Bear Claws


Transport yourself to a pastry paradise with the delectable delight of Bear Claws. These irresistible pastries are a perfect blend of flaky dough, sweet almond filling, and crunchy sliced almonds on top. Whether enjoyed with a morning cup of coffee or as a delightful dessert, Bear Claws are sure to satisfy your cravings for something sweet and satisfying. Join us as we explore the art of making these delightful pastries and indulge in their irresistible charm.


For the Dough:

  • 1 cup milk, lukewarm
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  • 2 large eggs

For the Almond Filling:

  • 1 cup almond paste
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Optional: 1/4 cup raisins or chopped nuts

For the Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk or water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Equipment:
  • Rolling pin
  • Large mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  • Pastry brush


Prepare the Dough:

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar in lukewarm milk. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until frothy.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, and remaining sugar. Add the butter pieces and blend with a pastry cutter or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Beat the eggs and add them to the yeast mixture. Pour this into the flour mixture and stir until a dough forms.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5-7 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Make the Almond Filling:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine almond paste and powdered sugar. Beat until well mixed. Add egg white and almond extract, mixing until the filling is smooth. Stir in flour (and raisins or nuts if using) to make a stiff filling.

Shape the Bear Claws:

  1. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.
  2. Spread the almond filling evenly over the dough, leaving a small margin at the edges.
  3. Fold the dough over the filling, pressing the edges to seal. Cut the dough into strips about 2 inches wide.
  4. Make diagonal cuts about 1 inch apart on each strip, making sure not to cut all the way through. Bend the strips slightly to separate the “claws.”

Proof and Bake:

  1. Place the shaped pastries on the prepared baking sheet. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and let them rise for another 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  3. Bake the bear claws for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Glaze the Pastries:

  1. While the bear claws are baking, whisk together powdered sugar, milk (or water), and vanilla extract to make a smooth glaze.
  2. Once the pastries are done and still warm, brush them with the glaze.


  1. Allow the bear claws to cool slightly on a wire rack before serving.

Serving Tips:

  1. Serve Warm or at Room Temperature: Bear Claws are best enjoyed when served warm or at room temperature. Serve them fresh from the oven for a comforting treat, or allow them to cool slightly before serving for a delightful snack.
  2. Pair with Hot Beverages: Accompany Bear Claws with a hot cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate for a cozy and indulgent experience. The warmth of the beverage complements the flakiness of the pastries and enhances their flavor.
  3. Garnish with Powdered Sugar: Before serving, dust the Bear Claws with powdered sugar for an extra touch of sweetness and visual appeal. This adds a delicate finishing touch and elevates the presentation of the pastries.
  4. Serve with Whipped Cream or Ice Cream: For a decadent dessert option, serve Bear Claws with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The creamy accompaniment adds richness and contrasts beautifully with the flaky texture of the pastries.

Storage Tips:

  1. Store in an Airtight Container: Once cooled completely, store leftover Bear Claws in an airtight container at room temperature to maintain their freshness. Place a sheet of parchment paper between layers to prevent them from sticking together.
  2. Reheat Before Serving: If storing Bear Claws for more than a day, consider reheating them before serving to restore their warmth and flakiness. Reheat individual pastries in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for a few minutes until warmed through.
  3. Freeze for Longer Storage: Bear Claws can be frozen for longer storage. Place cooled pastries in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until firm. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag and store for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating or enjoy them at room temperature.
  4. Refresh in the Oven: If the Bear Claws have lost their crispiness after storage, refresh them in the oven before serving. Place them on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for a few minutes until warmed through and crispy.


  1. Can I use store-bought almond paste for this recipe? Yes, you can use store-bought almond paste if you prefer. However, homemade almond paste can provide a fresher flavor and texture.
  2. Can I make the Bear Claws ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare the Bear Claws ahead of time and store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2-3 days. Reheat them in the oven before serving for best results.
  3. Can I freeze Bear Claws? Yes, Bear Claws can be frozen for longer storage. Once cooled completely, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place them in a freezer-safe container or bag. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  4. Can I omit the sliced almonds on top? Yes, you can omit the sliced almonds if you prefer a smoother texture. Alternatively, you can replace them with other toppings such as coarse sugar or chopped nuts for added crunch.
  5. Can I use a different type of pastry dough? While puff pastry is traditionally used for Bear Claws, you can experiment with other types of pastry dough such as croissant dough or Danish pastry dough for a different texture and flavor profile. Adjust the baking time accordingly based on the type of dough used.


With their flaky layers, sweet almond filling, and crunchy almond topping, Bear Claws are a delightful treat that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether enjoyed as a breakfast pastry, a midday snack, or a sweet ending to a meal, these irresistible pastries are sure to impress with their irresistible flavor and charm. So, gather your ingredients, roll up your sleeves, and treat yourself to the delightful indulgence of homemade Bear Claws.

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