Grandma’s Best Pastry Recipes

Nobody bakes like grandma, and these classic pastry recipes to prove it.

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Apple Pie

I remember coming home sullen one day because we’d lost a softball game. Grandma, in her wisdom, suggested, “Maybe a slice of my homemade apple pie will make you feel better.” One bite, and Grandma was right. If you want to learn how to make homemade apple pie filling, this is really the only recipe you need. —Maggie Greene, Granite Falls, Washington

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Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

My mother insisted that my grandmother write down one recipe for her when she got married in 1942. That was a real effort because Grandma was a traditional pioneer-type cook who used “a little of this or that ’til it feels right.” This treasured recipe is the only one she ever wrote down! —Janet Hall, Clinton, Wisconsin
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Caramel-Pecan Apple Pie

You’ll love the smell in your kitchen—and the smiles on everybody’s faces—when you make this scrumptious caramel apple pie recipe. It takes me back home to Virginia and being at my granny’s table. —Jean Castro, Phoenix, Arizona
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Hungarian Nut Rolls

It isn’t officially the holidays until I’ve made this treasured nut roll recipe from my husband’s grandmother. The apple-walnut filling is moist, subtly sweet and flavorful. —Donna Bardocz, Howell, Michigan
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Scottish Shortbread Cookies

This simple three-ingredient shortbread cookie recipe makes wonderfully rich, tender cookies. Serve them with fresh berries of the season for a nice, light dessert. You'll get miles of smiles when friends see these at an afternoon tea or a bridal shower. —Marlene Hellickson, Big Bear City, California
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Pennsylvania Dutch Funny Cake

I can still remember my grandma serving this delicious cake on the big wooden table in her farm kitchen. Every time I bake this unusual cake, it takes me back to those special days at Grandma's. —Diane Ganssle, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
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Icebox Cookies

This cookie recipe from my 91-year-old grandmother was my grandfather’s favorite. She still makes them and sends us home with the dough so that we can make more whenever we want, I love to make a fresh batch when company drops in. —Chris Paulsen, Glendale, Arizona
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Grandma Pruit's Vinegar Pie

This historic pie has been in our family for many generations and is always served at our get-togethers.—Suzette Pruit, Houston, Texas
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Blackberry Peekaboo Cookies

My grandmother bakes this recipe every year for the holidays. She uses homemade blackberry jam that she makes fresh every summer. These cookies are so delicious! —Jacquie Franklin, Hot Springs, Montana
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Sugar Plum Phyllo Kringle

Thanks to store-bought phyllo dough, this pastry is easier to make than it looks. Serve it not only for breakfast, but also for dessert with a scoop of ice cream. —Johnna Johnson, Scottsdale, Arizona
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Raisin Pecan Pie

I remember my Grandmother Voltie and Great-Aunt Ophelia making this southern-style pie for Thanksgiving. It was always one of the many cakes and pies lined up for dessert. —Angie Price, Bradford, Tennessee
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Winnie's Mini Rhubarb & Strawberry Pies

Every spring, we had strawberries and rhubarb on our farm outside Seattle. These fruity hand pies remind me of those times and of Grandma Winnie’s baking. —Shawn Carleton, San Diego, California
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Easy Cream Pie

Fresh berries and cream pie—it’s a simple, classic combination just like Grandma used to make. My version gets you out of the kitchen and into your lounge chair quickly. Enjoy! —Gina Nistico, Taste of Home Food Editor
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Baki's Old-World Cookies

My uncles have always called these "cupcake cookies" because of the unique, pretty way they're baked. My maternal grandmother mixed many batches. —Marilyn Louise Riggenbach, Ravenna, Ohio
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Gingersnap Crumb Pear Pie

This basic recipe was one my grandmother used for making crumble pies from fresh fruit. She simply substituted oats, gingersnaps or vanilla wafers depending on the fruit. Pear was always my favorite, and I added the ginger and caramel to give it a new twist. —Fay Moreland, Wichita Falls, Texas
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Anise & Wine Cookies

My grandmother did not speak English very well, but she knew the language of great food. These wine cookies are crisp and best eaten after being dunked in even more wine.—Julia Meyers, Scottsdale, Arizona
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Apple Kolaches

