11 Puff Pastry Recipes That Look Impossible to Make but Are *So* Easy (2024)

There’s a reason puff pastry is so intimidating. There’s just no way achieving perfectly golden, ultra-flaky bites could be simple. Right? Actually, thanks to pre-made frozen puff pastry dough, that notion couldn’t be more wrong. These 11 puff pastry recipes are not only easy to master, but they also look and taste like you could run your own bakery.

1. Puff Pastry Donuts

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The cronut craze may have simmered down, but our appetite for airy, layered donuts remains (as much as we wish we could squash that sweet tooth). To make these puffs of joy, simply brush puff pastry dough with egg yolk, fold the dough into thirds, freeze for 15 minutes, cut donut-size pieces with a circle-shaped cookie cutter, and either pop them into a deep fryer (props to you for having one!) or bake in an oven (our preferred method). Smother with homemade vanilla sauce, sprinkle with powdered or cinnamon sugar, or enjoy as is.

2. Ham and Cheese Pinwheels

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Sure, party platters covered in fresh produce, cured meats, and homemade dips are impressive (and beautiful), but sometimes the best appetizers involve a little ham and cheese—not the fancy kind. These five-ingredient pinwheels only take 10 minutes to prep and 15 minutes to cook, making them one of the easiest pastry recipes we’ve ever seen. The sneaky addition of Dijon mustard and fresh parsley also makes them all kinds of grown-up—if that’s the vibe you’re going for.

3. Caramel Apple Turnovers

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Add this to the list of pastries we thought we’d never be able to master at home. These turnovers are ready to eat in five simple steps (one of which is optional) and better than anything we’ve tasted at coffee shops. Start by making the apple filling and prepping the frozen pastry by cutting it into sections and then fill ’em up, fold and seal the dough, pop ’em in the oven, and appreciate your masterpiece for at least a minute before diving in. (Plus, it helps to let them cool a little.)

4. Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Pastries

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If you value mellow evenings but love a good get-together, try hosting brunch instead of dinner. The recipes are just as fun—if not more—and you can even incorporate co*cktails, like mimosas. Better yet, brunch provides an awesome excuse to load up on hearty-healthy smoked salmon and palate-friendly cream cheese.While bagels may be what you’re picturing, we actually prefer popping the toppings onto freshly baked puff pastry squares to make them extra special. We love the simplicity of chopped chives and fresh dill, but the bites also taste great with chopped tomato, diced red onion, and a sprinkle of everything bagel spice.

5. Easy Blueberry Peach Tart With Vanilla Glaze

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Sometimes dessert really is the best thing for breakfast. (OK, not when it comes to nutrition, depending on the recipe, but how fun is starting the day with leftover pie?) For mornings when you’re in need of a little treat, try this blueberry and peach puff pastry tart, which is as simple as thawing dough, brushing it with egg, filling it with fruit, and baking. You can even skip the sauce and opt for sprinkles of brown sugar if you want to keep it extra easy.

6. Asparagus, Pancetta, and Puff Pastry Bundles

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Pigs in a blanket just got a serious upgrade—and a green one at that. The recipe still delivers plenty of pig by bundling pancetta into the wraps, but the main stars are the asparagus spears and shaved Parmesan. The perfect appetizer, side dish, or hearty snack, these veggie-filled bundles are on at the top of our list when it comes to entertaining guests—and ourselves. Serve with roasted lean protein (salmon or chicken with lemon goes particularly well) or with a side sauce, like honey mustard.

7. Baked Puff Pastry Wrapped Brie With Fig Jam

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Perhaps the most genius use of puff pastry dough is simply wrapping it around a hunk of Brie. Divine with only dough and cheese, this recipe jolts this dish into melty heaven by spreading fig jam on top of the circle of Brie and along the inner layers of the pastry dough. The only things left are the ever-important brushing of the egg yolk (this is what makes the pastry so golden—and prevents it from burning), a sprinkle of sea salt, and the patience to let it bake. Spread onto apple slices or crackers, or eat by the spoonful.

8. Puff Pastry Spinach and Artichoke Pinwheels

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Sometimes the wheels on the bus go round and round, and sometimes they go directly into your mouth. After all, how could anyone resist wheels filled with four types of cheeses—please hold while we wipe up our drool—lots of savory spices, and even some hearty greens? Breakfast, brunch, dinner, lunch… these fiber-filled bites are great for any time of day. In fact, they’re so good you don’t even need an occasion or time of day as an excuse to gobble ’em up.

9. Easy Twisted Nutella Danish

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Don’t let the shape fool you. These twisted danishes are just as easy to whip up as the rest of them—and they just happen to be a lot more fun. This recipe doesn’t even save the best for the last. It actually starts with the best step, which is spreading Nutella all over the thawed pastry dough and sprinkling chopped hazelnuts on top. What comes next is another layer of pastry dough, simple slicing, a little twist, a little twirl, and you’re done. (But don’t tell your guests it was that easy.)

