The best pastries to order at an Armenian bakery

Nazook or boreg? Baklava or Bird's Milk Cake? Here are the pastries you should definitely pick up on your next visit to an Armenian bakery.
By Eliza Krpoyan |
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You know your way around a donut shop, but how about an Armenian bakery? If you're unsure of what's in store, a trip to one of the best in the city might be a little daunting. While many of the treats sold at these bakeries come from different backgrounds, including Russian and Middle Eastern, there are a handful of staples you'll find at all of them. Don't know what a boreg or a popok is? Check out our slideshow for a description of these popular pastries.

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Bird's Milk Cake at Movses
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Bird’s Milk Cake

This Russian cake called ptichye moloko, which directly translates to "bird’s milk," refers to the Italian buttercream found between each layer of cake. The dessert is finished with a Ganache glaze. Bird's Milk Cake at Movses Pastry

Ponchik at Movses
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Ponchik

Similar to a beignet, this deep-fried dough is filled with custard and often dusted with powdered sugar. Ponchik at Movses Pastry

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Napolean at Movses
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Napolean

Flaky sheets of puff pastry are layered with pastry cream and often topped with crumbs and powdered sugar. Napolean at Movses Pastry

Vozni at Papillon International Bakery
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Vozni

The name of this pastry means porcupine in Armenian because of its spiky resemblance. Don't worry, though—it's just a round, spongy pastry filled with cream and covered in crumbs. Vozni at Papillon International Bakery

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Popok at Movses
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Popok

Armenian for “nut,” this bite-sized treat sandwiches walnut cream between two buttery shells. Popok at Movses Pastry

Calla at Sarkis Pastry
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Calla

This pastry, which gets its name from Calla Lilly flowers due to its shape, features an extra-light cream folded into airy dough and is served with syrup for dipping. Calla at Sarkis Pastry

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Nazook at Movses
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Nazook

This coffee cake-meets-cookie is a favorite among Armenians to pair with coffee or tea. The pastry is crisp, buttery and rolled with walnuts or a streusel filling; it is also referred to as gata and comes in various shapes. Nazook at Movses Pastry

Baklava at Movses
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Baklava

This syrupy dessert is made with phyllo dough, filled with chopped nuts and doused in honey. Baklava at Movses Pastry

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Pyranik at Papillon International Bakery
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Pyranik

Comparable to gingerbread, a pyranik is glazed with sugar and can include a variation of spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, ginger or nutmeg. Pyranik at Papillon International Bakery

Anthill Cake at Art's Bakery
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Anthill Cake

Shaped like a mound, these cakes are mixed with hazelnuts, honey and cream made with condensed milk. Anthill Cake at Art's Bakery

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Swan puff pastry at Maggie's Pastry
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Cream Puff Swans

Armenian bakeries often shape cream puffs—Choux pastry filled with Chantilly cream—in the form of swans, particularly for holidays and special occasions. Swan puff pastry at Maggie's Pastry

Mikado at Movses
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Mikado

This cake is layered with a cream made of condensed milk and butter and is topped with chocolate shavings. Mikado at Movses Pastry

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Potato piroshki at Movses
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Piroshki

Armenian bakeries also offer many savory baked goods. You’ll commonly find this Russian pie either baked or deep-fried, and filled with potato or ground beef. Potato piroshki at Movses Pastry

Lahmajoon at Paradise Bakery and Café
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Lahmajoon

Another traditional savory food is this “Armenian pizza," a flatbread topped with ground lamb or beef in a tomato-based sauce and seasoned with cumin, turmeric and other spices. Lahmajoon at Paradise Bakery and Café

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Movses
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Boreg

Also referred to as khachapuri in Russian, boreg is a popular puff pastry typically filled with feta cheese and molded in the shape of a triangle like a turnover. It can also refer to a variation that includes cheese baked in bread dough. Boreg at Movses Pastry

Don't know where to find these pastries?

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