Pastry Dessert Recipes

From caramelized apple to chocolate ganache, to a tart or a puff pastry, we have tips and techniques that will ensure your dessert looks and tastes like you put some serious love into it.

Staff Picks

Classic Cream Puffs

The foundation of the perfect cream puff is light, airy pâte à choux, which is made with eggs, flour, and butter. Once the cream puffs are shaped and baked, they're filled with a rich homemade pastry cream.

Apple Dumplings

A traditional Pennsylvania Dutch dessert, these apple pastries are spiced with cinnamon and studded with raisins. Martha made this recipe on episode 708 of Martha Bakes.

Cinnamon-Sugar Ragamuffins

Sugar and spice and everything nice—that's what these special pastries are made of. They start with biscuit dough, which is flattened out and dusted with plenty of sugar and cinnamon. Then it's rolled up, sliced, sprinkled with coarse sugar for extra sparkle and crunch, and baked until flaky and golden brown.

Apple-Cinnamon Strudel

Rating: 3.26 stars
Busy times call for easy desserts that have a sweet simplicity, like these flaky apple-cinnamon pastries. For our streamlined strudel, we folded convenient store-bought puff pastry around a four-ingredient filling of sauteed fruit.

Honey Buns

Rating: 3.78 stars
There is very little white sugar in these not-just-for-breakfast buns -- but you won't miss it. Honey imparts its smooth, mellow sweetness to every component: the rich, buttery dough, the tangy creme fraiche filling, and the appealingly sticky topping.

Apple Strudel

Rating: 2.9 stars
Our simplified version of the classic layered pastry calls for store-bought phyllo dough.

Classic Cannoli

Rating: 3.09 stars
True to its Sicilian roots, our cannoli are filled with fresh ricotta, instead of the custard and cream that define American versions. Cinnamon-infused dough for the shells is rolled with a pasta maker (another nod to the old country) and then lightly fried and dipped in chocolate and pistachios. The result? A dessert that is delizioso.

Walnut-and-Honey Baklava

The many buttered layers of phyllo dough, walnut filling, and sweet syrup make baklava the ultimate special-occasion dessert in Greece.

Coffee-Filled Cream Puffs with Chocolate Glaze

Freshly brewed espresso amps up the rich pastry cream that's piped into these delicate puffs. Martha made this recipe on episode 611 of Martha Bakes.

Sugar Buns

Rating: 3.65 stars
These simple but fun sugar buns taste best when they're still warm from the oven.

French Butterfly Cookies (Papillons)

Known for their caramelized exterior and multitude of flaky layers within, these French treats call for just two ingredients: puff pastry and sugar.

Brown Sugar and Pecan Sticky Buns

Rating: 3.07 stars
Make these delicious treats ahead of time and serve these sticky, sweet buns for breakfast or brunch.

Inspiration and Ideas

Pink Croquembouche
French for "crunch in the mouth," croquembouche is a tower of cream puffs held together by hot caramel. Martha makes the dessert even more showstopping by turning the pastries pink and filling them with strawberry buttercream.
Rating: Unrated
Making this classic French pastry at home is easier than you think.

Cream Horns

You'll need twelve cream-horn molds or four-inch wooden cake dowels to make these horns. For a delicious alternative, add almond extract, raspberry puree, or mini chocolate chips to the whipped cream.