sort of reminds me of what my mom used to do with leftover pie crust dough when she made a pie. She would roll it out into large cookie-sized pieces spread with oleo (our “house-spread” of choice – I didn’t grow up with real butter but I love it now =))…sprinkle with sugar and cinnmon and bake till crispy – us kids – including my Dad – couldn’t wait till it came out of the oven and cooled down enough to chomp into – she was a fine southern raised lady who made fine southern pie pastry…*sigh* sometimes I miss those days…anyway – it was yummy! I have a box of puff pastry in the freezer – this sounds lke Sunday breakfast.