Can You Identify These Pastries From a Description?


By: Monica Lee

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

You can practically taste it. Reading a description of these pastry treats ... is a treat unto itself. You can imagine the honey oozing out of a sticky bun, or the sweet cream of a cream puff, caught by your tongue before it falls from your lips. Yes, this quiz is for lovers of pastries - both sweet and savory.  A perfect beef Wellington has a crust that is soaked in juices but not soggy. That chicken pot pie is both hearty and light. Yes, pastry crust can make or break a meal, and when done well, is an explosion of goodness in your mouth. 

Besides giving you a taste of what you might want to bake next, this quiz provides some trivia on your favorite treats. For instance, did you know that the contemporary American apple fritter is unlike the British one? In Britain they are prepared by slicing apples, dipping them in batter and frying them. In America, the apples, butter and sugar are combined with doughnut-style pastry.  

Are you ready to identify all of your favorite treats? Be warned - you will be questioned on pastries from around the world. But with your sophisticated palate, that shouldn't be a problem. Go on, tantalize your taste buds with this quiz!

This deep-fried choux pastry is heavily covered with powered sugar. What is the name of this treat you'll find in New Orleans?

Beignet, synonymous with the English "fritter," is the French term for a pastry made from deep-fried choux. Choux is sometimes called pate a choux.


This long, slender, deep-fried choux dough is dusted with sugar or cinnamon and found on many fairgrounds. What is it?

Although you'll find churros on the fairgrounds, they are originally from Spain and Portugal. It is a fried-dough pastry that is easy to make and deliciously sweet.


You'll need a big appetite to finish off this semicircular yeast-raised pastry filled with almond paste, with slices along the curved edge. What is it?

A bear claw is a sweet, yeast-raised pastry, similar to a Danish. It's usually filled with almond paste, and sometimes raisins. The semicircle shape and partial slices along one side make it look like a bear claw.


Originally a pie, this version is made with yeast-risen dough, chocolate frosting and a pastry cream filling. What is it?

This round, solid, yeast-risen doughnut with chocolate frosting and a pastry cream filling is a miniature doughnut version of the Boston cream pie.


Dough spread with cinnamon and sugar, then rolled and sliced before baking - what delicious pastry is it?

Many believe that cinnamon rolls originated in Sweden. Swedish cinnamon rolls are not as sweet as those baked in the United States, where the rolls are glazed or frosted and sometimes nuts or raisins are added.


Fresh, tart-sweet baking apples that are cooked in butter and cinnamon, then combined with doughnut batter make this sweet treat. What is it?

Fritter-type foods can be traced back all the way to the Romans, and corn fritters can be traced to the South. But no matter where it originates, this tasty treat is a favorite all over the world.


This dessert is made with filo dough, nuts and honey. What is it?

Baklava is made with many layers of filo dough, separated with melted butter and chopped nuts -- either walnuts or pistachios -- then drenched in honey. Yum!


Custard and/or whipped cream between three layers of puff pastry, garnished with a glossy royal icing - what is it?

A Napoleon is made by sandwiching crispy layers of puff pastry with a rich custard pastry cream filling and then garnishing the top with a glossy royal icing. It is traditionally made with chocolate and white icing.


Apples, cinnamon, sugar and butter inside a triangular puff pastry - what is it?

You'll need to unfold puff pastry sheets, repair any cracks, trim each sheet into a square, then cut each larger square into four smaller squares to create the traditional triangular shape.


What sweet pastry from Denmark surrounds an apple, cherry, chocolate or cheese filling?

Danish are fluffy and crispy on the outside, buttery and flaky on the inside. Many are chock-full of sweet fillings.


A fluted, ring-shaped doughnut made from choux pastry with a light, airy texture - what is it?

Crullers may be fried and dipped in plain powdered sugar, powdered sugar mixed with cinnamon, or just icing. "Cruller" comes from a Dutch word that means "to curl."


Layers of thinly sliced apples, butter and cinnamon stacked in a bottom crust with a crunchy streusel-like topping - what type of pastry is this?

The difference between the Dutch Apple Pie and the French Apple Pie is that the Dutch has a streusel-like topping with a crunchier texture. French Apple Pie tends to have a topping a bit more like sugary bread crumbs.


An oblong baked pastry made with choux dough, filled with a cream and topped with chocolate icing - what is this pastry?

The choux dough is typically piped into an oblong shape by using a pastry bag and then baked until it is crisp and hollow inside. Cream fills the hollow and it is topped with chocolate icing.


This German creation is made of layered filo pastry and a filling that is usually sweet. What kind of pastry is it?

Strudel is a pastry made from multiple thin layers of filo dough rolled up and filled with fruit (mainly apple and sour cherry) or cheese. Strudel is often served with cream.


It is a crisp, sweet crunchy tube filled with a cream or ricotta cheese filling. What is this Italian treat?

The cannoli originates from Sicily. It is made with a tube-like shell of fried pastry dough filled with a creamy, sweet cheese filling, which is usually ricotta cheese.


