Almond Bear Claws


These flaky Danish pastries are a time-consuming project, but they're a perfect way to show people how much you love them! I like serving them at special brunches. The puff pastry dough and almond filling can be made ahead of time, and the pastries can be frozen before baking.

Prep Time:
2 hrs
Cook Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 25 mins
24 pastries


  • cup almond paste

  • 2 ¾ cups ground almonds

  • ½ cup white sugar

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 egg whites

  • ½ teaspoon almond extract

  • 2 teaspoons amaretto liqueur

  • 3 pounds puff pastry

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds, for garnish

  • 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar for dusting


  1. In a large bowl, beat almond paste with an electric mixer to break it apart. Add the almonds, sugar, and salt; continue to mix until the almond paste is no longer lumpy. Stir in the butter, egg whites, almond extract and amaretto liqueur on high speed until its as fluffy as you can get it. Set aside.

  2. Using half of the dough at a time, roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle that is about 8 inches wide and 1/4 inch thick. Trim the edges of the dough. Cut the dough in half lengthwise to make two 4 inch wide strips.

  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

  4. Fill a pastry bag halfway with the almond filling and pipe a stripe of filling down the center of each strip. Whisk together the egg and water. Brush onto one edge of each strip. Fold each strip over the filling and press gently to seal it. Brush each piece with egg wash and sprinkle sliced almonds over the top. Cut into 3 to 4 inch pieces, then cut 1/2 inch slits into the sealed edge to make the ''claws''. Place the bear claws at least two inches apart on baking sheets. Refrigerate and repeat with the second half of the dough.

  5. Bake in the preheated oven until almonds are toasted and pastry is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool and dust with confectioners' sugar right before serving.

    close up view of Almond Bear Claws on a white platter

Editor's Note:

Get the recipe for Blitz Puff Pastry.

For more tips, read the article about Breakfast Pastries.

Cook's Note:

This recipe makes enough filling for about six dozen bear claws. You can cut the recipe down, but I like to make a big batch because 1) it keeps indefinitely in the freezer 2) it's harder to make in small quantities (it's more difficult to grind almonds in a food processor in small amounts), and 3) the filling is delicious in coffee cakes and other baked goods.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

419 Calories
26g Fat
36g Carbs
10g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 24
Calories 419
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 26g 34%
Saturated Fat 7g 33%
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 157mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 70mg 5%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 238mg 5%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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