A Cake for Your Occasion

Lesser-Known Treats You May See At A European-Style Bakery

When you step into a bakery, you are probably used to seeing plenty of classic treats, including cupcakes, cookies, muffins, and pies. But if the bakery you are visiting has more of a European style, then you may also see some more obscure, lesser-known treats that are not as familiar to you. Keep reading to learn about these treats so you're better able to choose one to enjoy.


Most people are familiar with macaroons, which are a type of cookie rolled in coconut. But macarons are not as widely known. These are basically a French sandwich cookie. The "cookie" portion is made with almond flour, so it has a very light and airy texture with a hint of nuttiness. The filling is typically either a creamy ganache frosting or jam. Macarons are the perfect sweet treat to buy if you're trying to stick to lighter, less filling desserts.


Fanciers are another French pastry. They are about an inch tall, and they look like little flat loaves of bread. The simplest way to describe fanciers is as an almond-flavored cake. They have a soft, yet somewhat dense texture. Some more modern bakeries make pistachio and strawberry versions. You can eat them alone as a sweet breakfast treat or top them with some ice cream and fruit for a sundae-inspire dessert.


Costrada is a Spanish pastry. It's similar to the Napoleons seen more frequently in U.S. bakeries. This dessert has layers of puff pastry, and between them, you'll find pastry cream and chopped almonds. What distinguishes costrada from a Napoleon is the layer of toasted meringue on the top. Costrada can be messy to eat and is usually eaten with a fork, but it's an incredibly delicious and indulgent choice if you happen to see it in a bakery near you.


If you like American cinnamon rolls, then you need to give the Spanish version, piononos, a try. Piononos are made from sponge cake, which is topped with rum syrup and cinnamon sugar before being rolled into a tube and sliced. The sponge cake makes piononos sweeter and softer than the more typical cinnamon roll, and the rum adds some lovely depth of flavor.

If you come across any of these items in a European-style bakery, you will now have a better idea of what they are. Order one or more of these treats; it's so fun to try something new. Check out websites like charpiers.com to learn more.