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Cinnamon Crisp Elephant Ears Recipe

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If you LOVE crispy cinnamon elephant ears at the fair try this easy Elephant Ears recipe at home. Crispy flakey layers dough without puff pastry and with an easy homemade yeasted dough. A fair food snack you can make at home.

Elephant Ears Recipe

This recipe is like a hybrid of two snacking favorites, elephant ears at the fair and palmiers from a bakery. And what a combination to make at home. Like a simple pastry if that makes sense??

Baked Elephant Ears

Elephant Ears as Fair Food

It’s not quite the same as the elephant ears you find at the fair. Those are pillowy dough, deep-fried, and rolled in cinnamon. Oh so good but they require deep fat frying.

Baked Elephant Ears Recipe

Palmiers from the Bakery

And these are not quite what you get when you buy Palmiers in a bakery. Those are typically made with puff pastry, rolled into two connected circles like these Savory Palmiers.

Baked Elephant Ears Recipe

How to Make Elephant Ears at home

This baked elephant ears recipe makes flaky cinnamon-filled rounds without making a pastry dough BUT it does require a little work.

  • Pat out HALF the dough into a 12×12 square
  • crumble HALF the filling over the top of the dough square
  • roll up like you would like when you’re making cinnamon rolls
  • cut in 12 slices
  • repeat with the remaining dough and filling
  • then lay the slices flat on a floured counter
  • pat EACH slice out to just about 3-4 inches wide
  • cover and let rise
  • bake!

It’s not hard to make Elephant Ears, it’s just a little work!

What Kind of Yeast Should You Use? Instant Yeast or Active Yeast?

Can I use All-Purpose Flour to Make this Elephant Ear recipe?

Yes, you can absolutely make this recipe even IF you don’t have bread flour. Bread flour has wheat that has a higher gluten content so it’s a little more structurally sound. If you DON’T have bread flour it’s going to be just fine. I test all my recipes with All-Purpose Flour (AP Flour) to make sure they will work for you.

As a mom of teen boys I know buying bread flour in bulk can be hard to do, whether its availability OR price that makes it hard. So I make sure that if anyone needs (KNEADS) to use AP flour, they’ll be just fine to do so.

You can ALSO make your own bread flour out of AP flour. Simply measure out your flour, for every cup remove 1.5 teaspoons of flour and add in 1.5 teaspoons of vital wheat gluten.

Fair Food at Home

It’s fun to make fair food at home! Make my soft homemade pretzels for a taste of the fair OR Head over to The Mom on the Move and check out her ENTIRE line up of fair food at home ideas. Some are homemade and some are store-bought. Either way you go, there’s a lot of fun to be had when you make fair food at home!

Yield: 24

Baked Elephant Ears

Baked Elephant Ears Recipe

These Baked Elephant Ears are like a combination of the fried elephant ears from the fair and the crispy crunchy palmiers from a bakery.

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes


  • 4 1/4 cups flour, All-Purpose works fine in this recipe
  • 2 1/2  instant teaspoons yeast, refer to the notes if you want to use active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 sugar
  • 1 egg


  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  • 1/4 melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)


  1. mix 4 cups of flour, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a mixer-if you're using active dry yeast see yeast notes below
  2. warm the milk, butter, and sugar in a small pan on the stove, don't let it boil just get it warmed up
  3. pour the warm milk over the flour, add the egg, and stir to combine
  4. use the bread hook to stir the dough until it comes together as a dough,
  5. If the dough is loose you may need to add the last of the flour to make it a soft dough
  6. once the dough has come together let the machine knead it for one minute until the dough is soft and pliable
  7. grease a clean bowl, add the dough, turn to coat, cover and let rise in a warm area until it's doubled in size
  8. divide the dough and let it rest for ten minutes while you make the filling
  9. combine the melted butter with the sugars and the cinnamon
  10. pat out 1/2 the dough to make a 12X12 inches square, crumble half the filling over the top of the dough
  11. roll the dough into a log, pinch the edges, and cut in 12 circles
  12. repeat with the remaining piece of dough
  13. lightly flour a clean counter and pat each circle out to a 3-4 inch circle cover and let rise for 30 minutes, don't worry these aren't meant to be perfect, they will start to rise and get puffy, and shrink as well
  14. preheat the oven to 400˚
  15. melt butter for topping
  16. combine sugar, cinnamon, and pecans if using
  17. line baking trays with silicone sheets, parchment, or foil
  18. lay four pieces of dough on a baking tray, cover with plastic wrap, roll flat with a rolling pin to make circles 5-7 inches around
  19. remove the plastic wrap, brush with butter, sprinkle with about 3/4 Tablespoon sugar mixture
  20. bake each tray of elephant ears for 8-10 minutes, 8 minutes will leave them puffy and soft, 10 minutes makes them crunchy
  21. when done in the oven remove them immediately from the baking sheet and put on a cooling rack
  22. repeat with the remaining circles
  23. if you have remaining sugar and cinnamon sprinkle it over the elephant ears


  • if you’re using Instant Quick Rise or Rapid Rise Yeast you can add the yeast directly to your dry ingredients — There’s NO NEED to dissolve the yeast in the water FIRST
  • Active Dry Yeast-Regular Normal Yeast should be mixed with a small amount of the water and flour from the recipe and added that way to make sure the yeast is properly distributed
  • REBEL MODE you can be like me and use EITHER type of yeast like it’s Instant Yeast with very little problem-but you should be aware that there can occasionally be a problem like small pieces of yeast that didn't dissolve

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