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How to Make Italian Cornetti

Posted in Caro Diario.(dear diary..), coffee, cucina, cucina povere, recipes, Rome, slow food, and the Mediterranean diet


 copyright 2009, Maria Liberati

After many of my posts praising the little known Italian cornetti (as compared to its’ French cousin -the croissant) and how  my long flight into Rome is spent with my mind pondering  which coffee bar I will get to first to  have my first cornetto.  After landing, once I find my luggage, my goal is to have a cornetto and cappuccino to wake me up.. it seems that I just can’t function without that first cornetto and cappuccino..once  downed they are like a magic potion to wake me up for no matter how long my day is………. filled with meetings or functions or events.

Here is the recipe so many of you have been emailing and requesting for- fresh cornetti to make at home. If this  is your first time making these be sure to have a few hours to try this recipe out.  Sorry for taking so long to put this up here, but it takes almost as long to write out the  recipe as it does to bake them. Of course there are many versions, this is just one home made version, but I think it is the easiest for the home cook to try.


3 cups flour (can use whole wheat flour  for a whole wheat version)

1/2 cup sugar

1 tbsp honey

4 tblsps sunflower seed oil

1 cake yeast or 1 packet powdered yeast

1 cup tepid milk

3 eggs

pinch of salt

1 tsp real vanilla

Brush on topping:

2 egg yolks

2 tsps sugar

pinch of milk

 Melt yeast in tepid ( warm not hot) milk. Place flour in center of large bowl or wooden board, make a well, place in center the dissolved yeast/milk mixture, and all ingredients. Mix for approximately 20 minutes till you have a smooth dough, then cover dough and let rise in a warm (not hot place) for approximately one hour.

Cut the dough into triangles and place a spoonful of honey or marmalade in the center. an easy way to do this would be to first form dough into a circle by using a large plate to cut a large circle of dough,.The cut circle into triangles, place a spoonful of marmalade or honey on center and let triangles rise this way for approximately 40 minutes.


To top cornetti before baking

In a bowl., mix another 2 egg yolks, 2 tsps of sugar and a drop of milk.

roll up the triangles into the shape of a cornetti. Place parchment paper on baking sheet, place cornetti on top, brush this mixture on top of each cornetti and bake in oven preheated to 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden.

 If you’d like to serve them with cappuccino- here’s how to make it at home

Hope to see you at upcoming book signings/cooking demos:

Nov 14th-  Warren Twp Public Library, Warren NJ

Dec 12th-Franklin Twp Public Library, Somerset, NJ

 or at the  upcomimg wine dinners and pairings. Did you ever think of having a wine dinner or wine pairing dinner for an upcoming event or a corporate team building event? Email The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by  Maria Liberati tm for info on booking one for your next event.


Get The Basic Art of Italian Cooking : Holidays & Special Occasions filled with Holiday recipes ,menus and wine tips.

 Mangia Bene, Vivi Bene,



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  1. Teresa

    Can I substitute butter for the sunflower oil? The cornetti I ate in Sicily tasted buttery. Thanks!!

    August 6, 2010
    • Yes ,just be careful because butter burns easily. But yes, some cornetti are buttery in Italy, usually less buttery than the typical croissants in France. Cornetti typically have less butter than croissants.
      Buon Appetito, let us know how they turn out.

      August 7, 2010
  2. anne boscariol
    anne boscariol

    Hello Maria… my husband’s side of the family hails from the Friuli region of northeast Italy. We are also Canadian (2nd generation)from the Windsor/Detroit area. He insists that “cornetti” is a form of bread,triangular in shape,crusty on the outside and as he puts it “deadly good and soft” on the inside. We grew up with cornetti as a bread staple…not a pastry or confection. Had you ever heard of this and if so is there a recipe out there somewhere? I bake 99% of our own bread and he insists that slomebody out there knows the right way to make real cornetti. (I’m guessing that there’s steam involved somewhere in the process to get the golden crusty finish) Thank you !

