Cream rolls

a plate of cream rolls

“When my parents were living in Afghanistan, these light, crisp cream-filled pastry horns were bought from special patisseries known as kulchah feroshees. They are usually served during celebrations such as Eid or for birthdays.”

This recipe is Fatema’s – guided by her mother, the flavours of Afghanistan, and her natural talent, she has become an expert sweet maker.

Serves 18-20


For the pastry horns
250g (9 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
250g (1 cup) butter, at room temperature and cut into small cubes
150ml (5 fl oz) chilled water
50g (1¾ oz) finely ground pistachios

For the filling

900ml (30 fl oz) thickened (whipping) cream
30g (¼ cup) icing (confectioners’) sugar, plus 250g (2 cups) extra for dusting
1 tsp ground cardamom


Whisk the flour and 1 tsp salt in a bowl to combine. Add the butter and, using your fingertips, quickly and loosely rub the butter into the flour. You still want to see bits of the butter in the flour, so take care not to overwork.

Create a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the chilled water. Using your hands, mix the ingredients to combine and form a firm but rough dough. Cover the dough with a tea towel and refrigerate for 25–30 minutes to chill. Dust a workbench with flour, turn out the chilled dough and knead gently, until smooth. Work the dough into a rectangular shape by hand, then roll with a rolling pin in one direction to make a rectangle roughly 50cm x 20cm (20in x 8in). Streaks of butter should be visible, indicating that it hasn’t been overworked. Fold the top third down to the centre and fold the bottom third up to overlap. Turn the dough 90 degrees, either to the left or right, and roll again to a 50cm x20 cm (20in x 8in) rectangle. Repeat this folding and rolling one more time, then cover with a tea towel and refrigerate for 25–30 minutes to chill.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Divide the chilled dough into 3 equal portions. Lightly dust a workbench with flour and roll 1 portion to a rectangle about 25cm x 20cm (10in x 8in) and about 3mm (1/8in) thick. Cut 2.5cm (1in) wide strips along the length of the rectangle so that each strip is 25cm (10in) long and 2.5cm (1in) wide.

Lightly grease some cannoli tubes with oil and wrap a strip of pastry around the length of one tube in a spiral, overlapping as you go, to ensure there are no gaps. Repeat the same process with the remaining 2 portions of dough.

Place the tubes on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 20–25 minutes, or until golden brown. Place each cannoli tube with the pastry wrapped around it on a wire rack to cool for an hour or so, before gently separating the pastries from the tubes.

While the pastries are cooling, prepare the cream filling. Add the cream, icing sugar and cardamom to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the balloon whisk, and whip until stiff peaks form. Place the cream into a piping bag and pipe it into the cooled pastries to fill. Place the extra icing sugar in a bowl and roll the filled pastries in the sugar, to coat all sides. Serve sprinkled with ground pistachios.

Cream rolls are best enjoyed fresh, on the day they are made.

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