Want to join us on a tour of all the tastiest pastries in Europe. There are far too many to list them all but here is just a few of our favourites.

One of the best and most traditional things to do when travelling round Europe is grab yourself a coffee in the morning. This outing would not be complete without the accompaniment of some delicious, flaky pastries.

Upon walking in to a bakery, the warm doughy smells make it impossible to choose which one to go for out of an often large array of beautifully golden pastries. There is no denying that us Europeans love them.

Different countries claim different iconic pastries- some sweet and some savoury. Some to be enjoyed for breakfast, and many to be enjoyed as an after dinner treat with, you guessed it – yet another coffee.  

Here is a roundup of just a few of the best.  

1) Croissant

It would be wrong to not start with this French classic. When most think of a pastry, they would think of a France, and more specifically a croissant.

One of the most known pastries across the globe, the croissant is a puffy horn shaped pastry with beautifully buttery laminated layers. Whether it’s a simple classic croissant or one with a twist- there is one for everyone.

Chocolate or almond are classics, but you can buy all sorts of varieties. Pistachio or raspberry, maybe even stuffed with a rich cream filling- the options are endless.

Check out our review of the raspberry flavoured croissant at 200 Degrees café in Sheffield:

Behind the Bite Tik Tok review of 200 Degrees coffee, Sheffield

2) Pastel de Bélem

Originating in Lisbon, this bite-sized tart like mouthful of heaven is definitely one to try. Created by the monks of Mosteiro dos Jeronimos who used the leftover yolks from the eggs used to starch their religious garments to make these egg tarts. Once the recipe took the whole of Portugal by storm, other versions became known as a Pastel de Nata.

The sweet and light pastry tart is filled with a rich creamy egg filling. Most often, they are served with small sachets of cinnamon and icing sugar to sprinkle on top. If you fancy being really authentic, devour one of these with bica- what the Lisbon locals call a shot of espresso.

To have a go at making something similar, take at look at our Portugese egg tart recipe here:

3) Churros

This warm, sugary Spanish pastry really is the optimal indulgent treat. A doughy cinnamon and sugar dusted churro that has been deep fried in hot oil to give a perfectly crisp outside with a soft and chewy centre and dunked really is a stick of heaven. Add a dunk of molten chocolate sauce or dulce de leche and- wow, there is no words.

The long cylinder-shaped pastry is often served out of carts and has even taken the UK seaside and funfair scene by storm. It is safe to say though that nothing quite beats an authentic churro on a Spanish beach.

4) Apfelstrudel

This wintery dessert is much loved in many countries that once belonged to the Austro-Hungarian empire. Most renown in Germany or Austria, the strudel consists of an oblong pastry jacket which encases a stewed apple filling.

It is often spiced with cinnamon with the addition of raisins- the perfect warming combination, this pastry is a hug in a bowl. The pastry dough is thin and elastic and comprised many very thin flaky layers. It is served in a multitude of ways, with toppings of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, custard or even vanilla sauce.

5) Cannoli

A must have if you ever visit Italy, it is arguably the most famous Italian dessert (okay- apart from a Tiramisu). They can be eaten any time of the day- even for breakfast!

They are a tube-shaped shell of fried pastry dough filled with a cream-like sweet filling made with ricotta. The flavours of filling are endless. The tip of a cannoli is also often dipped in chocolate and sprinkles in chocolate, candied fruit or nuts.

6) Baklava

A classic Greek and Turkish pastry, this super sweet sticky dessert is made with layers of filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey. It is normally prepared in large pans and later cut into little squares, diamond shapes or triangles.

The nuts used vary, but it is typically walnuts or pistachios- occasionally hazelnuts. Different syrups can be used to get varying flavours, including rosewater, orange flower water and honey. They are poured all over the pastry and it is left to soak. The result is a super sticky a moist pastry.

7) Marillenknödel

This pastry is most commonly found in Austria and the Czech Republic. Marillen, meaning apricot in Austro-Bavarian terms is a dumpling filled with apricot jam and topped with sugar.

They are a very popular local favourite to be enjoyed in an exquisite Austrian cake or pastry shop. The delicate environment perfectly suits these dainty little balls of pastry.

8) Cornish Pasty

Cornish pasty

In the United Kingdom, our take on pastries is often less delicate than our fellow Europeans. We are much less renowned for our dainty sweet treats as we are for our hearty savoury picnic favourites. Of course, we have pork pies and sausage rolls, but another fan favourite is the Cornish pasty.

As the name would suggest, this sizeable snack originated in Cornwall – where they still arguably do it best. Crumbly pastry is filled and baked to give a warm, filling dish. Traditionally, they are filled with beef, potato, swede, and onion.

They do however come with many a filling option- just pop to Greggs and check out their corned beef or baked bean and cheese pasties! Chicken and mushroom with a creamy sauce is another classic that springs to mind.