    August 8, 2010
    • Anne: when I am in Italy breakfast is not breakfast without a great cornetto. So wherever I am in Italy I always am on the lookout for expert bakers in specific areas. However, there are a lot of variations on cornetti, and especially per different regions. There are the very ‘flaky’ones or ones that resemble a croissant and then there are those that have the same shape but are made with more of a bread type dough. The ‘flaky’ones that are more like a pastry are made with a puff pastry type of dough and take a longer time to make because of the particular dough, the recipe on my blog is meant to be similar to a cornetto but something that can be made in a shorter period of time. However,since each region has their own breads and bread shapes some regions use them as a form of roll but without a sweet filling in the middle. And yes cornetti are soft inside usually with a dollop of marmelade or nutella or cream or they may be ‘salata’-salted and meant to enjoy with cheeses, meat or as an appetizer or as a type of roll. Whatever type of dough is used- they are still crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. They have become the Italian version of the French croissant for breakfast.
      Let me know if you try the recipe on my blog for this. In the meantime, I am always scouting out new recipes here and will be posting a different cornetti recipe shortly..stay tuned..thanks so much for writing..hope to hear from you again soon!

      August 9, 2010
  3. Margie

    My friend and I studied abroad in Italy and have been craving cornetti since we returned, so when I found this recipe I couldn’t wait to try it. We followed the recipe to a T but we ended up with dense, lifeless little lumps. They taste like bread, but worse. I am not sure where we went wrong, or if anyone else has had success with this recipe, but our end result was far from the delicious cornetti we enjoyed daily, or more, in Rome. We may try again and tweak the recipe, but it was a disheartening attempt.

    September 5, 2010
    • Sorry to hear about your attempt at this recipe. This recipe is not meant to be the exact replica of the delicate pastries served at the coffee bars in Italy but meant to be a similar version and this is a version that would be made more by a bread or pizza baker than a pastry chef-so it is a bit more like a bread than a pastry. Thanks for visiting and trying out the recipe.

      September 5, 2010
  4. Paula Tauscheck
    Paula Tauscheck

    Like Anne’s husband, I am also familiar with the cornetti which is hard on the outside and very soft on the inside. My family used to buy them in a bakery called Schinderle’s in Iron Mountain, MI. I’m sure I could get them somewhere in the Upper Peninsula, I would love a recipe or better yet, a bakery which would ship them to me! Your recipe does sound delicious, though, Maria!

    September 27, 2010
    • Paula: thanks for ‘visiting’ and your post! I never realized how many people were ‘secretly in love’ with cornetti as I am..I say secretly because I had never heard anyone talking about them in the US till I began writing about them. Yes the ones you describe are the ones that are rustic and are hard on outside, soft inside and then there are the cornetti that are served in the coffee bars in Italy which resemble a type of croissant,so they are flaky but with a lot less butter-so they are not as heavy. My recipe on the site is meant to resemble the rustic ones, the ones that are more of a pastry are made by Italy’s most talented pastry chefs and take a lot longer to make and are a bit more complicated. And yes I have been working on finding a product that is very similar to what is produced in Italy that can be shipped to addresses in the US fresh or frozen..check back I will certainly mention this in the blog…

      September 28, 2010
  5. gretchen forsell
    gretchen forsell

    Oh Paula, I too grew up in Iron Mountain and would do anything for a bag full of cornetti’s. I have asked some folks in IM and they can’t find them either.
    If you find something please post. I too don’t want a pastry, I want crust bread with soft bread inside. Oh I am dreaming about it even now!!

    December 7, 2010
  6. gretchen forsell
    gretchen forsell

    Found a picture of what looks like I ate as a kid. I am going to try and locate the book and try the recipe. This is the closest I have ever come to seeing a cornetti!!
    The Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri

    December 7, 2010
  7. Ron Naccarato
    Ron Naccarato

    Anna and all,

    I have been on a mission to discover what anna refers too ( “cornetti” as form of bread,triangular in shape,crusty on the outside and as he puts it “deadly good and soft” on the inside.) I too grew up 2nd gen Italian in Windsor ontario on “Via Italia” Erie Street and the Columbo Bakery used to make Cornetti buns which were a sort of dinner roll. they were made with 3 points and obviously rolled then two were placed on each other to form a triangle. Anyway they are crispy on outside and the bread flesh was so soft you couldn’t make a sandwich out if it…it collapsed so easily. This was not a crossant by any stretch..but like all you im looking for a recipt fot this too

    January 2, 2011
  8. angie koshinski
    angie koshinski

    Paula, I saw your note regarding Schinderle’s bakery. I’m working on my family tree and my grandmother is a Schinderle from Iron Mountain. Would you be able to tell me anything about the bakery? Thank you!

