If you’re anything like us, you’ve got a favorite local cafe 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 must-haves, what really excites us are the mysteriously buttery, flaky options full of unexpected and unfathomable flavors and textures. We’re here to tell you that if you’re up for the challenge, they’re totally doable 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 baking recipes for ideas – you might discover some new favorites among them.
Almost anywhere you might travel, you will have their own variety of region-specific pastries that they have been known for for hundreds, if not thousands of years. French pastries are some of the best known, and here we have recipes for all the classics. Well-rolled dough (meaning it’s been folded over with butter several times) is a days-long process, so we’ve admittedly taken a few shortcuts to make some of them more doable at home. Discover our croissant shortcuts, macaroons, madeleines, donuts and profiteroles. Do you want to deepen your knowledge of pastry? Try our Middle Eastern ma’amoul cookies, Italian zeppole, Jewish sufganiyot, Mexican concha, Japanese mochi or Chinese mooncakes. Remember that pastry chefs can take years to master these recipes, so if yours doesn’t turn out perfect the first time, no stress! Baking is as much about the process as the end result, so enjoy the journey.
And don’t think it’s just candy. Traditional baking methods can also translate into very tasty savory options, such as Indian samosas, Turkish borek-inspired crispbread, Jewish potato knish, Greek spanakopita and Chinese baozi (bread rolls steam). The great thing about these recipes is that once you understand their basic concept, you can be as creative as you want with the toppings.
Want more dessert inspiration? Discover our favorite cookie recipes, our favorite pies and our best dessert bars.