5 Types of Pastry and Their Uses

From soft and flaky croissants to crisp and crunchy shortbreads, pastries are a key component of both sweet and savory recipes. Depending on what pastry you want to make, the base of your recipe will likely be crafted from one of five different types of pastry dough. With the right tools, like KitchenAid® stand mixers or food processors, you will have the freedom to explore new recipes using each of these types of dough. Read more to learn about the five different types of pastry and new recipes you can try at home.

Air-fried strawberry hand pies on a baking rack Air-fried strawberry hand pies on a baking rack

List of 5 Types of Pastry Doughs

There are five main types of pastry dough for creating pastries: flaky, shortcrust, puff, choux and filo. All of them are made primarily from flour, water and fat. However, these five types of pastry dough each have slightly different core ingredients, different ratios of ingredients and, ultimately, different uses.

1. Flaky

Delicate and simple to make, flaky pastry is used for sweet or savory dishes that bake quickly, such as the common pie crust. With large pieces of butter mixed into the dough, flaky pastries are more easily made with a food processor or a specialized pastry blender. Requiring a delicate touch, this flaky pastry is easy to overwork, so make sure to pay close attention to the recipe directions.

A golden beet and goat cheese quiche resting on a napkin
Bite-sized golden beet and goat cheese quiches with pine nut crust

Made from a flaky pastry dough, this golden beet and goat cheese quiche is a delight in every bite. To ensure your dough has an even consistency, use a KitchenAid® food processor to mix in the pine nuts and salt into the flour.

2. Shortcrust

Perfect for cooks who love to bake, shortcrust pastry is a stout dough used to make thicker pastries like tarts and cookies. This pastry won’t be as easily overworked as others as it takes about half of the fat to flour in its recipe, which binds the pastry together. For each of the four types of shortcrust, crumbles are a plus.

A stack of lavender shortbread cookies
Lavender shortbread cookies

Simple yet elegant, these shortbread cookies epitomize shortcrust pastry dough. With golden-brown edges and the flavor of lavender mixed in with a KitchenAid® food processor, every taste of this cookie is the perfect bite.

3. Puff

Although similar in texture to a flaky pastry, puff pastry differs significantly in how much time it takes to make. It is traditionally formed by rolling dough over a rectangular shape of cold butter in the lamination process. Perfect for making pie crusts or meat pies, flaky puff pastry is the mark of a detailed baker. An easier version of puff pastry, called rough puff, can also be made with a stand mixer for a more hands-off and quicker approach. Discover sweet and savory puff pastry recipe ideas.

A mound of puff pastry waffles with whipped cream
Puff pastry waffles with whipped cream

Light, fluffy and mouth-watering, these puff pastry waffles are a lovely treat any time of the day. Use your KitchenAid® stand mixer and whisk accessory to whip up a sweet cream filling for this classic pastry dish.

4. Choux

Choux pastry, also sometimes called cream-filled pastry, has a crispy outer shell and a hollow interior to hold delicious sweet and savory fillings. Perhaps surprisingly, this light pastry dough begins with the addition of eggs. The thick, damp mixture then rises by steam which is what creates choux pastry’s outer shell.

A plated eclair cake with sprinkled cocoa powder
Eclair cake

Combining the finest parts of eclair and cake, the flavors in this recipe will have you wondering why you never thought to combine the two before. With a KitchenAid® stand mixer, you can combine a fluffy cake mix and develop a sweet, creamy eclair filling.

5. Filo

A relative of the puff pastry, filo is made by layering a series of thin sheets of the pastry on top of its filling, such as in baklava or spring rolls. The unleavened dough is stretched into a paper-thin sheet, brushed with oil, then layered with more dough sheets and oil, so that when baked it crisps as opposed to puffing up.

A piece of mini pistachio, walnut and honey baklava
Mini pistachio, walnut & honey baklava

The rich taste of honey and cinnamon meets its perfect complement in pistachio and walnut with this recipe. Create a baklava filling with satisfying flavor and texture by using a KitchenAid® Cordless Hand Blender.

Dough being removed from a pastry beater Dough being removed from a pastry beater

What is a Pastry Beater And How is it Used to Make Pastry?

Pastry beaters or blenders are kitchen tools that are used for cutting butter into flour when creating pastry dough. If using a handheld version, you will need to press it into your butter and flour mixture over and over to create small pieces of butter coated in flour. The pastry beater from KitchenAid brand attaches to your stand mixer to make handmade quality pastry dough, with less effort.

A set of eclairs with chocolate drizzled over them A set of eclairs with chocolate drizzled over them

What is the Most Popular Pastry?

The answer to the most popular pastry will depend not only on where you live but also whether you are looking for a sweet or savory pastry. For example, if you are looking to eat a sweet-filled pastry with your morning coffee, eclairs (choux pastry) are a popular choice, especially in France. In North America, the flaky pastry that forms the base of sweet fruit pies like a classic apple pie, or savory hand pies like empanadas might be the most popular.

Create More with KitchenAid® Countertop Appliances

Nothing is quite as exhilarating as watching the transformation of your fresh pastry dough in the oven. That’s why KitchenAid® countertop appliances were designed to help you create any type of pastry dough. Whether you need a KitchenAid® stand mixer or a KitchenAid® food processor to easily cut cold butter into flour, or KitchenAid® stand mixer attachments and accessories to help create delicious, fresh fillings, KitchenAid brand has the tools you need for inventive pastry making.

Expand Your Cooking Possibilities with KitchenAid brand