    May 3, 2011
  9. Julia Berglund
    Julia Berglund

    Regarding the IM cornetti’s… Believe it or not, the local Econo Foods bakery makes cornetti, italian bread and hard rolls that are VERY similar to the old Schinderle’s bakery! I always call and order for the freshest if I am serving porketta etc… they soften overnight but crisp up nicely if put in a warm oven for a couple minutes. I too grew up spoiled by the Schinderle’s bakery and my grandparents owned a local north-side tavern that served porketta and italian sausage boats with Schinderle’s rolls.

    June 26, 2011
  10. Curt H. Swanson
    Curt H. Swanson

    We traveled to Iron Mountain, MI every Thanksgiving from Wisconsin. My grandmother, Anne Aimone Swanson would get fresh cornetti’s at 6:00 AM from Schinderle’s Bakery and Genoa Salami from Oliva’s Market! They were simply two of the most delicious foods I have ever tasted! Thank you Maria for keeping the memories alive!

    January 3, 2012
    • Thanks Curt for visiting and sharing your food memories!

      January 3, 2012
    • Jon: thanks for sharing that link with us. This was the original rustic cornetti that I have managed to track down at some old local bakeries in Italy today. Most of the coffee bars serve cornetti that are more like a pastry, but that is not the original form. This bakery made the original rustic form that is hard to find. Thanks for sharing your special food memory glad to hear you got to experience these delicious delights!

      January 20, 2012
  11. Ria

    Salve Maria: Unbelievably, I live in New York City and it is impossible to find a plain cornetto!! I have one question about the recipe: 3c flour, but only one plate-size circle cut into triangles. I imagine that I will have maybe 8 enormous cornetti. Is that correct? Should the dough be perhaps cut in half before spreading into circle to cut? (Making 16+/- cornetti.) I want to get this right–I can’t stand the disappointment of these not being the delicious treats that I can not get enough of when I am in Italy. Grazie mille.

    August 28, 2012
    • Ria: thanks for your email. Yes you’re so right, I really miss cornetti when I am not in Italy, nothing seems to wake me better than a cappuccino and cornetto. However, I am working out of my test kitchen in Italy and have been working on a new recipes for cornetti that is easier and I think will have better results. I will be posting the recipe within the next 10 days and will send you a notification email if you can wait. Also the new recipe makes the cornetti a bit smaller and you can fill them with marmalade or keep them plain. The recipe you refer to that I first published is a bit complicated so if you can wait a few days I think you will really like these new ones. grazie anche a te…saluti!

      August 28, 2012
  12. Ria

    Thanks Maria! I will anxiously await the new recipe. I can taste in now . . .

    September 4, 2012
  13. Ria

    Thanks for the updated recipe. Can’t wait to try–maybe this weekend. I can taste them now. . .

    September 27, 2012
    • Let us know how this one turns out!! Hope you have a delicious weekend..Maria

      September 27, 2012
  14. Giada

    Grazie Maria Questo è come la faccio.

    June 7, 2013
  15. Dear maria,
    I am working here in Italy as a colf ,Iam very interested how to make a cornetto just like as a bar very soft and crispy delicious ,pls with your permit can you send your recopy to my email and I am glad too if you send ho make an ice cream and pizza ,,,,, I am so honor to introduce to my employer what I am learning from you thanks a lot and more power to you,,,,, marites

    November 12, 2013
    • Marites: thanks for your messsage. So you are working in Italy as a coif? where are you from originally? Also send your email and we can invite others to send recipes to you as well! Buon Natale and Happy Santo Stefano! Maria

      December 26, 2013

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