These pumpkin spice cream horns are a cornucopia dessert filled with autumn flavors, flaky pastry, and creamy filling. Perfect for any festive fall gathering!
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Table of Contents
- About Pumpkin Spice Cream Horns
- What are cream horns?
- What’s in pumpkin cream horns?
- Tools you’ll need
- Do you have to use Cool Whip?
- Pumpkin Puree vs. Pumpkin Pie Filling
- Can you use pumpkin pie filling?
- Can you use homemade puff pastry?
- Can you use orange food coloring?
- How long are they good for?
- Can you freeze them?
- Notes & tips for pumpkin spice cream horns
- More delicious pumpkin recipes
- How to make pumpkin spice cream horns
- Recipe Details
About Pumpkin Spice Cream Horns
If you’re looking for a creative fall treat with fancy flair and southern enthusiasm, look no further than these pumpkin spice cream horns.
Packed with tasty pumpkin-infused filling, this flaky cream horn recipe has all the delicacy of an Austrian pastry but is surprisingly easy to make. And once you whip up the creamy pumpkin spice filling, you might be tempted to eat it straight, but trust me – it’s worth wrapping the cream in fluffy puff pastry.
What are cream horns?
Originating in Vienna, Austria, cream horns (also known as Schaumrolle) are crispy pastries shaped like horns. They’re typically stuffed with light fillings like whipped cream or meringue, but sometimes you’ll find them with fruit or chocolate inside – or, hey, even pumpkin pie!
What’s in pumpkin cream horns?
In order to make your own fall-infused cream horns at home, you’ll need to gather the following ingredients:
- Puff pastry – Used for creating the horn-shaped pastry of the cream horns.
- Egg and water – Whisked together to make the egg wash that’s brushed over the unbaked puff pastry.
- Pumpkin puree, light brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice – The stars of the show! Helps create the classic pumpkin flavor.
- Cream cheese, vanilla extract, and Cool Whip – Mixed together to create the base of the cream filling.
- Powdered sugar – Totally optional, but can be used to dust the tops of the cream horns for that classic look.
Tools you’ll need
- Cream horn molds – Cream horns are known for their cornucopia-like shape and these little molds help you create it.
- Mixer – You can either use a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
- Rolling pin and pizza cutter (or knife) – For flattening the puff pastry and cutting it up as needed.
- Mixing bowls, a baking sheet, and some parchment paper – Standard fare for the best baked goods.
- Basting brush – For coating the cream horns in egg wash.
- Pastry bags and piping tips – Pastry bags make everything easier, and a few decorative tips will give your cream horns some extra flair (but they’re not required).
Do you have to use Cool Whip?
In theory, no – there’s nothing “special” about Cool Whip that would make these cream horns better (or worse) if you were to use an alternative ingredient, such as homemade whipped cream. While Cool Whip offers a distinct sweetness and flavor, most whipped creams are similarly sweetened. If not, they can easily be adjusted to match the sweetness level of Cool Whip.
To substitute the Cool Whip, simply swap it out for two cups of (very cold) heavy whipping cream. When mixing, be sure to whip until the cream is ultra thick and stiff peaks form.
Pumpkin Puree vs. Pumpkin Pie Filling
When it comes to holiday treats, you’re going to be faced with two types of canned pumpkin in the baking aisle:
Pumpkin Puree vs. Pumpkin Pie Filling.
And while these types might seem interchangeable, there is a slight (yet significant) difference.
With pumpkin puree, the only contents are cooked and mashed pumpkin (or a variety of winter gourds), with no added flavors or spices. Pumpkin pie filling is made with cooked and mashed pumpkin, too, but it also has flavor added, typically with pumpkin pie spice.
The key difference here is convenience. If you don’t have (or don’t want to buy) pumpkin pie spice, using pumpkin pie filling can save you some time and effort; you simply add it to the recipe and skip measuring the spices. However, it does limit your ability to control the taste, and if you’re using the pumpkin pie filling with other flavors, there’s no way to guarantee how they’ll interact.
This is why you’ll see many homemade recipes use pumpkin puree (which, again, is just the gourds, no added flavor) and season and spice the recipe by hand as needed. It is a tad more work but it also gives you more control over the flavor of your fall treats.
Can you use pumpkin pie filling?
If you only have pumpkin pie filling on hand – and trust me, I’ve been there, having grabbed the wrong thing at the store – then yes, you can substitute it in this recipe for the pumpkin puree. Just make sure to omit the pumpkin pie spice from the recipe so that the cream horns don’t come out with “too much” fall flavor.
Can you use homemade puff pastry?
Certainly! Any type of puff pastry will work for this recipe. Just be sure you have enough to equal two total sheets of the store-bought kind.
If you’ve never made puff pastry before, I highly recommend this recipe and guide: Quick & Easy Homemade Puff Pastry.
Can you use orange food coloring?
