The Best Coffee Shop Pastries, Ranked

The Best Coffee Shop Pastries, Ranked

man dispensing cakes in a pastry bakery

The Best Coffee Shop Pastries, Rankedmego.picturae – Getty Images

One of the most classic breakfast duos is a cup of coffee and a sweet treat. The stunning display cases at local coffee shops make it nearly impossible not to add a pastry to your morning coffee order. How can we resist those adorable Starbucks cake pops?

To help you decide which treat to choose with your next caffeine fix, we ranked the best coffee shop pastries. We judged them on overall taste, but also how well they pair with coffee. Whether you’re a fan of chocolate croissants or toasty cheese danishes, we hope you agree that all coffee sweets are simply delicious. But here are our favorites in order, so you know which treats you need to try.

8. Banana Bread

This pastry has a unique flavor profile that is loved by some, avoided by others. It’s sweet and fruity, yes, but banana doesn’t always pair well with coffee. Imagine sipping on an iced vanilla latte with banana bread—not for us! It’s a popular baked good, but we want coffee-approved pastries here.

homemade banana bread loafhomemade banana bread loaf

Vladislav Nosick / 500px – Getty Images

7. Bear Claw

Somewhere between a donut and danish lies the Bear Claw: a puff pastry treat that’s shaped like a bear’s paw. It’s a pretty niche dessert—not every coffee shop offers it, and for the ones that do, we imagine it’s not beating out muffins and croissants in most-ordered pastries. Nevertheless, the traditional almond filling pairs nicely with a cup of coffee!

bear claw panera breadbear claw panera bread

Courtesy Panera Bread

6. Cheese Danish

A coffee shop classic, the cheese danish never disappoints. Any combination of cheese and dough is obviously delicious, but it doesn’t make the top five pastries here because we want the coffee factor. A sweet cheese danish tastes great on its own, but pair it with a white chocolate mocha or caramel macchiato, and you have a very strange flavor combo. Stick with classic coffees for this treat.


wsmahar – Getty Images

5. Cinnamon Roll

Cinnamon and coffee? A match made in heaven. Cinnamon rolls are thick, gooey, and loaded with sugar. But here’s the thing with this treat: If you’re looking for a light morning pastry (as I typically am), then it’s not for you. It’s definitely not an airy, flaky croissant, but rather a dense, fill-you-up dough. If the perfect pastry for you is one that you can substitute for breakfast, then yes, munch away!

cinnamon rolls with icingcinnamon rolls with icing

NRedmond – Getty Images

4. Blueberry Scone

A tea party favorite, scones’ buttery and sweet flavors also make them an ideal coffee pairing. If we want to get specific, blueberry scones really stand out among the rest for their fresh and fruity centers. Plus, there’s something elegant about these icing-drizzled scones that make you feel like you’re in your Gossip Girl luxury era, or, might we say, Kate Middleton royal era. The one drawback? Not everyone’s a fan of the dryer, crumbly texture.

homemade blueberry sconeshomemade blueberry scones

RonBailey – Getty Images

3. Chocolate Croissant

Whoever had the genius idea to stuff a croissant with chocolate– thank you. You still get the buttery exterior of a plain croissant, but bite into a sweet, chocolate-y filling inside. Chocolate croissants are the ultimate duo for any flavored coffee drink: Vanilla latte with a chocolate croissant? Yes. Mocha with a chocolate croissant? Yes. Need we go on? This pastry definitely favors chocolate-lovers, so if you’re not a fan, feel free to pass.

chocolate croissantschocolate croissants

DebbiSmirnoff – Getty Images

2. Pumpkin Muffin

Pumpkin season boasts some of the best coffee drinks and pastries, and pumpkin muffins are shining stars on coffee shop menus. Whether it’s filled with cream cheese (ahem, *Starbucks*), topped with brown sugar crumb, or just served up plain, customers are obsessed– and we are too. If we could enjoy these muffins year-round, they’d surely be our favorite coffee shop pastry.

homemade pumpkin muffinshomemade pumpkin muffins

Katrin Ray Shumakov – Getty Images

1. Coffee Cake

The name says it all. What pastry could top a cake that literally has “coffee” in its name? Coffee cakes have cinnamon and brown sugar notes that taste amazing alongside any kind of coffee. Pretty much every coffee shop offers this treat, so it’s a staple you can rely on. Any excuse to eat cake for breakfast is our kind of pastry!


Brian Macdonald – Getty Images

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