A fellow home cook shared this recipe for a sweet, fruit-filled pastry. My son, who isn’t a dessert fan, was disappointed when he came home to find his dad had polished off the last kolache in the batch. —Ann Johnson, Evansville, Indiana
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Chocolate Pear Hazelnut Tart

As a teenage foreign exchange student in the south of France, I was horribly homesick. Then my host family's Grandmother Miette arrived and asked if I'd like to help her bake this nutty tart from scratch. It turned my trip around and inspired my lifelong passion for baking. Weighing ingredients, roasting nuts, kneading dough—the art of baking transcends language. —Lexi McKeown, Los Angeles, California
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Sugar Cream Pie

I absolutely love Indiana sugar cream pie; especially the one that my grandma made for me. Here, we serve it warm or chilled and call it "Hoosier" sugar cream pie. —Laura Kipper, Westfield, Indiana
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Baked Elephant Ears

My mother-in-law handed down this recipe from her mother. These are a special treat—even better, I think, than those at a carnival or festival. —Delores Baeten, Downers Grove, Illinois
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Marzipan Cups with Currant Jelly

These bite-size beauties look and taste gourmet, but they’re easy to make and boast a delicate almond flavor. The hidden jelly surprise and pretty nut accent make them a nice addition to any treats tray. You can make them in advance and freeze them for up to three months, if you like. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario
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Best-Ever Sweet Potato Pie

My grandmother handed down this recipe and it’s amazing! The flavor, with a hint of maple and great spices, totally lives up to its name. —Erin Gibbons, Downingtown, Pennsylvania
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Peach Cream Puffs

On a sizzling day, we crave something light, airy and cool. Nothing says summer like cream puffs stuffed with peaches and whipped cream. —Angela Benedict, Dunbar, West Virginia
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Pizzelle

This recipe was adapted from one that my Italian-born mother and grandmother followed. They used old irons on a gas stove, but now we have the convenience of electric pizzelle irons. These delectable cookies are still a traditional treat in our family. —Elizabeth Schwartz, Trevorton, Pennsylvania
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Shoofly Pie

My grandmother made the best shoofly pie in the tradition of the Pennsylvania Dutch. Shoofly pie is to the Pennsylvania Dutch as pecan pie is to a Southerner. —Mark Morgan, Waterford, Wisconsin
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Apple Crumble Pie

The crumb topping of this apple crumble pie recipe is awesome, which may explain why dessert always disappears fast. Or maybe it's the chunky apple filling. Either way, it's a family tradition. —Vera Brouwer, Maurice, Iowa
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German Apple Strudel

This gorgeous strudel has just what you crave this time of year: thin layers of flaky crust and lots of juicy apples. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
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Cranberry-Almond Apple Pie

My grandmother made this treat every year for Christmas. It’s much better than everyday apple pie. The recipe is a family treasure. —Maxine Theriauit, Nashua, New Hampshire
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Date-Walnut Pinwheels

Every time someone drops in for coffee, I bake up a batch of these fruit and nut pastries—I always keep the ingredients in my pantry. The recipe's a cinch to double, too, so it's good for parties and potlucks. —Lori McLain, Denton, Texas
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Buttermilk Pecan Pie

This is the treasured "golden oldie" that my grandmother made so often whenever we'd come to visit. Grandma grew her own pecans, and we never tired of cracking them and picking out the meat when we knew we'd be treated to her special pie! —Mildred Sherrer, Fort Worth, Texas
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Apple Pie

I remember coming home sullen one day because we'd lost a softball game. Grandma, in her wisdom, suggested that maybe a slice of hot apple pie would make me feel better. She was right. —Maggie Greene, Granite Falls, Washington
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Chocolate Banana Bundles

Banana with chocolate is such an irresistible combo that I make this quick dessert often. You can also top these tasty bundles with the butter and brown sugar mixture left over from coating the bananas, or sprinkle on a dash of sea salt. —Thomas Faglon, Somerset, New Jersey
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Dutch Letters

These S-shaped super flaky butter pastries filled with almond paste and topped with crunchy sugar are popular in both Iowa and Holland during the Christmas season. Here's a recipe that will let you make and enjoy them all year round. —Shirley De Lange, Byron Center, Michigan

Sue Stetzel
Sue has been working with Taste of Home since 2011. When she isn’t writing, she’s answering your burning cooking questions and working with our team of Community Cooks. She spends her free time cooking, crafting, and volunteering for various organizations in her home town.