If you’re like us, you’ve got a favorite local coffee shop or cafe, where the atmosphere is welcoming, the coffee is always great, and the pastries… oh, the pastries! While simple, classic options like banana bread or peanut butter cookies are staples, what we really get excited for are the mysteriously buttery and flaky options full of unexpected and unfathomable flavors and textures. We’re here to tell you, should you be up for the challenge, they’re totally achievable at home. In fact, with a little patience and creativity, you can make a variety of these sweet desserts from around the world, right in your own kitchen. Check out our 38 pastry recipes for ideas—you might just discover some new favorites among them.
Pretty much anywhere you could travel to will have their own variety of region-specific pastries that they’ve been known for for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. French pastries are some of the most well-known, and we’ve got recipes for all the classics here. Well-laminated dough (meaning it has had butter folded into it several times) is a lengthy, multi-day process, so we’ve admittedly taken some shortcuts to make some of them more achievable at home. Check out our shortcut croissants, macarons, madeleines, beignets, and profiteroles. Looking to expand your pastry knowledge? Try our Middle Eastern ma’amoul cookies, our Italian zeppole, our Jewish sufganiyot, our Mexican concha, our Japanese mochi, or our Chinese mooncakes. Remember—pastry chefs can take years to master these recipes, so if yours don’t turn out perfectly the first time, don’t stress! Pastries are as much about the process as they are about the end result, so enjoy the journey.
And don’t think it’s just sweets. Traditional pastry methods can translate to some very tasty savory options too, like Indian samosas, Turkish borek-inspired scrunch bread, Jewish potato knish, Greek spanakopita, and Chinese baozi (steamed buns). The great thing about these recipes is that once you’ve got their basic concept down, you can get as creative as you like with the fillings.
Want more dessert inspiration? Check out our favorite cookie recipes, our favorite pies, and our top dessert bars too. (Andrew bui)