10. Easy Puff Pastry Baked Eggs

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Sick of the same old egg dish? We feel you. Make things more special by breaking eggs into puff pastry bowls and cooking them with white cheddar cheese and a handful of chopped herbs (we’re partial to parsley). For all you meat eaters out there, we love placing a piece of prosciutto under the egg so it bakes to crispy perfection. Prefer to live meat-free? Sauté sliced mushrooms with a splash of balsamic vinegar and pour on top of the pastry when it’s ready to eat.

11. Puff Pastry Almond Croissants

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Oh, the beloved almond croissant. Do pastry dreams get better than this? Though we were hesitant to master this dish due to fears of eating almond croissants all day every day (wait, that doesn’t sound so bad… ), we quickly changed our tune when we realized this recipe simplifies things by using almond extract instead of almond filling to provide that perfectly almond flavor. A little less sweet and a little bit smaller than the average bakery buy, this recipe makes us feel like we found a lovely happy medium. (Meaning we’ll be eating them every other day.)

11 Puff Pastry Recipes That Look Impossible to Make but Are *So* Easy (2024)


Why is puff pastry so hard to make? ›

Puff pastry does need some gluten development but, because of the amount of rolling out that will happen during lamination, it is very easy to overwork a dough which makes it incredibly hard to use and can cause a lot of shrinkage.

What is the best way to use puff pastry? ›

Using Your Puff Pastry

You can use it as a crust for a free-form tart, fold it into breakfast turnovers, bake it into cups for easy appetizers, or cut it into bite-sized shapes for appetizers.

What are the methods for making puff pastry? ›

There are two different ways of doing this and any combination of the two ways can be used when making puff pastry:
  1. The half-turn method for pastry dough in which the pastry is rolled out and folded in three. ...
  2. The book-fold method is the method of laminating pastry dough, also known as the four-fold tum. ...
  3. Height of pastry.

Which pastry is perhaps the most difficult of pastry types to make this is because it tends to dry out quickly? ›

Filo pastry, or phyllo pastry as it is sometimes known, is perhaps the most difficult of pastry types to make. This is because it tends to dry out quickly – even if shop-bought.

Is pastry hard to make? ›

These days, making your own pastry is often considered the domain of the domestic goddess - it takes skill, time and a sprinkling of magic, doesn't it? In reality, making a basic shortcrust pastry is really very simple.

Is puff pastry difficult to work with? ›

Puff pastry can be tricky to work with and needs to be treated with care and respect to ensure good results. By following a few simple guidelines you can have perfect puff pastry every time. The keys to ensuring that you get crisp, flaky layers from your pastry are concerned with temperature and handling.

Do you put puff pastry on hot or cold filling? ›

When making a pie with a pastry top or lid, choose a dish with a rim and allow the filling to get cold before topping with pastry. Roll out pastry large enough to cover dish and with some spare.

Which side of puff pastry goes down? ›

Always flip and place the cut side of the Puff Pastry down on the baking sheet.

Do I need to put milk on puff pastry? ›

Do you need to use an egg wash on puff pastry? Not necessarily, puff pastry contains enough fat to produce a golden colour without any extra glazing. However, an egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tbsp water or milk) will make it extra golden and shiny.

Can I use oil instead of butter in puff pastry? ›

Puff Pastry - No Butter Recipe

Coconut oil is used in place of butter making a much healthier version than pastries made with butter. Coconut oil is full of good fats, healthy nutrients, and a whole...

What is the Scotch method of puff pastry? ›

Scotch or Rough Puff: In this method, the butter, margarine, or fat is chopped into cubes about (2.5 cm) and mixed into the dry flour. To this the water added and a dough made, keeping the cubes of fat intact. Proceed to give turns in any of the conventional ways.

What things should we avoid with puff pastry? ›

Heat is the enemy of Puff Pastry—it handles best when cold. So avoid working with it on hot, humid days, in a stifling hot kitchen or next to your oven.

Can I use puff pastry on the bottom of a pie? ›

If you want to make a puff pastry base for your pie

As you warm up your oven, put a baking tray in to heat up. Then when you put your pie in the oven, sit the dish on top of the hot baking tray. I find that this really helps to cook the base of the Steak Pie and stop a soggy bottom.

What is the secret to baking puff pastry? ›

Always preheat your oven for a minimum of 15-20 minutes before baking, because Puff Pastry depends on even heat to rise and puff. Place pastries 1 inch apart. If you want a flaky thin and crispy pastry that's not very puffy, prick the unbaked Puff Pastry all over with a fork, which lets steam escape while baking.

Is it worth making puff pastry from scratch? ›

That really depends on what you mean by ““worth it”. If you mean how the finished pastry looks and tastes, it's so much easier to just buy frozen puff pastry, because most of the flavor will come from your filling.

Why does puff pastry take so long to cook? ›

The kind of pan you use can affect baking times. A nonstick or dark glazed baking sheet may bake faster, so adjust your time and check pastry while baking. When baking Puff Pastry, note that it's done when it's golden and puffy, not wet and doughy.


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