This sweet from Rome is shaped like a crescent and can be filled with pastry cream, marmalade, honey or chocolate. What is it?

An Italian cornetto (little horn) usually has a filling of pastry cream, marmalade, honey or chocolate (most likely gianduia or Nutella). It is made with lard instead of butter and is sweeter than a croissant.


This pastry is baked in pans with honey or sugar and butter on the bottom, as well as nuts, then the whole thing is inverted to serve. What is it?

The best part of eating a sticky bun is licking the sugar and butter or honey off your fingers. It is dripping with delicious goodness.


This dessert is made with balls of choux pastry filled with cream or custard. What is the name of this pastry?

Cream puffs or French profiteroles are choux pastry balls filled with whipped cream, pastry cream, custard or ice cream. They can also be topped with icing, chocolate ganache or powdered sugar.


A suet crust pastry with meat and potato - what type of savory pastry is this?

This traditional British pastry uses suet, which is raw, hard fat of beef or mutton. It is famously used to make steak and kidney pie, as well as steamed or boiled puddings.


Eggs, onions, ham, potato and cheese go into a deep-dish pie plate of puff pastry, and then everything is covered with more puff pastry and baked. What is it?

To make this recipe, line puff pastry into a deep-dish pie plate or springform pan, add cooked omelets, then cover the torte with more puff pastry. Press together edges of both sheets of puff pastry to form a rim, then crimp or flute the edges and bake. It looks spectacular!


This pastry is pie-shaped and contains chicken, cream and vegetables. What is it?

A perfect winter feast that warms the heart and belly begins with a serving of chicken pot pie. Thick pieces of white chicken meat, vegetables and a cream sauce are encased in a flaky pie crust.


Shortcrust pastry is filled with tomato, basil and garlic, and topped with cheese. What type of pastry is this?

A tart is a bottom-only pie with shallow sides. Sometimes the tart dough is a bit different than pie dough, which is more flaky and tender.


Sausage is encased in rough puff pastry. What is it called?

The sausage roll uses a pastry that is a cross between puff and flaky pastry. It has the advantage of being easier to make than puff pastry, but is as light as flaky pastry.


Cheese, bacon and egg in an open-faced pastry - what is the name of this creation?

This one could be difficult if you don't know the difference between tart and quiche. A tart can be savory or sweet, whereas a quiche can only be savory. Now you know!


Custard is poured into individual portions of short-crust pastry. What is this dessert?

Tartlet refers to a miniature tart; examples would be egg or custard tartlet. Unlike the egg tartlet, the custard tartlet is served at room temperature.


Puff pastry wrapped around a beef tenderloin, pâté and duxelles - what type of pastry is this?

This meal of tender, flavorful beef encased in earthy mushrooms, rich pâte, and a flaky pastry was named in honor of Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, who defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.


This is a type of puff pastry from France that is rich, flaky, and named for its crescent shape. Can you name it?

A croissant is a flaky crescent-shaped treat. Layering yeast-leavened dough with butter, and adding cheese or chocolate heightens the rich, buttery flavor of a croissant.


This tasty pastry from India has a filling of mashed potato, onions, green peas, lentils, spices and green chili. What is it?

The samosa is made with all-purpose flour, locally known as maida. The triangular shell is stuffed with filling and deep fried to a golden color.


This savory Spanish treat is traditionally made with beef and potato. What is it?

Empanadas are originally from Galicia, now Spain. They are made by folding a dough around the filling, then frying or baking until they are golden brown.


This rounded cube-shaped roll is filled with dark chocolate. Which French pastry is it?

Pain au chocolat is a type of sweet bread made from yeast-leavened dough, similar in texture to a puff pastry, with one or two pieces of dark chocolate in the center.


This Italian pastry has a round ball on top, called a "tuppo." What is it?

The most important characteristic of an Italian brioche is the small ball on top. It is generally pulled off and eaten first!


This sweet, baked, yeast-leavened pastry may have nuts, fruit and spices, and it is topped with icing. What is it?

Whether you eat a sweet roll at breakfast or for dessert, this tasty treat is irresistible due to the sweet, yeast pastry surrounding an assortment of fillings and covered with icing.


This is made with layers of filo and a filling of seasoned spinach, onions and feta. What is the name of this Greek pastry?

Although associated with Greece, spanakopita originated from Turkish cuisine more than 400 years ago. This tasty pastry would have been introduced during the Turkish occupation of Greece.


Puff pastry is rolled out and coated with sugar, then the two sides are rolled toward the center, and the whole thing is sliced and baked. What is the name of this French pastry?

Although these answers are all the same treat, to get the correct answer you need to know your French. In Mexico they are called Orejas, meaning "ears." In Germany they are called Schweineohren, meaning "pigs' ears," while the Swiss call them Prussien. In French, palmier means "palm tree."


This doughy, raisin-studded delight is traditionally eaten during Lent. What is it?

Marked with an icing cross on top, hot cross buns have been a holiday staple of some communities for centuries. They usually contain dried fruit.


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