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Bear Claws

Bear Claws are a classic pastry. Filled with almond paste and powdered sugar, these yeast risen pastries are amazingly delicious.

Why is the pastry called a bear claw?

Bear claws get their name from their shape. Their semi circle shape and slits in it make it much like a bear’s paw. 

Is a bear claw an almond croissant?

Bear claws are very similar to croissants. The dough is made very much like croissants. Very flaky and wonderful. Bear claws are filled and topped with sliced almonds and a icing drizzle.

What is inside a bear claw?

Bear claws are filled with a mixture of almond paste and powdered sugar. It is a mild flavor that is full of amazingness.


Yield: 6 bear claws

Bear Claws

Bear Claws

Bear Claws are a classic pastry. Filled with almond paste and powdered sugar, these yeast risen pastries are amazingly delicious.

Dough 5 hours
Filling 15 minutes
Assembly & Baking 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 30 minutes



  • 1 1/2 cups cold butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 5 cups all purpose flour, divided
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups half & half cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs


  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond paste

Before baking

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • granulated sugar


  • sliced almonds
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp milk



  1. In a bowl, toss butter with 3 cups flour until well coated; refrigerate.
  2. In a large bowl, combine yeast and remaining flour. 
  3. In a sauce pan, heat cream, sugar, and salt to 120º - 130º.
  4. Add to yeast mixture with 1 egg. Beat until smooth.
  5. Stir in butter mixture just until moistened.
  6. Place dough onto a well floured surface; roll into a 21" x 12" rectangle.
  7. Starting at the short side, fold dough in thirds, forming a 12"x7" rectangle. 
  8. Turn the dough a quarter turn and add more flour to the surface; roll into a 21"x12" rectangle. Fold into thirds, starting with a short side. 
  9. Repeat, flouring surface as needed. This is going to be rather messy. Add lots and lots of flour as you go. (Do not chill dough between each rolling and folding) Fold dough in half length wise. 
  10. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours or until firm.


  1. For filling, in a small bowl, beat egg white until foamy. Gradually add 3/4 cup powdered sugar and almond paste. Beat until smooth.


  1. Cut dough in half width wise. Roll each portion into a 12" square. Cut each square into three 12"x4" strips. Cut each strip in half. 
  2. Spread about 1 Tbsp filling down the center of each strip. Fold length wise and seal edges and ends. Place on parchment lined baking sheets.
  3. With scissors, cut folded edge about 1/2" deep 4 times to give you 5 sections to make it look like a bear claw. Separate each cut slightly. 
  4. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour. 
  5. After risen, lightly beat water and remaining egg white. Brush over dough. Sprinkle with sugar and almond slices. 
  6. Bake at 375º for 15 minutes or until golden brown. 
  7. While baking, mix remaining powdered sugar and milk to make icing. Add milk or powdered sugar to get the consistency you want. 
  8. Remove bear claws from pan and cool on wire racks. When cooled, drizzle icing over bear claws. Enjoy

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Saturday 17th of October 2020

Any thoughts on additional fillings?? My FAVORITE Bear Claws used to be filled with apple and honey glazed from a Colorado bakery (also on my way to school years ago). They weren't fritters, they were beautiful pull apart Bear Claws-- Some had the addition of cream cheese, some were simple sugar glazed (sans drizzle)-- all with different fillings. One of the MOST CREATIVE (and most expensive) were filled with a sweet hatch chilie jam (it WAS Colorado of course) roasted piñon, almonds (and probably almond paste)... And the same sweet honey glaze... But my favorite was apple... BUT there are zero recipes and it's killing me, LoL!!! Any suggestions??? Yours is a yummy sounding recipe though!!!

Jamie H

Wednesday 21st of October 2020

Oh, those sound amazing, NiQue! We may have to experiment with those ideas! Sorry we just have the traditional filling!

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Friday 18th of April 2014

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Erlene A

Sunday 23rd of March 2014

My husband loves bear claws. I may have to surprise him with these. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Kerry C

Friday 22nd of March 2013

Thanks! Writing the post made me want some. I just haven't had the time to make any.

Krista Low

Thursday 21st of March 2013

These look so ridiculously good! MMMM. I could go for one right now!

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