Yes, you can use food coloring in this recipe, but be careful. The cream in this recipe is fairly delicate and can become runny quickly if you add too much additional liquid. This could be solved by refrigeration or freezing the cream for a bit before piping it into the cream horns, but whether or not that works depends for you on the temperature you’d like to serve these cream horns at (because in most cases, they’re served room temperature).
In the cream horns pictured, I skipped the food coloring, but only because I liked being able to see grains of the pumpkin pie spice in the cream. So even without a brighter orange color, this fall treat can still look invitingly festive.
You can also dust the tops with more pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, or brown sugar to give them more of a fall-oriented look.
How long are they good for?
Ideally, these cream horns should be eaten on the same day they are made. Puff pastry is airy and delicate, and it won’t take long for the cream to saturate the layers and make the cream horns seem soggy. The cream will also start to lose some of its “oomph” within 30 minutes or so, so it’s best to enjoy them right after preparation is complete.
Can you freeze them?
Yes! When frozen within the first two hours, these cream horns make for excellent snacks on a rainy day. They’re even good to eat while frozen!
- Once prepared, place cream horns in a single layer in a freezer bag or storage container. If at all possible, avoid stacking pastries and place them in a safe spot in your freezer; the pastries are delicate.
- Cream horns can be frozen for up to two months.
- Allow them to thaw in the refrigerator for at least two hours or on the counter for 30 minutes.
- If needed, dust with fresh powdered sugar before serving.
Notes & tips for pumpkin spice cream horns
- Jazz up the cream puffs by drizzling them with melted chocolate. Sprinkle crumbled candy or nuts for added flavor.
- Want to make a double batch? No problem! This recipe adapts well to increasing the yield to however many you’d like to make.
More delicious pumpkin recipes
How to make pumpkin spice cream horns
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 1 – Preheat the oven, grab your baking sheet, smooth on some parchment paper, and coat the cream horn molds with cooking spray. Whisk the egg and water in a small bowl until they’re totally blended. Keep everything close; we’ll use them soon!
Step 2 – Lay out the puff pastry sheet on a clean surface and flatten it with a rolling pin until it’s about twice its original size. Then, slice and dice it into 8 neat 1-inch strips. Toss any extras aside.
Step 3 – Start at the base of the cream horn mold, and snugly wrap the pastry around. After one round, pinch the seam so it’s tight. Keep wrapping until you reach the strip’s end, making sure those edges are sealed. Repeat this step until all the molds are wrapped.
Step 4 – Arrange the cream horns on the prepped baking sheet, making sure the seams are facing down. With the basting brush in hand, paint each horn with the egg mixture from earlier.
Step 5 – Bake!
Step 6 – Let them chill on the pan for a bit, then transfer them to a wire cooling rack. Once they’re cool enough, slide the molds out and set the horns back on the rack.
Step 7 – For the filling, throw the cream cheese, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract into a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer and a roomy bowl). Whip it up until it’s smooth and fluffy.
Step 8 – Drop the mixer speed down and add the Cool Whip, letting it whip until combined and smooth.
Step 9 – Load up a pastry bag with the cream filling and your preferred piping tip. Carefully fill each pastry horn up to the open edge. And if you’re feeling fancy, dust them with a bit of powdered sugar.
Step 10 – Serve and enjoy!
Pumpkin Spice Cream Horns
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
For the Cream Horns
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line at least 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and spray cream horn molds with cooking spray. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and water until thoroughly combined. Set all three aside.1 large egg, 1 tablespoon water
- On a flat surface, unfold one puff pastry sheet and use a rolling pin to roll it out, doubling size of sheet. Cut the puff pastry into 8 1-inch strips, discarding any scraps.2 sheets puff pastry
- Starting at the bottom of a cream horn mold, begin wrapping puff pastry. After wrapping dough around once, pinch seam to secure it, then continue wrapping, progressively moving down the mold. When at the end of dough strip, lightly press along all the wrapped edges so that they're sealed.
- Repeat the last two steps until all cream horn molds are wrapped. Place cream horns on prepared baking sheets, seam side down, spacing each a few inches apart. Using a basting brush, brush prepared egg wash over top of each cream horn.
- Bake for 14-16 minutes or until pastry is puffed and golden brown.
- Let finished cream horns rest on sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. When cool enough to handle, carefully remove cream horn molds and return cream horns to wire rack.
For the Pumpkin Spice Cream Filling
- Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), whip cream cheese, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract on high speed until there are no clumps of cream cheese, about 1-2 minutes.4 ounces cream cheese, 1/4 cup pumpkin puree, 1 1/2 teaspoons light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Drop mixer speed to medium and add Cool Whip. Mix until thoroughly combined, about another 1-3 minutes.8 ounces Cool Whip
- Transfer pumpkin spice cream to a pastry bag with a large piping tip of your choice.
Putting it All Together
- Gently pipe cream filling into prepared cream horn pastries. Fill just to edge; be careful not to overfill. Dust tops of cream horns with powdered sugar or pumpkin spice (optional).powdered sugar
- Serve immediately.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.